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Friday, December 18, 2020

Review - An Ale of Two Cities

 This is the second book in this series, but it is the first for me.  Usually I like to start with the first in the series, but I am jumping in on this one without waiting to go back to the debut book.  I had no problem picking up the story line and follow the flow.

Author: Sarah Fox

Copyright: November 2019 (Kensington) 253 pgs

Series: 2nd in A Literary Pub Mysteries

Sensuality: n/a

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy mystery

Main Characters: Sadie Coleman, owner of the Inkwell-a literary themed bar

Setting: Modern day, Shady Creek, Vermont

Obtained Through: Publisher (Netgalley) for honest review

Book Blurb: "The Winter Carnival always brings holiday cheer, Christmas joy—and tourists with cash—to picturesque Shady Creek, Vermont. At the center of the glittering decorations and twinkling lights is booklover and pub owner Sadie Coleman, creating original cocktails, hosting a literary trivia evening, and cheering on her loyal employee Melanie “Mel” Costas as she competes in the ice carving competition. 

 But holiday cheer can’t compete with former resident and renowned chef Freddy Mancini, who arrives with his nose in the air, showing off his ice-sculpting skills like a modern-day Michelangelo. During the artists’ break in the night-long contest, Mel’s tools disappear . . . and Freddy is found dead with her missing pick in his chest.

 Although the police turn their attention to Mel, it seems everyone in town had a grudge against Freddy, including his assistant, his mentor, his former flame, and even his half-brother.

 Faster than she can fling a Huckleberry Gin, Sadie finds herself racing to make sure the police don’t arrest the wrong suspect—all while sharing a flirtation with local brewery owner Grayson Blake. Their chemistry leads to a heated rivalry at the hockey rink—and to the hot pursuit of a killer."

Sadie Coleman is practical and makes a good sleuth.  Grayson Blake is the owner of a brewery and the romantic interest.  He has his work cut out for him because Sadie doesn't have a clue he's interested.  Aunt Gilda is a dear and I would like more of her character.  

Shady Creek is the ideal of a small town with a big winter carnival with a multitude of activities. The descriptions are well done and you feel the cold winter.

The plot is a solid cozy mystery with a terrible person who has many people with a grudge.  It took me a little bit to get really hooked (probably my having a lot to do rather than the book).  But once I got vested, I was flipping the pages and couldn't put it down.  

The climax has its nail biting moments and was well done.  the wrapup answered questions and makes you want to read the next one right away to stay in Shady Creek with Sadie.

This is a cozy that you can read for enjoyment of the town and its people as well as the mystery.  The world building was particularly well done.  

Rating: Good - A fun read that draws you into the setting as much as the mystery.

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