Sunday, October 06, 2019
Beyond a Reasonable Stout by Ellie Alexander
Sloan Krause is a brewer, celebrating the end of Oktoberfest and the few quiet days. Leavenworth, Washington, has become well-known for the craft beer industry, and its celebration lasted a month. It might be a quiet time for the beer industry, and Nitro, the brewery where Sloan works, but the town has its own turmoil. Election time is coming up, and Kristopher Cooper, an incumbent city council member, is running on a temperance platform. Despite Leavenworth's reputation for beer and all things German, Cooper wants a dry town. When Sloan and Garrett, Nitro's owner, attend a town meeting, locals are vocal in their opposition to Kristopher. However, when he's seen after the meeting, a smug Kristopher seems to have his reasons for optimism. He has arguments, though, with local business people, including April Ablin, the town's self-appointed ambassador.
Despite the anger, Sloan is shocked the next morning when she stops to see April and finds the sheriff arresting her for Kristopher's murder. Even with the arrest, the sheriff mentions to Sloan that April could use a friend and someone to help her. Sloan isn't a big fan of April's, but she doesn't think of the woman as a killer. She's willing to ask questions about Kristopher to find other suspects.
While Sloan might be willing to investigate, she has her own personal problems. She's going through with her divorce, but she worries about her fifteen-year-old son, Alex. And, she's afraid of losing the only family she ever knew, her husband's parents and brother. Sloan grew up in foster care, and she doesn't easily reveal herself to others. But, little by little, she's trying to learn more about her parentage, with help from a social worker.
Whether you're interested in beer, craft brewing, an interesting tourist town in a cozy mystery, or intriguing characters, Ellie Alexander's Sloan Krause series is worth picking up. I'd start with the first book, though, Death on Tap. It won't take long for you to arrive at the third one, Beyond a Reasonable Stout.
Ellie Alexander's website is https://www.elliealexander.co/
Beyond a Reasonable Stout by Ellie Alexander. Minotaur Books, 2019. ISBN 9781250205759 (hardcover), 336p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.