Wine and Punishment

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

In the first in an engaging new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, the owner of a charming literary pub finds her fresh start on the rocks thanks to a case of murder.

This book had the most charming setting and Sara Fox's descriptions were truly wonderful.  The book kept me on my toes from the very start.  Excellent plot with a fun-literary theme throughout!
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Sadie Coleman has broken up with her boyfriend, Eric, left Boston and purchased the old Grist mill in Shady Creek, Vermont opening a literary pub - wine, beer, drinks and books! The Autumn Festival is just a few days away, but Sadie has other things to deal with - slashed tires, fire in a neighboring building, and an ex-boyfriend that wants her back.  When she discovers Eric's dead body and she seems to be the only one in town that knows him, Sadie jumps to the top of the suspect list and has to figure out who did it to clear herself.

As the first in the series, I will pleased to see a good description of the town and many of the secondary as well as the man characters. Great start
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Thank you NetGalley & the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. This is a new author to me.  Sarah Fox who wrote the book “Wine and Punishment.”  Will give no spoilers.  It was a fast read. I do look forward to more in this series and reading any other previous books by this author.  It does not disappoint at all.
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Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s Autumn in Shady Creek, Vermont and Sadie Coleman is excited to take part in the yearly festival. You see, she is new in town and has turned the old grist mill pub into a book lover’s delight. The Inkwell is the perfect place to relax with friends or hold your book club meeting. Sadie pushed out by a merger in her old job and moving on after breaking up with her gambling lying ex is ready to make herself at home in this wonderful little town. Her literary-themed cocktails have been well received and she is anxious to feature them in her booth at the festival.

Happily shelving her past she has made herself at home. Then she is shocked to learn Eric, he ex, is in town. She avoids him the first night and goes to a birthday party for her Aunt Gilda. On the way home, she is diverted by a huge fire at the local antique shop. She almost forgets about Eric being in town. But before they can meet he is found dead in a culvert near the pub. Is his death connected to the fire? What would he come all this way to see her now? With more questions than answers, she decides to keep her ears open and her eyes peeled in hopes of catching the killer and throwing the book at them.

I absolutely love the setting of this book. A pub full of books in Vermont. The pub is unique, its little footbridge charming and Shady Creek sounds absolutely delightful. Sans the fire and the murder, of course.

I really like Sadie. She has a great vision and the determination to see it through. She is surrounded by a great cast. Her Aunt Gilda is totally supportive and willing to help Sadie in any way she can. The same with her friend Shontelle. Her two employees, Damien and Melanie, are familiar with the area and the festival and want Sadie to succeed. Then there is Grayson Blake, owner of the Spirit Hill Brewery. He and Sadie get off to a very rocky start. Everyone thinks he is a wonderful man, Sadie just doesn’t see it. In fact, she believes he is responsible for some dastardly deeds like slashing her tires and egging the pub. Sadie also has a frisky feline named Wimsey. I feel Ms. Fox has barely opened the books on these characters. She has left them plenty of room to grow.

I enjoyed the way the author penned this mystery. Twists galore. I loved that the lead detective was a woman and that while she questioned Sadie thoroughly, she didn’t zero in on Sadie as her main suspect. I will say the killer was so far off my radar they were never even considered. BAM, I was right there with Sadie, completely surprised and scared for our new protagonist. Great job, Sarah Fox!

This series is off to an excellent start. I want to get to know these characters better and I definitely want to spend more time at the book filled Inkwell pub. I know there is a mystery book club starting there soon and I can’t wait to see if that plays into this author’s next mystery.
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Even though this is a brand new series, I have enjoyed other books by the author and started reading expecting to enjoy it. Luckily, my expectations were met and I thoroughly enjoyed Wine and Punishment.  Sarah Coleman is the new owner of a literary themed pub in Vermont when an ex comes to town to win her back. Only he ends up dead and she is a likely suspect. What I liked about this book is the usual trope of antagonism between the heroine and the potential love interest is handled more deftly than it  first seemed. Sarah takes a few risks that are a little unbelievable, but the mystery is well plotted. Thumbs up on this one!
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Sadie and her kitty Wimsie are settling nicely into her new home and business, a pub with a literary theme.  There are still those in the small community who have yet to warm to Sadie but she is hoping by participating in the Fall festival, she can win them over.  Throwing a major monkey wrench into her plans is the arrival of her ex who is hoping to woo her back.  She manages to avoid him until she stumbles over his corpse.  Initially she is the prime suspect until her alibi checks out but it doesn’t mean she is not involved in trying to figure out why a stranger to everyone but her was killed.  Did his shady past catch up with him or was he simply in the wrong place at the wrong time?
She suspects the owner of a micro brewery next door.  The two of them have gotten off to a testy start so the reader knows there will be sparks in the air, especially since everyone in town, other than Sadie, really like the guy.  These two main characters and the assorted town folk, including Sadie’s aunt and her friends are all interesting.  There is even a major twist that caught me completely off-guard.  In all, it was a good solid mystery, well constructed with just the right combination of suspense and edgy romance.
It is the first of a new series.  I look forward to see where it is going.
Five purrs and two paws up.
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Wine and Punishment
By:  Sarah Fox
Publisher:  Kensington Books
Published:  December 18, 2018
3.5 Stars


Sadie Coleman packed up her old life in Boston and moved to the small town of Shady Creek, Vermont.  There she bought an old mill and turned it into a pub with a literary theme which she called Inkwell.  Sadie was adjusting well to life as a pub owner and resident of Shady Creek.  Things changed, however, the night that her lying, gambling ex-boyfriend, Eric showed up at her pub.  Sadie was on her way out of the apartment above the pub when one of her employees let her know that Eric was asking for her.  Sadie didn’t want to deal with him that night and continued on to the birthday party she was headed to.  On the way home from the party, Sadie noticed smoke and ran to find two stores ablaze.  By the time that Sadie finally made it back to her pub, her employees had closed up for the night, and Eric was gone.  The next day, Sadie went to head into town but found all four of her tires slashed.  She instantly thought that Grayson Blake could be responsible because she felt he seemed to have taken an immediate dislike to her.  She went to confront Grayson, and then they both ended up stumbling upon Eric’s body.  Sadie wants to find out what happened to Eric and if the other odd events are at all related.  

Wine and Punishment is the first book in the Literary Pub Mystery Series.  It was a good read, and I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.  

At the beginning of the police investigation, the police consider Sadie a possible suspect.  I believe that is what fuels her desire to investigate the case on her own.  She knows she didn’t do it, and she wants to make sure that Eric’s family gets some closure.  Like many other amateur sleuths, Sadie’s investigations lead to more trouble for herself.  Sadie then is not only trying to solve Eric’s murder, but also to protect her own life and property.  I think Sadie is a likable character except I found her a little too quick to fly off the handle with regards to Grayson Blake.  Yes, he doesn’t appear to like her, but she is downright rude to him. There are a number of other memorable characters that help bring depth to this story.

I think the author developed a great storyline that was easy to get invested in.  I was intrigued and wanted to keep reading to see what happened to Sadie, and to see if she could solve her ex’s murder.  The New England fall provides a beautiful backdrop for this story, and the literary inspired pub makes it a unique setting.  

For those that are interested, the author includes the recipes for the literary inspired mixed drinks that Sadie created for her pub.  Sadie also hopes to add literary inspired menu items, and I’m looking forward to seeing those recipes in the future books.

Thanks to Net Galley and Kensington Books for an ARC of this book.  #NetGalley #WineAndPunishment
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This first in a new series by Sarah Fox was very enjoyable.  The protag in this story, Sadie Coleman has purchased a mill and made it into a pub with literary references and cocktails to match.  Book clubs and cocktails, what a pairing!
Sadie has a bit of a rivalry going on with the other brewery in town, owned by Grayson Blake.  While preparing for the Autumn Festival Sadie is I formed that her ex, Eric has returned to town to try to patch things up and maybe put a ring on it.
Unfortunately, in one night a murder and an arson has occurred.  Eric is killed and Sadie now has to piece together what took place while trying to run her own business, participate in the festival, and fend off her own personal attacks as she gets closer to who is responsible for this, as she feels they are connected.
I loved the rapport between Sadie and Grayson and the whole lot of suspects, of whom most of them are her new friends also.  Who can Sadie trust?  I can't wait to see what direction this series goes .  
Thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for allowing to me to review this cozy mystery.
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This was a fun read. I really enjoy wine themed cozies lately. This was a quick, fun, light read. It didn't disappoint. I look forward to more in the series.
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Wine and Punishment by Sarah Fox is the debut novel in A Literary Pub Mystery.  Sadie Coleman has purchased an old grist mill in Shady Creek, Vermont.  She has turned the lower floor into Inkwell, a literary themed pub.  The annual Autumn Festival is scheduled to begin in four days with the pumpkin catapult contest, a pie contest (which Sadie has got roped into judging) and vendor tents.  Sadie is getting ready to depart for her Aunt Gilda’s birthday party when one of her employee’s tells her that her ex-boyfriend, Eric is in the pub.  Not wanting a confrontation, Sadie sneaks out the back and enjoys an evening with her aunt and friends.  On her way home, Sadie is shocked to see the Treasure Chest, a local antique shop and the building next door on fire.  The next morning Sadie goes to her car and finds that someone has slashed all four of the tires.  Sadie believes Grayson Blake of Spirit Hill Brewery is responsible and heads off to confront him.  Instead, Sadie finds a deceased Eric sprawled by the edge of the creek.  Sadie finds herself at the top of Detective Marquez’s suspect list which puts her wonderful new life in jeopardy.  Feeling that she has no other choice, Sadie starts nosing around.  She needs to discover why Eric was in town and retrace his footsteps.  Can Sadie find the killer before she must trade in her pub apron for a prison jumpsuit?

I thought Wine and Punishment was nicely written with a good flow which made it an easy to read cozy mystery.  I loved the description of the old grist mill that has been turned into a literary pub called Inkwell (wood, stone and plenty of books).  There are cozy chairs, books and drinks named for books and authors.  Sadie Coleman has left Boston to start over in Shady Creek, Vermont where her Aunt Gilda resides.  Sadie leaves her ex-boyfriend, Eric behind who has trouble recognizing the truth and a terrible gambling addiction.  I liked the picturesque town of Shady Creek with its charming shops and friendly residents (minus the killer).  The town is gearing up for the annual Autumn Festival which has the unique pumpkin catapult contest.  Each team constructs its own catapult for which Sadie is thankful she has employee, Damien Keys.  The scarecrow for outside Inkwell is dressed like Sherlock Holmes (how cute).  Sarah Fox took the time to set the stage for the series by describing the town and giving readers details on the main characters.  I hope we get to learn more about the secondary characters in future books (Damien and Melanie for example).  There is even a cute cat named Wimsy.  I liked the interactions between Sadie and Wimsy, but I was surprised that she let her cat run around outside.  There are various books and authors mentioned throughout Wine and Punishment including Ellery Adams.  The mystery was interesting, and some readers may be surprised by the killer’s identity.  I did feel that the pacing was inconsistent.  I would have liked a brisker pace.  I am giving Wine and Punishment 3.5 stars.  Wine and Punishment is a good beginning to A Literary Pub Mystery series and I am curious to see what the author dishes up next time.
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This series is off to a great start. Sadie has left he no good creep of a live in boyfriend back in Boston and moved to Shady Creek, a small town in Vermont. With a mind to do something very different with her new life, she has bought a pub housed in an old mill and renamed it The Inkwell. It's theme is books and I know I would be hanging out there just about every day. Several reading groups have been formed and they meet in her two overflow rooms, each book themed. Her commute to work is short as she lives in the apartment upstairs with her rescue cat, Wimsey. 
Life is looking good until the evening she is going to spend celebrating her Aunt Gilda's birthday. One of her employees tells her that her ex boyfriend has shown up and wants to talk with her. Instead of confronting the rat, she goes out the back door and heads for the birthday party. She gives no more thought to him.....until the next morning when he is found just off the side of the road....very dead. To make things more complicated, it seems he might have had plans to win her back as he may have had a ring with him, one that has gone missing. One thing leads to another and the police set their sights on her as a suspect. But Sadie knows that he had already had a nasty run in with her neighbor, owner of the local craft brewery and, for some reason the whole town seems to like him but it's nothing but daggers between them. What is he hiding? Why does he dislike her? 
Sadie sets out to investigate and clear her name but there is a killer out there and soon danger starts to follow her. All four tires on her car are slashed. That is only the beginning. There are lots of secrets and several mysterious threads going in this story and I kept changing my mind about the killer and the motive. leading to a very satisfying conclusion. I will be looking for the next entry in this series.
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Wine and Punishment

by Sarah Fox

I stayed up obscenely late to finish Wine and Punishment, the first book in Sarah Fox’s new series, and I don’t regret it at all. Engaged in the plot all the way through, I could not have predicted the ending. It has an action packed conclusion, and the murderer reveal is quite astonishing.

Sadie buys a picturesque old mill located in Shady Creek, Vermont, that had been turned into a pub by its previous owner. Anxious to be successful in her first business venture, she participates in the town’s annual Autumn Festival. All but two of the town residents are welcoming until Sadie’s ex-boyfriend from Boston turns up in town—dead. Then rumors start to fly. Various threads, including a gambling problem and industrial espionage, lead to potential suspects. Sadie does some investigating on her own with a backdrop of personal attacks against her.

There are lots of interesting characters including Sadie’s two employees, a handsome, but mysteriously disgruntled craft brewery owner, her supportive Aunt Gilda, her new friend Shontelle, and lots of local regulars at  the pub. Cat lovers will enjoy the frequent appearance of Sadie’s cat Wimsey.

What makes this cozy mystery extra fun is the literary theme of the pub which Sadie renames the Inkwell. In addition to all the bookshelves in the main room, there are more in the two overflow rooms. Sadie names one of them the Christie room for Agatha Christie, one of her favorite mystery authors, and she decorates it with appropriate memorabilia. These two rooms will also be reserved as needed for the book clubs she is forming. Going beyond the physical facility, Sadie creates literary themed cocktails and in the future, when she can find a chef, the pub will have cuisine with a literary motif. Book lovers will find all these details icing on the cozy mystery cake.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. #1 in the Literary Pub Mystery Series, but this author has two more successful series.
	  2. Recipes are added at the end of the book for cocktails and carrot muffins.

Publication:   December 18, 2018—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

…my business—and only—dealings with him hadn’t been pleasant experiences. I found him brusque and as prickly as a porcupine. If not for the fact that his beers were so popular with both the tourists and locals, I wouldn’t have bothered to sell them at the Inkwell.

I’d never managed to leave the store without at least one or two purchases. Not that I minded. I didn’t think there was such a thing as owning too many books. 

I pushed open the coffee shop’s door, ill at ease and eager to get away, but even as I left the woman behind, I could still feel the icy touch of her glare on my back.
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This is a very good first book in a new series. The mystery was interesting and I enjoyed the characters and the setting (both the town and the pub). I look forward to getting to know the characters better in coming books. Enjoyed the fact there was more than just one mystery to be solved. 

I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review. - I look forward to more books in this series.
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Sadie Coleman heads to Shady Creek, Vermont after losing her job in Boston. She purchases a pub and turns it into a literary locale complete with cleverly named cocktails. When her ex-boyfriend shows up and wants to talk to her, she carefully avoids him until he is found dead the next day. Then the antiques shop catches fire and Sadie worries there is something more going on. A fun start to a new series.
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Wine and Punishment by Sarah Fox is the 1st book in Literary Pub Mystery, and a great start.  Sadie Coleman loves books, and she is happy about a new beginning in Shady Creek, Vermont, where she bought a pub, calling it Inkwell.  Sadie lost her job in Boston, and broke up with Eric, her ex because his gambling debt, before moving to Shady Creek.  Sadie is busy with Autumn Festival in town, when she hears Eric is looking for her because he wants her back.  Before Sadie talks to Eric, he is found dead.  Not only is this book an exciting mystery but also very refreshing and a quick read. If you love fun cozy mysteries, which are my favorite, I recommend this book. 

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Wine and Punishment is the first in a new series by Sarah Fox.  Sadie has just moved to a small New England town to start over.  But when her ex shows up in town and ends up dead, and other strange things start happening, Sadie must find the truth to protect her home, her community, and her new life.

This was a wonderful, well-paced, and well thought out story!  It was fun to meet the colorful characters of Shady Creek.  I honestly didn't even suspect the answer until it was revealed.  And there are other secrets that I'm looking forward to learning more about... like what exactly is Grayson (the neighboring brewery owner that Sadie is trying really hard not to like) hiding from his past?

I loved the concept of Sadie's Literary Pub, The Inkwell.  What a fun place that would be to visit!  The references in the story made me really want to pick up an Agatha Christie book and settle in with one of the literary-themed cocktails.  

Wine and Punishment is available now... I give this title five fun, fermented stars!!  Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the complimentary review copy.
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Thank you to Net Galley and to the publisher for the opportunity to review this debut cozy mystery series. My opinion is my own. 
i am delighted with this new debut cozy mystery series !  This was a wonderful read and i look forward to further books in the series in the future. Very well done to the author !  This  the "Literary Pub Mystery series". Sadie is the protagonist and her new pub is just opened in a small New England town.  A fall festival is beautifully described throughout this book.  She already is doing well as the pub had a great following of locals.  She lives above the pub and is enjoying her life in her new town and making friends. 
Sadie is a complex interesting character of varied interest. of particular interest to this reader is her great love of books and her book collection that was delightful to read about.  She brings the town together through reading and holds book clubs .  This was a very enjoyable aspect of this book. 
 Sadie’s nefarious ex boyfriend surfaces and is found dead.  Now a suspect, Sadie wants to find who killed the louse.   Sadie has a unfortunate series of incidents after his death that threaten her life. She is supported by her regulars and friends and soon has a suspect in her sights. 
This was such a fun mystery that is very well crafted with lots of twist and turns to keep me guessing. i enjoyed the book aspect of the series and I like the supporting charcters.  There is much to like here and i look forward to the next in series and Sadie's next adventure in sleuthing.
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Wine and Punishment is the first book in Sarah Fox’s new Literary Pub Mystery series. Sadie Coleman has recently relocated from Boston to Shady Creek, Vermont. She came to visit her Aunt Gilda after breaking up with long time boyfriend Eric Jense, but fell for the area and decided to stay. Eric’s chronic gambling and lying had finally pushed her away from him and her old life.

Now she has purchased the old mill and converted the former bar to a literary pub where she lives in the upstairs apartment. The pub is serving as a local meeting place, watering hole, and host to a variety of book clubs and events. Luckily, former employees of the previous owner, Mel and Damien, have decided to stay on, and between the three of them they are making it work. The three of them are working together to give the Pub a positive presence at the annual Autumn Festival, and sharing the workload at the pub.

On the evening of her Aunt Gilda’s birthday, as she and best friend and fellow small business owner, Shontelle Williams, are ready to depart, Mel comes to Sadie’s apartment to tell her Eric the ex is downstairs in the pub. Sadie and Shontelle sneak out the back door and head to a pleasant evening at Louie Edmonds, Aunt Gilda’s fellow, home for the celebration. 

As they are walking home later in the evening they encounter Grayson Blake, owner of Spirit Hill Brewery located adjacent to the Inkwell. While the town seems to be enamored with Grayson, Sadie has always found him to be aloof and borderline rude.  As they run into each other, they smell smoke and find the local antique market ablaze. 

The following morning Sadie finds her tires slashed and confronts her neighbor to see if, and why, he would do such a thing. She encounters him on his driveway with his white German shepherd, Bowie. When Bowie takes off, they follow him to get him back under control before coming to the road. But not only do they find Bowie, they also find Eric’s lifeless body.

In the ensuing days, while clearing her own name and seeking justice for Eric, Sadie is plagued by threatening events, including a gasoline can set by her back door, a fire set to an out building, being grabbed from behind as she leaves her friend’s after dinner, and the egging of her entire building.  And at this point the story takes off into well woven twists and turns to lead to a very unexpected climax!

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in the series. I do recommend it!
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I was for a honest review for Kensington publishing .I really enjoyed reading this new series,where else can you get a glass of wine and check out books in the same place.I loved Sadie's character ,she's a strong woman that has a lot of things going against her but she comes out fighting,kicking her ex to the curb and then starting up a business in a small quaint town in Vermont.Looking forward to reading more books in this series.
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This was seriously so good I could barely put it down. I did manage to squeeze in the time to read it all in one day. I really loved this first in a new series, and I'm already anxious to read the next book.

Sadie Coleman had moved to Shady Creek, VT after losing her job leaving a lying, dishonest ex-boyfriend behind. Eric was apparently so determined to win her back that he'd bought a ring and traveled from Boston to Shady Creek, but he ended up dead before he could do anything with that ring. Sadie was the person of interest even though she insisted she hadn't seen the man when he was in town, nor had she spoken to him in over four months. 

The side story of Sadie's neighboring small business owner, Grayson Blake was interesting. He seemed to have a chip on his shoulder concerning her, but everyone else swore he was so nice and polite. It was a nice switch-up to have a female detective in charge of the case. She was by-the-book, but she was very fair and didn't jump to the conclusion of Sadie or anyone else being guilty until evidence pointed that way. Despite their initial differences, Grayson came in very handy towards the end, and it seems as though he and Sadie could be making amends and even becoming friendlier. 

I really enjoyed the character of Aunt Gilda! Everyone needs an aunt like her. She was completely in favor of Sadie buying the old mill and leaving it as a pub (but adding books) even though Sadie's mom wasn't. Gilda offered her a place to stay a couple of times when someone was threatening Sadie. The showdown was pretty exciting and led to a fun ending. For drink and muffin fans, there are three drink recipes at the end and a recipe for carrot muffins. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley which in no way swayed how or if I would write a favorable review. My opinions are my own.
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