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To Brew or Not to Brew By Joyce Tremel: Review/Giveaway

IN THE December 26 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of To Brew or Not to Brew, along with links to purchase the book.

Maxine (Max) O’Hara traveled to Germany to get her brewmaster’s certification and then spent months finding just the right spot for her brewpub in a revitalized section of Pittsburgh. Kurt, technically her assistant but more of a right hand guy, knows all about brewing beer. His father was one of Max’s instructors. He’s also a great cook and will take care of the food side of the pub. A stickler for perfection, he works continuously to achieve a unique taste for familiar foods like kirschtorte (chocolate cherry cake).

When the final inspection rolls around, a pipe has a deep cut that wasn’t there the day before. Kurt is sure it’s one of a series of mishaps that spells sabotage. Max just wants to open on time and to large crowds of happy people.

In his quest to make final tweaks to the kirschtorte recipe, Kurt stays to close so Max can have a relaxing evening before the big day. Just as she’s ready for bed, Kurt calls and asks her to return—he’s figured out who’s behind the pranks. book

There’s no sign of Kurt when Max arrives. After a search, she finds him dead in the brewing area. Besides the shock of finding a body, she’s lost a close friend, someone who shared her vision for the pub and who could make delicious food.

The police think it was an accident but Max knows better, Kurt was never a careless person. She upgrades security with an alarm system but still someone is getting into the building. It seems someone’s dead set on making sure the brewery’s opening is cancelled for good.

As far as suspects go, Max is at a loss until she finds out there’s a historical group against her opening. The building was originally a brewery—how can she hurt the history by restoring it? Several other businesses worry about drunks or loud music. Still, murder seems like a stretch.

Max’s brother Mike says he knows someone that might be able to take over the kitchen. An old friend, a pro hockey player, shows up and Max wonders who he’d know that could cook. To her surprise, he wants the job. He’s about reached his expiration date as a hockey player and took up cooking during the off season. The dishes he’s able to whip up for her to taste make the decision easy, not to mention the teenage crush she had on him.

Max does have a lot of good friends who believe in her. Candy, runs the bakery, Kristen, supplies caffeine to early birds, Daisy, the florist, Ken the sandwich guy, Elmer the elderly man who appointed himself Max’s bodyguard, her family and Hops, the kitten Max rescued—all want to help.

This is the first in a new series. The pub is a place you’d love to stop by after work or for a mid-day lunch, whether you drink beer or not. The shops up and down the street would encourage you to walk off a few calories while window shopping. Max and Jake have the beginnings of a romance or at least an attraction going on. Watching that unfold will be fun. There’s a lot of information about brewing beer but it’s not intrusive to the story. There are recipes too—a version of Kurt’s Black Forest Cake and Jake’s Buffalo Chicken Pierogies.

This is a series I look forward to reading, especially since Tangled Up in Brew is due out soon.

To enter to win a copy of To Brew or Not to Brew, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Brew,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 2, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use one of these links to order this book:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur”, included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sara hyman December 26, 2015 at 8:05pm

brewing – a new area to explore, I have lots of friends who actually do this. Want to read


2 Kathleen Costa December 26, 2015 at 9:39pm

Murder? Brewing beer? I love this theme, and excited to put it on my “must read”list. Thanks KRL for offering great reviews and opportunities to pocket a book.


3 Jeanetta December 26, 2015 at 10:33pm

I am excited about being able to read the first book in a new series! Thank you for the chance to win.


4 Marilyn Watson
Twitter: @MarilynWatson18
December 27, 2015 at 12:00am

Looks good…thanks for the Contest..
Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com


5 Mary Marcincin December 27, 2015 at 10:01am

Thank you for the chance to win this book.


6 Valerie Hoynacki December 27, 2015 at 3:10pm

Yes! I’d love to read this, a new author to me.


7 Judy Weavwe December 27, 2015 at 4:25pm

Book sounds great. Love the cover


8 Judy Weaver December 27, 2015 at 4:42pm

Book sounds great. Love the cover.


9 Della Williamson
Twitter: @DellaWilliamso6
December 27, 2015 at 5:21pm

A pub sounds so cozy. A lady I talked to on the bus a few years ago said she had lived in England for 6 years. Her husband was stationed there. Said she had a little difficulty at first seeing kids in one. She’d thought they were like the bars here. But they were really quite different. I am looking forward to reading this series. And I am hoping for an early start with a win. Thank you for this opportunity to do so


10 Dianne Casey December 27, 2015 at 6:27pm

Sounds like a new subject for a cozy series. Interesting subject, can’t wait to read.


11 candace knight December 27, 2015 at 7:24pm

The theme of this books sounds great. I can’t wait to read it!


12 Doward Wilson December 27, 2015 at 11:25pm

Sounds like a fascinating new series. Thanks for the chance to win.


13 Margaret Rushton
Twitter: @cupcake5858
December 28, 2015 at 5:30am

I’ve always wanted to learn to brew my own beer. I love the setting for this new series, very different and a great idea. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


14 Jill December 28, 2015 at 6:43am

I haven’t brewed myself but it’s an interesting hobby for some of my friends and I’d love to learn something about it.


15 Annette Naish December 28, 2015 at 9:34am

Since I have crushes on hockey players too, and this sounds like a terrific start to a series, would love to win this book.


16 Barbara Hawk
Twitter: @angelhwk68
December 28, 2015 at 12:55pm

My brother has brewed, I have not. This sounds fun! Thanks for the chance!


17 Candy Kennedy December 28, 2015 at 1:12pm

These sound so interesting hope I win.


18 Marilyn Watson
Twitter: @MarilynWatson18
December 28, 2015 at 7:23pm

Looks great and a new Author to me…thank you for the contest. Happy New Year.
Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com


19 Stacie Amelotte December 29, 2015 at 5:51pm

This looks like a fun must read series. Love the new brewing theme. Fingers crossed!
Scouts579 (at) aol (dot) com


20 Liz Donatelli
Twitter: @pubLIZityLA
December 30, 2015 at 12:41pm

A super unique twist on cozies. I’m down to check it out. liz@lizdpublicity.com

Happy New Year!


21 Mary Mannella December 30, 2015 at 5:43pm

Looking forward to reading this book.


22 Barbara December 31, 2015 at 10:10am

Looks like a book I would enjoy. Hope I win


23 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
January 4, 2016 at 10:18am

We have a winner!


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