Wine and Punishment (Literary Pub Mystery #1) by Sarah Fox #bookreview #mystery

Title: Wine and Punishment

Author: Sarah Fox

Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date: December 18, 2018

Page Count: 352

My rating: 3 stars

About the book:

In the first in an engaging new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, the owner of a charming literary pub finds her fresh start on the rocks thanks to a case of murder.

Booklover Sadie Coleman knows that in life, as in fiction, the right setting can make a world of difference. The small town of Shady Creek, Vermont, seems like the perfect place to start over after losing her Boston job to a merger and her relationship to her ex’s gambling addiction. She’s bought and redecorated the old grist mill pub, transforming the Inkwell into a cozy spot where tourists and regulars alike can enjoy a pint or a literary-themed cocktail, or join one of several book clubs.

Little by little, Sadie is adjusting to the rhythms of her new home. Fall in Shady Creek is bookmarked by the much-anticipated Autumn Festival, complete with a pumpkin catapult competition and pie bake-off. Unfortunately, the season also brings an unwelcome visitor—Sadie’s ex, Eric, who’s angling for a second chance . . .

Before Sadie can tell Eric to leave, he’s found dead near the Inkwell. When the local antique shop catches fire on the same night, it’s clear the town is harboring at least one unsavory character. Now, with her Aunt Gilda, her friend Shontelle, and the pub’s patrons all in the mix, Sadie must uncover the truth . . . before a killer declares last call.


Wine and Punishment by Sarah Fox is the first book in the new cozy Literary Pub Mystery series. The setting for this series is just as it may sound, a Literary Pub owned by booklover Sadie Coleman who has opened the Inkwell in an attempt to restart her life in a new town.

Sadie had lost her job due to a business merger and she had become fed up with dealing with her ex’s gambling addiction so she chose to move to Shady Creek, Vermont for a fresh start. Sadie’s bookish side put a spin on the Inkwell in which she serves up themed cocktails and hosts many book club events in her literary themed rooms.

Enjoying her new life the last person Sadie wanted to walk in was her ex, Eric, so when she sees he’s shown up in her new town she dodges a confrontation heading out to her original plans for the night. However, when Eric’s body is found shortly after Sadie wishes she had taken the time to hear him out and find out just what brought him to her new town.

Wine and Punishment was a solid start to this new series. The author did a nice job setting up a mystery upon mystery to solve and keep a reader on their toes guessing with plenty of suspects. I did find myself wishing I had developed a stronger connection to the characters in this opener, perhaps it’s due to reading so many cozies or that they truly did need more depth to them but so far no one was really standing out and making me fall in love with the charming town just yet but I would be interested to see what happens in book two.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

Sarah Fox is the author of 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


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