Saturday, September 8, 2018

A Deadly Brew - Cozy Mystery Review

Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  As Halloween approaches South Cove, California, four couples get into the spirit of the holiday by conjuring up spirits. . .

The house has sat empty for fifteen years, taking up prime real estate along the picturesque coastline. Built by one of the founders of South Cove, its last known owner, Maryanne Demerit, vanished without a trace. Now her home will be demolished for a condo development, but until then, it’s the perfect spot for a Halloween haunted house.

Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More, her boyfriend, and three other couples are spending the weekend in the Demerit home. But what begins as an all-in-good-fun fright fest turns into a mystery begging to be solved as Jill is contacted by the ghost of Maryanne . . .

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  This is one of my favorite series and I can never resist a missing person case or a haunted house.  

My Impression:
  If you're a long time reader of the series be aware that this isn't really the next book in the series.  Like the previous novella this one is a few books behind but because only a few pages at the very beginning take place in the town it wasn't nearly as distracting as the previous novella.

This was so much fun!  Just the idea of this big old house high up on the cliff full of the possessions of the person who used to live there and bursting with secrets is pretty much one of my dream setting.  The lock-in style plot was a lot of fun and I thought the different characters were a good mix of skeptical.  There's Esmerelda and Jake who are full in on all things supernatural all the way up to Greg who knows everything has a logical explanation even when it's hard to come up with one.  I loved the descriptions of the house and that library crammed with books just about made my mouth water.

I really loved seeing a more personal side to Esmerelda.  She's always been a side character but I never really felt like I knew her.  I enjoyed seeing her a bit more relaxed and even getting a peek into her childhood.  The mystery kept me guessing - what had happened all those years ago?  And just what were Jill, Greg, and the other 3 couples going to find?  I did get annoyed with how hostile Greg came off at times but that was a tiny complaint.  The plot was well done and didn't feel rushed which so often happens in a novella.  I could have easily read this in one sitting but I was reading this late at night in the dark with just the light from my Kindle and some of the house exploring creeped me out!  If you're new to the series you could jump in here as this one feels separate from the rest of the series.  If you're a long time fan of the series like me than this is just a fun Halloween treat that is not to be missed! 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  This is one of my favorite cozy authors so of course!

Would I Recommend this Book?
  Definitely!  This is a fun novella with a dream setting.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I love the cover with its Halloween look to it!

  2. I like when novellas are part of a series. Gives me a taste and could draw me in!

  3. I do love a mystery involving a haunted house! This sounds like fun.