Wine and Punishment

Sarah Fox. Kensington, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1868-6
Sadie Coleman, the narrator of this amiable if middling series launch from Fox (the Pancake House mysteries), leaves Boston after breaking up with Eric Jensen, a compulsive gambler, and moves to Shady Creek, Vt., where she buys a pub located in a renovated mill, naming it the Inkwell to celebrate her love of literature. When Eric shows up one evening three months after her arrival in town, she avoids him only to find his dead body the following morning. Sadie suspects handsome but hostile craft brewery owner Grayson Blake, who was seen throwing Eric off his property; other suspects include a thug hired by one of the bookies to whom Eric owed money and the local youths who brawled with him the night before he died. Sadie herself becomes a target when her car tires are slashed and someone attempts to burn down the mill. The mystery’s setting and solution are solidly crafted, though Sadie, who’s given to unfounded accusations and corny literary exclamations (“What the Charles Dickens?”), feels unconvincing both as businesswoman and as sleuth. Agent: Jessica Faust, BookEnds Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 12/24/2018
Genre: Fiction
Library Binding - 360 pages - 978-1-64358-097-5
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