Beyond a Reasonable Stout

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

Beyond a Reasonable Stout is the third book in the Sloan Krause cozy mystery series by Ellie Alexander. Released 1st Oct 2019 by Macmillan on their Minotaur imprint, it's 284 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

This series has been a fun and diverting read. There is a lot of beer and brewing information woven into the narrative and the ensemble cast of returning characters are mostly appealingly quirky and fun (except for April, her I want to smack). The small town politics and interactions provide a lot of color and atmosphere.

The mystery part of the story was a lot more linear and straightforward than the other books in the series. The denouement felt a little rushed to me and almost tacked on. There's also a multi-story plot arc concerning Sloan's biological parents and her background in the foster care system which had a different, more serious vibe and didn't mesh with the story as well for me. Despite those two details, the story as a whole is a fun and informative read.

The language is clean, the murder is off-scene, there's no sexual content, and this is a mostly light cozy in a consistently well written series. There is enough back story interwoven into this one, that it does work fine as a standalone. I have enjoyed the rest of the series, so it is probably worth picking up the earlier books.

Four stars.
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Cascade Mountains Nano-Brewery Based Cozy Mystery
This story is equal parts women's fiction and cozy mystery. The author did a great job on both aspects. The women's fiction is an ongoing storyline. The cozy mystery is completed in each book. It makes me want to come back for more while sipping a pint. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
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I’m not a beer drinker, but my husband and our friends are, so I hear a lot of beer talk. Fall is his favorite time of year for beer, and I think that was part of the reason I was attracted to Beyond a Reasonable Stout. I enjoyed learning a bit more about the brewing process; it’s interesting and while I realized a lot had to go into it, I’ve never really read anything about the process. Oktoberfest is over and Sloan and Garrett are starting to work on their winter beers. Leavenworth is a town whose livelihood is the tourist industry and that centers around their craft breweries and their Bavarian-style town. It actually sounds like it would be a fun place to visit.

And then Kristopher Cooper gets killed. Granted, just about everyone in town was angry at the anti-alcohol platform he was running on for re-election to city council, but who took it all the way to murder? The annoying local real estate agent is arrested for the crime, but even the police chief doesn’t seem to think she’s guilty. Now, this is the first Sloan Krause mystery I’ve read, but Sloane and Garrett must have helped the Chief solve a previous murder because she encourages Sloan to listen and pay attention and maybe do a little digging. It’s nice when the amateur sleuth and the cops get along, even if that’s not how it would work in real life.

Sloan is dedicated to her son, her job and her town. She makes a good sleuth and I liked that as she did her detecting we met several of the townsfolk. They’re a quirky bunch, but I guess what can you expect from people who live and work in such a kitschy town. The whodunnit was a little obvious, but it was still enjoyable.

The one detraction for me is what I guess is a continuing arc revolving around the mystery of who Sloan’s parents were. I could have done without that bit and I didn’t like that it strained her relationship with her (soon to be ex-) in-laws. Just give me a good sleuth, a decent mystery, solid secondary characters and a good setting. I’d really rather skip the mysterious past.
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Beyond a Reasonable Stout is the third book in Ellie Alexander’s Sloan Krause mystery series. It is fall and the city council election is fast approaching.  City council member Kristopher Cooper is running for re-election but he has a brand new platform. He is pledging to outlaw alcohol and curb the many festivals that the merchants of the small town depend upon. In a town that is home to not only a major west coast German brewery but also many craft breweries, this platform making it a dry county would be a death knell for their businesses.

Sloan Krause, who is a brewer at Nitro craft brewery and relation to the Krauses of the major Der Keller brewery, is actively supporting Kristopher’s opponent Valerie Hedy, as are most of the merchants and townsfolk.  Kristopher has rubbed many the wrong way and the night of Valerie’s big rally at Der Keller he is seen arguing with several people at the brew house and on the streets after the rally.  In fact, no one seems terribly upset when he is found murdered the following morning except for realtor April Ablin. It is in her realty office where his body is found and the circumstantial evidence points toward her.

Secrets are divulged. Relationships are formed and broken. In the midst of a freak snowstorm a murderer is discovered. In a very interesting series set in the northern Cascade range an eclectic group of people form the cast for the enjoyable stories.  I did enjoy this book and I do recommend it.
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Beyond a Reasonable Stout is a very well written cozy mystery.  Well crafted plot and characters.  This is an entertaining series and I look forward to reading more books in the series.  Mystery fans will love this book.  Thanks to the publisher for my advance ebook  This is my unbiased review.
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Its finally the slow season after Octoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington and Sloan is adjusting  to her new life and ready to make some new holiday beers at Nitro. An election puts the beer haven at risk when a councilman decides that alcohol needs to be banned-- until he is found murdered. Sloan finds herself needing to investigate and find the real killer, but it's never that easy. 

I absolutely LOVE how Ellie Alexander composes her cozy mysteries. I am constantly drawn in by the red herrings until the final twist of the who the real killer is. I love how there are many parts to the backstory and ever growing characters. I'm ready for her to give me more about the past between Garrett and Sloan, Or Mac (how does she really feel about him), OR the jaw dropping news with Sloan's in-laws. Because she draws together such beautiful stories between characters, I am completely invested in learning more and cannot wait for the next edition of this mystery  series. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the advance copy of this book.
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Beyond a Reasonable Stout
(Sloan Krause #3)
by Ellie Alexander

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Minotaur Books


Goodreads synopsis:
Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause delves into the murderous political world in another delightful mystery from popular cozy writer Ellie Alexander.

It's the dead season in Leavenworth, Washington. The throngs of Oktoberfest crowds have headed home, and the charming Bavarian streets are quiet and calm--momentarily. Villagers use the reprieve to drink in the crisp fall mountain air and prepare for the upcoming winter light festival. Soon the German-inspired shops and restaurants will be aglow with thousands of twinkling lights. Visitors will return to the northern Cascades to drink warm mulled cider and peruse the holiday markets. Brewer, Sloan Krause and her partner in crime Garrett Strong are using the slowdown to stock up on a new line of their signature craft beers at Nitro. They're experimenting with a hoppy holiday pine and a chocolate hazelnut stout. The small brewery is alive with delicious scents and bubbling batches of brew.

Sloan is in her element. She loves the creativity and lowkey atmosphere at Nitro. Only that is soon threatened by the incumbent city councilmember Kristopher Cooper. Kristopher is running for re-election on a platform of making Leavenworth dry. Everyone in beertopia is fuming. Leavenworth's economy relies on keeping the kegs flowing. Kristopher wants to banish beer, a policy that might just bankrupt the entire village. However, Kristopher turns up dead days before election night. Sloan quickly realizes that his murder isn't the work of a stranger. Friends, family, and every other business owner had a motive to kill him, including none other than April Ablin, Leavenworth's self-described ambassador of all things German. Sloan finds herself defending April and trying to sleuth out a killer amongst a group of familiar faces. 


***

4.75 Stars

This is the third book in the Sloane Krause series by Ellie Alexander.

I read the first book in this series, DEATH ON TAP, back in March. I  bought the paperback from my local grocery store. I don’t drink so I wasn’t sure what to expect. My cousin had been dabbling in micro-brewing soI thought  I’d give it a try. And I am so glad I did. 

This series just sucks you in. Sloane is still having Mac problems (Mac is her ex-hubby) in book three and I can’t quite figure where she stands romantically with any man, but that’s okay. All the sleuthing takes your mind off of it. The dead body of a man running for office ends up the centerpiece in a city council race. And apparently everybody and their  brother has a motive to do him in. The man is buying stakes in many local businesses and plans to make this beer haven a dry gulch. Even the ever German clad Heidi is accused of the crime. When I started reading this series she was not my favorite character. So, the fact that I felt a little bad for her when she  lost her mind and her German accent during this book is telling. She is growing on me….like a fungus, but it is indeed a nice fungus. I would have liked to see more of her in this book even though I think she is a little (okay a lot) crazy. Sometimes crazy keep them coming back to read a series.

I wish there had been more with Garrett and the possible connection between him and Sloan. Not to mention more Nitro. I feel like she needs a haven in the storm that is her life and right now I don’t see her security being too strong. Oh, she plays a good game of making it seem like all is okay, that is for sure.

As the mystery developed I was wracking my brain as to who could possibly have done it. I skipped book two so I wasn’t certain who the mainstay characters were in order to take them out of my equation. Once the culprit was named I was like… who is that? That name didn’t stick with me for some reason. And that whole bombshell with Mac’s parents at the end? Wow. What was that? Definitely cliffhanger  there.  I can’t wait the next installment of Sloane on Tap and see how  all the details that were left hanging washes out.

This is definitely a cozy mystery author to watch and put on your must read list. She never disappoints.

Highly recommended.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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Beyond A Reasonable Stout  by Ellie Alexander is the 3rd book in A Sloan Krause Mystery series, and it was great. I love all of Ms. Alexander books and series, and this one is no exception. The craziness of Oktoberfest is finally over in Leavenworth, Washington, and Sloan and Garrett are ready for some down time to brew new flavors.  Unfortunately and mayor is running a reelection and wants alcohol outlawed in the town.   The town that is full of brewers, and tourist events.  When the mayor is found murdered, the mystery begins.  Can't wait to read the next book in the series. I strongly recommend this book/series. Please keep them coming Ms. Alexander.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press.  Thank you.
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It's been over a year since I read the second book in this series, so I was really ready to go back to Leavenworth, WA and see what Sloan and her friends were up to. An incumbent city council member was going around saying that when he got re-elected, the town was going to become dry. Everyone was up in arms at that, because beer was their livelihood, so they were happy that a woman named Valerie was running against him and from the looks of popular opinion, would win. When the town's most pesky woman, real estate agent April, was arrested for the murder, Sloan couldn't believe that April could murder anyone. Pester them to death maybe, but not literally kill someone. Before she knew it, she was involved with another case, but like before, Chief Meyers asked for her input. I like the chief and that she has been recognizing that Sloan's people skills can be useful.

I had a sneaky feeling early on that I knew who the culprit was going to be, but I didn't know why of course, so I had fun reading along and letting myself be pulled in by the red herrings. The showdown and take down were quick, but it was definitely satisfying to see the killer in custody. Sloan's own little mystery about her birth parents intensified some more, and there is a bit of a cliff hanger on that subject, so I'm very anxious for the next book. Each of these books has had a little something similar at the end, and it reminds me a lot of the ongoing side mystery that was in the Pacific Northwest series that this author wrote under another name.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.
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I really like this series - it is just so interesting to learn about beer and the process it takes to make it. I had no idea and with each book, I am learning more and more [I unfortunately do not like beer and cannot drink it due to having Celiac Disease, but the process is still fascinating to learn about] and when you add that with some great characters and a very quirky town, it makes for an excellent read. 

This one took longer than normal to read and I am unsure why. I was invested from the beginning, but for some reason, I just couldn't get through it as fast as I normally do a cozy mystery - perhaps it is Sloan's side story of finding her family and the drama of her impending divorce; that does make for slower reading to be sure. And even though I had the murderer pegged pretty early, the red herrings did keep me guessing. The only negative thing I have to say about this one is the ending. I despise cliffhangers [almost as much as I do love triangles, which this thankfully does not have] and to be left with one now is very annoying and smacks of lazy writing in my opinion. These are really good books and we don't need a gimmick to keep us reading. I hope this is not a trend. 

Still a great read and a really fun series. 

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin Press/Minotaur Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the third book in the Sloan Krause cozy series. Over the past couple of weeks, I've enjoyed the first two books in the series which, like many cozies, provides the reader with the requisite quaint setting, small town feel and a light mystery. The books also give readers interesting tidbits on the world of craft brewing.

This was an entertaining, lighter mystery. There are a few red herrings but the hints to the identity of the culprit were fairly obvious making the ending less surprisingly than expected. Still enjoyable, just not shocking. The beer info and, particularly, the mystery of Sloan's murky past are what have kept me coming back to this series but the plot about Sloan's unknown past is beginning to feel dragged out. My interest is still piqued but I'm hoping to quench my thirst for closure to that part of the story.

Overall, this is an entertaining addition to this light mystery series that is a perfect pick as we begin to get in the spirit of Oktoberfest (at least in my neck of the woods). 

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary digital copy of this title, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
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This series is getting good!  I love reading about the small town activities and all the brewing and cooking details.  Beyond a Reasonable Stout also dove more into Sloan's mysterious past so I'm intrigued to see where that story goes in the next book.  A fairly good mystery, entertaining characters, and a charming small town makes for an all around enjoyable cozy read
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Sloan Krause is taking advantage of the slow season in Leavenworth, Washington to prepare for the upcoming Winter Light Festival. Election day is coming up and city councilman Kristopher Cooper is running for reelection and even though the town's economy relies of the sales of beer, Kristopher wants to make it a dry town. When the politician is murdered before the citizens can go to the polls, Sloan is convinced by the prime suspect to dig into the investigation and find the true killer.

This is the third book in this series and although I've read other books by this author, this is the first book featuring Sloan Krause I have read. It didn't take me long to catch up on who the main characters are and I enjoyed getting to know Sloan. The characters are likable and I loved the setting. The Bavarian-themed village made me miss the small towns with German heritage that I have visited. There weren't any big surprises when the identity of the murderer was revealed, but I still enjoyed the story.

From the description of the book, I didn't realize there was an over-arching mystery surrounding Sloane that carries over from book to book. That was intriguing and made me wonder what will be revealed in future installments. The book has a lot to offer in terms of characters and setting and the information about beer is an added bonus. Readers following this series will enjoy the book, as will fans of Melinda Mullet's Whisky Business Mysteries.

I received this book from NetGalley through the courtesy of Minotaur Books. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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Beyond a Reasonable Stout by Ellie Alexander is the second in the Sloan Krause mystery series. The story takes place in a small faux Bavarian town in the Pacific Northwest known a Leavenworth. Sloan is the 45ish, almost divorced partner in a microbrewery, Nitro, and small bed and breakfast on the second floor. Oktoberfest has just ended and it is almost time for the city council election, a hotly contested race between Kristopher Cooper and Valery Hedy. Valery appears to have a strong lead since Kristopher's platform is to make Leavenworth dry, which obviously would do the economy and most of the citizens no good at all. There is a murder. Sloan doesn't mean to get involved; she just does, between negotiating her divorce, taking care of her teenage son, and doing her job. Sloan is the kind of person people talk to, mostly because she doesn't repeat the things she hears and people know that. 

The setting is fabulous and learning about brewing is even better! Sloan is a terrific character, strongly negotiating all her problems with grace and positivity. There are some characters living in Leavenworth, which make it interesting, and there is also the ongoing mystery of which Sloan's real parents are, having been raised in foster homes. The relationship with her soon-to-be-ex husband is realistic and wrenching. Alex, her son, is a good kid...she is lucky. Her partner, Garrett, is a good friend and interesting man who started life as an engineer before becoming a brew master. An interesting little series, which I will be excited to explore further as time progresses. I recommend it. It is an excellent example of a prime cozy mystery. I recommend it. 

I received a free ARC of Beyond a Reasonable Stout from Netgalley. All opinions and interpretations contained herein are solely my own. #netgalley  #beyondareasonablestout
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Another great installation to the series.  I love how the characters are developing.  I am always up for a trip to the Pacific Northwest and Leavenworth is a quaint town to visit.
The author does a wonderful job of weaving the main and subplots throughout the story.  Sloan is a strong woman dealing with the day to day of life.  She’s a mother to a 15-year-old boy, soon to be ex-wife, and business partner in a nanobrewery called Nitro.

The town mayor is up for reelection and wants to change the town to a dry town.  This will not be good for the town of Leavenworth or the business owners.  She what happens and the secrets revealed.
I liked the reveal and the aftermath.  We learn more of what may be in store for Sloan.  I am eagerly anticipating the next book.

This may be read as a standalone but I would read them all to understand the nuisances s of the characters.

Thank-you Netgalley for allowing me to read this book.  I am not required to leave a positive review.
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Every book in this series is better than the last. This book is a real page turner and extremely well written. The setting and characters are great. You find out a bit more about Sloane in this book and I can't wait to learn more.
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Protagonist Sloan Krause has the nose and discerning taste buds for the brewery business and thought she'd found a family when she married Mac and became part of his family's Der Keller Brewery in the quaint mountainous Bavarian styled village of Leavenworth. They had a son, Alex, but Mac soon acquired a wandering eye. Sloan left Der Keller for a start-up brewery run by Garrett at nearby Nitro. He is an ex-Seattle chemist, easy and laid back, detailed oriented and intelligent. 

Book 3 has the village facing a city council election whose incumbent has decided Leavenworth should be alcohol-free--which, of course, would kill most of the town's livelihoods. Following a nasty confrontation following a rally for his opponent, he is found murdered and it's the town's self-proclaimed "ambassador" April who is #1 person of interest.

Running parallel in an undercurrent left from book two, Sloan again confronts her past and seeks answers regarding her parents and resulting abandonment. 

The compelling and well-developed support characters from the previous novel are back and are readily familiar, although you could easily read this as a standalone. There is industry standard vocabulary and details of brewing are shared in an off-hand way that doesn't interrupt the story. 

There is some relationship growth between she and Garrett, although Mac is trying to come back and she's experiencing just a slight bit of emotional confusion. The antagonist was no real surprise, although there were a few twists and red herrings to throw you off. But! The conclusion includes a cliffhanger! Gees, I hate cliffhangers. I have to wait another year?

I received this uncorrected digital galley from the publisher and NetGalley and loved the opportunity to read and review. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series. Recommended for any who enjoy a fun, fast-paced cozy mystery or any well-crafted character-driven novel in a unique setting.
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Beyond a Reasonable Stout is the third installment in the Sloan Krause series - cozy mysteries set in Beervaria (aka a small town in Washington, Leavenworth), featuring a middle-aged woman who brews beer. Yeah - small town + craft beer + hard-working woman + the occasional murder - these books are right in my wheelhouse.

I love the descriptions of beer throughout - whether they're as Sloan and her brewery partner Garrett tweak recipes, or as she takes a sip of a different beer. And, as you continue the series, you get to know a bit about the town and its inhabitants. The books never fail to make me want to visit Leavenworth.

In addition to each stand-alone mystery (i.e. one per book), there is a serial mystery that threads throughout the three books, lending them some extra intrigue. The stand-alone mystery in Beyond a Reasonable Stout didn't really take center stage, but I liked that - these books consistently are about Krause, her friends and family, and the town. I might be frustrated were this a thriller, but this is the sort of vibe and focus I look for in a cozy! I love all the little details and am already looking forward to book #4 in the series (please tell me it's forthcoming).
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This is 3rd in the series and in it we learn a bit more about Sloan and the inhabitants of Leavenworth (not the prison).  A well crafted mystery with lots of little red herrings thrown in and a massive cliff hanger at the end which will make you eagerly awaiting  book 4. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
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The 3rd book in the Sloan Krause series. Set in Leavenworth, Washington located in the northern Cascades, it is know for the micro-breweries, craft beers and German-inspired feeling. Octoberfest has finished and the tourists have left. Now the town will be preparing for the light festival but first there will be an election for the future councilman. Kristopher Cooper is the present councilman and is campaigning to make Leavenworth a dry town. If he is elected this will certainly mean the death of Leavenworth and the breweries and bars located there. This has most of the residents up in the air until Kristopher Cooper is found dead. The election and murder are not just the only parts of the storyline. Ellie Alexander has done a wonderful job developing the plot as well as the characters in this book. You will find yourself wrapped up in this book and loose track of time.
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