Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Claret and Present Danger (A Literary Pub Mystery) by Sarah Fox #Review @TheWriteFox @KensingtonBooks


Claret and Present Danger (A Literary Pub Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Vermont
Kensington (November 30, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496734025
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496734020
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y65YDJM

In this thrilling mystery by USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, deadly happenings stick around like red wine stains on white tunics when the Renaissance faire visits Shady Creek, Vermont.
 

The Trueheart Renaissance Faire and Circus has rolled into town, attracting locals who can’t wait to spend a few summer days lost in a whimsical world of all-knowing fortune-tellers and daring acrobats. Well-read pub owner Sadie Coleman is swept up in the magic herself when she serves drinks to the faire’s resident wizard, the shamelessly brazen illusionist Ozzie Stone, and scores two tickets to his dazzling performance.

Sadie has no complaints about indulging in a free show with her new beau, craft brewery owner Grayson Blake. But while Ozzie is an instant crowd-pleaser, the real surprise comes when he collapses in the middle of his set. It’s not part of the act—Ozzie is dead, seemingly poisoned by someone who wasn’t clowning around about writing the roguish showman’s final chapter.

The terrifying situation intensifies when the police eye one of Sadie’s employees, last seen caught in a suspicious fistfight at the fairgrounds. With so much at stake, Sadie must strain through a suspect list longer than her cocktail menu to find the real knave of a killer. But when another performer is murdered, it becomes clear that bringing the mixed-up murderer to justice will be about as dangerous as walking the high wire after happy hour . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Readers arrive in Shady Creek, Vermont just in time to visit the Trueheart Renaissance Faire and Circus. Not your typical Faire or Circus but a nice mix-up of the two. Under the big top, you will find aerial acrobats and an illusionist. Around the grounds, you will find a fortune teller and mermaids in a pool as well as several little shops selling food and faire attire. Literary Pub owner, Sadie Coleman, is happy about all the business the event has brought in. She is excited when illusionist Ozzie Stone gives her two tickets to his sold-out performance.

Sadie has visited the park to check out the faire with a friend but it is her beau, Craft brewery owner, Grayson Blake who she takes to see Ozzie Stone. The show starts out with some interesting illusions but after a fantastic trick, Mr. Stone collapses on the stage. Soon thereafter we learn that Ozzie Stone is dead. Some black magic must have taken place because the man was definitely murdered and the method of death is poison.

The park is full of suspects but when one of Sadie’s employees is arrested she knows she has to get involved. When another performer is killed she presses even harder to find the killer. The killer soon has Sadie in their sights too.


I said in a previous review that the Inkwell Pub run by Sadie Coleman would be my “happy place” and with each installment of this series that becomes more cemented in my mind. In fact the whole town of Shady Creek sounds like a wonderful place to live, sans the murders, of course. Ms. Fox has painted vivid pictures in my mind of every place Sadie goes since this series began. They are images that stick with me the whole year through so when I open the new book it feels so comfortable.

Sadie and Grayson finally get to spend more time together so there is a little more romance in this book and I loved it. They do seem to be the perfect couple and I really enjoyed how they worked together when Sadie had an idea she just had to follow.

With Damien in jail and Sadie needing to investigate a new employee is added and she fits right in. Again, Aunt Gilda keeps her ears open at the beauty shop and is around to give Sadie advice especially when she learns of someone coming for a visit.

All the core characters are nicely developed. The supporting cast of friends, employees and customers bring so much to the story and they really fill the pub up for special events.

Ms. Fox also introduces a bunch of new characters with the faire and circus in town but meet some new residents of Shady Creek too. I really enjoyed the mural painting subplot and the mystery it presented.

The author really put forth a complicated mystery. There are a ton of clues to work through and suspects to eliminate because the victim turned out to be quite a rogue. I must say I was totally shocked by the reveal of the killer and the motive because l was totally focused on the wrong things. I do love when I am surprised because that means the author plotted out a great mystery and I fell for every twist she wanted me to and some of them pushed me right to the edge of my seat.

Claret and Present Danger took me back to a place I love with characters I would want to be friends with. It has not one but two mysteries, a blooming romance, and the perfect amount of humor. Every book in this series has been a Perfect Escape and this one is no exception. I was delightfully entertained from page one. One of the subplots started in this book has built up my anticipation for the next book even more the normal so I truly can’t wait for book #5.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Wine and Punishment here
and An Ale of Two Cities here and The Malt in Our Stars here

About the Author

Sarah Fox is the author of the Literary Pub Mystery series, as wellas the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.



Also by Sarah Fox

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Malt in Our Stars (A Literary Pub Mystery) by Sarah Fox #Review @KensingtonBooks @TheWriteFox

The Malt in Our Stars (A Literary Pub Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Vermont
Publisher: Kensington (November 24, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718704
ISBN-13: 978-1496718709
Kindle ASIN: B085LTJ164

There’s some shady business in Shady Creek, Vermont, this spring—in the third mystery by USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox featuring pub owner and amateur sleuth Sadie Coleman . . .

Sadie is delighted to have booked famous romantic suspense novelist Linnea Bliss for an event at The Inkwell, her literary-themed pub, housed in a renovated grist mill. The author and her personal assistant Marcie are staying at Shady Creek Manor, a grand historical hotel that was once a private mansion and is rumored to still hold hidden treasure somewhere within its walls.

But the hotel’s storied past is nothing compared to its tragic present when Marcie plummets to her death from an open window on the third floor. After Sadie discovers signs of a struggle in the room, it’s clear that someone assisted the assistant out the window. But Marcie is new in town—who would have a motive to kill her?

In between pulling pints and naming literary-themed cocktails, Sadie takes it on herself to solve the case, wondering if the crime is connected to the vandalized vehicles of a film crew in town to do a feature on local brewer Grayson Blake, with whom Sadie shares a strong flirtation. Or could the poor woman’s defenestration have anything to do with the legendary treasure? As Shady Creek Manor prepares for a May Day masquerade ball, Sadie is determined to unmask the killer—but when she uncorks a whole lot of trouble, will she meet a bitter end?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to the Inkwell, a literary-themed pub owned by Sadie Coleman. Sadie is excited to host her first truly literary event, a book signing by famous romantic suspense novelist Linnea Bliss. The author and her assistant are staying nearby at Shady Creek Manor. The former private mansion has quite a history and some people believe there is a treasure hidden somewhere on the premises.

The book signing went great but the next day the author’s assistant falls to her death from a third-floor window at Shady Creek Manor. Sadie had been having lunch with Linnea Bliss and was leaving when she heard the young woman’s screams. Arriving at the scene just after she hits the pavement. Sadie puts on her sleuthing hat and decides to check out the room on the third floor before the police arrive. She knows immediately that fall was no accident. Linnea’s assistant was murdered. They were just visiting Shady Creek, why would anyone want to murder an author’s personal assistant? Sadie is determined to find out. Maybe it has something to do with the film crew from Craft Nation, a reality TV show, in town filming at Grayson Blake’s brewery. Maybe a fan of the author took things to the extreme. Or could it have been someone looking for the hidden treasure?


I love the setting of this series. A pub full of books, a menu full of literary-themed foods and drink, all reached by going over a little footbridge over Shady Creek. It would definitely be my happy place. Growing up my parents owned a tavern so I know the ins and outs. None of us kids wanted to take it over so it was sold but had I thought I could turn it into a place like the Inkwell, I may have changed my mind. Sadie has really taken her theme and ran with it. The food and drink all have names derived from popular books, like the Malt in My Stars.

Sadie is making herself right at home in Shady Creek and her pub appears to be a hit. She has found herself wrapped up in a few murder investigations. Her curious nature is well suited to her amateur sleuthing. The author has surrounded her protagonist with a strong supporting cast. Her Aunt Gilda owns a beauty shop and she keeps her ears open for any gossip that could help Sadie in her endeavors. Sadie leans heavily on her two employees, Damien and Melanie. They know the business and their presence lets Sadie run off to chase down any clues that pop up. Grayson Blake, owner of the Spirit Hill Brewery has really started to grow on Sadie. She gets all flustered around him because she can feel their relationship moving in what could be a romantic direction.

Ms. Fox has entwined two mysteries in this book. They may or may not be related but Sadie finds herself trying to solve both. They both had some nice twists and I enjoyed how they played out. I especially liked that the murder reveal happened at the annual Masquerade Party at the manor. It was the perfect place to unmask a killer. There were plenty of clues sparsed out throughout the book but I must have missed something because I was totally surprised when the killer was identified. Or more likely, Sarah Fox wrote a heck of a story that I escaped right into and let Sadie do the hard work. The story was very well-written and plotted and so interesting.

The Malt in Our Stars is a wonderful whodunit. Complex characters, an intriguing mystery, and a fun setting had me totally entertained from beginning to end. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Wine and Punishment here
and An Ale of Two Cities here

About the Author

Sarah Fox is the author of the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.


Also by Sarah Fox

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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

An Ale of Two Cities (A Literary Pub Mystery) by Sarah Fox #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @TheWriteFox


An Ale of Two Cities (A Literary Pub Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
Publisher: Kensington (November 26, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718690
ISBN-13: 978-1496718693
Kindle ASIN: B07PBS7F63

The Winter Carnival always brings holiday cheer, Christmas joy—and tourists with cash—to picturesque Shady Creek, Vermont. At the center of the glittering decorations and twinkling lights is booklover and pub owner Sadie Coleman, creating original cocktails, hosting a literary trivia evening, and cheering on her loyal employee Melanie “Mel” Costas as she competes in the ice carving competition.

But holiday cheer can’t compete with former resident and renowned chef Freddy Mancini, who arrives with his nose in the air, showing off his ice-sculpting skills like a modern-day Michelangelo. During the artists’ break in the night-long contest, Mel’s tools disappear . . . and Freddy is found dead with her missing pick in his chest.

Although the police turn their attention to Mel, it seems everyone in town had a grudge against Freddy, including his assistant, his mentor, his former flame, and even his half-brother.

Faster than she can fling a Huckleberry Gin, Sadie finds herself racing to make sure the police don’t arrest the wrong suspect—all while sharing a flirtation with local brewery owner Grayson Blake. Their chemistry leads to a heated rivalry at the hockey rink—and to the hot pursuit of a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Shady Creek, Vermont just in time for the Winter Festival. An overnight ice carving competition is the big event but there are hockey games, sleigh rides, a chili supper, and the Inkwell, Sadie Coleman’s literary-themed pub, is holding a trivia contest. Tourists are pouring in along with the Shady Creek residents to enjoy the fun. A former resident has even come home to participate in the ice carving contest.

Freddy Mancini is now a chef who has a pretty high opinion of himself. He assumes he will grab the big $5000 prize while rubbing his fame in everyone’s faces. Sadie is cheering on her friend and employee Melanie “Mel” Costas who has won the last few years. Mel isn’t intimidated by Frankie, but while on her lunch break someone steals all ger tools. She vows to soldier on as a friend returns to the park with her backup tools. That is until she hears Sadie screaming and finds her outside of the community hall, not far from the dead body of Chef Frankie Mancini, with Mel’s missing ice pick protruding from his chest.

Turns out the chef had plenty of enemies but the evidence points clearly at Mel. Sadie is determined not to let her friend get iced for the crime, even if it means some pain before the final gain.

____

I have been excited about this book since I finished the first one! I love the setting so much. A pub full of books, a menu full of literary-themed foods and drink, all reached by going over a little footbridge above Shady Creek. The town park is nearby as are all the businesses and the community hall. The snow would be a little iffy for me but everyone there loves it and takes it in stride.  If I could go back in time I would have said yes when asked to take over my parent’s tavern and turned it into a pub like the Inkwell. Now, I am delighted to escape to Sadie’s pub within the pages of her books.

Okay, the setting is ideal but so are the characters. I really like Sadie and she is surrounded by family and friends that support and love her.  She dealt with some really heavy stuff in the last book but she is moving forward the best she can. She and the other characters continue to evolve in exciting ways. Mel is in the hot seat this time. The people who know her, know she had nothing to do with the murder, but there are some shaky times for her.

Meanwhile, Sadie thinks the pub needs to have a team in the upcoming hockey tournament and she puts a motley crew together.  Grayson is still hanging around and definitely has something on his mind besides an upcoming hockey game. Aunt Gilda and her friends are wrapped up in the chili supper but she is always there for Sadie. All the characters are genuine and people I would love to hang out with.

The mystery is very well done too. Chef Freddy is a real jerk and as such there are plenty of suspects. Sadie is one of those sleuths that has good instincts but she doesn’t always think things through before she opens her mouth or jumps into a situation. Of course, that adds to the drama and the fun. The author has plotted out a story with a plethora of twists that kept me guessing right up to the very end.

An Ale of Two Cities is a very entertaining read. Set in the holiday season it is a perfect book to curl up with in front of a fire on a wintery afternoon or evening. Skip to the end of the book for a cocktail recipe and fix yourself a Count Dracula or Evil Stepmother cocktail to enjoy while you’re reading.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Wine and Punishment here

About the Author

Sarah Fox is the author of the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.


Also by Sarah Fox


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Sign Up for Sarah Fox’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 31, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Featuring Wine and Punishment (A Literary Pub Mystery) by Sarah Fox – #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

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)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718682
ISBN-13: 978-1496718686
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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sarah Fox is the author of the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.

Also by Sarah Fox


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Sign Up for Sarah Fox’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 6, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”