Thursday, March 9, 2023

Review: Beguiled by Bourbon by Lucy Lakestone


About the Book

Cozy Mystery


Velvet Petal Press

Release Date
January 17, 2023

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A barrelful of bonkers… 

As mixologist Pepper Revelle preps for the Bohemia Bartenders’ gig in beautiful Kentucky bourbon country, she finds a great new friend in distiller Royce Doucet. Even if her pup Astra makes an enemy of his crafty cat. But Pepper’s hopes of a smooth launch of Royce’s superb new bourbon go awry when a ghastly murder overshadows the festivities.

As if Pepper isn’t shaken enough, one of Royce’s guests surprises her with news that will change her life. But is she ready to welcome someone new to her family? Especially when she’s still trying to figure out if she and chief bartender Neil are doing this romance thing or not. She hardly has time to consider the consequences as they encounter a troublesome set of Royce’s acquaintances—and suspects.

It doesn’t help that Pepper’s irksome ex Mr. Mixy wants to interview her for his ego-trip memoir. Pepper just wants to make great drinks and solve the mystery. But her sleuthing puts her in terrible danger, and soon she realizes that nothing is as it seems. Can she and Neil find the killer before they’re toasted like the inside of a bourbon barrel?

BEGUILED BY BOURBON is the fifth book in the Bohemia Bartenders Mysteries, funny whodunits with a dash of romance set in a convivial collective of cocktail lovers, eccentrics and mixologists. These quasi-cozy culinary comedies contain a hint of heat, a splash of cursing and shots of laughter, served over hand-carved ice.

My Review

Mixologist Pepper Revelle and the Bohemia Bartenders head to Kentucky for a local bourbon festival.  Pepper is the first to arrive to set things up.  She meets the distillery owner, Royce Doucet and his cat, Malvolio.  Pepper’s dog, Astra, isn’t a fan of the distillery cat but they somehow make it work.

During a bourbon competition, things get dangerous and Pepper’s life is on the line.  Not only hers but Royce and the chief bartender, Neil’s, life as well.  Pepper is anxious to figure out what’s going on before someone gets seriously hurt.  Of course, there is a mysterious person out there who will do whatever it takes to stop her.

This is the fifth book in this delicious cozy mystery. There’s a secondary storyline that runs throughout the series which is intriguing. Rest assured, if you only read this book, the main mystery is solved here.  Still, I think it’s so much more enjoyable to start this series from the beginning.  It's the only way to really get to know the characters.

The characters range from quirky to witty to lively and even dark and dangerous.  Each one is well-crafted and each has their own personality. 

The author does a great job of describing the process that goes on in a distillery.  She made me feel as if I was there. I definitely wanted a cocktail when I finished this book.

It’s a captivating, gripping whodunit, but it’s so much more.  There’s family drama, romance, betrayal and many hours of enjoyable reading.

I’ve enjoyed every book in this series with the current one being my favorite.  I do hope for more books in this delightful series.

For reading challenges:

Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2023
What An Animal Reading Challenge 2023
Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge 2023
Literary Escapes Reading Challenge 2023 (Kentucky)

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from the author and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I love the distillery setting and the cat vs dog element. Sounds like a fun cozy!


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