Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to share with you the 1st book
in this new cozy series from Sarah Fox today!
Wine and Punishment (A Literary Pub Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07BVDVNT8
In the first in an engaging new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, the owner of a charming literary pub finds her fresh start on the rocks thanks to a case of murder.
Booklover Sadie Coleman knows that in life, as in fiction, the right setting can make a world of difference. The small town of Shady Creek, Vermont, seems like the perfect place to start over after losing her Boston job to a merger and her relationship to her ex’s gambling addiction. She’s bought and redecorated the old grist mill pub, transforming the Inkwell into a cozy spot where tourists and regulars alike can enjoy a pint or a literary-themed cocktail, or join one of several book clubs.
Little by little, Sadie is adjusting to the rhythms of her new home. Fall in Shady Creek is bookmarked by the much-anticipated Autumn Festival, complete with a pumpkin catapult competition and pie bake-off. Unfortunately, the season also brings an unwelcome visitor—Sadie’s ex, Eric, who’s angling for a second chance . . .
Before Sadie can tell Eric to leave, he’s found dead near the Inkwell. When the local antique shop catches fire on the same night, it’s clear the town is harboring at least one unsavory character. Now, with her Aunt Gilda, her friend Shontelle, and the pub’s patrons all in the mix, Sadie must uncover the truth . . . before a killer declares last call.
It’s Autumn in Shady Creek, Vermont and Sadie Coleman is excited to take part in the yearly festival. You see, she is new in town and has turned the old grist mill pub into a book lover’s delight. The Inkwell is the perfect place to relax with friends or hold your book club meeting. Sadie pushed out by a merger in her old job and moving on after breaking up with her gambling lying ex is ready to make herself at home in this wonderful little town. Her literary-themed cocktails have been well received and she is anxious to feature them in her booth at the festival.
Happily shelving her past she has made herself at home. Then she is shocked to learn Eric, he ex, is in town. She avoids him the first night and goes to a birthday party for her Aunt Gilda. On the way home, she is diverted by a huge fire at the local antique shop. She almost forgets about Eric being in town. But before they can meet he is found dead in a culvert near the pub. Is his death connected to the fire? What would he come all this way to see her now? With more questions than answers, she decides to keep her ears open and her eyes peeled in hopes of catching the killer and throwing the book at them.
I absolutely love the setting of this book. A pub full of books in Vermont. The pub is unique, its little footbridge charming and Shady Creek sounds absolutely delightful. Sans the fire and the murder, of course.
I really like Sadie. She has a great vision and the determination to see it through. She is surrounded by a great cast. Her Aunt Gilda is totally supportive and willing to help Sadie in any way she can. The same with her friend Shontelle. Her two employees, Damien and Melanie, are familiar with the area and the festival and want Sadie to succeed. Then there is Grayson Blake, owner of the Spirit Hill Brewery. He and Sadie get off to a very rocky start. Everyone thinks he is a wonderful man, Sadie just doesn’t see it. In fact, she believes he is responsible for some dastardly deeds like slashing her tires and egging the pub. Sadie also has a frisky feline named Wimsey. I feel Ms. Fox has barely opened the books on these characters. She has left them plenty of room to grow.
I enjoyed the way the author penned this mystery. Twists galore. I loved that the lead detective was a woman and that while she questioned Sadie thoroughly, she didn’t zero in on Sadie as her main suspect. I will say the killer was so far off my radar they were never even considered. BAM, I was right there with Sadie, completely surprised and scared for our new protagonist. Great job, Sarah Fox!
This series is off to an excellent start. I want to get to know these characters better and I definitely want to spend more time at the book filled Inkwell pub. I know there is a mystery book club starting there soon and I can’t wait to see if that plays into this author’s next mystery.
About the Author
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”