A Day in the Life of Maxine “Max” O’Hara by Joyce Tremel

To Brew Or Not To BrewHi! My name is Maxine O’Hara, but everyone calls me Max. And don’t call me Maxie. Only my oldest brother Sean (Father Sean to his parishioners) is allowed to do that. When I was five or six I punched the next door neighbor kid for calling me that. I guess I’m a bit of a tomboy. But with five older brothers, did I even have a choice?

You probably don’t know it, but I’m a certified brewmaster and I’m in the process of opening my very own brewpub in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny Brew House is a dream come true for me. I like to get to the brewery early in the morning—sometimes even before the sun comes up. It’s so quiet and peaceful then. The aroma of malt and hops both calms and energizes me at the same time, if that makes sense. When I’m brewing my favorite beer—a Hefeweizen—the whole brewery smells like banana bread. I love to see people’s reactions when I tell them there are no bananas involved—only water, malt, hops, and yeast.

I’m usually not alone at the brewpub for long. My assistant and chef Kurt arrives shortly after I do. He’s not only a great cook, he knows the brewing process in and out. His father was one of my instructors in Germany, so beer is in his blood—so to speak. Kurt has been working on a Kirsch Torte recipe that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Chocolate and cherries tend to do that.

We only have two more weeks until our grand opening and we both want everything to be perfect. Lately though, we’ve had a few minor problems. One morning when I arrived, the mirror behind the bar was cracked. On another day, we found the oak bar top had been scratched. I’m sure they were accidents—probably caused by one of the workers doing the renovation who wasn’t as careful as they should have been. No big deal, right?

But then Kurt noticed a loose breaker in the electrical panel and he’s got it in his head that someone is trying to sabotage our opening. I keep telling him he’s being ridiculous. Then today during the plumbing inspection, the inspector found a cracked water line. Kurt is adamant that the water line was deliberately cut.

I refuse to believe someone could be trying to sabotage us. I can’t let myself believe it. Kurt has to be wrong. Doesn’t he?


You can read more about Max and her brewpub in To Brew or Not to Brew, the first book in the NEW “Brewing Trouble” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime.

About To Brew or Not to Brew

The Allegheny Brew House is a dream come true for Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who went all the way to Germany for her brewmaster certification and is now preparing to open her own craft brew pub in a newly revitalized section of Pittsburgh. But before she can start pouring stouts and lagers to thirsty throngs, there’s trouble on tap. Suspicious acts of sabotage culminate in Max finding her assistant brewmaster and chef Kurt Schmidt strangled in one of the vats.

Between rescuing a stray gray tabby she names Hops and considering a handsome ex-hockey player as her new chef, Max doesn’t have a lot of time to solve a murder. But with a homicide detective for a dad, she comes to criminal investigation naturally. And if someone is desperate enough to kill to stop her from opening, Max needs to act fast–before her brand new brew biz totally tanks.

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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on December 9 for your chance to win a signed copy of TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

Meet the author
Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. Her flash fiction has appeared in Mysterical-e, and her non-fiction has been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police magazine. She lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband and a spoiled cat. Her novel, To Brew or Not to Brew is the first in the Brewing Trouble mystery series. The second book in the series, tentatively titled Tangled Up In Brew, will be released late next year.

Visit Joyce at www.joycetremel.com, on Twitter and on Facebook.

49 responses to “A Day in the Life of Maxine “Max” O’Hara by Joyce Tremel

  1. My niece’s husband studied to be a brew master. He ended up as a local politician somewhere in Pennsylvania. I hope he finds a job in brewing. It’s a lot steadier work. LOL Dru Please toss my name in the hat to win a copy of this book.

  2. I’ve been around people who brew up a good batch, so this sounds very intriguing.

  3. I live in wine country but the new thing is BEER. The are even growing hops in my small town for a very special beer.No one know what was being planted until it dawned on me Hops as they used grow a lot of them in this area.. Would love to win this book.

  4. Looks like a fun new series. Looking forword to reading it

  5. This sounds like a great read. Thank you for the giveaway.
    myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Sounds like an original story that I would love to read. Thank you for giving away a copy of the book.

  7. Linda Kuzminczuk

    Love finding new series. Thanks for the giveaway. Kuzlin at AOL.com

  8. I like Guinness, but it’s nice to read about interesting craft beer.

  9. What an awesome book this sounds like!!!! My husband is from Pittsburgh so I will really enjoy reading this one! And the cover is so cute!!!! Love mysteries with kitties in them too!!! This is a new author for me and that is always so exciting discovering another awesome author to read! Thanks so much dearest Dru for the chance to win!!!! God bless!!!!

  10. Been dying to read this. Have the kindle copy but a paperback would be awesome. Thanks for the chance.

  11. Jill Broussard

    Looks good! Thankyou for the opportunity!

  12. I love getting started with a new series. This one really appeals to my sense of adventure.

  13. Thanks for hosting Max today, Dru! We both appreciate it!

  14. A new series is always fun to start – thank you for sharing

  15. Barbara Jones

    As a yinzer I am especially excited that this series is set in Pittsburgh. Thanks for a chance to win a copy!

  16. Looks cool!

  17. Today is the age of the brew house. There are more and more being established daily. I love to be in on the beginning of a series and this one looks like an excellent start. robeader53@yahoo.com

  18. It’s always so much fun to read about new mysteries and even more fun to actually read them. Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Peggy Hyndman

    Another “new to me” author! To Brew or Not to Brew sounds like a fun read. Joyce Tremel sounds like a fun person and I’m looking forward to reading her books. Thank you for this chance.

  20. Barbara Hackel

    Sure to be great read! Thanks Dru and Joyce for the heads up and chance to win a copy. 🙂

  21. Great giveaway. Max sounds fabulous. Thanks.

  22. Another new mystery series to get involved in. Yay! Sounds very interesting and also the characters. Looking forward to reading this.

  23. Sounds like a great read.

  24. Lots of craft/micro brews here in MN that we’re always hearing about so this should be a fun series!

  25. Sounds interesting and unique! Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. Sure sounds like my type of cozy!

  27. Sounds like a great new series. I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the chance to win!

  28. What a fun book. The play on words is entertaining.

  29. I look forward to this read.

  30. MaryAnn Forbes

    To Brew or Not To Brew sounds like a great read. Living very close to Pittsbugh and enjoying an occasional brew it’s definitely a book for me. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

  31. I love the idea of this series and can’t wait to read it

  32. Small breweries seem to be popping up all over. There’s even one a few miles from us up here in northern Minnesota. As a loyal beer drinker, I must read this book and start this new series.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  33. elainehroberson

    Love your cover and your book sounds great. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  34. This book has jumped to the top of my tbr list. I grew up in Pittsburgh and my brother has made his own beer and wines for years. This is definitely one for me. Thanks for the chance to win.

  35. Doward Wilson

    Thanks for introducing us to a new series and the chance to win.

  36. Vicki Highley

    Sounds like a great book and start to a great new series. Thanks.

  37. Looking forward to reading To Brew Or Not To Brew.

  38. This sounds like a great new series and I just put To Brew or Not To Brew on my wish list. Thanks so much for the chance to win it!

  39. I like drinking beer, and would love to learn about brewing it. Oregon is one of the states with lots of craft breweries.

  40. Sounds like an entertaining read! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  41. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone. I’m happy so many of you want to read the book. Be sure to let me know how you liked it!

  42. Sounds like a really different setting – I like it! Thanks for the chance to win.

  43. Barbara Landrum

    Looks like this will be an interesting read!

  44. Della Williamson

    This is great!! A new author. Looks like a choice read. Would love to start the series with a win. but in any event the books are on my TBR. Thanks for the opportunity

  45. Can’t wait to read this new book.

  46. We enjoy trying local beers when we travel. Thanks for the chance to win!

  47. I love this cover!!!!
    Thanx for the giveaway…..

  48. Contest is closed.