Review: The Pint of No Return (Sloan Krause Mysteries #2)

In the town of Leavenworth, WA, there is a lot more brewing than just award-winning beer…

 

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Macmillan Publishers. Accessed October, 2018.
Title: The Pint of No Return
Author: Ellie Alexander
Series: Sloan Krause Mysteries, #2
Publisher: New York: Minotaur Books, 2018
Pages: 320 pp

 

Book Review

Prost! Oktoberfest is in full-swing in the Bavarian-style town of Leavenworth, and local craft brewer Sloan Krause must contend with her fair share of challenges that have been brewing lately.

A Hollywood film crew is on location to produce a documentary, Wish You Were Beer, about the behind-scenes of the craft-beer industry. Soon after their arrival however, Sloan discovers the outspoken, egocentric host and former child-star, Mitchell Morgan, dead in the streets of Leavenworth.

Once again, Sloan takes on the role of amateur sleuth (Death on Tap, 2017) to aid the local police department in revealing Mitchell Morgan’s killer.

In addition to an ongoing investigation, Sloan grapples with burgeoning feelings for her new boss, the ever-deepening mystery surrounding her birth parents, and keeping her ex-husband’s fingers off the company cheque book.

Second in the Sloan Krause Mysteries series, The Pint of No Return leisurely guides readers through the charming town of Leavenworth while weaving richly detailed information about the craft beer industry into the story. It is fitting that the author successfully creates a strong sense of place, as feelings of belonging and the importance of family pervade the story.

 

Recommendations

I would recommend Ellie Alexander’s The Pint of No Return to readers looking for an autumn-themed story this season. While I highly recommend reading the series in succession, this is not mandatory to understand and enjoy the quirky, fully-realized world portrayed throughout the story.

While trying to create a new start for herself an teenage son, Alex, Sloan is a likable character who demonstrates boundless creativity and ingenuity regarding brewing. Sloan has a true nose for the business and readers who enjoy strong female protagonists will enjoy spending time with such a strong, yet vulnerable, woman.

Note: I received an electronic copy from Netgalley in exchange for feedback to the publisher.

Review: Murder on Memory Lake (Ferrara Family #1)

griffo_momlMurder on Memory Lake

Author: Griffo, J.D.

Series: Ferrara Family #1

Genre: Cozy mystery

Publication: Kensington Publishing Corporation (New York), 304 pp.

Release date: July 31, 2018

 


Tranquility, New Jersey is one lakeside community proving to be anything but peaceful for new resident, Alberta Scaglione…


Having recently inherited a lakeside home from an unexpectedly wealthy relative, Alberta Scaglione is welcomed by chaos and confusion–not to mention the body of her lifelong fenemy, Lucy Agostino, practically floating before her doorstep. Begrudgingly, Alberta pairs up with her ambitious and spirited journalist granddaughter, Jynx, to get an exclusive scoop regarding the ongoing investigation. The Scaglione duo are quirky and spirited women who are determined to peel back the layers of Lucy’s curious death. Murder on Memory Lake is the first installment in a series boasting familial relationships, humour, an age-diverse band of characters and classic Italian recipes throughout.

I would recommend Griffo’s Murder on Memory Lake to readers who are looking for a series that successfully marries humour and intrigue. Also, readers must be willing to suspend disbelief to fully appreciate this story, as the plot and characterization is riddled with outlandish, outrageous qualities that may not resonate with readers looking for crime fiction grounded in realism. 


 

I received a copy of J.D. Griffo’s, Murder on Memory Lake, from the Kensington Publishing Corporation via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Friday Reads | June 22, 2018

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Happy Friday!

What a week it has been! In addition to (attempting) to keep up with my ever-growing TBR, this past week marked my graduation with a Masters in Library & Information Science degree. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in library school–yes, right up to the teeth-grinding and hair-pulling bitter end–and I am excited to continue to learn and grow in the profession.

What I am currently reading:

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Title: Murder on Memory Lake

Author: J.D. Griffo

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation

Release Date: July 31, 2018

Format: E-book (~304 pp.)

Genre: cozy mystery

I received an e-galley edition of Griffo’s Murder on Memory Lake via Netgalley in exchange for sharing honest feedback with the publisher. I am coming up on the end of this engrossing mystery, which I will certainly be reviewing closer to its’ release date!

I was initially drawn to Murder on Memory Lake because the protagonist, Alberta Scaglione, is a widowed Italian woman in her “golden years.” The cozy genre is chalk-filled with twenty-somethings and women experiencing significant mid-life change, but curiously devoid of older women sleuths. 

Alberta inherits a beautiful house poised on Memory Lake in Tranquility, New Jersey upon the death of her fiesty–and secretly ,seriously wealthy–aunt. Unfortunately, Tranquility is anything but! Alberta’s lifelong frenemy surfaces (literally!) one morning and Alberta is pulled into a murder investigation by her grandaughter, Jinx, who is an early-career journalist eager to prove her worth on a more serious beat.

Alberta’s motivation for investigating the death of her former competitor is fueled by a desire to grow closer to her granddaughter, whom she has not seen in years due to a familial falling out with her own daughter. Murder on Memory Lake contains a cast of quirky characters including a former Wall street employee with her ear to the ground and an ex-nun–who just happens to be Alberta’s sister.

So far, Griffo’s Murder on Memory Lake is an enticing puzzle featuring a cast of lovable characters with strong female relationships…and gluten-free “pasta.” This is such a fun read, and I hope to be completing it today!


What are you reading this #FridayReads?


 

Review: Mayhem at the Orient Express

“At a local Chinese restaurant, it’s the owner who gets taken out…”

 

15810915Title: Mayhem at the Orient Express

Series: A League of Literary Ladies Mystery #1

Author: Kylie Logan

Publication: Berkley, 2013

Pages:  304 (Mass Market Paperback)

 

 

 

In the first installment of the League of Literary Ladies mysteries, ex-Manhattanite Bea Cartwright moves to a small town on South Bass Island, Ohio with the hopes of running a successful bed and breakfast in a “monstrosity” of a Victorian mansion. Unfortunately, not all locals are as excited about the venture as Bea, and the band of squabbling ladies are judge-ordered to form a book club to secure funding for the struggling library.

 

Soon after, the ladies discover a local restaurateur murdered in his shop. An unexpected snow storm isolates island residents from the mainland, and Bea begins to suspect that one of her guests may very well be the killer! Using their combined little grey cells, the ladies are determined to unveil the killer–before anyone else checks out…


An intriguing, locked-room mystery that will keep even the most avid Agatha Christie fans guessing. The multi-layered mystery and cast of quirky characters make Mayhem at the Orient Express a stand-out cozy mystery.

I Can’t Wait For…A Grave Issue by Lillian Bell (Can’t Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday)

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Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This meme shines a spotlight and provides opportunities for readers to discuss the books that they’re excited about but have yet to read. Generally, the featured titles have yet to be released.

This week’s CWW title is the first installment in a new cozy mystery series–A Funeral Parlor Mystery series. I know, I know. Funerals, death, grieving…how can an author possibly write a “cozy,” gentle read set in a funeral home? Well, I am equally as curious! Will the humour be dry and morbid? Quirky? Will the author account for the current trends in the funeral industry? Or rather, is the book geared at “industry outsiders” who are not yet comfortable with the topic?

Having been raised by two parents who both happen to work in the funeral industry, I am comfortable with notions of death and the funeral home setting. After all, how many people can say that their “Take Your Child to Work Day” experience included polishing caskets and a tour of the embalming room? I also share in my family’s dry, witty, and occasionally morbid sense of humour…occupational hazzard, I suppose!

Generally speaking, I am new(ish) to the cozy mystery genre. I picked up my first cozy with the intent of broadening my reading repertoire in late October, and haven’t looked back since! The unique setting and career featured in A Funeral Parlor Mystery is precisely what drew my attention! Fortunately,  Bell’s A Grave Issue is to be released in a mere two days!

**Note: It is possible that this book may have been released earlier this month in other geographic areas, February 23 is the earliest date on which I can access the book in Canadian retailers. Regardless, I can hardly wait. **


graveissue_bell_feb_23_18A Grave Issue

Series: (A Funeral Parlor Mystery #1)

Author: Lillian Bell

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Crooked Lane books [February 2018]

Summary:

Journalist Desiree Turner returns home to Verbena, California following an embarrassing, career-threatening on-air blunder. Desiree begins working at her great-grandfather’s funeral parlor, where the action is more lively than anticipated!

Soon after, Desiree finds herself in the thick of a murder investigation. Working to clear the name of her “second father,” Kyle Hansen, Desiree uncovers unsavory habits and scandal surrounding the recently deceased.

Can Desiree catch the real killer before they come for her?


 

Will you be reading this one? Leave a comment or read-alike suggestion below!