Tangled Up in Brew
Brewing Trouble, Book #2
By Joyce Tremel
Author website: http://www.joycetremel.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
Brew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara and her chef/boyfriend Jake Lambert are excited to be participating in the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival. Max hopes to win the coveted Golden Stein for best craft beer—but even if she doesn’t, the festival will be great publicity for her Allegheny Brew House.
Or will it? When notoriously nasty food and beverage critic Reginald Mobley is drafted as a last-minute replacement judge, Max dreads a punishing review. Her fears are confirmed when Mobley literally spits out her beer, but things get even worse when the cranky critic drops dead right after trying one of Jake’s burgers. Now an ambitious new police detective is determined to pin Mobley’s murder on Max and Jake, who must pore over the clues to protect their freedom and reputations—and to find the self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner.
I really enjoy the protagonist of Tangled Up in Brew. Max O’Hara is everything you look for in a lead character of a fabulous cozy. She is independent, smart, has a fun career and has the know how to figure out the mystery. Her father is a police detective so it is not too farfetched for her interested in solving crime. I love that author Joyce Tremel put so much detail in not only Max’s back story but all of the characters in her series. Max even studied beer making in Germany. Wow!! Max is a brewer of beer and she brews the beer, while her boyfriend/childhood friend Jake Lambert cooks up excellent pub food for her Allegheny Brew House. So, it only makes sense when the Three Rivers Brew festival comes to town that they should enter. Max is entering her beers and Jake is entering the burger contest. What could go wrong? Everything
When Max and Jake set up at the festival, all the entrants are friendly and everything is wonderful. That is until one brewer with a horrible reputation shows up and tries to put a damper on things. Then to top that off they find out that instead of the wonderful crew of judges, one has been replaced by nasty food/drink critic Reginald Mobley who has a reputation for writing career ending reviews. When he tries Max’s beer he not only does not like the taste he spits it out. For some reason, he loves the horrible swill Dwayne is putting out but does not like anyone else’s brews. Then the next day it is burger tasting time. Reginald not only thinks Jake’s burger is abysmal, he ends up falling over dead. The prime suspect is none other than Jake. And not even Max’s father can help much when his new partner is dead set on proving Jake’s guilt.
This is the second installment in author Joyce Tremel’s “Brewing Trouble Mystery” series and it is even better than the first. The mystery is well written and I did not figure it out until Max did. The characters are very well developed and seem to get better. This is definitely a more heady story than the first and that was really good. I am not a beer fan, but love the details and the fun that is portrayed with the stream of great writing using the drink of choice for so many. The recipes are wonderful as well. I love that the book set at a beer festival was released during the Octoberfest period. Perfect timing.
Tangled Up in Brew is a fun, fabulous read that is perfect for any season and any lover of the cozy genre’. You definitely do not have to be a fan of the golden nectar beer to drink in the tasty writing and delicious storyline. You also do not have to have read the first in this series to get the full enjoyment of this one. Joyce Tremel is just getting better and better and I cannot wait for the third in this entertaining series. Love the characters and their interplay. Love the setting which is different than a lot of cozies as it is in a big city, Pittsburgh rather than a small town. The wonderful thing here is, even in a large city there are “small town” sections. Fun read for sure.