Monday, December 21, 2015

To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel (Review/Giveaway)

About the Book

Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 in A Brewing Trouble Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: December 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads...

An all-new mystery series set in a Pittsburgh craft brew pub, featuring a brewmaster with a head for sleuthing.

The Allegheny Brew House is a dream come true for Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who went all the way to Germany for her brewmaster certification, and is now preparing to open her own craft brew pub in a newly revitalized section of Pittsburgh. But before she can start pouring stouts and lagers to thirsty throngs, there’s trouble on tap. Suspicious acts of sabotage culminate in Max finding her assistant brewmaster and chef Kurt Schmidt strangled in one of the vats.

Between rescuing a stray gray tabby she names Hops and considering a handsome ex-hockey player as her new chef, Max doesn’t have a lot of time to solve a murder. But with a homicide detective for a dad, she comes to criminal investigation naturally. And if someone is desperate enough to kill to stop her from opening, Max needs to act fast—before her brand-new brew biz totally tanks...


My Review

After earning her brewmaster certification in Germany, Maxine “Max” O’Hara goes to her hometown in Pittsburgh and opens her own brew house. Things get off to a rocky start, to say the least. Her assistant, Kurt Schmidt, is killed in one of the vats. The death is declared an accident, but Max is convinced it was murder. It couldn’t be a coincidence that the death followed several pranks at the brew house as they get closer to opening day.

Max’s father is a homicide detective but he’s ruling on the side of an accident. This means Max plans to take matters in her own hands and find out who is doing this to her new business. First, she has to hire a replacement for Kurt. Fortunately, a close friend of her brother’s, who happens to be Max’s childhood crush, is looking for a job. Former hockey player Jake Lambert is more than willing to take the job. With her business almost ready to go, Max devotes her time to catching a killer.

A new cozy mystery series! It’s so much fun meeting new characters and new settings. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I was craving beer as I read through this book. I was hooked on this one right from the start. I even liked Kurt very much and was kind of shocked that he was the victim. It happened early in the book so the mystery was drawn through from beginning to end.

The cast of characters were all portrayed to perfection. Often characters in a new series can be stiff as readers get to know them, but not with the one. I felt they were already old friends that I could not wait to re-visit.  Oh, and there's a little kitty!  Isn't the kitty in the cover great?  That little pink thing in the cover is the cast on the poor kitty's paw.

The plot was intriguing and very well written. It kept me guessing almost to the end. It amazes me that this is the author’s first novel. She seems like a pro to me and I’ll be looking for the next book she writes.

For reading challenges:
Where are you reading? challenge (Pennsylvania)

FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.


Now you can win a copy of To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For one extra entry: Leave a comment for the author.

6) For one extra entry:  Follow this blog...old followers, too!  Just let us know how you follow and under what name.

7) For one extra entry: Follow me on Twitter.

8) For one extra entry: Follow or friend me on Goodreads

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on December 21st (midnight est) and ends on December 28th (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. To Brew or Not to Brew sounds like a wonderful cozy mystery. I am looking forward to reading it.

  2. I would love to read this book—thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  3. It sounds like another good series is starting. I have added it
    Y TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. I read many genres. This book sounds like one I would like to read.

  5. I have this one on my wish list. Love the premise of the story, and the fact that it's set in Pittsburgh - I live in Ohio, but Pittsburgh is the closest city to me. :)

  6. To Brew or Not to Brew sounds like a great cozy mystery. It's on my Wish List!!

  7. Thanks for this intriguing cozy which sounds like a unique mystery.

  8. Sounds like a great book....thanks for the chance to win.

  9. This cozy sounds great. Going on my must read list!

  10. The intriguing blurb sure makes it sound great. Looks like a fun read. Thank you for this opportunity to win this great read

  11. This one sounds like a great cozy! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  12. I love finding out about Book 1s! Thanks...

  13. This is a nice introduction to a new series. Thanks for providing the giveaway.

  14. There are a lot of craft breweries in the Mpls area and they've been in the news a lot. A series about them should be fun and interesting. Looking forward to the new series!

  15. Looking forward to reading this one! Fun new idea for a cozy series. Fingers crossed!

  16. Bottoms up!!
    Carol Smith
    penelope223(at) yahoo(dot)com

  17. Thanks so much for the chance to win! I would love to win this!! Happy holidays!!

  18. Sounds like a good beginning to a series! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book.

  19. This sounds fun and the police chief father is a nice twist.

  20. I have liked what I have read about this book so far, and it's always fun to start at the beginning of a new series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. This book is calling my name. I can't wait to get it. I just wish my local Barnes and Noble had it.

  22. Looking forward to this new series

  23. This sounds really good and I would love to read it! I live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh which would make this story even more interesting! Thank you for the giveaway!


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