Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and setting, solid mystery
Cons: Minor pacing and timeline issues
The Bottom Line:
New series starts with
Death outside a beach side bar
Look forward to more
Cheers to a New Series
Sherry Harris is one of many authors whose books I can’t wait to read, so when I learned she was planning a new series I was excited. I might not have picked up a book set in a bar otherwise, but I’m very glad I did since I enjoyed From Beer to Eternity.
Chloe Jackson has taken a leave of absence from her job as a children’s librarian in Chicago to keep a promise to a friend. Before Boone left with the National Guard, he asked Chloe to help his grandmother, Vivi, with her bar down in Florida if anything should happen to him. So when Chloe got the tragic news of his untimely death, that’s just what she did. However, when she arrives, she finds that Vivi is quite capable of taking care of herself. While Chloe tries to figure out what Boone thought Chloe could help with, she starts picking up shifts in the bar in Emerald Cove on the Florida Panhandle.
That’s how Chloe meets Elwell, a local who is a bit eccentric but mostly harmless. One morning, Chloe finds him dead behind the bar. As the police begin to focus on Vivi, Chloe begins to poke around, hoping to figure out what really happened. She doesn’t know Vivi well, but she doesn’t strike Chloe as a killer. Can she clear Vivi of the crime?
I love the beach, but I haven’t been so far this year. With Emerald Cove being a beach community and the bar opening right up to the sand, this was the beach vacation I needed. Okay, so there might be a bit more murder and mayhem to this book than I would personally want for a day at the beach, but it’s fiction.
In this case, the mystery did seem to get off to a slow start. Or maybe I was just impatient. Either way, we got quite a bit of information early in the book introducing us to the characters and the location. It’s certainly information we need, but I was ready when the plot picked up. Once that happened, I was completely hooked. We got the expected twists and surprises. The climax was a bit rushed, but we did get all of our questions answered.
I do have to comment on some timing issues. There were several times in the book that I felt like Chloe was blessed with more than 24 hours in her day, and one chapter in particular where timing issues were obvious. Overall, these issues were minor but annoying, especially since it is one of my pet peeves.
Because Chloe has worked as a children’s librarian, we get some references to classic children’s books, which I greatly enjoyed. It also provided her with some needed skills to help navigate her new life. She’s a strong main character, and I enjoyed meeting her here. Since she is completely new to town, we are meeting everyone at the same time she is. There’s an interesting cast of characters, and they are all strong, whether series regular or suspect. And yes, I’m fairly certain we’ll see some of the suspects show up again in later books.
I already love these characters and this setting, so I will definitely be back for the next round. From Beer to Eternity is the first in what promises to be a great new series.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.