Oct 2 2017 4:00pm

A Mystery Lover’s Pub Crawl: Touring the World with My Favorite Sleuths in Search of the Perfect Pint

Go on a mystery lover's pub crawl with Ellie Alexander, author of Death on Tap, and make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of the first Sloan Krause Mystery!

I was first introduced to the mystery genre by my grandmother, who had stacks upon stacks of dusty paperbacks crowding every square inch of her built-in cabinets in the dining room. She didn’t display fancy China or polished silverware in her mid-century modern arched dining room with brown shag carpet and a dimly-lit brass chandelier. Nope. The heart of her family table housed homemade pies and books from every corner of the world. Any visit to my grandmother’s involved returning home with root beer bottle candies and a binge-worthy pile of mysteries.

Thanks to my grandmother, I traveled to distant places, met eclectic characters, puzzled through clues, and sifted through red herrings in the tattered pages of her mystery collection. Now, as a writer, I often reflect on my early reading years and the sleuths who took me along on their adventures. These characters are like old friends. There’s so much more I want to know about them, and what better way to connect than over a cold, frothy pint?

My new book, Death On Tap, features a female brewmistress, Sloan Krause, who can hang with the big guys and has a nose for hops and murder. She’s taking the craft beer world by storm, pushing the envelope with inventive flavor combinations and daring brewing techniques. Sloan has carved out her piece of Beervaria in the German-inspired village of Leavenworth, Washington. She’s smart with a sophisticated palate and a unique ability to carefully watch and observe those around her.  

Without having devoured my grandmother’s extensive paperbacks, Sloan might not exist. As an homage to my favorite sleuths, I want to take you on a tasting tour. Grab your stein, and let’s hit the pub.

Stop One: St. Mary Mead

No mystery lover’s pub crawl would be complete without a visit to St. Mary Mead, the famed village of Miss Marple. We’ll travel along cobblestone streets until we reach the Blue Boar Pub, where we’ll cozy up in front of a crackling fireplace with an English classic: a pint of bitter. Miss Marple will sip her pint with her ever-watchful eye. She’ll knit as we chat, subtly nodding to the vicar, who has had one too many and is flirting with a pretty young thing who is most definitely not his wife. Instead of making a scene, Miss Marple will raise her golden glass of British pale ale and suggest that once we’ve finished our drinks we take a turn through the Vicarage Gardens.

Stop Two: Gaborone

Africa is calling. We’ll touch down in Botswana and be greeted with a warm hug by Mma Ramotswe. From witch doctors to South African diamond mines, Mma Ramotswe will give us an insider’s glimpse into the changing culture of her homeland. Speaking of home, she’ll invite us into her kitchen and bake her signature dish: chicken and pumpkin. A meal this rich in tradition requires a worthy beer. We’ll bring a barrel-aged pumpkin ale to compliment dinner. Aged in bourbon, this sweet and spicy ale with touches of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice should blend beautifully with Mma Ramotswe’s masterpiece and allow the conversation to flow freely—especially when it comes to Mma’s ability to stay centered and calm in the midst of chaos.

Stop Three: The Valley of the Kings

Dust off your floppy sun hat, as our next stop takes us to an Egyptian dig site where we’ll sip an ice-cold Stella Artois with Amelia Peabody on a baking summer’s afternoon. Amelia is a brilliant scholar and well-versed in ancient artifacts. The delicate, light beer will offer a refresher from the relentless desert sun while Amelia guides us through underground tombs and gives us an exclusive peek into her latest discoveries. She won’t be phased by the spooked workers or rumors of a mysterious illness spreading through the crew. We’ll keep one hand tightly wrapped around our luscious Belgian pilsner as she leads us deep underground.

Stop Four: Edinburgh

Things will take a slightly darker and drearier turn when we head to Scotland to meet up with Detective John Rebus. The rain and wind lash Edinburgh’s sidewalks. News around town is that two young girls have been brutally murdered, and the man on the case is Rebus. No light beer will suffice for this stop on our pub crawl. We find Rebus already a few drinks in and order a round of Scottish Imperial Ale. He laments about his tumultuous past as we knock back the rich, dark beer with hints of smoke and a deep, malty finish. Keeping up with Rebus is a challenge, but we’re up to the task.

Stop Five: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Break out your boots, our last stop will take us to Texas to meet Anna Pigeon. Anna’s a park ranger who knows her way around the mountains. We’ll have to stay alert for vultures circling the trails and keep an eye out for mountain lions as Anna takes us on a trek through the backcountry. The hike will be worth it when we hit the local watering hole for an afternoon American Wild Ale. This fruity raspberry ale will quench our thirst and leave us wanting more. As will our conversation with Anna. She’s a treasure-trove of information about the national park and is convinced that predators, other than the native wildlife, are on the prowl.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our pub crawl. Let’s raise a glass to some of mystery’s most marvelous. Prost!

Take a visual tour of Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander with GIFnotes!

Comment below for a chance to win a copy of Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander!

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Death on Tap Comment Sweepstakes: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete the “Post a Comment” entry at beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) October 2, 2017. Sweepstakes ends 3:59 p.m. ET October 10, 2017. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.


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Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she's not coated in flour, you'll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of “research.” Ellie is the author of the Bakeshop Mysteries, including Another One Bites the Crust. Find her on Facebook to learn more!

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
James Joyce
1. JamesPatrickJoyce
No Inspector Frost? When I think of a fictional detective enjoying a pint, I think of Frost. (maybe that's just the tv series)
Carole Knoles
7. carknol
I would gladly raise a glass with any of the sleuths on this pub crawl!
Tina C
8. TinaC
I agree. I'm missing Frost but will toast him in my thoughts.
Tina C
9. TinaC
I agree. I'm missing Frost but will toast him in my thoughts.
Deborah Dumm
10. deb730
I can't wait to read this series! Sounds like it will be a good one!
11. Pattie
This was a fun post. Oxford and Morse are missing though. ;-)
12. jj
Love the cover art for "Death on Tap"
13. smalice
Isn't Death always on tap?
Caren Luckie
14. czluckie
This is going on my "to read" list. Now, if it were possible to get the beer too....
Carol LuBien
15. CarolLB
Sounds fun! Appeals to my appreciation of both beer and equal rights.
Sue Farrell
16. Suekey12
I love craft beer---I want to go on a real pub crawl.
Lori Provenzano
17. Mountainesque
I am reminded of the incomparable Morse, who regarded beer as a food group. Beer and mystery and indeed joined at the hop!
Sharon Haas
18. kazul
Thanks for the pub crawl. I'm with
Amelia Peabody on the Stella!
M Thompson
19. MST
Great tour but Morse is missing (though the drink did him in, in the end). Would love to win this book to see if it's a series to be followed!
Michael Carter
22. rubydog
Great fun!
Yes, please enter me in this sweepstakes.
Thanks ---
23. damomb22
sounds like a winner!
24. John Meixner
beer and books, perfect
25. Helen Martin
Sounds like an intriguing new take on the mystery series.
Beth Talmage
26. wordygirl
I'm looking forward to this series! Interesting to know that you started reading mysteries found in your grandmother's home. I had a similar experience, both reading books in one grandparent's home and inheriting books from another grandmother. A great way to begin a lifelong journey.
27. verona kruse
Love contests
28. LStirling
Some of my favorite fun to pair a visit with them and an appropriate craft beer! Sloane Krause sounds like a woman I'd really like to meet. A very smart and interesting female sleuth!
Barbara Bibel
29. bbibel
This sounds like it will be fu t read, even though I hate beer.
Joy Isley
31. JOYE
I am always looking for new authors to read. This book sounds really good
nancy lutz
33. nplutz
I am always looking for a new author, and would love to read this book!
Pam Flynn
34. desdemona
This read has my interest peaked. The title is catchy & I wish I had it right now to enjoy reading.
36. Lilia Tanakeyowma
Can't wait to get my fill of brew while reading Death on Tap. I'm already thirsty!!!!
Mildred Mayo
38. Mildredmayo
I can "beerly" wait until I get a chance to read this book. Thanks for the tour.
Lilia Tanakeyowma
40. LMT
Can't wait to get my fill of brew while reading Death on Tap. I'm already thirsty!!!!
Paula Francisco
41. Pjf
Love the pub crawl! Wish I could really go on one.
Janice Santillo
42. themommazie
Sounds really interesting. I 'd like to try a real pub crawl.
47. Carl Scott
Draw me a frothy pint of everything, I'm here for the duration. Thanks!
48. Judye Hamilton
Thank you for the virtual tour! I'm looking forward to reading your book!
Tracy Gibson
50. tracygib
What a fantastic idea for a book journey! We have a Germantown in my state and it is one of my favorite places. I can't wait to read this.
51. Pk3
glad to see amelia on the list
Clydia DeFreese
53. clydia
Sounds like something I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the ss.
Clydia DeFreese
53. clydia
Sounds like something I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the ss.
Katrina Yurenka
54. kyurenka
A beer-tasting vacation with a great mystery! What more could anyone ask for?
Valeen Nielson
56. Valeen
Sounds like a great read! I'm looking forward to it!
Valeen Nielson
57. Valeen
Sounds like a great read! I'm looking forward to it!
Barbara Bolam
63. Toodles
Sounds like a really excellent read. Would love to win the book!
Barbara Bolam
63. Toodles
Sounds like a really excellent read. Would love to win the book!
64. pegkeohane
pubs and mysteries...two of my favorite things....
vickie dailey
65. kidcurry
lots of good sleuths missing - found this post very interesting and would love to read Death on Tap
66. Wishfultravels
O to have a Stella with Amelia! Another ruined shirt!
Bonnie Whyte
67. Boomerldy
O to have a Stella with Amelia (& Father of Curses). Another dead body, another ruined shirt.
Kelly Letourneau
68. KellyL
Loved the Pub Crawl and looking forward to reading the book!
Jacki Robertson
69. 1228jcr
Have enjoyed all the Anna Pigeon books and would love to try other pubs and brews. Can't wait for the book.
Jacki Robertson
69. 1228jcr
Have enjoyed all the Anna Pigeon books and would love to try other pubs and brews. Can't wait for the book.
susan beamon
71. susanbeamon
I enjoy reading but I'm done with pub crawls. I'd rather read instead.
Dena Beeghly
73. Dbeeghly
Raising a glass with some of my favorite female sleuths sounds like big fun. Being introduced to a new one even better!
Rosemary Krejsa
74. grandpa5
I'm looking forward to this series. The story line stands out from the crowd.
Alicia Sargant
78. asarge
what a 'novel' idea! would love to read it.
Rebecca Swanson
79. rswanson
Love Ellie Alexander's books and am so excited for a new series!
Rhonda Mayner
81. roo1963
love that it starts in Leavenworth - I live near there!
85. pcal2
A book (especially a mystery) and a beer...a winning combination!
L Peters
87. leepcat
sure sounds like fun - and a great read. thanks
Connie Williamson
89. angelbun
I think I might've just found my new favorite author!
Marci Konecny
92. konecnym
Thank you for the pub crawl and giveaway! I've added this to my TBR.
Kris Kaminski
94. kjkski
made me thirsty just reading this part!
Kris Kaminski
95. kjkski
made me thirsty just reading this part!
alyce poalillo
99. alycep
What a fun read for a cold winter's night!
Pat Dupuy
101. Pat D
Beer and mystery! Can it get any better?
102. Helen Allman
Enjoyed it!
Anita Yancey
104. rosewood780
It sounds like a fun read. Thanks for this chance.
Anita Yancey
104. rosewood780
It sounds like a fun read. Thanks for this chance.
105. Barbara R. Verrier
As someone who absolutely loves all types of beer, and almost became the 'Beer Queen' of Seattle - long story - I need to read this, and deserve to win this!! :)
Kathleen Kendler
107. kckendler
Enjoyed your tour. looking forward to your new series.
108. Shannon Baas
I would like this.
109. Mimi
Sounds like fun!
Suzanne Timmsen
110. bowlinsuzy
Always looking to try a new author in a mysrery genre. Would love to win this one.
Olivia Farr
111. onemused
I love this cover- sounds like a great book!
Richard Derus
114. expendablemudge
I have to enjoy my beer vicariously now, so this hits the spot.
Veronica Sandberg
115. redron
Want to win...this looks like a great read
Anne Efron
116. mastiff_mom
All the beers sound great - thinking fondly of some of my favoite sleuths, too!
Sandy Klocinski
117. attea2d
Great fan of murder mysteries. How awesome! Thanks for the opportunity to win
Vernon Luckert
118. vl4095
Love a good murder mystery, and a good pub crawl - so 2 wins with this one!
Renee Rousseau
119. reneejr
Death on Tap sounds like my "cup of tea"!
Jane Schwarz
120. Janeschwarz
What a great tour! Need to reread some of these with a pint or two. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of your "Death on Tap".
124. Barbara Bates
Brew Master! Sounds good!
June Elias
127. Junebug@612
Sounds like a new twist to a crime story. Very interesting. Look forward to reading this.
Christine Smiga
130. ceecee76
This sounds like a great read. Thanks for the interesting tour!
131. mhubbert
This sounds like so much fun!
Patrick Murphy
132. Ditch
No Martin Walker or Robert B. Parker?
133. Aggie
Sounds like great places. I wish it was actually realistic for me to go and visit.
Cynthia Wetzel
138. Cyndy
What a great idea for a cozy mystery series! It sounds delicious- and now, I'm thirsty! lol
142. jpl123456
Yhis is for me. Love a great book & a big brew.
Beverly Henry
143. bevhen
sounds like a lot of fun and I would love to win
Joyce Lokitus
144. Joyce710113
Thanks for the beer tour! It could have also been called a beer flight - just a little taste of each - LOL. Love that you included Mma Ramotswe - one of my fave investigators. Your new book sounds cool - love the concept.
Yvonne Bressani
145. glraines
Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the beer tour! Prost!
Jeanette Jackson
150. lindahl
Great tour! Please include me in the drawing.
Veronica Sandberg
154. redron
want to win this...I love a good read
Veronica Sandberg
155. redron
want to win this...I love a good read
Jerry Marquardt
156. versatileer
This will make for great reading. I would like to honor your great and outstanding review.
157. Stephanie Liske
Pick Me!
Buddy Garrett
161. garrettsambo
I think I'll have a pint. It sounds interesting.
Heather Cowley
163. choochoo
This list will help in our travels! LOL Thanks!
Philip Lawrence
164. Pooch
Travel is my life so let's go on an adventure!
Tracee Imai
165. Arf2-D2
love the idea of matching places to stories - even though I'm not a beer drinker
Carol Turner
166. cjpturner
So very often, place is a major character in a plot.
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