Cover Image: Death Among the Stars

Death Among the Stars

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Member Reviews

**4.5 Stars**

Brief Synopsis:  A “film fest brings excitement, glamour… and murder” to a small town.  The local bartender must use her listening skills to piece together the mystery.

Thoughts:  This one has a cozy mystery feel.  The characters are realistic, and the storyline is believable.  This is the first book I have read that has a “they/them” character.  That character did not feel overdone or pushed.  The suspense builds up slowly but develops linearly in thought.  There are multiple murders in the book, but overall I would consider it to be a light (no blood/gore), fast-paced read.  I didn’t guess the suspect or the motive.  In fact, it felt like it came out of nowhere, but it still worked.  

Thank you to Sharon Linnéa, Arundel Publishing, and NetGalley for a copy of this book.  Though this is book 3 of the series, it can easily be read as a standalone novel.  All of the past information needed is incorporated into the narrative, with just enough intrigue to make you want to go back and read the first two books in the series.
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I was so excited to see a new book in the Bartender's Guide to Murder series, the third one in the series.  I read the first book on a whim and was instantly hooked.  Reading any of the books is almost like taking a vacation to the beautiful and unusual town of Tranquility, New York, home to former big-screen stars and producers, the winter Olympics, and mysterious murders.  I recommend reading at least the first book before reading this one.  That will not be a hardship since all three books are excellent.     

This one is a treat since there is to be a film festival honoring Salty Sally (her nickname) and Pepper Porter.  Sally was a famous actress and Pepper Porter was a famous producer from Hollywood's Golden Age.  Friends of Avalon's from her junior high and high school days - also well known in the movie business - also show up.  Throw in some stalkers, and dead bodies with no visible wounds showing up in unusual places, and this is an exciting story.  There are also subplots such as the ones concerning a young family with staggering medical bills.  Hannah, who is an Episcopalian minister and one of my favorite characters, also appears prominently in this book.   At the center of it all is Avalon, putting the clues together from her knowledge of the town, its denizens, and its secrets.  It was so good, I plan to re-read the whole series again.  

Each chapter begins with the name of a cocktail and ends with a recipe for it.  I had no idea how complicated mixology was before I read this series.  Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Arundel Publishing for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book.  It was a pleasure to read and review.
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Not your fluffy cozy, much like the cocktails that Avalon serves, this series has a bit of  an adult taste but not too much to be out of the genre.  Even the cocktail recipes found at the end of each chapter vary between the hard stuff and the nonalcoholic variety.  Great story, a little bit more of Avalon’s Hollywood past converges with her present giving us a little bit more background. There is a nice amount of suspense, suspects, stalkers and screen time, plus the usual Avalon insight from being, the bartender extraordinaire/collector of stories. I had just as hard a time figuring out the who-done- it as I did with my drink selection.
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This was my first book in this series and I do have to admit, I needed to get into it. The book didn't grab me from the start, maybe because I haven't read the first two books. Nonetheless, I liked the storyline and the characters. Avalon is a bartender who really connects with people through stories. When an old friend comes to town, she is sucked into the world of Hollywood, stalkers and murder.

The only thing I didn't like is that the old friend of Avalon gave her drugs against her will. With the current stories of girls getting spiked I feel we don't need that in books! It's horrible enough that it happens in real life.

The book was a 3.5 stars for me, but I can't give that so I upped it to a 4. I would not highly recommend it, but if you have some time spared and want a read in between, this book is it.
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Avalon Nash connects with others, listening to their stories and pouring their drinks in a pub in Lake Serentity. While listening, she picks up clues leading to a murderer or two in this series. In this third book, Lake Serenity  will host a film festival debuting a documentary about a missing actress and her famous rival from back in the glory days of Hollywood.  Avalon has a personal connection to the story and to some of the  a-list celebrities arriving in town. Fast paced, with engaging characters and enough misdirection to keep you guessing until the end.
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Thank you NetGalley and Arundel Publishing for a copy of Death Among the Stars to review. While I have read books such as this, I never knew the sub-genre is called cozy mysteries. This book is the third in a series and each of the books contain recipes for various drinks. If I had my own well-stocked bar, I would have been enjoying some of them while I was reading. 

Avalon works as a manager and bartender in her new home of Tranquility and the author, Sharon Linnéa, does a great job of making you feel like you are also there. A film festival is about to start and there is a lot of buzz and excitement amongst the residents as the Hollywood players come to town. Unfortunately, an actress has died just before the start of the festival. Was it murder? Also Rise, one of Avalon's friends from school back in her Los Angeles days who went on to be a famous actor, will also be there as his film premieres at the festival. He comes with stalkers, professional worries and perhaps a bit of a romance for Avalon. However, with his arrival comes danger for Avalon and some attempted murders. How innocent is her childhood friend, someone she hasn't been in contact with for years?

I did enjoy this book even though it isn't what I have normally reached for over the years. It held my interest and came complete with some interesting characters that I wanted to get to know better. While this is a standalone book, I do wish some of Avalon's history was better explained. It felt like brief flashes of her life from both before and during her time in Tranquility were hinted at that either took place or were more fully explained in the previous books. A couple of paragraphs of a more detailed explanation would benefit someone like me who hasn't read the other books in the series. Overall, a quick, enjoyable read and I now appreciate the cozy part of these types of mysteries.
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This is the second book in this series that I have read and enjoyed. I like the main character, and the other characters are well written and interesting too. Great setting, great story and great plot and pace of book. I really enjoyed reading this book, I wish the cocktail recipes were a bit simpler though! only because I am not a very accomplished cocktail maker., but you don't have to like cocktails to enjoy this book, the recipes are a bonus., cracking book, I recommend it.
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This is the third book in a great series.  The town of Tranquility, in the Adirondacks, is having a film festival.  One of the movies to be shown is "Salty Sally and Pepper: Truth Be Told" a documentary about a local woman who was a golden era movie star, except most residents of Tranquility didn't know that the famous Sally Allison was now Sally Chander.  Avalon, the bartender at MacTavish's hotel, lives in a small house on Sally's land, and knew the whole story.  

Another movie being shown stars Rise O'Cannor, originally Crispin O'Connor, and a childhood friend of Avalon.  However, Rise has several staulkers, who think they are in love with him.  One is found dead in the theater; the autopsy shows she had drugs, and it wasn't clear whether it was an accident or a murder.  Avalon runs into another one who is carrying a knife.  Although she is arrested after Avalon has alerted Rise's staff, she manages to get away and almost kill Avalon.   Shortly thereafter, she is found almost dead.  Unfortunately, Avalon and Rise are possible suspects.  From the first death, Avalon is in touch with policeman Mike Spaulding, with whom she has solved previous cases.

Avalon ends up letting Rise, and another handsome actor stay in her home to get away from the fans.  Because Sally is also on the property, the film folks have hired guards at the entrance to the property, so they all have privacy.  Avalon and rise become close again, but as the film festival ends and Sally goes away, the guards leave, and one of the stalkers figures out where Rise is and arrives with a gun.  Near the end, things get very exciting, with several folks in grave danger.
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As always, a fun read with booze recipes.  I love these novels.  A little dark, a little gritty but nothing remotely close to the deep dark paths some noir can wander down.
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this was another great entry in the Bartender's Guide to Murder series, I think this was my favorite read in the series. The story was great and I enjoyed getting to know the characters.
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Bartender Avalon Nash’s youthful crush has become a movie star, but does he even remember her?  And why are the women he dates turning up dead?  Does Avalan dare let her long-time dream come true, knowing she might be next?   Avalon must use her superpower of collecting people’s stories to protect people she loves by discovering and stopping the killer. 

It’s no secret that I adore the Bartender’s Guide to Murder series and Death Among the Stars definitely added another triumph.  Avalon is seriously my favourite bartender and her relationships with all of the characters is just a beautiful thing to see!  We meet a few new characters this time, mainly Rise and Landon.  Landon makes a gesture towards our town pastor, Hannah, that would break hearts - it almost broke mine.

With more murders happening in Tranquility, close to the big reveal that Sally is still alive there is plenty of drama to keep the reader interested. And of course, Linnea continues to supply us with a unique cocktail recipe after every chapter!  The writing is simple, nothing overpowering, nothing getting lost in translation which is perfect when you want just a comforting read on a rainy day.  I cannot rave about this series enough as it is one of my favourites and would highly recommend to anyone and everyone.  Just buy it already!
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It's premiere time for the long awaited debut of Salty Sally and Pepper" True Be Told and all of Tranquility, New York, is on the end of their seat. When Avalon Nash stumbles across a dead body in the theatre she immediately calls Inspector Spaulding. Hoping this is an accident and doesn't impact the premiere of the much awaited film, Avalon soon discovers there is more to this death than meets the eye. When several celebrities appear in Tranquility, and one of them is an old childhood friend of Avalon's, she worries he might be involved. Stalkers, reappearing-once-thought-dead actresses and many other surprises, plus some fabulous drink concoctions await the reader of Death Among the Stars
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle by Arundel Publishing, Independent Book Publishers Association, Members Titles and #NetGalley for my honest opinion. 

What a fun cozy. This was a wonderful addition to the series.
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Oh what a fun ride. I loved this latest "The Bartenders Guide to Murder"  mystery with all of its edge of the seat moments, love interests, relationships, and reflections on personal and societal struggles. Sharon Linnea has a wonderful storytelling style that weaves together humor and seriousness, hitting all the right notes. I love Avalon and her sense of self as she unpacks the mysteries that seem to happen ever since she got to Tranquility. I've read the two preceding books in this series and I think that made Death Among the Stars more enjoyable since I knew a lot of the characters already.  

And I am devouring the wonderful cocktail recipes that tie into each chapter. The non-alcoholic additions to this book are a treat too. 

(Having had a personal reading by the author of the first chapter was a terrific introduction to Death Among the Stars and set the perfect tone for me). 

Appreciate the ARC from the publisher through Netgalley.
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This is the third book in the Avalon Nash series and the third one I’ve read. They are wonderfully written books in this outing there is a film festival going on in town and one of Avalon’s good friends from high school is the star of one of the featured films he and two other childhood friends turn up. 
Being a mystery there is, of course,  murder and then it gets exciting. Who is doing the killing? Is it the star’s stalkers? Is it the star himself or someone else? Can Avalon trust him or is she the next victim?
MS Linnea keeps the pot boiling and the plot moving to a gripping climax that made this reader hold on to his book as the climax unfolded at a furious pace.
The book is very well written and Ms. Linnea has a gift for having characters arrive fully fleshed out and very real and relatable it’s as if they arrive on the page and you feel as if they could almost step off of that page and join you for a cup of tea or a drink. Something that she does that many authors do not is make the settings come alive. The reader can picture them vividly and is transported to them whilst reading.
Ms. Linnea is also not afraid to tackle controversial issues in her books she did so in the first two and does so again in this book with current issues such as drugs, stalking, economic inequity in getting needed services, and emotional dependency. To do all of that and still make the book a great read is quite an accomplishment. Sharon Linnea is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors.
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This is the perfect light and easy read for any fan of romcoms and mystery. 

I was so excited when I saw a new Bartender’s Guide to Murder was coming out because I absolutely love the premise of no one talking to the police and everyone talking to the bartender. And I also love trying the recipes! I finally know what to bring to DIY cocktail parties!

The only thing holding back my rating is that the book was advertised as a mystery novel (my favourite genre) but I found it to be a lot more like a romcom with a random dead body that is barely mentioned throughout the plot. I still deeply enjoyed it though because I’m also a fan of romcoms!

It did take a little while to work out who was who. That could be my fault though as I’m not sure what the difference between a publicist, manager and agent are. I also haven’t read the first book in the series yet. But once I did work out who was who, I really liked all the characters and how distinct they are. Linnéa really knows how to write strong ‘real’ characters who believably interact with each other even if they are movie stars. 

I love how the story was able to subtly discuss global issues without taking anything away from the story. Issues discussed by the text include racism, the American healthcare system, and nonconsensual drugging. Modern mystery novels rarely discuss deep issues and Linnèa did a formidable job of addressing these points seriously in her text without breaking the narrative or taking away from a plot.

This story may not be for you if you prefer hyper realistic plots as some scenes really made me think ‘There is no way this could happen’ and some of the dialogue made me think ‘only a mind reader would say this’. But these moments did not make the story any less enjoyable. 

The plot flowed so smoothly with so many cliffhangers and exciting moments making it such an enjoyable and quick read that I could not put down. I finished the story in less than two days which is the fastest that I’ve read in a long time. 

The murder itself was non-gory (the best type of gory) but it was then barely adresses through the story with the occasional smaller crime thrown in (e.g breaking a restraining order.) 

The ending sprang up very quickly and, while it was both logical and unpredictable, it did seem to come from nowhere due to the weak motive. However, it remained exciting and nail biting, just like the rest of the book, and had the satisfactory feeling of completion possessed by any good detective novel.  

I would recommend reading the first book in the series, Death in Tranquility, first as this story contains spoilers. 

Overall, this is the perfect blend of mystery and romance for anyone looking for a quick and gripping read. I can’t wait to hear about Avalon’s next adventures.
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Having just finished Death by Gravity by Sharon Linnea (yes, I am way behind on my reading) I was very happy to find the next in the Bartender's Guide to Murder series waiting to be read.  All three books have been very satisfying and I am eagerly awaiting the next one.
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I received this ARC via Netgalley and Arundel Publishing, in return for an honest review. While the third book in this series, it is easily read as a standalone.  Ms. Linnea has done it again and presents another solid cozy in this series.  Avalon Nash grew up in Hollywood as the daughter of a well-known actress.  Deliberately leaving that life behind, she found her superior listening talent best utilized by becoming an amazing drink mixologist and bartender.  In the series’ first book, she became the bartender at a bar in Tranquility, NY, while on her way to NYC.  Happily settled in, Avalon’s looking forward to the new Tranquility Film Festival when she discovers one of her very best childhood friends will be in town for the premiere of his new movie.  Will he remember her or is his movie star brightness too bright to see her?  When the festival opens, it does so with a bang, not a whimper.  Stalkers, agents, movie stars, killers and victims – it’s like a film noir!
I enjoy this series so much.  The writing is topnotch, and I stay up way too late so I can devour the book!  This story is just as strong as the first two in this series. Ms. Linnea also enlists the talents of amazing mixologists, and each chapter ends/begins with a unique drink recipe.  I also appreciate that she’s included ways to make some of the drinks non-alcoholic by showcasing new options of mixes.  I recommend this book and this series.  Slainte!
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amateur-sleuth, family, family-dynamics, friendship, murder, murder-investigation, attempted murder, thriller, suspense, drinks recipes, false imprisonment, madness, stalker,*****

A thrill ride! The sleuthing was as hazardous as the drinks recipes were spectacular! 
The stars are of the Hollywood variety where bartender Avalon Nash grew up (mother was of that variety). Also, Avalon's landlady is a former star who faked her death to get out of that scene a very long time ago but is now in town and visible to screen a bio with her East Indian husband and children. As noted in the publisher's blurb, one of the current *stars* is a childhood friend, as is another who has done very well for himself. Of course there is the first murder and the law enforcement (both local and state). Then the lunacy really gets going! Great read, yummy cocktails, and a whole lot more!
This is third in series (I've read the priors) but I don't think that should discourage new readers, only make them want to read more!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Arundel Publishing, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) via NetGalley. Thank you!
Recipes by Jamielyn Bydalski, Award-winning Mixologist
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