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An Ale of Two Cities

(Literary Pub Mystery #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  83 reviews
In this intoxicating mystery by USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, a winter carnival becomes a recipe for disaster when a Shady Creek celebrity gets iced.

The Winter Carnival always brings holiday cheer, Christmas joy—and tourists with cash—to picturesque Shady Creek, Vermont. At the center of the glittering decorations and twinkling lights is booklover and pub owner
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 26th 2019 by Kensington
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AN ALE OF TWO CITIES by Sarah Fox is the second book in the Literary Pub Mystery series. It worked as a stand-alone novel for me. This is a cozy mystery series that centers on a literary-themed pub, the Inkwell, and its owner Sadie Coleman. The pub serves food and drink that have book pun names and the shelves in the pub are full of Sadie’s book collection.

The story begins as Sadie and the town of Shady Creek, Vermont gear up for the annual Winter Carnival. Sadie has only been in town for six
Linda 📚
Want a fun and entertaining cozy read? Here you go!—An Ale of Two Cities. It’s a winter wonderland in Vermont this December where Sadie Coleman owns her cheery literary-themed pub, the Inkwell. The annual Winter Carnival is holding an ice sculpting competition and one of Sadie’s employees, Melanie ‘Mel’ Costas has entered. One of the contestants is a homeboy made successful chef who has returned believing he’s now better than everyone else. Someone shows him he’s no chip off the old block any ...more
Peggy R
The second installment in the Literary Pub Mystery series continues to entertain. I've enjoyed this author's Pancake House Mystery series so there was no hesitation in starting this series. The setting is idyllic for a cozy mystery, a fictional town set in Vermont. What drew me to the series was the unique spin on the culinary cozy - I love that the pub owned by Sadie has a literary theme to it. Sadie is a good character and the author has done a good job of developing her over the course of the ...more
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Shady Creek, Vermont just in time for the Winter Festival. An overnight ice carving competition is the big event but there are hockey games, sleigh rides, a chili supper, and the Inkwell, Sadie Coleman’s literary-themed pub, is holding a trivia contest. Tourists are pouring in along with the Shady Creek residents to enjoy the fun. A former resident has even come home to participate in the ice carving contest.

Freddy Mancini is now a chef who has a pretty high
Gail C.
This is the second book in the Literary Pub Mystery series and takes place as the town of Shady Creek begins their Winter Carnival festival to ring in the holiday season. It opens with an ice carving contest where Mel, one of the employees of Sadie’s pub is competing. During the competition, her tools are stolen and although the large tools are found, the small ones are not. Later, one of these tools is discovered as the tool used to murder a former town resident who has come back to the town ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery, arc
An Ale of Two Cities by Sarah Fox was an engaging addition to Ms. Fox's Literary Pub series.

I find this series to be unusual due to the fact that the main character, Sadie, owns a literary pub. I love that idea and would love to visit one. The small cozy town of Shady Creek, Vermont sounds idyllic but I wouldn't want to visit in the winter. Ms. Fox's description of how cold it was outside was enough for me. Sadie is smart, independent and enthusiastic in supporting her business and her new home
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
AN ALE OF TWO CITIES, the solid second entry in the Literary Pub Mystery Series, is a quintessential winter/holiday themed cozy mystery. With well defined characters, a finely executed mystery, and a snowy wonderland Vermont setting, it hits all of the requirements of a quality cozy mystery.

Pub owner Sadie is busy with Shady Creeks’ Winter Carnival festivities, but she takes time out to support her employee and friend Mel who is competing in the ice carving contest. She cannot help but notice
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-provided
Ale of Two Cities, a solid second in the Literary Pub Mystery series by Sarah Fox, is as fun as it is challenging! I love the setting in December in Vermont and the well-rounded small-town characters. It was a delight to get to know Sadie and her friends better as well as see the growth of customers at the Inkwell, her literary pub that includes two book clubs so far among the activities they sponsor.

Sadie has lived in Shady Creek about six months. With her ideas as well as those of her new
Dawn Michelle
Oh how I like this author and her writing. This new series has been such great fun and I am so glad that she is continuing on with it. THIS is how you write a good cozy series folks!!

This story picks up just months from the previous book and finds Sadie flourishing [and still recovering] from the events in the previous book. She and her business are doing well and she is looking forward to being a part of the town's spectacular Winter Carnival. Until she finds a dead body that is. And then it
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
An Ale of Two Cities by Sarah Fox is the 2nd book in Literary Pub Mystery, and another great addition. Sadie Coleman loves books, and she's happy with her new beginnings in Shady Creek, Vermont, where she owns a pub, called Inkwell. Sadie is busy getting ready for the Winter Carnival in town. The Winter Carnival brings in a lot of tourists money as they buy Christmas and holiday items, and watch the ice sculpting contest. Freddy Mancini, a famous chef comes back to town to enter the ice ...more
The Kawaii Slartibartfast
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book is so much fun!

The mc Sadie gets embroiled in winter activities and murder when a snooty homegrown chef takes an ice pick to the chest.

Pretty much everyone who met the dingus chef had a reason to want him dead so Sadie has her hands full when a friend us fingered as a suspect.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in the series, and I enjoyed it even more than the first one!
The main character Sadie is really settling into her new role as a pub owner, and she is interesting to read about.
The ice carving competition is a great premise for this book.
The mystery was a top notch whodunit and kept me guessing.
I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading the next in the series.
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
The Cozy Review
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Series: A Literary Pub Mystery - Book 2
Author: Sarah Fox
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Culinary/Holiday
Publisher: Kensington Books
Page Count: 288

From Kensington Books comes the new addition to the “A Literary Pub Mystery” cozy series, by Sarah Fox, An Ale of Two Cities.

Book two in this new cozy series shows the growth of the characters and the more likable aspects of who they are becoming. Ms. Fox writes with the ease of experience and tells original stories readers will love. The characters have
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book number 2 in an adorable series. The mystery was not all that exciting, but the characters and their interactions make up for that. Make sure to read book number 1 first.

"The Winter Carnival always brings holiday cheer, Christmas joy—and tourists with cash—to picturesque Shady Creek, Vermont. At the center of the glittering decorations and twinkling lights is booklover and pub owner Sadie Coleman, creating original cocktails, hosting a literary trivia evening, and cheering on her loyal
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I had really been looking forward to this second book and I was definitely not disappointed! The mystery of the murder was a good one, and I was totally surprised by the killer reveal which was pretty exciting. Thinking about Christmas and wintertime in Vermont was so cool. I'm not a fan of being out in the cold, but looking out at the scenery would be awesome. The town of Shady Creek sounds like an adorable little Hallmark town, especially during Winter Carnival that had an ice sculpture ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sadie Coleman is gearing up for her first Winter Carnival in Shady Creek, Vermont. She’s excited to have things kick off with the ice sculpting contest in which one of her employees, Mel, is participating in. Stopping by to check on Mel’s progress, she finds that Mel’s tools have been stolen. While they find the chain saw, the hand tools have disappeared. Well that is until the ice pick is found in the chest of a very dead celebrity chef who was considered Mel’s biggest competition.

Sadie knows
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great story in this newer series! Taking us to the winter carnival ice carving event, Mel finds her carving tools stolen amid a tight competition with some local characters. Unfortunately one of the most colorful competitors finds himself dead, and one of Mel's tools is mysteriously found as someone's weapon of choice. Our main character, Sadie tries to keep her nose out of the local business but she can't do so for very long once Mel becomes one of the top suspects. I love this town and ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-vermont
The annual Shady Creek, VT, winter festival is all new to the owner of the local pub, who just moved to town in the fall. Sadie Coleman is rooting for one of her pub employees to win the ice-carving contest, although the favorite is local-boy-made-good (and made a lot of enemies in the process) Freddy, now an important restaurateur in Boston. But when he's found murdered, Sadie worries that her employee will be suspected. A second murder brings more anxiety into Sadie's life, and so does an ...more
Karen Hollins-Stallman
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Ale of Two Cities " the 2nd installment in the "A Literary Pub Mystery " series by Sarah Fox. I had not read the first book but had no trouble following along so yes it can be read as a standalone. I do recommend reading them in order, this way you really get to know the setting and characters.
I really enjoyed this book and the setting of Shady Creek, Vermont. I always like a small town setting where almost everyone knows one another. Makes for a fun range of side characters.

The Protagonist
Miss W Book Reviews
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An Ale of Two Cities is the second book in the LIterary Pub Mystery Series.
This series is fantastically fresh! I love the main character , Sadie and the setting of Shady Creek, Vermont.

Who would not LOVE a literary pub? I live in Maine and winters are really rough and the author did a fantastic job of describing the winter and cold in Vermont.

This small town reminds me of a Hallmark movie and I LOVE that! The mystery is complex and well developed. I do love the budding romance between Sadie
Sue Em
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well-written and populated with characters you want to know, this is a fun and fast read. Winter Carnival time in Shady Creek, Vermont, and Sadie Coleman has readied her new literary themed pub, Inkwell, for the festivities. During the ice sculpture event, an ex-hometown boy is murdered and one of her employees is top of the suspect list. Inquisitive by nature, she is compelled to investigate and clear her friend, but is she putting herself in danger.
Mary Hawkes
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Enjoyable cozy mystery that takes place during a Winter Festival in Shady Creek, Vermont. Sadie Coleman is the owner of a "Literary Pub," where she hosts book clubs and literary trivia events.

There were lots of characters to keep track of here, but it's the second book of the series, so maybe it would be easier for someone who read the first one.

As I got closer to the end, I thought the killer was obvious, but it turned out to be someone else. So I got fooled. I plan to look for the first book
With books, puns, fun ice hockey, a winter festival, and a murder or two to solve, how can you go wrong? !
The book themed pub has food and drinks with book punny names, local businesses have ice hockey teams, and while the villain gets bumped off fairly early, it's that the suspicion falls on friends that mobilizes the sleuthing. Good characterizations combined with a plot that moves along well and funny incidents makes for a really good read. Loved it!
I requested and received a free ebook copy
Marie McNary
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a perfect weekend read – I snuggled up in front of the fire with a cup of tea and this book. It was magical. I could picture the town in all it’s winter wonderland glory. I love the idea of a literary pub. All the food and drink names are so clever. I’m officially a fan of this series and can’t wait to read more.
Marie McNary
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Winter Carnival is underway in the town of Shady Creek, Vermont. Book lover and pub owner Sadie Coleman is enjoying the charm of the season until a former town resident turned celebrity chef returns to town and is murdered during the town’s ice sculpting competition. And one of Sadie’s employees is the prime suspect. Can she catch a killer and bring cheer back to town before Christmas arrives?
Kiki Z
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-5-stars
I feel like I should like this more than I do. It has all the elements of a cozy mystery that I like (with the exception of Grayson, who I'm always on the fence about when he has a scene) but I don't ever love them. I think the problem is Sadie, who isn't a very compelling character (and honestly everyone could use more characterization in general), but I can't really pinpoint anything beyond that. It's still a solid read though.
Nice cozy to end the year. Believable, nicely paced and has a holiday feel.
Liz Caldwell
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shady Creek, Vermont, is one of those fictional towns I'd really like to visit. Author Sarah Fox has done a great job of drawing us there in the second Literary Pub mystery. In spite of reading this during one of the hottest weeks of the summer, I felt the ice and snow, as well as the blow when Sadie was knocked flat on the ice while playing hockey.
In spite of the cold, Sadie is caught up in the investigation of the death of local-boy-makes-good-and-turns-his-back-on-everyone-who-helped-him.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
A delightful book that takes place in one of my favorite cozy settings yet - a literary themed pub! I adored all the little touches that Sadie added to her new pub. From the literary pun drinks and food options, to the Christie room, to the books lining the walls. This is absolutely somewhere I would seek out to visit if it really existed. I especiallyloved the idea of literary trivia and cannot wait to see what other fun things Sadie has planned for her pub. In addition to all that coziness, ...more
This was a mystery well worth the wait. All of the Winter in Vermont without having to bundle up in boots and parka to enjoy the festivities. Sadie is ready to bundle up and stand in the snow to watch one of her employees compete in an ice carving contest. Mel has won before and odds are she will win again. That is until a former resident returns to town, ticks off just about everyone and declares that he will be the winner with his ice sculpture. He even goes head to head with his brother in a ...more
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Sarah Fox, writer of cozy mysteries, was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.

Sarah is the author of the Literary Pub Mysteries, the Pancake House Mysteries, and the

Other books in the series

Literary Pub Mystery (2 books)
  • Wine and Punishment (Literary Pub Mystery #1)