Oktoberfest returns to Leavenworth, Washington, bringing happy crowds and murder.
October is the busiest time of year for a town that’s rebranded itself as a beer lover’s paradise, complete with German-themed everything. One of the few holdouts is Nitro, the nanobrewery run by Garrett Strong with help from Sloan Krause, who has a nose for the business. When a film crew comes to town to make a documentary on beer, the pair get more grief from real estate agent April Ablin, the self-proclaimed clothing Nazi who wants everyone to dress like a German villager of past times. Sloan, who’s divorcing her unfaithful husband, Mac, remains very attached to Mac’s family, who’ve given her a share in their large brewery in the hope that she and Mac’s brother, Hans, can hold his wild impulses in check. When the film crew stops in at Nitro for a taste of Cherry Weizen, Sloan and others are deeply disturbed both by the arrogant nonsense the project’s spokesperson, former child star Mitchell Morgan, spouts and the way he treats his colleagues. So it’s less than shocking when he ends up dead in the street. The president of his fan club, Kat Kelly, accuses vacation-home specialist Lisa Balmes of killing him. And it’s true that Mitchell was trashing Lisa’s reputation by complaining that the cottage he was renting from her was a dump. But although Sloan feels sorry for Kat, she learns that Kat hasn't always been entirely truthful. Since this isn’t Sloan’s first go-round with murder (Death on Tap, 2017), the police chief is glad of her extra pair of eyes, but she ignores her advice to be careful.
Beer mavens will enjoy the information on myriad brewing styles; mystery fans will enjoy winnowing down the short list of suspects. Prost!