Book Review: Wine and Punishment (Literary Pub Mystery 1) by Sarah Fox

Wine & Punishment by Sarah Fox

Wine and Punishment
by Sarah Fox
My rating: 4 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Publisher: Kensington

I picked this up in hopes that it would distract me enough from current events and provide an engaging story to make me continue with the series. I'm happy to report both happened. 

Sadie Coleman is our pub-owner sleuth who also loves all things books. She's embarked on a new business, in a new town and is joining in on community events when her ex-boyfriend turns up in town and is promptly murdered. It's a problem and she'll need to solve it because beyond being thought a suspect, it may be that someone's trying to get rid of her next. Obviously, she survives because there's a sequel but there is a good bit of cold calculation and peril.

I enjoyed all the secondary characters for their potential as it was a first in a series, most of them felt like sketches but they were good sketches and look good to build on in the subsequent books. I'm not entirely sold on the obvious love interest but he didn't put me off so that's to the good. What there really needs to be more of is Wimsey the cat. The setting was well done and definitely made me feel like I'd stepped into autumn even though I was experiencing a couple of warm spring days while I read. I enjoyed very much the novel names for the specialty drinks at the pub and their descriptions. I always hope for recipes in the back of these books and I was happy to find some here. Honestly, the drinks recipes were nice but the carrot muffin recipe that Sadie loves from town coffee house, the Village Bean was what I really smiled about & I look forward to making those. Also, as a final highlight, I very much enjoyed the way the pumpkin catapult contest ended. It made me smile.

So, I'd recommend this for anyone looking to begin a new cozy series (I didn't really need to begin another, I need to finish some of those I've already begun but... you can have better discipline than I do). I'll definitely read the next in the series as I've already bought it so likely soon.

Summary: 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.

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