Book Notes-Without a Brew

Sloan Krause Mystery #4 By Ellie Allexander

Cover for cozy mystery Without A Brew

Without a Brew

A Sloan Krause Mystery #4

by Ellie Alexander


Without a Brew-Summary

It’s ski season in the North Cascades. At Nitro, a craft beer nanobrewery located in Leavenworth, Washington, Sloan Krause and her boss, Garrett, are busy pouring pints for the locals and the ski crowd. Part of the crowd is a young couple celebrating their anniversary. Ali and Brad are the first guests of Nitro’s soft opening as a beer themed B & B, but as busy ski weekends would have it, not the only guests.

Arrogant Kevin Malcolm and several of Kevin’s friends show up looking for rooms. The chalet they had rented burst its pipes, flooded, and there is nowhere else for them to go. Reluctantly, Sloan and Garrett decide to rent the group rooms. Then Liv Paxton, not dressed for skiing, enters Nitro, and Liv is also looking for a place to stay. Sloan books Liv into the last room and what was supposed to be a soft opening turns into a fully booked B & B.

Kevin takes note of Liv and tries to impress her with his talk and flashy watch. She brushes him off, but he refuses to leave Liv alone. When Kevin tries to force Liv to take his watch, it ends up on the floor, and Nitro almost has its first bar fight. Garrett intervenes, things calm down, and the rest of the day is uneventful until Liv comes close to telling Sloan a secret. Before Liv can reveal the secret she’s carried for a long time, Ali and Brad appear and the moment vanishes. By Liv and Brad’s reactions, Sloan knows the two know each other and they are doing their best to pretend they’ve never met.

Liv fails to appear at breakfast the next morning. Sloan checks Liv’s room and finds a neatly made bed, but someone has tossed the rest of the room. Chief Myers is notified and a search for the missing guest beings. Eventually Liv’s body is found. The remaining B & B guests become suspects as well as a local mechanic. Taylor thought he recognized Liv and his story changes every time he’s questioned about her. The investigation continues and secrets, recent and long-buried, are revealed. Sloan circles closer to the killer. Will Sloan guess the killer’s identity or become the next victim?

My Thoughts on Without A Brew

This is the first book (but not the last) I’ve read in this series. Sloan has secrets of her own and a past she is starting to unravel. Sloan’s personal life imploded when she caught her husband Mac Kraus with another woman. She and Mac are in the process of ending their marriage, but Sloan is also part-owner of the family brewery started by Mac’s parents Otto and Ursula. Sloan is rebuilding her life as a single parent to teenage son Alex, while still living in the same small mountain community as her husband and his family.

I like the overarching mystery of Sloan’s background; it adds another layer to the story. It wasn’t easy figuring out the actual killer, but when the killer and the why is revealed, it’s a twist that makes sense. I plan on reading the earlier books in the series, as well as any future books. Alexander has pulled me into this series and I need to see how it progresses.


Author Information

Ellie Alexander is a prolific writer of cozy mysteries. She is the author of several series: The Bakeshop Mystery Series, Sloan Krause Mystery Series, Pacific Northwest Mystery Series and the Rose CityMysteries (as Kate Dyer-Seely)


Disclaimers: Free copy provided by NetGalley