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Death by a Thousand Sips

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Gretchen Rue dishes up Death by a Thousand Sips, the second Witches' Brew mystery. Phoebe Winchester attends an estate sale to bid for a collection of second hand books, accompanied unknown by her cat Bob. After winning the bid she chases Bob and falls over the corpse of the estate sales manager. Phoebe owns the local bookstore, but also has is able to bewitch the teas she sells along with other talents. As she pursues the mystery of whodunit she gets the murderer on her tail. What could go wrong in the little town of Raven Creek? Lots of suspects. Good read.

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Death by a Thousand Sips is the perfect cozy mystery to curl up with on a rainy afternoon. You can sip your tea or coffee and enjoy.

This is book two in A Witches' Brew Mystery, and Phoebe Winchester is back. This installment begins with life back to normal for the citizens of Raven Creek after the events of Steeped to Death. Phoebe and her cat Bob are getting back to normal while she runs The Earl's Study and practices her witchy abilities.
That is until Bob happens upon a dead body, and once again, Phoebe finds herself investigating.

This series has everything you could ever want in a magical, cozy mystery. There are plenty of twists,lots of new friends, a curious cat, delicious sounding recipes, a budding romance, and a little bit of magic.

Phoebe will do whatever it takes to solve the crime and protect those she cares about.
I can't wait for her to be on the case again.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Loved this book. Still getting used to a new-to-me author, but this was a fun read. Loved the setting and the ending kept me guessing.

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I enjoyed the main character of Phoebe Winchester, she is down to earth and kind. The romantic interest is Detective Rich Lofting who is becoming more prominent in Phoebe's life. Plus Honey, a neighboring shop owner, who is mentoring Phoebe in her newly discovered witchy talents make a great core cast. I must mention the chubby orange cat named Bob who seems a touch magical himself and steals several scenes.

The mystery and plot were enjoyable and I read the book fairly quickly for me. It had my favorite; a tense killer reveal with a bit of danger. Additionally, I really appreciated Phoebe's quick thinking and level head in the killer reveal and showdown. I do have to say I would have liked less detailed descriptions on the running of the tea shop and book store and more attention to more romantic elements, and witchy touches. But even with that being said, I found this an enjoyable new series and author.

Rating: Excellent - Enjoyed it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this title. This is the second book in the series and the first I've read.

Phoebe Winchester inherited The Earl's Study, a bookstore and tea shop, when her Aunt Eudora died. She has spent the last six months adjusting to her new life in Raven Creek and is feeling like she is settling in to her new business and is still learning about her witchly powers.

She attends an estate sale in a neighboring town hoping to buy a lot of used books for the bookstore. All is going well until Phoebe, aided by her cat, Bob, discovers a dead body at the auction. Worried she will be a suspect, Phoebe sets about trying to solve the murder herself.

There's a comfort and warmth to this book that I enjoyed. It could be the books and tea, both joys of mine. I adore Bob and like the supporting cast of characters. I look forward to seeing more of Phoebe's journey with her powers.

The trope of I shouldn't be doing this but I'm doing it anyway was a bit overused here, especially with the we're all going to pretend we don't know I'm going to do it going on.

All in all, a fun read.

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Death by a Thousand Sips by Gretchen Rue

The second book in the Witches' Brew series was similar to the first with a new mystery to solve. Phoebe, a local witch learning about her magic, once again finds herself trying to solve a local murder to save herself from being falsely charged with the crime. Against the advice of the local police and her close freinds, Phoebe continues to investigate and finds herself in some precarious situations. This is a cozy mystery through and through, and there's nothing new to the genre to find here. Yes, the story is predictable. Yes, the town is filled with a typical cast of characters, including her local nemesis. But this is an enjoyable group of characters, a fun mystery and enough other plot to stay invested. I will continue to read this series as the new stories are released. I rate my cozies based on what I expect from them, and this is a 4-star cozy for me.

Thank you to #NetGalley and #CrookedLaneBooks for a free copy of #DeathbyaThousandSips by Gretchen Rue. All opinions are my own.

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This series has the best characters! The main character owns a combination tea shop and bookstore. Phoebe is a wonderful character who has recently found out that she is a witch and is still getting comfortable with her newfound part of her personality. She's off to an estate auction to pick up some books for her store and of course her sidekick, Bob, an orange tabby finds a dead body. Pheobe's curiosity once again finds her at the center of the mystery, but she may become the next dead body if she isn't careful. The plot was fun and fantastic with the perfect twists and turns to the story to keep you turning pages and on the edge of your seat. I love the friendships she has formed with her neighbors and of course an incredibly good-looking private investigator as a good friend doesn't hurt! I absolutely can't wait to read what comes next for these characters!

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Buckle up - we are diving into the newest book in the Witches Brew series.

* Great [if WILDLY stupid in this one] MC [Phoebe], and a great supporting cast. I really like all of them. Leo is particularly adorable.
* Books. The Earl's Study [WHO would not want to sit in a comfy chair there and read and then browse and absorb the book love?]. The libraries at the auction [I may have actually swooned]
* Bob the Cat. I love him. He is the heart and soul of these books.
* Mr. Loughery. THIS is how you write a "senior" character and it is such a joy when he is in the story, even just as he naps with Bob. He is a delightful way to honor the older generation and the books are so much better with the addition of him. I can only hope he stays in all the books to come.
* ALL. THE. BAKED. GOODS. OMGOSH. I think I gained 5lbs just from reading. Add in the special lunch toast and I did spend a lot of the book both hungry and drooling.

Unfortunately, for me, the cons list is longer and it still makes me sad to have to write all of this [I had such HIGH hopes after book 1].

* Only ONE use of magic in the WHOLE book. One. The book suffers from this. The first book was filled with magic and fun and it was greatly missed.
* Another reviewer said this and I realized it was the very words I was looking for - this book was totally bogged down by minutiae; there is a LOT of blather [see a couple bullet points down] and repetition [A LOT] - we are NOT five - we all know about her aunt and the house and the rest of the inheritance and we do not need constant reminders [there were over 8 references to this in the book] of it. Once at the beginning is enough to remind those who have read the previous book and enough of an explanation for those who have picked this up as a standalone. Also, we didn't need the constant reminder that Phoebe found the body. Seriously.
* The title is extremely misleading. While it didn't ruin the experience for me by any stretch of the imagination, I DID keep wondering when it would come into play and it just never did and I will admit to a little bit of disappointment. That is such a great title to completely waste that way.
* Did I mention that there is not nearly enough magic??
* The MC's complete disregard for others and herself and her willingness to put herself in extreme danger that went above the normal MC "stupidity" in this regard and it was very frustrating to read.
* I love a good descriptive book, but sometimes less is more. Seriously. WOW.
* The MC making herself the "suspect" when there is absolutely no reason for her to do so [and gives her, in her mind, the reason she needs to sleuth]. This was a totally absurd premise and really insults the reader [as we know she is absolutely NOT the suspect].

I loved the first book so much and was so excited about this one and to have so many things that just didn't work for me [though I didn't quit and I never felt I wanted to skim pages, so that is something right?] was very disappointing. And while most of the mystery WAS an actual mystery to me [I find that I have a harder time figuring stuff out when I read these at 5am and still in sleep-mode! LOL], there were parts I had figured out and because they are so thinly veiled within the story, the whole mystery fell rather flat for me.

I will absolutely read book 3 should there be one, as overall, I really like the MC [when she is not doing stupid things] and the cast of supporting characters and how they all interact with each other and I hope that if there is a book 3, it is much more like book 1 and full of all the magic and murder and mayhem and fun that that book offered.

Thank you to NetGalley, Gretchen Rue, and Crooked Lane Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I adored this cozy mystery! The group of characters were fantastic, and I loved the beach setting. I enjoyed the plot twists and the mystery. It was well paced and well written!

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“Death by a Thousand Sips” by Gretchen Rue the 2nd instalment in the "A Witches Brew Mystery" series. I loved this book and totally added the series to my favourite witchy list!

Phoebe Winchester is back on the case in Raven Creek when a body is discovered at an estate sale in Gretchen Rue’s second book in the Witches’ Brew mystery series, perfect for fans of Laura Childs and Cleo Coyle.

I liked going back to Raven Creek, Washington and visiting with Phoebe and Bob at the Earl’s Study.
We start to get a better understanding of Phoebe and her inheritance with all it entails. She has a good core group of friends as well as a possible romance in the works. I really like her idea of having a cat shelter located in the book store for older cats that have been in shelters to long.

It was entertaining, full of twists and turns and I didn’t completely guess whodunnit until Phoebe did.

Plus all the descriptions of the teas had me wanting a hot cup of tea or an ice tea and one of Phoebe’s sourdough toasts (luckily there are recipes in the the back of the book)

I highly recommend this series to all my cozy loving friends and I can’t wait for book 3 to come out!

I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.

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Death by a Thousand Sips is book #2 in the Witches' Brew Mystery series by Gretchen Rue.

I enjoyed this book as much as the first one. I like Phoebe and Bob, the cat, and Phoebe’s friends. The characters in Raven Creek are interesting. She’s getting a handle on her inheritance from her Aunt Eudora and learning about her new abilities. This was an entertaining mystery and I look forward to the next book.

Thank you to the author, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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Sophomore syndrome strikes again. I loved the first one in this series. It was so refreshing to find a smart, savvy business owner who didn’t fall prey to the pitfalls of cozy mysteries: incessant snooping without actually going to work, questionable decisions, and thinking she knows better than the police. While this was a well-paced mystery with great characters and a charming setting, this one unfortunately incorporated all of those pitfalls. I enjoyed the time spent with Phoebe and her friends but struggled to find a reason for her to actually be investigating other than knowing who the victim was. Other than that, and the dreaded TSTL moment, I enjoyed this story. The writing flowed well and the story kept my interest but the insistence on investigating, even when the police are more than capable, bothered me. The added magical touches continue to intrigue me so I’ll continue on with the series and hope that these issues don’t reappear in the next one.

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Phoebe Winchester is settling into her new life in Raven Creek, Washington. She has taken over her late Aunt Eudora’s bookstore and tea shop, not to mention the Victorian manor she inherited as well. Life is looking good until she attends an estate sale and finds a dead body. The second dead body she has discovered since moving to Raven Creek a short time ago.

The police turn their investigation in Phoebe’s direction. With the help of a handsome private investigator, Phoebe sets out to prove her innocence. She’s surprised to discover how many people wanted to see the victim gone.

This is the second book in the series. I think it could be read without reading the first book, but it’s so much better to read them in order. This book gave us more of an insight into Phoebe’s character and gave the reader a chance to get to know her. There’s a side romance story involved and has the potential to be really interesting. Both characters have great chemistry together.

The plot has several red herrings. I wasn’t at all sure who the culprit was until the end. The author kept me guessing throughout the book.

Another star of this series is Bob. Phoebe’s chubby orange tabby cat she inherited from her aunt. Bob likes to assist Phoebe in her snooping and he’s a very helpful partner.

This book has everything I enjoy in cozy mysteries - a mystery to keep you on your toes, good characters and, of course, an adorable kitty. I’ll definitely be looking for the third book in the series.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Death by a Thousand Sips by Gretchen Rue is the second book in A Witches’ Brew Mysteries. It can be read as a standalone for those who have not read Steeped to Death (all the details from the first book are included). We return to Raven Creek, Washington where Phoebe Winchester is settling into her new routine of running the Earl’s Study. I enjoyed the beginning of the story. I loved the descriptions of the libraries at the estate sale. I do not feel that detailed descriptions are needed for everything (pastries, a hamburger—I am not kidding, what each individual is wearing, the different tea’s). The story moved slower than a snail on a hot July day. The long-winded descriptions overshadowed the mystery (and made me want to skip straight to the end). I also was not fond of the repetitive details (I got it the first time—you do not need to remind me that you inherited the Earl’s Study from your aunt along with the house and Bob). The woman running the estate sale is murdered and Phoebe finds the body (and the author is not going to let readers forget this fact). Phoebe’s excuse for sleuthing is weak. The crime can be solved long before the reveal. There might as well have been a neon arrow pointed at the guilty party. There are clues to help the reader solve the whodunit. The mystery is neatly wrapped up at the end. The paranormal element is light. I wish it had been ramped up a notch (or three). Phoebe dips her toe into the dating pool. You can tell that she finds one of her old childhood friends attractive (she goes on and on about his looks). I loved Bob, Phoebe’s feline companion. I have the same backpack for my cats (except that one is for when we visit the veterinarian). I take my cat for bike rides as well (I have an adult trike with a large basket in the back so my cat in his backpack that extends out with several screened areas can ride in comfort). I wish the title of the book had been tied into the mystery. There is a recipe for Phoebe’s sourdough starter and sourdough bread at the end. Death by a Thousand Sips is a milquetoast mystery with a bevy of books, a murdered sales manager, testing teas, beginning a garden, ducking a killer, and scanning the new books.

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A fun mystical mystery as a new witch further delves into find out what she can do, dealing with a bookstore she has inherited and a mischievous cat by the name of Bob. Oh, of course there is a murder and Phoebe is a suspect. I love Bob. There is a lot of fun and humor in this book. The mystery isn't bad either.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

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Phoebe was hopeless in staying clear from the investigations. She was nosy and curious like a cat, and just like a cat, she had many lives. This murder mystery had Phoebe seeing stars, or was it little birdies? It was a puzzle with a twist that had Phoebe blindsided. It was intriguing, captivating, and exciting.

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News of an estate sale sent Phoebe Winchester to a nearby town, hoping for a chance to bid for the huge collection of books, which would stock her bookstore and tea shop, The Earl's Study, for sometime to come. Leaving her two helpers to run the shop, as well as leaving her cat Bob behind in the shop, was the plan. But Bob had somehow snuck into the car - his presence was not unwelcome, but could be awkward. The estate agent showed her the book collection and Phoebe hoped the bidding wouldn't go too high. After she secured the collection as the highest bidder, her delight turned to horror when she discovered a dead body upstairs in the library.

Being a suspect meant Phoebe was determined to prove her innocence, as well as discover the killer. With her good friend and private investigator, Rich Lofting, helping out - reluctantly it must be said - Phoebe quite obviously came close to the solution, as she was threatened. Would she discover who the killer was, or would it be her last effort at being an amateur sleuth?

Death by a Thousand Sips is the 2nd in the Witches' Brew Mystery series by Gretchen Rue and it was quite entertaining. Bob is adorable - his picture is on the book's cover - and his constant presence in Phoebe's life is cute. There wasn't a lot of "witchy stuff" in this episode but what there was was fun! I'm looking forward to checking out #3 when it's published. Recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: Death By A Thousand Sips
Author: Gretchen Rue
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publishing Date:09/05/23
Rating: 4 stars

Fun and interesting paracozy with great characters and an intriguing storyline. I liked Phobe who, after inhereting her aunts store, finds out she's a witch and then uses her witchy powers to help solve a murder. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.

Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or favor or expectation.

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I enjoyed my second visit Raven Creek. Phoebe is getting used to her new pace of life with her bookstore/tea shop, her new friends, her new powers, and her very chubby and opinionated orange cat named Bob. Things are going fairly smoothly until with the help of Bob, she stumbles across a body at an estate sale. Quickly pulled into the investigation Phoebe enlists Rich to help sort out the facts and figure out just what is going on.

This isn't the fastest paced of mysteries. Phoebe goes about her days, deals with business issues, bakes, keeps up with what Bob is up to, explores her new powers, and generally does a great job really making the world that she lives in come alive to the reader. The investigation is never really on the backburner but more that Phoebe has a lot going on.

I really enjoy this series and was pleased with this second book. I enjoyed seeing Phoebe continue to flourish in her new surroundings and the mystery from beginning to end. I wasn't quite sure how everything was going to be resolved and was caught up until the last page. I'm looking forward to the third book in Raven Creek.

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The second book in the Witchs' Brew Mystery series is as much fun as the first.

Phoebe Winchester has inherited The Earl's Study, a book store and tea shop, from her aunt Eudora who was a witch. Phoebe has discovered her own witchy abilities and she is beginning to come to grips with what she can do.

In Death by a Thousand Sips she discovers a dead body at an auction - or at least her cheeky ginger cat Bob does. That part involves bloody paw prints! Phoebe has to call on her old friend and private investigator, Rich, to help her prove she did not commit the deed herself.

This is a fun mystery with some great moments when Phoebe's magical powers kick in. I am already looking forward to more magic and maybe a little romance in the next book.

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