“Murder in the Crooked Eye Brewery” by J.C. Eaton

J.C. Eaton
Camel Press (2018)
ISBN 9781603817394
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (9/19)

“Murder in the Crooked Eye Brewery” by J.C. Eaton is the first book in the Marcie Raynor Mystery Series. Right from the beginning crime statistician turned investigative assistant Marcie Raynor captures ones attention and heart.

Marcie divorces her philandering husband and trades her desk job in St. Paul, Minnesota, for a temporary role as an investigative assistant in New Ulm. Although she is only in her twenties, she works with her dad’s friend Max, while she sorts out her life, she realizes she is learning from the best and that she has a knack for this type of work.

Surprisingly her first case comes from her mother who lives in Florida who watches too much crime TV and has some outlandish theories about the case.  Forty-five-year-old microbrewery owner, Billy Hazlitt, is found shot to death on the floor of the Crooked Eye Brewery’s tank room in the nearby hamlet of Biscay. The second individual Alice Davenport is a good friend of Marcie’s mom and a former schoolteacher of the victim Billy. I really had to laugh at both her mom and Alice as they call or demand detailed reports weekly in chronological order.

The author does an excellent job of describing her characters and readers will feel they know each one personally. The two spinster sisters Rose and Lila Barton are portrayed as eccentric, senile sisters yet, in reality, they provide great detail regarding suspects and unusual activity. Readers will find themselves highly entertained by the humor and entertainment factor in this story. The character that ends up being the murderer is one I would have never considered. Marcie is a character who shows a lot of growth and maturity despite her failed marriage and having no experience in investigations.

“Murder in the Crooked Eye Brewery” reads smoothly, transitions between scenes and characters flow easily. I like that the storyline is engaging enough to hold one’s attention, the characters are not complicated, and the humor adds to the story.

Overall “Murder in the Crooked Eye Brewery” is worth the read and readers will find it to be an engaging fast read. I highly recommend this book by J.C. Eaton.

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