Monday, February 6, 2023

#Review ~ Beyond a Reasonable Stout (Sloan Krause #3) by Ellie Alexander ~ #CozyMystery ~ @ellielovesbooks @MinotaurBooks

Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause delves into the murderous political world in another delightful mystery from popular cozy writer Ellie Alexander.

About the Book:

It's the dead season in Leavenworth, Washington. The throngs of Oktoberfest crowds have headed home, and the charming Bavarian streets are quiet and calm--momentarily. Villagers use the reprieve to drink in the crisp fall mountain air and prepare for the upcoming winter light festival. Soon the German-inspired shops and restaurants will be aglow with thousands of twinkling lights. Visitors will return to the northern Cascades to drink warm mulled cider and peruse the holiday markets. Brewer, Sloan Krause and her partner in crime Garrett Strong are using the slowdown to stock up on a new line of their signature craft beers at Nitro. They're experimenting with a hoppy holiday pine and a chocolate hazelnut stout. The small brewery is alive with delicious scents and bubbling batches of brew.

Sloan is in her element. She loves the creativity and lowkey atmosphere at Nitro. Only that is soon threatened by the incumbent city councilmember Kristopher Cooper. Kristopher is running for re-election on a platform of making Leavenworth dry. Everyone in beertopia is fuming. Leavenworth's economy relies on keeping the kegs flowing. Kristopher wants to banish beer, a policy that might just bankrupt the entire village. However, Kristopher turns up dead days before election night. Sloan quickly realizes that his murder isn't the work of a stranger. Friends, family, and every other business owner had a motive to kill him, including none other than April Ablin, Leavenworth's self-described ambassador of all things German. Sloan finds herself defending April and trying to sleuth out a killer amongst a group of familiar faces.

My Review:

Beyond a Reasonable Stout is the exciting third book in Ellie Alexander's Sloan Krause series. I really enjoy the small, hometown feel that Ms. Alexander pens in this series. The setting for Beyond a Reasonable Stout is Leavenworth, Washington after Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest. Everyone is gearing up for holiday season and eagerly awaiting new holiday-inspired local brews offered by Nitro. While the town prepares for the holidays and the winter light festival, trouble begins brewing around the upcoming councilmember election. Kristopher Cooper, the incumbent councilmember, is running on a  platform that includes prohibition, making Leavenworth, a town full of breweries, dry. To say business owners and citizens are upset is an understatement. 

To make matters worse, Kristopher is found dead the day after a particularly nasty dust-up between him and various residents. Sloan knows this murder wasn't committed by a stranger. There are several citizens who have means, motive, and opportunity. As Sloan continues to slyly investigate, the number of suspects grows, and she has to figure out who among her friends and acquaintances committed this heinous crime.

I really enjoyed the multiple threads woven into this story. It's not just a murder mystery. We get to see the author develop the main characters and do a lot of world building in order to make all the events tie in together properly. I love Sloan's character. She's strong and doesn't put up with anything. She gets along with almost everyone in the book. I love how the author wrote a genuine emotional connection between Sloan and her in-laws and we continue to see what happens when a divorce is imminent and other issues crop up. I was very engaged in this story. The death/murder mystery kept me guessing. I found the entire book to be well thought out with wonderful pacing.

I was provided a review copy of this book.

My Rating:


Book Details:

Publisher: ‎ Minotaur Books
Publication Date: ‎ October 1, 2019
Print Length: ‎ 288 pages


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