"Death by a Thousand Sips" By Gretchen Rue: Review/Giveaway

Review by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

It’s only been seven months since Phoebe Winchester moved in to take over her late aunt’s tea shop bookstore in Raven Creek, Washington, but so much about her life has changed. Not only has she discovered that she inherited ownership of nearly half of the businesses on Main Street, she also learned that she is a witch with a special talent for probability. The former being more of a secret than the latter is probably the oddest thing about the state of affairs, but at least it means that Phoebe has other witches available to mentor her with spellcrafting. Her biggest priority at the moment is building up stock for the Earl’s Study bookstore collection, which is why Phoebe attends a huge estate sale being held at the Weatherly mansion in the hopes of bidding on its large library collection. What Phoebe didn’t plan on was the ride along by her adopted cat Bob, nor that he and his paw prints would make their bloody way through the discovery of a body.

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for more articles ⬅

Image Source Crooked Lane Books
Madeline Morrow had been in charge of organizing the estate auction, and before finding her body, Phoebe had witnessed Madeline’s dismissive treatment of an assistant and the making of an angry phone call. Despite not being treated by the investigating detectives as a suspect for Madeline’s murder, Phoebe takes it upon herself to make a list of possible killers with motives for the murder. She even recruits her childhood friend and current tenant, Rich Lofting, in her investigations, although his being a private investigator does make his involvement more predictable. What they discover is a succession-level of family rivalry within the Weatherly clan, as it turns out that the patriarch disinherited his daughters while making his very young, very attractive assistant the sole heir. When not baking exquisite sourdough breads from long-living sourdough starters or eating the mouthwatering specialties of local restaurants, Phoebe and her growing witchcraft skills investigate the auction attendees and the complicated Weatherly family.

This second in the series treads lightly through Phoebe’s magical talents, especially when it comes to her still uncontrollable ability to slow time. While that does come in handy when menaced by a threatening SUV, Phoebe’s practical questioning of suspects proves far more successful in tracking down a murderer. That doesn’t mean that a potion to awaken her memory doesn’t come into play, nor that her talent doesn’t save her from a nasty fall through a rotten board. Both being recent divorcees, Rich and Phoebe decide to put a pause on any possible romance between them, but the sparks still sizzle through their “professional” interactions. This mystery with a paranormal twist will appeal to those looking for a genre-blending read, but foodies will also find much to love about this series. The description of a smash burger dripping with butter is extraordinary, making the inclusion of its recipe almost a requirement. Topping off this delightfully magical mystery is of course Bob the cat, who accompanies Phoebe on bike rides in a spaceship-like backpack. This is the perfect cozy read for any time of the year but especially suits those looking for a little witchcraft to add to the Halloween holiday season.

To enter to win a copy of Death by a Thousand Sips, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "sips,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 4, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new Halloween episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
 Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I think I'd quit by sip 387 or so. Count me in!

  2. Haven't read many books with witches
    as the main character. Sounds interesting.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. New author for me. The cover is adorable and the witch theme is perfect for Halloween.

  4. Sounds like someting I would enjoy! tWarner419@aol.com

  5. Sounds like a really fun book! jwhite410@yahoo.com

  6. What a fun sounding story, and it hits all the notes for me, food, a little sizzle, and a fur baby. Putting it on the TBR list. tracy[dot]condie@gmail[dot]com

  7. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham

  8. I would adore winning a copy of this book!


Post a Comment