Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I just love it when Joyce drops by for a visit today!
Thanks so much to Lori for hosting me a third time and setting up the tour. Last year, I was terrified to do a tour but Lori made it painless. I didn’t hesitate to ask her to set up another one this year.
Writing the three books in the Brewing Trouble series has been a blast. I love my characters and they’ve become like family to me. I have a feeling everyone who writes a cozy series feels the same way about their imaginary friends. For those who haven’t read the series, I decided I’d introduce some of my friends to “yinz guys” as we say in Pittsburgh.
Maxine “Max” O’Hara is the protagonist in the series. She’s a brewmaster who opens a brewpub in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh. She’s kind-hearted and usually sees the best in people. She’s the youngest (and the only girl) in a large Irish family. Her dad is a homicide detective, and her oldest brother is a Catholic priest. The family—at least the ones who live in Pittsburgh—gather for dinner every Sunday at her parents’ house and there’s almost always a pick-up football game in the backyard.
Jake Lambert is Max’s chef and also her boyfriend. He’s an ex-professional hockey player who had to quit the game early. He is one of her older brother’s best friends so she’s known him all her life. Max has had a crush on him for almost as long. Jake loves to tease her and often ruffles her hair like he did when they were kids. He has chocolate brown hair and eyes, and a dimple. A reader once told me, “I need more of Jake in my life.”
Candy Sczypinski owns Cupcakes N’at, the bakery next door to the Allegheny Brew House. Candy looks like Mrs. Santa Claus except she wears the black and gold colors of her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. Candy has an interesting past. She seems to know everything about everyone and Max constantly speculates how she manages to know so much. Her questions are answered in the third book, A Room With a Brew, when Candy’s background is revealed.
Kristie Brinkley is the owner and barista at Jump, Jive & Java, the coffee shop across the street. Kristie doesn’t look anything like the former supermodel with almost the same name. She resembles Halle Berry, if Ms. Berry had multi-colored hair.
Daisy Hart owns Beautiful Blooms, the flower shop. She wears her blonde hair in braids which makes her look much younger than she is.
Elmer Fairbanks. What can I say about Elmer? He’s my favorite character. He’s in his nineties and fought with the 101st Airborne in World War II. Elmer tells it like it is. He’s cranky, but belovedly so. I think he has a soft spot for Max, and vice versa. He and Candy often verbally spar, but it’s all good-natured. Most of the time anyway. I always have fun writing scenes with Elmer in them. It’s even better when I get to write Elmer and Candy insulting each other! Elmer looks out for Max. In the first book, To Brew or Not to Brew, he even offers to be her bodyguard. Max is pretty sure she doesn’t need a ninety-year-old bodyguard.
If you read the books, I hope you come to love them as much as I do. And I would love to hear what you think!
Thank you Joyce, I love these characters!
A Room with a Brew (A Brewing Trouble Mystery)
Setting – Pennsylvania
3rd in Series
Berkley (October 3, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01NCUHX14
It’s Oktoberfest in Pittsburgh, and brewpub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara is prepping for a busy month at the Allegheny Brew House. To create the perfect atmosphere for the boozy celebration, Max hires an oompah band. But when one of the members from the band turns up dead, it’s up to Max to solve the murder before the festivities are ruined.
Adding to the brewing trouble, Candy, Max’s friend, is acting suspicious… Secrets from her past are fermenting under the surface, and Max must uncover the truth to prove her friend’s innocence. To make matters worse, Jake’s snooty ex-fiancée shows up in town for an art gallery opening, and she’ll be nothing but a barrel of trouble for Max.
I get so excited every time Joyce Tremel releases a new book!
Readers arrive in town just as the Allegheny Brew House is getting ready for Oktoberfest complete with an “oompah” band. But when one of the group is murdered and her friend Candy is hiding something. Max can’t help herself from doing some investigating on her own.
Max and Jake are such a great couple. She knows beer and he knows food. They are both strong and independent and devoted to each other. Especially when Jake’s ex comes to town, we see he only has eyes for Max no matter how hard Victoria tries to drag him away.
The mystery this time was very complex. There are several twists to untangle as connections are discovered among many of the suspects. Some come from the past, things Max had no idea about, and those involved hesitate to let her in on the whole story.
Living in Wisconsin we have our share of German descendants, including me. I absolutely loved that every recipe included in the back of the book and mentioned in the story are for foods that graced out table growing up and many still do today. The pretzel salad is one of my faves! Max may be from a big Irish family but the girl knows how to celebrate Oktoberfest even if she has to catch a killer first.
I love these characters. I love the mystery. And love everything about the Brew Pub theme. Ms. Tremel has created a great cozy series. I just wish the place was real because I would love to actually visit 🙂
Each story can be read on its own but I recommend you read them all for maximum enjoyment.
About The Author
Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She is a native Pittsburgher and lives in a suburb of the city with her husband.
Her debut mystery, To Brew Or Not To Brew was nominated for the 2015 Reviewers’ Choice award for Best Amateur Sleuth by RT Book Reviews. The second book in the series, Tangled Up In Brew was released in October 2016 and chosen as a “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews. It was the winner of the 2016 Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. It was also named one of the Best Books of 2016 by Kings River Life Magazine.
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