Review: Death by a Thousand Sips by Gretchen Rue

Posted September 5, 2023 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 4 Comments

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Death by a Thousand SipsDeath by a Thousand Sips (Witches’ Brew Mystery #2)
Gretchen Rue

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

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 Review

I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.

When I was deciding on my next read I looked over my pile of review copies and promptly picked up this one, which was literally the one with the most far away due date, but I knew I wanted to read this book. And I was correct, this book was like the perfect fit my reading mood and I thoroughly enjoyed this second Witches’ Brew book.

Phoebe is a bit more settled in her new house, she’s gotten the hang of the day to day work at her bookstore and café and she’s doing well settling into the small town. I liked how this book takes place months after the first book and I enjoyed seeing how Phoebe was doing now. This book had such a cozy vibe and I really enjoyed reading about Phoebe’s daily life, her work, her house and her cat Bob. She also is a witch and there’s some magic sprinkled throughout the pages, which I think worked well here. I liked the ways it popped up here and there and how she used a spell to help with the mystery.

The mystery had me pretty stumped, I couldn’t figure out who had done it and the clues take some time to accumulate. I felt like I was missing something and even though Phoebe knew she was getting close, I felt like I wasn’t close at all to figuring it out. I had fun seeing it all play out and how Phoebe gets involved. I liked how she was mostly smart about investigating, gets backup when she can and when she gets into trouble tries to be more careful. Even the final confrontation she handles pretty well even though I thought that wasn’t the smartest plan to go there alone. I did find the reveal a bit anti-climactic, there was a twist, but I didn’t really like it. And the showdown is not as exciting to read as it’s a similar scene that I’ve read a few times in other cozies. I also felt like she didn’t really figure it out until the murderer revealed they were the murderer.

I enjoyed being back in this town and reading about the characters I met in book 1 more. The daily life scenes are definitely my favorite part of this book and it’s so fun to read about Phoebe. The cozy vibe is present everywhere and I liked seeing more of Phoebe’s friends, employees and even acquaintances.

To summarize: This was an awesome sequel! It fit my reading mood perfectly and had the perfect blend of cozy vibe, fun daily life scenes and an interesting mystery. I really like how cozy this book feels, I enjoyed reading about Phoebe, her store and the town and the comforting cozy vibe it all had. I enjoyed the mystery, but it did have me stumped. I didn’t really have any guesses about who had done it as it felt I was missing something. I liked seeing it all play out, but I found the ending a bit anti-climactic and didn’t enjoy the twist as much. The daily life scenes are probably my favorite of this book. There’s a touch of magic as well and I liked reading more about Phoebe’s magic. I like the small town vibe and the cozy book and tea shop Phoebe runs. I already look forward to my next visit to this town!

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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4 responses to “Review: Death by a Thousand Sips by Gretchen Rue

  1. Sometimes it is best to ignore the release date and go with the mood. 🙂 Glad it was all you were hoping for even if the trail to the solution wasn’t very clear.

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