This post is going to take a look at Wine and Punishment written by Sarah Fox. I checked this book out from the academic library I work at. It was released November 2019 so those of you looking for a light mystery can enjoy it right now! This is the first book in a new series by Fox called A Literary Pub Mystery.
Sadie Coleman has relocated to Shady Creek, Vermont, after a break up with her long term boyfriend Eric in Boston. Shady Creek is a small town that lives for seasonal festivals–and the Autumn festival is very important to the town. It highlights local businesses to leaf-peeping tourists, pumpkin pie baking contests, and more. Sadie bought a local mill building, and has built her business as a literary themed pub, serving drinks like Huckleberry Gin–and yes the book includes recipes!!
But somebody in town doesn’t like Sadie. Her tires were slashed, her building egged, her shed lit on fire, oh and did I mention her ex was murdered!? Shady Creek isn’t used to so much scandal occurring and the town is a buzz between the Autumn Festival and all of the crimes taking place. Sadie can’t stand aside and let the police investigate on their own, so she takes it into her hands to do her own side investigation to identify Eric’s killer.
Could it be handsome Grayson Blake, the local brewery owner? Everybody in town loves him, but he’s always been hostile toward Sadie. Eric’s body was also found at the edge of his property. As the book goes on the suspect list grows to include other people in town with varying degrees of motive and opportunity to commit the various crimes.
Will Sadie figure out who is committing these crimes before she too ends up dead? Will she come around to liking Grayson Blake like everyone else in town? Will her pub, the Inkwell, survive as a business?
Wine and Punishment was an easy read, and an enjoyable cozy mystery. I enjoyed the different characters that Fox introduced throughout town, and Shady Creek definitely has the feel of a small New England town. I didn’t figure out the killer until very shortly before it was revealed. I am looking forward to picking up the second book in the series: An Ale of Two Cities.
This post is going to focus on The Vanished Bride written by Bella Ellis. It is the first novel in Ellis’s Brontë Sisters Mystery series and was released on September 10, 2019.
This book has the interesting concept of following the Brontë sisters in 1845 as they learn of a murder that has taken place in a nearby village. The murder has taken place in a home in which one of their friends works as a governess. But is it even murder? The woman of the house is missing, but left her room covered in blood. What other explanation could there possibly be?
Though they have yet to publish any of their works, they already have the research skills needed to become “detectors.” Ellis has done an enormous amount of research on the Brontë family and because of this was able to use each family member to their strengths in her plot.
Ellis also does a good job at describing a society that believes women should be at home, and seen, but not heard. They take various journeys together, and apart in following the clues they uncover under the guise of searching for the right place to open a school.
I found the plot enjoyable as I followed along the twists and turns throughout the English countryside. This book will be enjoyed by fans of the Brontë clan, and cozy mystery readers.
Happy reading 🙂
This review is going to take a look at the book The Shape of the Night by New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen. I received an eArc of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book was released on October 1st–so get out there an read a copy!
This novel is set mostly in a Maine coastal town with some appearances by Boston. Our main character, Ava Collette is a food writer, and while punishing herself she has decided to get away from Boston to test some recipes for her very late book.
The cookbook she is writing is about traditional New England cuisine, so where better than Maine to write!? She finds an old home available to rent of the summer called Brodie’s Watch. It is the former home of a sea captain that perished at sea. At first all is normal, until she begins hearing weird sounds.
Ava becomes all consumed with trying to figure out who is watching her and what is happening. She begins to wonder if it’s her, and the binge drinking to cope with tragedy, or if it’s all real? Who can she trust in this small coastal town where locals fit in and tourists aren’t trusted.
Gerritsen does a great job of writing the story in a way that it could actually be a ghost, or it could be this other more logical option throughout the entire book. Even after finishing the book I was left wondering–but was the ghost real? The story instills a real feeling of being right there the entire time. I felt like I was by the ocean in Maine. I drooled over the recipes Ava made, just like her carpenters. It was an entertaining read and I encourage you to go read it so you can be in Maine too!
Happy reading 🙂