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A Time to Swill–bar, beach, and mysteries

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A Time to Swill

by Sherry Harris

Chloe wants to settle current issues in her life, not find herself wrapped up in even more. These complications, however, are just waiting for her when she packs up her Chicago apartment into her little red VW beetle and returns to Emerald Cove, Florida, to begin her new life in earnest. A former children’s librarian, she is now part owner and an employee of the Sea Glass Saloon. She inherited part of the business and a house from Boone, a close friend who died in Afghanistan. He also asked her to take care of Vivi, the owner of the bar, who turns out to not be the helpless grandmother she expected.

While Vivi and Chloe’s relationship is gradually thawing, Chloe is also working on getting to know the “heritage” business owners, a tight-knit group whose families owned the original businesses dating back to the fifties or earlier. Other important characters include the handsome, but mysterious former lawyer Rhett (aka Rip), Joaquin the bartender and Michael his husband, and Ann the local “fixer” with secretive connections.

When Chloe discovers a boat adrift, she tries to save what sounds like a crying baby. In the process she faces danger herself in a terrible fog, but also uncovers some kind of illegal operation. To what lengths will the criminals go to stop Chloe’s snooping? Chloe and Vivi are also in danger of losing the bar to the smarmy Steve who suddenly appears with a will purportedly left by Boone. If it is proven valid, Chloe will also lose her home.

A Time to Swill is definitely a page turner. It ends each chapter with a hook to make you want to keep reading. Even when I had to attend to something else, I found my mind drawn back to the plot, wondering what would happen next. Author Sherry Harris is also very good with setting descriptions and atmosphere. Some humor and a tad of romantic interest are thrown in as well. There are some surprises as well as some unfinished business to be continued later in this cozy mystery series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #2 in the Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery Series. Although the first book sets up the background for the series well and is another good mystery, you could jump in with this second book as Sherry Harris does bring the reader up to date on the scenario.

Publication: July 21, 2021—Kensington

Memorable Lines:

A thin line of moonlight shone on the Gulf. The air smelled of the wood of the porch, salt, and pine from the trees around the house. The water whooshed and subsided, as if to say, Don’t worry. All is well. If only it were.

I remembered a story our minister had told about words being like nails. You can pound a nail in the fence and you can take it out, but the hole is still there.

“I’ll never get used to people down here calling all pop Coke.” “And trust me, no one will understand when you call Coke pop.”


  1. Jenna says:

    Ohhh, this sounds fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WendyW says:

    I like the sound of this cozy mystery series. I love that title.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nancy says:

    Fun! Fun! Fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gretchen says:

    This is a series I have wanted to check out. Thanks for reminding me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carla says:

    Wonderful review, Linda. I also enjoy this series, it is a lot of fun. I love how the characters are changing along with their relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

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