Sunday, 16 August 2020

Book ~ "Beyond a Reasonable Stout" (2019) Ellie Alexander

From Goodreads ~ It's the dead season in Leavenworth, Washington. The throngs of Oktoberfest crowds have headed home, and the charming Bavarian streets are quiet and calm - momentarily. Villagers use the reprieve to drink in the crisp fall mountain air and prepare for the upcoming winter light festival. Soon the German-inspired shops and restaurants will be aglow with thousands of twinkling lights. Visitors will return to the northern Cascades to drink warm mulled cider and peruse the holiday markets. 

Brewer Sloan Krause and her partner in crime, Garrett Strong, are using the slowdown to stock up on a new line of their signature craft beers at Nitro. They're experimenting with a hoppy holiday pine and a chocolate hazelnut stout. The small brewery is alive with delicious scents and bubbling batches of brew. 

Sloan is in her element. She loves the creativity and low key atmosphere at Nitro. Only that is soon threatened by the incumbent city councilmember Kristopher Cooper. Kristopher is running for re-election on a platform of making Leavenworth dry. Everyone in beertopia is fuming. Leavenworth's economy relies on keeping the kegs flowing. Kristopher wants to banish beer, a policy that might just bankrupt the entire village. However, Kristopher turns up dead days before election night. 

Sloan quickly realizes that his murder isn't the work of a stranger. Friends, family and every other business owner had a motive to kill him, including none other than April Ablin, Leavenworth's self-described ambassador of all things German. Sloan finds herself defending April and trying to sleuth out a killer among a group of familiar faces.

I like beer and I like mysteries so that's why this series has caught my eye.

Sloan recently discovered her husband, Mac, cheating.  She was working for his family's brewery and got another job working with Garrett in his microbrewery/pub, Nitro.  She's still close to her in-laws ... in fact, her mother-in-law and father-in-law have given her a third ownership of their brewery (along with Mac and his brother, Hans).  Sloan is enjoying working with Garrett in his smaller business as it gives her a more hands-on opportunity to create interesting craft beers.

It's the lull between the recent Oktoberfest and the winter festival in the small mountain city of Leavenworth, WA.  Leavenworth's claim to fame is that it is very similar to a Bavarian town in Germany.  Kristopher Cooper is the incumbent city councillor and the election is next week.  He now wants to make Leavenworth dry which, considering Leavenworth is a tourist destination for beer lovers, is not popular among the business owners.  When Cooper is found murdered, April, the annoying self-appointed tourist ambassador, is arrested because he was killed in her real estate office.  But there are many business owners who didn't want the city to be dry so anyone could have killed him.

In the meantime, Sloan is trying to figure out how to move forward with her life.  Though Mac is trying to woo her back, she knows they are done.  But she wants to make sure that their teenage son isn't caught in the middle.  And a child, she grew up in foster care after being abandoned by her parents and she is starting to delve more and more into what happened.

This is the third in the Sloan Krause Series by this author and I liked it.  It worked as a stand alone ... I haven't read the first one but recently read the second one and there was enough information so I knew what was going on.  It's written in first person perspective in Sloane's voice.  There is a lot of talk about beer (which I found interesting) and there are also explanations about what was being talked about (for example, what is a wheat beer).  It was a quick light read and is a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity.  I look forward to reading others in this series.

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