Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Proof is in the Poison by Diane Kelly

 The Proof is in the Poison

Book Summary

Moonshine shop owner Hattie Hayes is ready to lend a hand when a mystery starts brewing at a train convention in Chattanooga, TN, in this charming cozy mystery series.

Now that her moonshine shop is up and running, Hattie Hayes can focus her efforts on expanding her fledgling business to events in the area, like the Chattanooga Choo Choo Model Train Convention, which is running full steam ahead at the convention center down the block. Hattie is all aboard, seizing this perfect opportunity to promote her Southern homebrew to the folks who have come to the city for the annual event.

But when an attendee dies after drinking some of Hattie's moonshine, she'll need to prove her innocence. Between tight-lipped train hobbyists and competitors for a coveted convention prize, Hattie has a wide array of suspects to choose from, and she'll need to use all the tricks up her sleeve to make sure her moonshine business can survive a murderer and stay on track.
My Thoughts

The Proof is in the Poison by Diane Kelly is the second A Southern Homebrew Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not had the time to read The Moonshine Shack Murder.  I thought The Proof is in the Poison was well-written with realistic, developed characters.  I like Hattie Hayes and her grandfather, Ben.  They are delightful, lively characters, especially Ben.  Granddaddy as Hattie calls him is a hoot.  I like the premise for this cozy mystery.  Hattie owns the Moonshine Shack where she sells the moonshine she creates.  I love the description of her store, especially the façade.  She has made it look like an old moonshine shack in the mountains (like her ancestors had).  The Chattanooga Choo Choo Model Train Convention is in town, and it is an opportunity for Hattie to promote her moonshine.  Hattie has arranged to have a mixer at the hotel where many of the conventioneers are staying with coupons to encourage people to visit her shop.  She even came up with unique moonshine cocktails with fun names.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the model trains, displays, and items for sale.  I learned quite a bit about model trains.  I loved the train references and puns throughout the story.  The author really managed to work in train metaphors throughout the story.  There is a great line that ends that book that I especially enjoyed.   

I found all the information on moonshine to be fascinating.  The author knows her history on this topic.  The historical details add depth and interest to the story.  The mystery was fun.  I will admit that it is a cinch to solve.  However, I enjoyed the crime and following Hattie as she worked on solving it.  I like how Hattie’s mind works.  I think, though, that she needs to work on her questioning technique.  Hattie needs to be more subtle, so she does not alienate potential clients.  The reveal scene was a delight.  I laughed quite a bit.  I appreciated that she kept Ace (the detective on the case) in the loop.  I am glad that Hattie has a good working relationship with the detective on the case.  Of course, Hattie has a close relationship with Marlon.  I think it is a great touch that he is a mounted officer.  There was some repetition regarding the suspects and the case details.  Those details do not need to be repeated so frequently.  I found the method of murder to be unique.  It was clever how it was laid out.  We get to learn some interesting information regarding it as well (I would say more but I do not want to spoil it for you).  There are recipes at the end for the three drinks served at the convention mixer (railroad themed drinks).  I am looking forward to Hattie’s next escapade.  All aboard for Hattie’s latest adventure in The Proof is in the Poison with clown car cocktails, railroad replicas, acrimonious competitors, a boorish bully, railway trivia, an exterminated engineer, killer hooch, and a smoky disclosure.

The Proof is in the Poison is available from Amazon*.  The Moonshine Shack Murder is the first book in A Southern Homebrew MysteriesDiane Kelly has Primer and Punishment coming out February 21, 2023 (I cannot wait to read it).  It is the fifth A House Flipper Mystery.  You can find Diane Kelly's other delightful cozy mysteries here.  A few of the other books that were published today are:  Death by Beach Read by Eva Gates, A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert, I'll Be Seeing You by Robin Lee Hatcher, Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron, Unfailing Love by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan, A Time to Bloom by Lauraine Snelling, Murder is No Picnic by Amy Pershing, Clause of Death by Lorna Barrett, and Among the Innocent by Mary Alford.  There is something for everyone.  Tomorrow I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron.  It is the debut of A Vintage Cookbook Mysteries.  I hope that you have a delightful day.  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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1 comment:

  1. Primer and Punishment will be released on February 21, 2023. It hasn't been released yet. :-) Awesome review!