cover image Beyond a Reasonable Stout

Beyond a Reasonable Stout

Ellie Alexander. Minotaur, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-20575-9

In Alexander’s refreshing third mystery featuring brewmaster Sloan Krause (after 2018’s The Pint of No Return), Oktoberfest is over, and the residents of the quaint German-themed town of Leavenworth, Wash., are getting ready for the winter tourist season and the upcoming local election. City councilman Kristopher Cooper is running for reelection on a platform of prohibition, which would shut down the town’s craft beer breweries, its main source of income. One night, Kristopher and April Ablin, the obnoxious town gossip, have a loud argument; the next morning, the councilman is found stabbed to death in April’s office. As the number one suspect, April asks Sloan to help prove her innocence. The list of suspects grows as Sloan uncovers evidence that Kristopher was blackmailing townspeople for votes. Meanwhile, Sloan, who never knew her parents, receives a frightening cryptic message about her parents’ true identity. Distinctive characters and fun anecdotes about beer and brewing help make this a winner. Readers will want to keep coming back for more. (Oct.)