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    Love me some Sloan Kraus and Leavenworth!

    It’s the quiet before the storm for the town of Leavenworth as they clean up after Oktoberfest and prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Sloan and Garrett have a lot going on at Nitro as they work to redo four of the bedrooms above the pub into guest rooms to be rented out to tourists. But all of that could be for naught if the upcoming city council election is won by the incumbent who plans to make Leavenworth a dry town. When the business owners meet with the opposing candidate, things go south when the Kristofer Cooper and his team are outside on the patio and begin taunting the other side. The next morning Kris is found dead in April’s office and all signs point to April being guilty. Against her better judgement, but because she’s a good person, Sloan begins looking into who could have killed the councilman, because she doesn’t believe April is capable of murder. During a crazy blizzard, Sloan finds herself in the presence of the murderer and it’s up to her to catch him when he injures her two friends and tries to make a break for it. Ellie Alexander is one of my FAVORITE authors. If you haven’t read her works yet, don’t wait. Her cozies are fantastic and her sense of humor comes through in her characters. Looking forward to seeing Sloan moving forward in her personal life and finding out more about the family who abandoned her. I literally groaned when I realized that would be coming in the next book. I. Cannot. Wait!
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    The third A Sloane Krause Mystery

    Beyond a Reasonable Stout by Ellie Alexander welcomes us to Leavenworth, Washington. Sloan Krause is enjoying the quiet of the town now that Oktoberfest has ended, but it is to be short lived. City Councilman, Kristopher Cooper is running for re-election with a platform of turning Leavenworth into a dry town which would lead to a town without tourists. The next day, Sloan enters April Ablin’s office to find Kristopher dead on the floor and April being arrested by Chief Meyers. While Sloan is a not a fan of the town’s self-appointed ambassador, she knows that April needs her help. Beyond a Reasonable Stout can be read alone for those new to A Sloan Krause Mystery series. The story has Ellie Alexander’s casual writing style which makes the story easy to read. Sloan is preparing for the next stage of her life now that she is divorcing Mac. She has her job at Nitro with Garrett Strong where she gets a voice in creating new brews and now, she needs to decide where to live. Sloan and Garrett are experimenting with new holiday brews and training Kat on their stock so she can handle barkeep duties. The town is in an uproar over Kristopher Cooper and his plan to turn Leavenworth into a dry town. Without the beer, the town will lose its tourists which doesn’t seem to faze Kristopher. It is no surprise when Kristopher ends up murdered. However, Sloan is shocked when April Ablin is arrested for the crime. She knows that April did commit the crime and, reluctantly, Sloan sets out to prove it. Readers will have no problem solving this whodunit long before the reveal. I kept hoping for a twist because I thought the solution too simple. There are multiple suspects since Kristopher managed to antagonize the majority of the town’s residents. The mystery is nicely wrapped up at the end of the book. The secondary mystery of Sloan’s birth parents began in Death on Tap and is still playing out. Sloan is determined to find answers and she may have gotten her best clue yet. I enjoy the descriptions of Leavenworth with its Bavarian style architecture, shops and food. It reminds me of where I grew up (German Village in Columbus, Ohio). A Sloan Krause Mystery series is a character focused series. The characters and their lives are the main focus of the story. They chat, eat and drink plenty of beer. If you enjoy Ellie Alexander’s A Bakeshop Mystery series, you will like reading A Sloane Krause Mystery series (switch out pastry for beer). Beyond a Reasonable Stout is a lighthearted cozy mystery with petty politics, brewing beer, wrestling with wallpaper, barkeep basics, nutty nutcrackers, and an aggrieved April.
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