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 review is going to take a look into the world of historical fiction and castles. The Painted Castle is the third and final novel in Kristy Cambron’s Lost Castle series. I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It was published October 15th and I highly recommend readers pick up a copy.
Kiera Foley had been working on a PhD in Art History when she was ostracized from the art world. She retreated back to Dublin and we find her working in the family pub when a dark and mysterious man shows up and makes her an offer. Little does she know, it’s an offer that she can’t refuse. She arrives in the English countryside and is delivered to a rundown manor housing a painting of Queen Victoria the she must study for authenticity.
This book tells the story of the manor and those that lived there in three different points in history. The life of the viscount and artists in the 1840s, the widow of the viscount and a base full of soldiers during World War II, and that of Keira in modern day, as they work to restore the honey cottage and beautiful library that was found bricked up on the premises.
Cambron does an outstanding job of using the three couples’ stories to create the big picture of one place throughout time. And although this book is categorized as Christian fiction, it is not as heavily based on the Christian faith as some. I think those that love to get lost in the English countryside and read about art would thoroughly enjoy this book. I will definitely be going back to read the first two books in the trilogy to learn more about Keira’s mysterious brothers.
Happy reading 🙂
I’m getting close to being caught up with this series!! Only two more books are currently published and then I’ll have to find a new focus.
Deep Dark returns to the Delphi Center in the 10th installment of the Tracers Series. Delaney, Laney for short, Knox is part of the cyber unit there and is credited as one of their best hackers. The other half of this couple-to-be is Reed Novak, an Austin PD detective.
Reed is dumbfounded by the crime scene he just walked onto. There’s no physical evidence left behind whatsoever. There are no hairs, no fingerprints, no sign of a break in. Nobody working the crime understands it. That’s when Reed receives a mysterious clue somehow sent from the Chief of Police’s phone number. One thing is clear, it wasn’t the Chief of Police who sent the text. After doing some digging of his own Reed learns about Laney and her skills. He seeks her out to find out what else she knows.
The murder of Laney’s friend is eerily similar to an attack that she survived a few years ago. Because of this Laney just can’t stay away from this case, and she uses her skills to illegally search for information about the killer. Turns out he’s been spying on his victims through their webcams. Eventually, Reed caves and allows Laney to help him with the case, but she doesn’t turn up all the clues. One of the forensic investigators notices metallic shavings from the door lock on a colleague’s paper booties during a followup run through of the crime scene. Turns out the killer hasn’t been as careful as he thinks!
Laney is onto the killer and decides to follow up on the lead by herself, asserting her independence. As the pieces of the puzzle come together for Reed, he finds out that Laney has gone off to the killer’s home alone, without telling him. This was my biggest annoyance in the plot. I mean, I get it. I’m a woman, and I’m fairly independent myself, but I don’t think I would be foolish enough to go to the suspected killer’s home by myself. I get that it sets up Reed coming to the rescue on a white horse and all, but it seemed pretty weak to me. I’m not sure why I didn’t fall for the plot line as much in this book than I have in the past. Only time will tell if I will enjoy the last two books as much as the books prior to this one in the series.
Happy reading folks! 🙂
Unspeakable is the second book in Laura Griffin’s Tracers series. Each of the novels in this series focus on two characters in the criminal/forensic fields in Texas. This book focuses on Elaina McCord, an FBI agent, and Troy Stockton, a true crime writer who was featured as one of the characters in the first book in the series.
Elaina is a rookie FBI agent trying to demonstrate her skills, but the men on the case want nothing to do with her and are essentially icing her out from being helpful on the case. She constantly has to prove herself, but often gets herself into more trouble than she should because she is more of a loner than part of a team. She always feels that she needs to do things on her own to prove that she isn’t a weak link to the team because she is a woman.
The team is investigating a series of murders of young women who were violently killed and left to decompose in the muggy Texas marshlands. The murderer begins taunting Elaina with phone calls and other notes. Luckily, through every dangerous turn Elaina has Troy Stockton keeping an eye on her. Stockton is the only one that believes Elaina is on the right track right from the get go and helps her develop her leads and interview suspects and witnesses. He introduces his contacts at the Delphi Center to Elaina so that she can get evidence tested when her supervisor doesn’t believe it is worth the FBI’s time. Troy seems to be the only one watching out for the safety of Elaina, when even she jumps into dangerous situations without thinking.
With the killer knowing how to get to Elaina, while she doesn’t know who he is, it is a race against time to figure out who he is before he gets more victims, or targets her. This is the cause of several arguments between Troy and Elaina as his first priority seems to be her safety.
Through a search back several years it is clear that the killer has been honing his skills for quite some time and in several locations. Police from different areas of Texas come in to help out and the forensic specialists at the Delphi Center score big when testing the evidence sent in. It was a true group effort to solve this case, and an enjoyable read. I can’t wait to continue the series!