"Syrup to No Good" by Catherine Bruns: Review/Giveaway

Review by Sarah Erwin

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 Spring in Sugar Ridge, Vermont, and Leila Khoury is busy as the owner of Sappy Endings Farm in Catherine Bruns’ Syrup to No Good. This is book two in the Maple Syrup Mysteries” and features a cast of well-developed characters and a solid mystery. Catherine does a wonderful job of providing some backstory so that this works well as a stand-alone if readers are just discovering the series.

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Image Source Poisoned Pen Press
In addition to her duties at the farm, Leila is the Maid of Honor for her best friend Heather’s upcoming wedding. Life takes a dramatic turn when Heather’s brash Aunt Monica is found murdered in her car at the close of Heather’s bridal shower. Monica’s equally unlikeable husband Grant demands that Heather postpone her wedding until the killer is found.

While Heather understands, she has been dreaming of her big day for a long time and hates the idea of a postponement. Heather asks Leila to help her find the murderer and the two begin their own investigation. The suspect list is long as Monica made more enemies than friends and Leila and Heather leave no stone unturned.

As if solving a murder wasn’t enough, Leila’s former fiance comes to town, stirring up all sorts of trouble with Leila’s new love interest and causing stress in Leila’s already tense relationship with her mother.

Catherine writes a tightly woven mystery, with lots of possible suspects and complicated family drama. The setting of spring on Sappy Endings Farm had me yearning for a visit to Vermont and for a taste of maple syrup candy. The different storylines and fast pacing of the story kept me turning the pages, wanting to see how everything would tie together. I enjoyed rooting for Leila and her friends and was stumped by several red herrings. The ending wrapped up nicely, and I look forward to reading about Leila in future adventures. The book also includes Middle Eastern recipes that made my mouth water. I wish I could sample Leila’s mother’s cooking!

To enter to win a copy of Syrup to No Good, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "syrup,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 13, 2024. 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!

You can click here to purchase this book.


Sarah Erwin started her career as a children’s librarian, later becoming a public library director and now she’s a stay at home mom. While her career might have changed, her love of reading has been a constant since 4th grade and she reads over 200 books a year. Read along with her on her blog Sarah Can’t Stop Reading or on Instagram. Sarah lives in St. Louis, MO with her two kids, her husband and a family dog and cat.

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. Mary Holshouser
    Sounds like an interesting story.
    Wouldn't want to delay the wedding.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Would really like to read. Love the cover.

  3. Catherine Bruns is a great author. Count me in!

  4. So many good books this time! This sounds so good, and love the cover! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

  5. would love the opportunity to win a copy

  6. I am of fan of this author and would love to win! Lindaherold999@gmail.com

  7. I enjoy Catherine’s books. This one sounds very good. Thanks for chance.

  8. I enjoy her reads! tWarner419@aol.com

  9. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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