The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander
Series: Sloan Krause #5
Published by Minotaur Books on October 5, 2021
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
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three-half-stars

Amateur sleuth and brewer Sloan Krause contends with her past--and a murder related to it--in The Cure for What Ales You, another delightful mystery from cozy writer Ellie Alexander.

After a long cold winter, spring is beginning to bloom in the alpine village of Leavenworth, Washington, where craft brewer Sloan Krause and her partner in crime Garrett Strong are putting the finishing touches on their bright and refreshing Lemon Kiss ale. They’ll be debuting their new line at the Maifest celebration, which will bring visitors from near and far to dance around the Maipole and shop at the outdoor flower markets.

Despite the festive spirit in the air, Sloan is brewing over her past. She’s spent months following leads that have turned into dead ends. But when she spots a woman who strongly resembles Marianne—a long lost contact who may be her only connection to piecing together her story—she hopes that things might be taking a turn in her favor. That hope is quickly smashed when Marianne is involved in the murder of a local housekeeper. To make matters worse, Marianne issues a dire warning that Sloan and her entire family are in danger. If Sloan can’t figure out who the killer is and what happened in her past, she won’t find any hoppy endings.

Sloan works at a craft brewery in the Pacific Northwest. The town has a faux-Bavarian ambiance and attracts a lot of tourists. I enjoy spending time in the town and with Sloan and her friends and family. I love how the town actually likes its tourists and how the townspeople all know and look out for each other. Of course, quirky characters and a good setting can just about carry any cozy mystery – thankfully.

Our victim here is a housekeeper at a local hotel, but that investigation is overshadowed by the return of a woman from Sloan’s past claiming to be her aunt. Honestly, I hope we’re finally done with all the stuff from Sloan’s childhood. It all seems unlikely and over the top and detracts from a good series. If the author could just keep the focus on the murders in the town, and not veer off into organized crime or drugs or whatever, I’d be much happier. Sloan’s present is much more interesting to me than a past she can’t remember.

The mystery itself was fine. We’ve got a few suspects, some clues, and the question of whether or not it’s connected to the woman who has come to warn Sloan. I guess I just wish the story had revolved around this investigation, not having the whole town on lockdown because of a man nobody has seen.

However, I really do like the characters and the setting and the author does put together good mysteries. I even like the bits about beer brewing, even though my husband and friends are the craft beer drinkers, not me.

About Ellie Alexander

Cozy mystery author, Ellie Alexander, is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing a multitude of pastry and other recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, or hard at work on the next book in one of her cozy mystery series, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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