Book Review – Wine and Punishment (A Literary Pub Mystery) by Sarah Fox.

5 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank the author Sarah Fox for including me in her review crew and sending me a paperback copy of her book ‘Wine and Punishment’. It was sent to me obligation free and this review is all my own.

So, yes, I got a free book from Ms Fox… but that doesn’t sway me in my review. I have been sent a lot of free books that I’ve then left not that flattering a review for, and then re-gifted ASAP, as they weren’t to my taste. So this truly is my opinion on ‘Wine and Punishment’.

And I do apologise to Ms Fox for my belated review. The book slipped down in between the mattress and bed head and I totally forgot I hadn’t yet left a review. See, housework, why we all need to do it more often. 😉

Okay, to the review! For those who have read my other reviews, you will have seen me review Sarah Fox’s ‘A Pancake House Mystery’ series – to which my reviews have usually been praise, but there was a “meh” book in that series that I also pointed out. So she knows I am always open and honest with my opinions on her work.

What did I think of ‘Wine and Punishment’? I loved it! Yes I was wary to give it a 5 star rating as I am sure there are people thinking it only got that because I received a free copy. But that’s not the case.

I loved ‘Wine and Punishment’ as it was a well-written, well-paced read. Although you could feel similarities in the writing to Ms Fox’s other series, it was distinctly its own world, own characters, own ideas. Some authors do come across a little “cookie cutter” in their different series. As in, the characters might have different names and be located in different places, but everything else about them is pretty much cut from the same mould… just ice differently. 😉 This was definitely not the case with ‘Wine and Punishment’. There was not a hint of Marley or her pancake house in sight!

The main character may have been similar in the fact she was a strong willed woman trying to solve the whodunit, but that is where I think the similarities end. Add to that the well described pub, town, people, location… and it was just a well-balanced cosy. There was a bit of world building, as is needed in the first book of a new series. There were some new characters the reader was introduced to, and a story happening in the background to keep it all going. Did I figure out the whodunit before they were revealed? Yes and no… and that alone will have me leave a high rating for a book as it is so rare! How the “yes and no”? I had my suspicions as to who the killer was… but Ms Fox’s writing had me doubting it until near the reveal… so – well done to her! I do hate a cosy where they tell you who did it in the first few chapters and then waffle on and pretend you don’t know for the rest of the book. That is not the case here, and THAT is why it got 5 stars! Show me a book that is all of these things and I will rate it highly. Whether I’ve bought it, been sent it, or borrowed it from a library.

Okay, that nerdy formatting and layout side of things… It was all fine. 🙂 Yes there were a few spots missed by the copyeditor, but this was an ARC paperback and so they probably caught those spots before the final print run. And even if they didn’t… there’s like maybe THREE that I spotted in an entire book, and that’s perfectly normal. Trust me. 😉

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Lovers of cosy mystery series set in modern day small town America will love it. Fans of strong willed female protagonists seeking the answers will love it. And, as it is the first in a series I’m not about to demand you read other books before you can truly love it. Just go buy it, read it, enjoy. Thank me later.

Would I buy this book for myself?

If I had not received a free copy, yes I would have. Though, probably as an eBook as I have more shelving space in my eLibrary than in my actual house! 😀

What is more is I am more than happy to seek, buy and read the next book in this series when it comes out. And you should too! It is the ‘A Literary Pub Mystery’ so go add it to your online book wish lists and keep an eye out. I will be.

In summary: An excellent start to a creative and enjoyable new mystery series.

Until next time,

Janis.

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