An Ale of Two Cities

An Ale of Two Cities

by Sarah Fox

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Overview

In this intoxicating mystery by USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, a winter carnival becomes a recipe for disaster when a Shady Creek celebrity gets iced.
 
The Winter Carnival always brings holiday cheer, Christmas joy—and tourists with cash—to picturesque Shady Creek, Vermont. At the center of the glittering decorations and twinkling lights is booklover and pub owner Sadie Coleman, creating original cocktails, hosting a literary trivia evening, and cheering on her loyal employee Melanie “Mel” Costas as she competes in the ice carving competition. 
 
But holiday cheer can’t compete with former resident and renowned chef Freddy Mancini, who arrives with his nose in the air, showing off his ice-sculpting skills like a modern-day Michelangelo. During the artists’ break in the night-long contest, Mel’s tools disappear . . . and Freddy is found dead with her missing pick in his chest.
 
Although the police turn their attention to Mel, it seems everyone in town had a grudge against Freddy, including his assistant, his mentor, his former flame, and even his half-brother.
 
Faster than she can fling a Huckleberry Gin, Sadie finds herself racing to make sure the police don’t arrest the wrong suspect—all while sharing a flirtation with local brewery owner Grayson Blake. Their chemistry leads to a heated rivalry at the hockey rink—and to the hot pursuit of a killer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496718693
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 11/26/2019
Series: A Literary Pub Mystery Series , #2
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 161,631
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sarah Fox is the author of the Literary Pub Mystery series, as well as the Music Lover's Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.

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An Ale of Two Cities 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
annie2015 4 months ago
What a fun book! The characters were entertaining and engaging, the story line fast-paced and interesting, and it kept my attention from the first page until the last. I'm looking forward to reading more books from this author. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or favor.
neptune75 5 months ago
In this second installment of the literary pub mysteries, there is a winter carnival in town. Of course there is the requisite nasty person- a former resident come back to show off and act terrible. Sadie's employee is the number one suspect which leads her to start investigating; which isn't too hard to believe as she tells us she is a nosy person. Then of course the relationship with the hottie in town is developed further. It is a bit formulaic, but overall it is an enjoyable read as it is all pulled together and there are no weak spots. Characters are well developed and believable. This is a series on my watch list.
Dollycas 5 months ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts We arrive in Shady Creek, Vermont just in time for the Winter Festival. An overnight ice carving competition is the big event but there are hockey games, sleigh rides, a chili supper, and the Inkwell, Sadie Coleman’s literary-themed pub, is holding a trivia contest. Tourists are pouring in along with the Shady Creek residents to enjoy the fun. A former resident has even come home to participate in the ice carving contest. Freddy Mancini is now a chef who has a pretty high opinion of himself. He assumes he will grab the big $5000 prize while rubbing his fame in everyone’s faces. Sadie is cheering on her friend and employee Melanie “Mel” Costas who has won the last few years. Mel isn’t intimidated by Frankie, but while on her lunch break someone steals all ger tools. She vows to soldier on as a friend returns to the park with her backup tools. That is until she hears Sadie screaming and finds her outside of the community hall, not far from the dead body of Chef Frankie Mancini, with Mel’s missing ice pick protruding from his chest. Turns out the chef had plenty of enemies but the evidence points clearly at Mel. Sadie is determined not to let her friend get iced for the crime, even if it means some pain before the final gain. ____ I have been excited about this book since I finished the first one! I love the setting so much. A pub full of books, a menu full of literary-themed foods and drink, all reached by going over a little footbridge above Shady Creek. The town park is nearby as are all the businesses and the community hall. The snow would be a little iffy for me but everyone there loves it and takes it in stride. If I could go back in time I would have said yes when asked to take over my parent’s tavern and turned it into a pub like the Inkwell. Now, I am delighted to escape to Sadie’s pub within the pages of her books. Okay, the setting is ideal but so are the characters. I really like Sadie and she is surrounded by family and friends that support and love her. She dealt with some really heavy stuff in the last book but she is moving forward the best she can. She and the other characters continue to evolve in exciting ways. Mel is in the hot seat this time. The people who know her, know she had nothing to do with the murder, but there are some shaky times for her. Meanwhile, Sadie thinks the pub needs to have a team in the upcoming hockey tournament and she puts a motley crew together. Grayson is still hanging around and definitely has something on his mind besides an upcoming hockey game. Aunt Gilda and her friends are wrapped up in the chili supper but she is always there for Sadie. All the characters are genuine and people I would love to hang out with. The mystery is very well done too. Chef Freddy is a real jerk and as such there are plenty of suspects. Sadie is one of those sleuths that has good instincts but she doesn’t always think things through before she opens her mouth or jumps into a situation. Of course, that adds to the drama and the fun. The author has plotted out a story with a plethora of twists that kept me guessing right up to the very end. An Ale of Two Cities is a very entertaining read. Set in the holiday season it is a perfect book to curl up with in front of a fire on a wintery afternoon or evening. Skip to the end of the book for a cocktail recipe and fix yourself a Count Dracula or Evil Stepmother cocktail to enjoy while you’re reading.
lynnsreadingcorner 7 months ago
Another great story in this newer series! Taking us to the winter carnival ice carving event, Mel finds her carving tools stolen amid a tight competition with some local characters. Unfortunately one of the most colorful competitors finds himself dead, and one of Mel's tools is mysteriously found as someone's weapon of choice. Our main character, Sadie tries to keep her nose out of the local business but she can't do so for very long once Mel becomes one of the top suspects. I love this town and the friendliness of the characters. Sadie's pub is a great place to hang out with friends, in a cozy warm atmosphere. One of my favorite parts of this story was the friendly local hockey competition amongst friends and town members. It's not every day that hockey is highlighted in fun stories. Looking forward to more from this wonderful author.
Cozy Cat Reviews 7 months ago
This is the 2nd in series. I have read the first in series and found it highly enjoyable . Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinions are my own. In this next in series the author does a great job of presenting the charcters from the first in series. This can be read as a stand alone if you have not read the first in series. This next in series has a holiday theme with a winter festival in the setting of picturesque Shady Creek, Vermont. Pub owner Sadie Coleman is happily creating o cocktails and hosting a literary trivia evening. .Her employee Melanie “Mel” is soon to compete in the ice carving competition. Sadie is hoping to watch her compete. The winter festival is in full glory when a fellow ice sculptor is murderer. The police belief is that Mel is the culprit and Sadie must jump to her defense and solve the mystery. This is such a fun holiday theme mystery. The setting is perfect, the charcters all add to the story and are richly drawn to the plot. The sleuth was very well crafted and kept this reader guessing. I enjoyed this next in series and look, forward to the next in series. I highly recommend this next in series for your holiday reading enjoyment.
casey710 7 months ago
This story was great fun! It is the second in a series but reads as a standalone. The main character is running a pub and solving crimes. And it's all very entertaining. It's the perfect cozy for fall and a really enjoyable read. I am looking forward to the third and seeing this series continue. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
TheCozyReview 7 months ago
Series: A Literary Pub Mystery - Book 2 Author: Sarah Fox Genre: Cozy Mystery/Culinary/Holiday Publisher: Kensington Books Page Count: 288 From Kensington Books comes the new addition to the “A Literary Pub Mystery” cozy series, by Sarah Fox, An Ale of Two Cities. Book two in this new cozy series shows the growth of the characters and the more likable aspects of who they are becoming. Ms. Fox writes with the ease of experience and tells original stories readers will love. The characters have pleasant personalities, with faults, a sense of humor, fears, and concerns that make this series worth exploring. The victim is genuinely unlikeable, even when he is alive, which isn’t always the case in a cozy series. He is reprehensible in every way, and most of the characters and suspects throughout the book are happy to be rid of him. Unfortunately, the killer is not what they seem and in the end, makes the mistake of thinking Sadie will be a pushover. After some tense moments, Sadie wins out and catches the killer, clearing her friend's name and making certain no one else dies. I enjoyed this book immensely and think that Sarah Fox writes some of the most compelling and believable characters, as well as plots in a cozy series today. Readers will fall for these people and will love the town. I hope this series will continue for many years to come and urge readers to check out An Ale of Two Cities along with the first book in the series, “Wine and Punishment.”
4GranJan 7 months ago
Cozy Murder Mystery at the Christmas Festival This wonderful cozy has all of the Christmas feel goods along with murder. The setting is a small town with lots of snow and a winter festival that includes ice sculpting, a gingerbread house contest, a parade of lights and all of the neat stuff we love about Christmas. The plot is great with an abundance of motives but only a few suspects. This book is second in a series. I have read both books, but I believe a new reader would enjoy this book without reading the first book. This author always brings a lot to the table by filling her books with just the right amount of detail mixed with lots of action. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Sadie’s settling into her new home in snowy Shady Creek, Vermont and enjoying running her literary-themed pub, the Inkwell. The town’s annual Winter Carnival brings back a past resident (now a famous chef) to compete in the snow carving competition. It’s quickly clear the chef, Freddy, has only become more obnoxious in the years he’s been away. After causing impressive scenes with multiple people, it’s not a surprise when Freddy is found murdered. This was a fun cozy with strong character relationships and a small town during the holidays setting that was very nicely described. I love the literary pub and the Winter Carnival. Sometimes the mystery plotline in a cozy falls by the wayside to focus more on the town and the main characters personal relationships, but I thought both aspects were solid. I look forward to reading the next book in the series whenever it comes out. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. The opinions in this review are honest and my own. #AnAleOfTwoCities #mystery #cozymystery
CozyUpWithKathy 8 months ago
a well crafted winter tale AN ALE OF TWO CITIES by Sarah Fox The Second Literary Pub Mystery Getting her literary themed pub into the holiday spirit, Sadie Coleman is arranging for a trivia night and sponsoring the pub's hockey team while enjoying Shady Creek's Winter Carnival. The mood is decidedly less merry when former resident, now a hot shot Boston chef, Freddy Mancini arrives to compete in the ice sculpting contest. The arrogant chef wastes no time putting down the town and its residents, including his former girlfriend, mentor, and brother. Before the contest even finishes, Freddy is dead. While there are plenty of suspects, Mel makes the top of the list. Believing her employee to be innocent, and giving in to her natural curiosity, Sadie decides to search for the killer herself. Will she be able to figure out which of the many suspects actually did it, or will the killer find her first? As December creeps forward I enjoy reading a wintry story and AN ALE OF TWO CITIES fits the bill perfectly. Not overtly Christmassy, this second Literary Pub Mystery has a nice snowy flair, from the landscape to the Winter Carnival. I appreciate how Sadie is taking everything in for her first Christmas in Shady Creek, even though I got somewhat annoyed at her complaints about the cold and feeling sorry for herself having to spend Christmas alone. Apart from that I like Sadie and love how she's creating a home away from home for locals and tourists alike with her pub. I adore the names of the food and drinks and wish I could nosh and imbibe myself; an order of Lord of the Fries and an Evil Stepmother Cocktail, please! I relish when the horrible person in the story gets his just desserts and winds up the murder victim and Freddy, or Federico as he now prefers to be called, plays the part perfectly. He's not alive for long, but what a horrible impression he makes. The bonus here is that his nastiness creates a lot of good plausible suspects. I love when a mystery keeps me guessing and this second Literary Pub Mystery did just that. There are plenty of red herrings and I thought for sure I knew who the murderer was, until I was proven wrong. AN ALE OF TWO CITIES is a well crafted winter tale. A picturesque setting, interesting characters, and evolving relationships infuse this mystery with warmth while proving that going outside your comfort zone and creating a new life and family for yourself can make your Christmas bright. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book in the hopes I would review it.
BookloverUT 8 months ago
This was a very good cozy mystery. I thought I knew whodunnit, but I was wrong, and was pleasantly surprised. I loved the little bit of romance, it added a nice layer to the story. I can't wait until the next one. I received an advanced reader's copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
DanieleK 8 months ago
AN ALE OF TWO CITIES, the solid second entry in the Literary Pub Mystery Series, is a quintessential winter/holiday themed cozy mystery. With well defined characters, a finely executed mystery, and a snowy wonderland Vermont setting, it hits all of the requirements of a quality cozy mystery. Pub owner Sadie is busy with Shady Creeks’ Winter Carnival festivities, but she takes time out to support her employee and friend Mel who is competing in the ice carving contest. She cannot help but notice another contestant, obnoxious and full of himself hometown boy turned famous chef Freddy. He is a real jerk to everyone who helped him become the success he is today. When Sadie finds him stabbed to death with Mel’s missing ice pick and Mel becomes the prime suspect, she dives right in to find the real killer and clear Mel’s name. Author Sarah Fox does a fantastic job describing the idyllic Vermont setting, making it feel like a vital character and placing readers right in the midst of the beauty and action. The pub is a wonderful spin on the traditional culinary cozy, and I wish I could patronize the Inkwell. I think the cozy, literary atmosphere and tasty food and drinks make it an ideal place to hang out…and solve mysteries. Sadie is a competent, intelligent amateur sleuth. Yes, she is nosy, but her inquisitiveness comes from a good heart, sense of loyalty, and a need for justice. She does face danger but never intentionally puts herself in “too stupid to live” situations. The supporting cast of characters is interesting and varied, and everyone serves a purpose in the story. Sadie’s bumbling almost romance with brewery owner Grayson is endearing, annoying, and entertaining all at the same time. I hope their relationship defines itself better in the coming books. The mystery is well constructed. The victim is sufficiently unlikable, and there are several suspects with viable, relatable motives. Clues sprinkled throughout the tale kept me vacillating about the killer’s identity, and I was surprised by the final revelation of whodunit. It provided a satisfying end to a challenging puzzle. AN ALE OF TWO CITIES is fun reading for any cozy mystery fan. Highly recommended. I received an ARC of this title from the author and Kensington Publishers and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
BeagleGirl123 8 months ago
⁩Sarah Fox's An Ale of Two Cities makes me want to open up a literary pub of my own - sans the murder, of course! Books, booze, and mystery are the perfect combination and I loved it! Shady Creek, Vermont's Winter Carnival is in full swing when former town resident and current celebrity chef Federico is found murdered - and the weapon belongs to one of Sadie's employees! This second in the series picks up a few months after the first, but works well as a standalone cozy as well. A+
lynguy1 8 months ago
AN ALE OF TWO CITIES by Sarah Fox is the second book in the Literary Pub Mystery series. It worked as a stand-alone novel for me. This is a cozy mystery series that centers on a literary-themed pub, the Inkwell, and its owner Sadie Coleman. The pub serves food and drink that have book pun names and the shelves in the pub are full of Sadie’s book collection. The story begins as Sadie and the town of Shady Creek, Vermont gear up for the annual Winter Carnival. Sadie has only been in town for six months and is looking forward to all of the events. Her pub is hosting a literary quiz, but there are many events planned. When a famous chef that grew up in the town comes back to compete in the ice sculpture competition and is later found dead by Sadie, tensions and accusations arise. Many people had reasons to despise the chef and the pursuit of the killer’s identity unfolds with lots of twists and turns. Sadie is a strong and intelligent protagonist. She wants to help support the town and her friends and employees. She is definitely someone you can cheer on as her investigations unfold to ensure that the real killer is found. At the same time, her pub puts together an impromptu team for the hockey competition, she is training for the snowshoe race, hosting book club meetings and participating in other carnival events. This was a fun read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot twists were believable and the characters were well defined. The author did a great job of bringing the winter setting and the town to life. There is even a bit of a romance forming to add to the enjoyment without detracting from the mystery. If you like cozy mystery books, then you will likely enjoy this story as much as I did. For those that like cocktails, there are even a few recipes for literary-themed drinks at the end of the book. I look forward to reading the next novel in this series. Many thanks to Kensington Books and Sarah Fox for a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
Tangen 8 months ago
With books, puns, fun ice hockey, a winter festival, and a murder or two to solve, how can you go wrong? ! The book themed pub has food and drinks with book punny names, local businesses have ice hockey teams, and while the villain gets bumped off fairly early, it's that the suspicion falls on friends that mobilizes the sleuthing. Good characterizations combined with a plot that moves along well and funny incidents makes for a really good read. Loved it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
ArizonaJo 8 months ago
An Ale of Two Cities by Sarah Fox was an engaging addition to Ms. Fox's Literary Pub series. I find this series to be unusual due to the fact that the main character, Sadie, owns a literary pub. I love that idea and would love to visit one. The small cozy town of Shady Creek, Vermont sounds idyllic but I wouldn't want to visit in the winter. Ms. Fox's description of how cold it was outside was enough for me. Sadie is smart, independent and enthusiastic in supporting her business and her new home town. I laughed during the hockey game. The plot moved swiftly with enough twists and suspects to keep me guessing and turning the pages. The romance is subtle and allowed me to get to know Sadie and Grayson better. The secondary characters are intrinsic to the story and helped to move it along. I'm looking forward to more in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Chatting-About-Cozies 8 months ago
Want a fun and entertaining cozy read? Here you go!—An Ale of Two Cities. It’s a winter wonderland in Vermont this December where Sadie Coleman owns her cheery literary-themed pub, the Inkwell. The annual Winter Carnival is holding an ice sculpting competition and one of Sadie’s employees, Melanie ‘Mel’ Costas has entered. One of the contestants is a homeboy made successful chef who has returned believing he’s now better than everyone else. Someone shows him he’s no chip off the old block any longer—now he’s stiff and dead. Carnival attendees share theories about whodunnit, and Mel is Suspect #1. I found this cozy novel a lot of fun to read! The main cast of secondary characters are great help to Sadie. Her handsome long-haired cat, Wimsey is a comfort. Clues are expertly woven into the smartly plotted manuscript. I always felt cozy reading the pub scenes, and enjoyed the colorful names for the literary titled cocktails and menu items. I was completely thrown off track as to the psycho killer reveal. A very memorable Christmas tale! The author adds cocktail recipes for readers to try. I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
CozyOnUp 8 months ago
Sadie Coleman is gearing up for her first Winter Carnival in Shady Creek, Vermont. She’s excited to have things kick off with the ice sculpting contest in which one of her employees, Mel, is participating in. Stopping by to check on Mel’s progress, she finds that Mel’s tools have been stolen. While they find the chain saw, the hand tools have disappeared. Well that is until the ice pick is found in the chest of a very dead celebrity chef who was considered Mel’s biggest competition. Sadie knows Mel wouldn’t do this, but when Mel is linked to the fired personal assistant of the murdered chef, things don’t look good when the young woman is also found dead. Sadie needs to prove Mel’s innocence by finding the murderer. Lot of red herrings and suspects that will keep you guessing until the murderer and the motive are finally revealed. This is the first book I have read in the series and it was perfect as a standalone. Looking forward to more in this series from an author I have read under some of her other pseudonyms.
MKF 8 months ago
Sadie's settling in nicely in Shady Creek, Vermont. Her pub, the Inkwell is doing good business, she's made some friends, and she has a little romance going with Grayson. So when there's an ice sculpting competition at the annual Winter Carnival, she's excited but when Freddy, one of the competitors is found with Sadie's employee Mel's icepick in his chest- not so much. Freddy is the classic cozy victim- he's irritated many and contributed little of value to life- but he didn't deserve this. There's a long list of suspects and unfortunately Mel, who didn't do it, is on it. Then there's a another murder (no spoilers!). Sadie is a good intrepid amateur investigator- she's got moxie. Nice atmospheric and good characters (including Sadie's aunt and her friend Shontelle) made this a good read. Thanks to net galley for the ARC. OH- and cocktail recipes!