Brew or Not to Brew
is the first in a new series featuring Maxine (Max) O'Hara,
a certified brew-master who is opening a new craft brewpub
in her hometown of Pittsburgh. She had achieved her certification
in Germany, and returned home with an assistant brew-master
named Kurt Schmidt, who was also a chef. The duo wasexcited
and getting ready for their grand opening, despite a spate
of mishaps, which Kurt believed to be sabotage. It seemed
that someone did not want the pub to open. Once Kurt found
evidence and was ready to tell Max who the perpetrator was,
the guilty party murdered him.
Max's father is
a detective on the local police force and he is not convinced
that Kurt was killed. It looks like it was an accident, and
without proof to the contrary he isn't ready to call it a
homicide. Yet Max knows in her gut that Kurt was killed and
she's determined to get to the bottom of things. Fortunately,
she is able to hire a new chef, an ex-hockey player named
Jake, a friend of one of her brothers, and the guy she'd had
a huge crush on during their teenage years. Max adopts a stray
kitten she finds in the alley near the pub and names her Hops.
It looks like both Jake and Hops hold the keys to Max's heart,
and both relationships begin to blossom.
When another murder
occurs things get serious quickly, and before the next vat
of beer can ferment, Max has to find out who is behind the
killings so she won't become another victim!
I enjoyed this
book a lot and found it to be a unique entry into a genre
filled with coffee shops, tea shops, bakeries and bookstores.
Mind you, I enjoy reading all of those types of cozy mysteries
too, but the craft brewpub stands out as something new and
different. Joyce Tremel writes in a comfortable style, with
realistic characters and a believable plot.
Veteran cozy mystery
readers should definitely pick up a copy of To Brew
or Not to Brew. It's a breath of fresh air written by
a new author and has the potential to be the next hit series.