Cover Image: Death by a Thousand Sips

Death by a Thousand Sips

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Member Reviews

This is the second book in the series, but I had no problems following along with the storyline.

What drew me to the story was how the protagonist owned a bookstore/tea shop! It's set in Raven Creek, Washington, where Phoebe Winchester inherited the bookstore/tea shop and her aunt's Victorian home. Bob, the cat, was an extra perk! Pheobe learned that jokes about her aunt being a witch weren't farfetched, and much to Pheobe's surprise, she is a witch also.

Interested in getting more books for the bookstore, Phoebe attends an estate sale. Her stowaway cat, Bob, didn't remain where he was supposed to, and Phoebe had to go on the hunt for him. To her horror, Bob leads her to the body of Madeline, who works for the auction. Pheobe is panicked that she may be a suspect, so she decides to try some magic on herself and enlist the help of Rich Lofting. Someone else feels she's a little too close for comfort, putting Pheobe in danger.

The story was engaging, and I loved the paranormal aspects. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery!

I received an advanced reader's copy and voluntarily read and reviewed this book.

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Oh my goodness, this was an awesome second book and I loved that Phoebe and Rich were getting close again. Phoebe’s employees are so awesome and I just love Amy and Honey, her neighboring shop friends. Honey’s really special since she can give Phoebe witchy advice no one else can.

There was one thing in the story that made me suspect something but it went away from my brain and resurfaced later. I had absolutely no idea of whodunit and that was some exciting showdown too! Thanks to Phoebe’s quick thinking, she didn’t have to end up as fish food or worse. The side story of opening a cate adoption center was starting to be a reality and Phoebe was really hoping she could talk their favorite older customer into adopting a nice cat from the shelter. Bob the cat as usual played a great part from when he sniffed out the dead body to when he inspired cat adoption. Ginger cats are pawsome! Don’t miss this book when it releases on September 5, 2023.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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With the book written in mostly first person, I have a tendency to forget the main character’s name. It’s Phoebe Winchester, if you’re wondering. Phoebe is a fun main character who is adjusting to small town Raven Creek in Washington state. She inherited the Earl’s Study, a combination bookstore with food and tea offerings.
There is a delightfully troublesome cat named Bob and a cast of townsfolk that make Raven Creek a place I’d like to visit and maybe live.
There is a paranormal element as some of the teas are magical and Phoebe has learned she is a witch.
Phoebe determinedly interferes in the police investigation after Bob leads her to a dead woman at an estate auction.
I enjoyed reading Death by a Thousand Sips and gladly recommend a visit to Raven Creek.
Thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to review this book.

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Death by a Thousand Sips is the second book in the Witches Brew Mysteries and the first I have read. The story takes place in the town of Raven Creek, Washington. Our protagonist is Phoebe Winchester. She inherited her bookstore, tea shop, a cat named Bob, as well as a Victorian house from her aunt Eudora. Aunt Eudora was a witch and Phoebe finds out she is also.
At an estate sale, Phoebe discovers the body of Madeline Morrow, who is on the estate sale staff. There seems to be some shady individuals that are trying to claim the estate items are theirs. Phoebe feels the need to solve the murder in order to clear her name even though she’s not a main suspect.

I like how the author set her main character as a person just learning she is a witch and trying to learn her capabilities and talents with help of her friends. Phoebe has a nemesis and I like how we’ll be looking into more interactions in the next book when the nephew of the nemesis rents space from her for his candle shop. I’m sure sparks will fly.

I enjoyed the cast of characters that are Phoebe’s support team and the mystery. As a bonus, recipes are included at the end of the book. They look promising.
Thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane to allowing me to read this ARC. I am not required to leave a positive review.

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I hope there's going to be a new novel in this series soon because this story left me with a serious book hangover and i want to know about the cats and what will be next.
I loved it even when I was thinking that Phoebe has a serious death wish. The complex and twisty plot surprised and I didn't guess the culprit.
Entertaining, compelling and well written.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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I have read several second book in a cozy series recently that I did not like as much as the original, so while I adored the first book in this series, I did go in apprehensive.

Happily, this book is as good as the first! I was delighted to see the regulars and there is no silly love triangle, which I appreciate. The whodunit was a little easy to figure out (not obvious but if you read enough of these you can read between the lines). I really enjoyed Phoebe stepping into her magic and settling into her new situation with gusto. I look forward to more books in the series, hopefully to see if she can craft her own teas!

No spoilers but there is a lot to look forward to in what I hope will be a third, fourth, fifth, etc. book!

Thank you to Crooked Lane and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Death by a Thousand Sips is a story that cannot be read in small sips, but rather in large gulps until finished.
An excellent story, with a beautiful cover, an interesting plot, the characters we know and have grown to love, yes, I'm talking about Bob, delicious recipes and a romantic background that develops step by step.
I loved it and I recommend it to those who like cozy stories. Perfect to read while enjoying a huge travel mug of your favorite tea!
I thank the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The opinion I have expressed above is based solely on what I think and feel about this book.

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"Death by a Thousand Sips" has all of the components of a cozy story you can indulge in while nestled in a soft chair with a warm drink: descriptive paragraphs detailing the intricacies of running a book store/tea shop and feasting upon delectable confections and savory delights. If you are intrigued by these facts alone, then this is a book I would recommend to you.

What I wanted more of in this story was the mystery, romance, and witchy element. If I were to break down this story into four parts it would look like this: 60% cozy, 45% mystery, 3% witchy, 2% romance. I am newer to the cozy mystery genre, but what I am the most interested in is having the cozy interspersed throughout the other elements of the story, not dominating through long descriptive paragraphs that don't carry the momentum this story needs.

The mystery in this book had some higher stakes for Phoebe and I could feel a nice tension and pacing to the story when this plot thread was being focused upon. I adored the first book in this series and was looking for that same magic- I know it is there, it just got bogged down under the blanket of coziness that dominates this story.

I would recommend this book to readers looking for a low stakes read that allows them to sink into lengthy descriptions of food and small town life minutiae.


Thank you Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley for allowing me to respond to this book with my honest opinions.

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Intriguing mystery from Gretchen Rue keeps readers flipping pages trying to put the clues together. Please see my complete review at

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5/5 stars: This is the second book in the Rue's Witches' Brew Mystery series set in Washington and it's a Paranormal Literary Culinary Cozy Mystery featuring a bookstore and tea shop. Rue has once again written a mystery that perfectly blends just the right balance of suspects, clues and red herrings that will leave you scratching your head until the last page. Rue's cast of characters are not only diverse but incredibly likable and I love where Phoebe and Rich's relationship is going. Oh, one mustn't forget the most adorable animal sidekick & shop cat, Bob. Oh and do not miss out on the absolutely yummy sounding recipes included. Be sure to catch up with this great series and pick up book one, Steeped to Death.

I received this eARC thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. Publishing dates are subject to change.

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When Phoebe’s cat Bob discovers a murder victim at an estate sale, Phoebe decides that she’s a suspect and gets involved in trying to solve the case.

I liked the small town setting, the characters and the paranormal elements in the book. But I would have preferred that Phoebe’s powers played a larger part in the story. And I’m not a big fan of main characters who keep putting themselves in danger.

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Phoebe is settling into her new life with Bob the cat, running the bookstore/teashop she inherited from her aunt, and learning how to use her powers as a witch. And then she goes to an estate sale to buy more books and Bob, who has snuck along for the ride, discovers Madeline, the woman who was running the sale, murdered! Of course, Phoebe must look into this and luckily, her childhood friend and sorta romantic interest Rick, he's out. This is classic paranormal cozy territory with a nice Washington state setting, good characters, and enough red herrings to keep you guessing. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Looking forward to the next one.

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Death by a Thousand Sips is the second Witches Brew mystery. Phoebe is settling in to her roles as bookshop owner, cat servant, tea master, and witch.

Phoebe goes to an estate sale to find new stock, but what she finds is a dead body and a whole lot of trouble. Did Phoebe really need to investigate? Well, of course not, but if she hadn't, we wouldn't have the rest of the book, and those parts of the story are what I am enjoying most about this series. Phoebe is weaving herself into the community, and I enjoy reading about her interactions with other characters. I'm also a huge fan of how she helps out others, and her plans to help with rescue cats. Books and cats just go together for me, and I'm glad to see this incorporated into the plans for the store.

Why you should read it: interesting characters, cat rescue, magic, and a read as satisfying as a great cup of tea (and maybe some shortbread).

Why you might not want to read it: amateur sleuth who persists even when she's told not to, and really has little reason to.

4 out of 5 stars, Recommended.

I received an advance copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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I’m ecstatic that a cozy series is being written by a fellow Manitoban! The best part being, that I also adore it. You get magic, books, an orange cat & tea…..all some of my favourite things.

Phoebe is a positive protagonist, she’s clever & gutsy. I like that she dives right into situations with confidence. This book, she’s more ingrained in her community. She’s grounded in owning her own bookshop & coming to terms with her magical abilities. The writing is so rich & inviting, it’s feels completely plausible but still gives the perfect amount of escapism. And the surrounding story pulls you in just as much as the murder mystery. This one takes on an estate sale & inheritances & Phoebe’s sleuthing is really well done. Definitely a surprise ending!

Rue writes such a great story, I’m already wishing for another!

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Phoebe Winchester is beginning to get her new life together following her divorce, and the wonderful inheritance from her late Aunt Eudora. Besides the house, bookshop/tea store, great friends, and a cat named Bob, Phoebe also discovered she is a witch. Then there is the uncanny, and unnerving, ability to find dead bodies.

When Phoebe and Bob go to a nearby estate sale, all Phoebe was hoping to find was a collection of gently used books, not the estate sale manger’s bludgeoned body. Worried that she is a suspect, Phoebe goes about trying to clear her name, and someone really wants her to stop snooping.

This series is one of my favorites, because of the character developments, but I do wish that Phoebe didn’t follow one of my biggest pet peeves with mystery novels. I love how all of the characters relationships just feel natural, especially Dierdre Miller. Bob the cat is one of the best sidekicks, and if you don’t believe that cats could act like this, please come over and I’ll introduce you to two escape artists.

The descriptions of everything are on point. I find myself wanting sourdough bread as well as ricotta cheese. I especially love tea, so I would love to try any of these flavors. This is a series that makes you want to put on the comfiest clothes, grab your reading buddy as well as a snack, and don’t forget your own tea (whether hot or iced).

Overall, I rate this novel 5 out of 5 stars.

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Phoebe Winchester is still getting used to her new life in Raven Creek, Washington. Her aunt Eudora left her a wonderful house, a bookstore and tea shop , her cat, Bob, some very good friends, and quite a bit of rental income. Phoebe doesn’t want to fail to live up to the reputation Eudora left behind, and she is slowly making her own way in this charming town. It’s a very nice place to live as long as you aren’t Phoebe, who seems to have a gift for finding dead bodies. I suppose one could get used to that one small quirk, if she also didn’t feel the need to figure out whodunnit.
Did I mention that Phoebe like her late aunt also happens to be a witch. No, well that comes in handy sometimes, though she is still figuring out her witchy abilities.
This is a good cozy mystery series with a lot of room to grow. Phoebe has made some very good friends already, and there might be a bit of romance on the horizon with Rich. I adore how Phoebe’s late aunt made witchy teas to help people, and it looks like Phoebe has inherited that gift.

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This is book two of the series. After the death of her Aunt Phoebe not only inherits her estate but also finds out that she is a witch. So when she finds a body she decides to use her newly acquired skills to expose the killer. Good story

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Death by a Thousand Sips by Gretchen Rue is the second book in her Witches' Brew mystery series.

Phoebe Winchester has recently reopened the tea/bookshop bequeathed to her by her aunt Eudora, and discovered that not only was Eudora a witch, but so is Phoebe!

When Phoebe and her cat, Bob, attend an estate auction in the hope of buying a lot of books for the store, and find the body of the auction organizer, Phoebe is worried that she is a suspect and decides that she must investigate in order to clear her name. Things get a bit dangerous during the investigation, which is when her new, but unpredictable powers come in handy.

I really enjoyed this story, I had no problem following even though I had not read book one. Bob of course stole the show, he was such a character. I enjoyed all of the side characters, I thought the author did a good job building up the community of Raven Creek and making the residents interesting. There is a bit of a love interest in Phoebe's childhood friend, and private investigator, Rich. I'm looking forward to future books to see how that relationship develops, and if Phoebe eventually gets a handle on her powers.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good cozy mystery.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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Death by a Thousand Sips by Gretchen Rue is the second book in the Witches’ Brew Mysteries, and another fun read.

The character development is strong in this series, I’m simply adoring the older gentleman who hangs out in the bookshop all day and I’m enjoying the fellow shop owners. I’m looking forward to reading how the person who will be renting a new shop in town will add to the story. Will he be a new love interest, a jerk like his relative, something else?
And, Bob, the store cat, is fantastic. He behaves like a true cat and perhaps we’ll see him in a more familiar light in future books.

Loved reading more descriptions of the town, the bakery’s goodies, and the tea in Phoebe’s store. I do wish there was a bit more magic in this one, since it’s a supernatural cozy. Phoebe stops time once, during a very tense scene, and she finally feels more comfortable making magically enhanced tea, but that was pretty much it.

As for the mystery, I thought it was done very well, and had a solid conclusion. I do wish there was a bit less going over the clues. Finding a good balance can be difficult, but I hope Rue is able to do so since I enjoy the premise of this series.

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A fun, witchy murder mystery set in a quaint small town in Washington state.

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.

Ever since she moved to Raven Creek, Washington, Phoebe Winchester knew she would have to grow accustomed to having a lot on her plate. She’s beginning to make the Victorian manor she inherited from her dear and adventurous Aunt Eudora feel more like home, successfully running the bookstore and tea shop, The Earl’s Study, and learning to harness her recently discovered magical powers. But when she discovers a dead body at an estate sale—even Phoebe wonders if this is simply too much.

Rumors of Phoebe’s involvement force her to take action; she needs to find the killer and clear her own name, once again. She enlists Rich Lofting, the handsome private detective and her childhood friend, in her investigation, all while she sorts out her unresolved feelings for him. Is there something more sinister lurking in the shadows of this small tight-knit town? And does Phoebe really want to find out?

With a dash of magic, a pinch of sleuthing skills, and a spoonful of friendly assistance, Phoebe needs to uncover the killer to keep Raven Creek safe once again. But if she doesn’t—will she find herself in even more hot water?

My Thoughts:

This book was lots of fun with Phoebe learning to be a witch and also sticking her nose into police business when there's a murder. Apparently in the earlier book she had gotten herself involved in a murder as well. In this book the murder happens at an estate sale, and there are several avenues to investigate to find the truth. I liked the character and found her cat, Bob, adorable. Bob seems to have his own agenda. I also liked the paranormal aspects. I'm wondering if there will be something in the next book about her nemesis's nephew she's going to rent property to for his candle shop. I'll be looking for the next book in this series since I enjoyed the characters in this small town. I assume the love interest will develop more as well as maybe the antagonism with the one person on the council who causes problems for Phoebe.

Thanks to Crooked Lane Books through Netgalley for an advance copy. This book will be published on September 5, 2023.

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