To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel is the first book in the NEW “Brewing Trouble” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, December 2015
An all-new mystery series set in a Pittsburgh craft brew pub, featuring a brewmaster with a head for sleuthing.
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. . .
This was a fun book to read and get to know Maxine O’Hara and her friends. Someone doesn’t want Max to open up her brewpub and with her determination to get to the bottom of this created a nicely executed light and fresh drama that I devoured. I love the comfortable tone and the pacing in this story that little by little we get to know more about Max and also a beer making. I’m not a beer drinker but that didn’t stop me for enjoying what the author has presented. I loved how everyone had a role in this mystery that kept me intrigued as to what was going on. The author did a great job in keeping me busy with the change in direction she presented and I liked how it all played out. The hint of a blossoming romance was an added bonus and it enhanced the telling of this tale. With a lovable cast of characters, a cutie-pie kitty name Hops, great dialogue and a feel-good setting, this was a very enjoyable read and I can’t wait to see where we go next with Max and her friends in this delightfully charming new series that I hope is here to stay for a long time.