Steeped to Death review

This is the first in a brand new magical cozy mystery series, Witches Brew Mysteries by Gretchen Rue.  It was fun following Phoebe on her search for whether or not her aunt Eudora was a witch and whether she was one herself. The surprises were good ones though, and I’m super eager to read more in this series! I just love the key characters and setting. All those little shops sound amazing. I can’t wait to visit Raven Creek, WA again!

#CrookedLaneBooks #GretchenRue

My Goodreads review:

Steeped to Death (Witches' Brew Mystery #1)Steeped to Death by Gretchen Rue
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved the first in this new series! It had just the right balance of magical things going on and cozy elements for the cozy mystery part. Phoebe’s newfound ability was a pretty cool one that she couldn’t just call on, but it sure knew when she needed it! Aunt Eudora definitely left her everything she needed, even a sweet cat named Bob who didn’t appear to be magical, at the moment anyway.

I know who I wanted to be guilty, but there were a few other suspects out there too. I liked how the detective didn’t automatically think Phoebe was guilty because the body was found behind her store. The stakeout she mentioned would’ve been awfully cool, but other things happened instead that you’ll just have to find out when you read it.

The showdown was exciting and could’ve gone a lot worse had Phoebe not been who she was. I liked the revelation at the end and how someone she’d suspected actually turned out to be an awesome protector and true friend.

It’ll be interesting to see who exactly Phoebe ends up being sleuthing besties with and if she and Rich ever officially date. Honey seemed like a like-minded fellow business owner that might make a good sleuth, so I’m eager to see what all Phoebe and her new town of friends gets into next time. I hope there’s another book planned for sooner than a year away!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Beyond a Reasonable Stout review

This is the third book in the Sloan Krause series by Ellie Alexander who also writes the Bakeshop series. The Sloan Krause series is set in the picturesque Bavarian style village of Leavenworth, Washington, and ever since I started reading this series, I thought this would be a fun place to visit. Until that happens for real, I’m enjoying reading this series. Sloan’s had a tough life so far, but she doesn’t let it get her down. She’s kind and always willing to help someone. Sloan’s search for her birth parents is the side mystery in this series, sort of how in the Pacific Northwest series (by Ellie’s other name, Kate Dyer-Seeley) Meg Reed was searching for information on her father’s death. A side mystery with a bit of a cliffhanger is kind of fun, and it definitely makes me look forward to the next book.

My Goodreads review:

Beyond a Reasonable Stout (Sloan Krause #3)Beyond a Reasonable Stout by Ellie Alexander

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been over a year since I read the second book in this series, so I was really ready to go back to Leavenworth, WA and see what Sloan and her friends were up to. An incumbent city council member was going around saying that when he got re-elected, the town was going to become dry. Everyone was up in arms at that, because beer was their livelihood, so they were happy that a woman named Valerie was running against him and from the looks of popular opinion, would win. When the town’s most pesky woman, real estate agent April, was arrested for the murder, Sloan couldn’t believe that April could murder anyone. Pester them to death maybe, but not literally kill someone. Before she knew it, she was involved with another case, but like before, Chief Meyers asked for her input. I like the chief and that she has been recognizing that Sloan’s people skills can be useful.

I had a sneaky feeling early on that I knew who the culprit was going to be, but I didn’t know why of course, so I had fun reading along and letting myself be pulled in by the red herrings. The showdown and take down were quick, but it was definitely satisfying to see the killer in custody. Sloan’s own little mystery about her birth parents intensified some more, and there is a bit of a cliff hanger on that subject, so I’m very anxious for the next book. Each of these books has had a little something similar at the end, and it reminds me a lot of the ongoing side mystery that was in the Pacific Northwest series that this author wrote under another name.

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