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To Brew or Not to Brew: 06/16/21
To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel is the start of the Brewing Trouble mystery trilogy. Maxine 'Max' O'Hara has bought a historic brewery. She and Kurt Schmidt, her chef and assistant brewmaster, are struggling with a series of sabotage. When Kurt figures out who is doing it, he is murdered.
While Kurt's death is first pegged as an accident, Max knows it's not. Even after his death the trouble continues. She and her new chef, an ex-hockey player named Jake, try to get the brewpub ready to open while still facing sabotage.
Like Cleo Coyle's Coffee House mysteries, To Brew or Not to Brew has a lot of time and effort spent on describing beer and brewing. I liked the details in that they give a sense of place. These details also ground Max and Jake into a routine that forces them to balance their time with their sleuthing.
All that said, there is a brief scene within about the first fifty pages that I immediately recognized the murderer. It took a bit longer to understand their motivation.