This week we have a debut novel for a new cozy series featuring a micro-brew pub and the young woman who is the owner and brew-master.
Copyright: December 2015 (Berkley) 304 pgs
Series: 1st in Brewing Trouble Mystery series
Sensuality: mild kissing
Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy
Main Characters: Maxine “Max” O’Hara, Brewmaster and owner of The Allegheny Brew House
Setting: Modern day, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who studied in Germany for her brew-master certification, and is preparing to open her very own brew pub. But her assistant brew-master Kurt believes that the series of bad luck is actually deliberate sabotage. One evening Kurt calls and tells Max to come to the pub, he knows who is behind the sabotage and can prove it. When Max arrives she find Kurt dead. The police believe it was a tragic accident, but Max know it was murder. Subplots are her rescue of an adorable stray kitten and hiring the best friend of her brother to be the new chef. The new chef is an ex-hockey player and her child-hood crush. Max is determined to figure who killed Kurt and ensure her pub has the best opening.
Maxine “Max” O’Hara went to Germany to study beer making, so she is independant. She is business savy and is going out on a limb to start her own business in an old historic building needing renovation. She is easy to like and I instantly wanted be friends. Jake Lambert, former ice hockey player and childhood friend of her brothers is changing careers and has the qualifications, but has he finally stopped seeing Max as only the little sister of his friend? Candy and Kristie are Max's friends, full of heart and her cheerleaders. Meet the family: her father Sean Sr is a police detective. Brothers: Father Sean and Mike are protective. Other characters are the owner's of surrounding shops, some are antagonist towards her brewery coming into the neighborhood.
The setting is primarily the small community of shops surrounding the brewery giving it that cozy aspect. Some Pittsburgh flavor is thrown in for good measure. The old brewery building provides nice touch.
I can see this plot starting as a "What if" question. We all have had a string of bad luck, but what if the bad luck was sabotage, what if somebody didn't want your life's dream to happen? Why? The pacing kept my interest as another murder takes place and the danger increases. Although I suspected the villain about midway, I hadn't a clue about the motive. The climax was good nail biting tension - just the way I like it. The wrap-up was smile-worthy.
I particularly enjoyed this debut. It satisfies my criteria of a great main character, good plotting, nice setting and kept my interest throughout. I am looking forward to the subsequent entries in this series.
Rating: Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list
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