Today I am reviewing "Ale of Two Cities " the 2nd installment in the "A Literary Pub Mystery " series by Sarah Fox. I had not read the first book but had no trouble following along so yes it can be read as a standalone. I do recommend reading them in order, this way you really get to know the setting and characters.
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.
I really enjoyed this book and the setting of Shady Creek, Vermont. I always like a small town setting where almost everyone knows one another. Makes for a fun range of side characters.
The Protagonist Sadie is a likeable, independent woman who when her bartender Mel becomes the chief suspect in the murder is determined to find out who did it. I also enjoyed best friend Shontelle, Sadie’s Aunt Gilda and the owner of the neighboring Spirit Hill Brewery, Grayson. Is there going to be a budding romance there...
The story was well paced, I found I couldn’t put the book down as I wanted to know who the killer was. It was entertaining, full of twists and turns as well as a few surprises.
Highly recommended. A wonderful second installment from an author I will definitely be following.
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