Death and the Brewmaster's Widow (Auction Block Mystery)
Rating: Very Good
Description: They call it "the Brewmaster's Widow"; the abandoned brewery where Death Bogart's brother died in an arson fire. With his girlfriend, Wren Morgan, Death goes home to St. Louis to take on a deeply personal mystery. When Randy Bogart went into the Einstadt Brewery, he left his broken badge behind at the firehouse. So why did the coroner find one on his body? Every answer leads to more questions. Why did the phony badge have the wrong number? Who set the brewery fire? What is the connection between Randy's death and the mysterious Cherokee Caves, where the opulent playground of the 19th century beer baron falls into slow decay? Not understanding how and why he lost his brother is breaking the ex-Marine's heart. But the Brewmaster's Widow is jealous of her secrets. Prising them loose could cost Death and Wren both their lives. (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: I absolutely loved the first book in the series and couldn't wait to find out just what exactly had happened to Death's (rhymes with teeth) brother.
What I Liked:
Wren and Death's relationship is so great. He respects her, listens to her and stands up for her and she takes care of him while encouraging him to try and do more for himself. I especially liked how they dealt with Madeline. Normally I'm not a fan of ex-wives in a book, especially ones as manipulative as Madeline but both Death and Wren were great in dealing with her and I actually enjoyed those parts.
It was wonderful to get more of a sense of Death's background and learn more about his family. You've got to be curious about a family where naming your child Death because of a fairly obscure literary reference is considered okay.
I was dying to find out what the deal with the badges was. Why did Randy have a badge on him when his was at the fire station? Why was the number different? How on earth is this going to resolve itself in a way that makes sense?
I liked getting to know Randy's friends and spending time in St. Louis. I've enjoyed the city when I've visited it and I was fascinated with the caves under the breweries.
The pacing was really good and I just flew through this book.
I realized where the plot was going about 2/3 of the way in and I wasn't sure I was going to like it but I ended up being really happy with how Ross ended this one.
I'm really excited to see what happens in the next book!
What I Didn't Like:
While I really liked the way this wrapped up there were a few things that I found hard to believe or that didn't quite make sense.
I really wanted to find out more about the caves. It didn't feel like they were used quite enough.
This was a great mystery with characters I really enjoy. This one felt more about character development than the mystery itself but it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely! I'm already waiting impatiently for book 3!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Absolutely! This is a great series - especially if you like a little history mixed in with your mystery. I do recommend reading the series in order. I think this would be better after reading the 1st one.