Monday, February 15, 2016

Mystery Review: Death and the Brewmaster's Widow

I just have to note before I start here, that with all our W2s and 1099s in, this week I'm apparently dealing with both Death and Taxes...glad the former was an entertaining mystery, because the latter is a seriously frustrating mystery!

Death & the Brewmaster’s Widow
(An Auction Block Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink (February 8, 2016)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738747057

Publisher's Synopsis:
They call it “the Brewmaster’s Widow”; the abandoned brewery where Death Bogart’s brother died in an arson fire.

With his girlfriend, Wren Morgan, Death goes home to St. Louis to take on a deeply personal mystery. When Randy Bogart went into the Einstadt Brewery, he left his broken badge behind at the firehouse. So why did the coroner find one on his body? Every answer leads to more questions. Why did the phony badge have the wrong number? Who set the brewery fire? What is the connection between Randy’s death and the mysterious Cherokee Caves, where the opulent playground of 19th century beer barons falls into slow decay?

Not understanding how and why he lost his brother is breaking the ex-Marine’s heart. But the Brewmaster’s Widow is jealous of her secrets. Prying them loose could cost Death and Wren both their lives.

My Review:
I enjoyed the first book in this series, Death and the Redheaded Woman, so I signed up for this blog tour expecting to like this book, and I was not disappointed. The story is a nice mix of mystery and romance, with the latter being a down-to-earth relationship that skips the does-he-or-doesn't-he drama of too many such stories. The mystery is solid, though I saw where it was going well before the official revelation (which is given to the reader ahead of the characters), and the writing is strong and well-edited, and the outcome of the mystery good for a smile and a tear.

My biggest gripe is the Hardy Boys-style set-up for the next book. You know the kind: "Frank and Joe didn't know that their next adventure awaited them in The Case of the Bewildered Bunny." Ms. Ross isn't that blatant, but I don't need the teaser in the final pages to want to come back and see more. Let the story wrap itself up in comfort.

I'm not sure this is as strong a book as the first, but it is definitely a series worth reading, and I'll be watching for Book 3. How could I not love a series where characters are named for Lord Peter Wimsey and places in Middle Earth?

About The Author

Loretta Ross is a writer and historian who lives and works in rural Missouri. She is an alumna of Cottey College and holds a BA in archaeology from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She has loved mysteries since she first learned to read. Death and the Redheaded Woman will be her first published novel.
Twitter: @lorettasueross  –

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  1. This sounds like an interesting story line,adding to my TBR list.

    1. Definitely a good story--enter the giveaway! But I strongly recommend starting with book one, Death and the Redheaded Woman. The book provides enough backstory to get away with it, but it is definitely a developing story-line.

  2. What a fascinating sounding book. I will have to check out the first book and then hope to win this book.


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