When firefighter Randy Bogart perishes in the arson fire at an abandoned brewery known as the Brewmaster's Widow, Death Bogart and his girlfriend Wren Morgan travel to St. Louis, Missouri, to find closure. They discover that Randy left his badge behind at the firehouse before going to the brewery. But the coroner finds another badge on Randy's body, leaving Death and Wren with more questions than answers.
Desperate to know what really happened, Death and Wren begin to investigate. Their digging leads to a connection between Randy's death and the mysterious Cherokee Caves once used by 19th-century beer barons. But the Brewmaster's Widow is jealous of her secrets. Prying them loose could cost Death and Wren their lives.
Series: Auction Block Mysteries #2| Publisher: Audible | Narrator: Amanda Ronconi | Length: 7 hours 19 minutes | Genre: Cozy Contemporary Mystery | Source: Audible | Ratings: Performance-4.5 Cups Story-4.5 Cups
I’ve been having a really good time with The Auction House Mysteries. The characters are so unique yet realistic and the plot is riveting.
Here’s what’s going on: While Death was fighting for his life, his brother Randy lost his battling a fire at the Brewmaster’s Widow. Now Death and Wren have traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to settle his brother’s estate, although they soon discover a mystery of two badges. When Randy’s body was discovered, he was wearing a badge but upon speaking to Randy’s Captain, Death and Wren soon discover that Randy’s real badge had broken before the fire and was in the Captain’s possession. To make matters more complicated, the badge discovered on Randy’s body contains a different number than Randy’s actual badge.
So, this book was a bit heavy at times for a cozy mystery. I mean I expected it, given the fact Death was dealing with his brother’s death, but the comedic relief offered by Wren and few other characters was definitely needed.
Because this book centers around the death of Death’s brother, we learn so much more about Death. We also see him struggling a bit, feeling a bit of survivors guilt because Randy’s death, as expected, really hit him hard. We also Death acclimating to his new way of life—because of the injuries he sustained while in Afghanistan his lungs were injured so he must now realize on his brain rather than entirely on his strength to get things done.
Wren is quickly becoming one of my favorite cozy mystery heroines. She doesn’t really fit the mold of your normal heroine and I really enjoy that. Plus, throughout this book, she wears a slingshot as a necklace and kept the rocks in her pocket, just in case they were needed. I never really know what she’s going to do next but, whatever she decides to will be entertaining.
While book one sort of had that whole instalove thing going on, this book shows their relationship growing. Death really needs someone to be there for him and help him with what he’s going through and Wren is the perfect person. She’s ready and willingly to listen to him and be there for him, but she’s also strong enough to guide him to do what’s needed.
The ex-factor—so, Death’s ex-wife does make a few appearances in the book but it’s not that drama-filled type. In fact, her appearance sort of added a bit of comic relief at one point. I’ve noticed that the ‘ex-factor’ is a bit of trend in this series but, for once, it doesn’t take away from the plot but rather allows for aspects of the main character’s personality to be revealed. If there’s going to be a popup ex in my books, this is how I want it done.
Okay, so I’m not going to say much about the mystery because I don’t want to spoil it for readers. Although I have to say, this one is one of my favorites. I had a feeling about what had happened and what was going on, and while I was correct to a degree, I was also off about the motive. There was also a few twists and turns I didn’t really see coming.
While this is the second book in the series, it would actually work as a standalone.
Once again, Amanda Ronconi brings this series to life as the narrator.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. The mystery was amazing and the characters keep getting better.
#2—Death and the Brewmaster’s Widow
#3—Death and the Gravedigger’s Angel (out February 2017)