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A Brewski for the Old Man: A Sherri Travis Mystery (Sherri Travis Mysteries) Paperback – May 16, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A humid summer mystery, this third book in the Sherri Travis series is as mundanely pleasant as a lazy day in the Florida resort town where it's set. This time Travis, still trashy and impetuous but composed enough to run a successful restaurant and maintain a long-distance relationship, gets caught up in another improbably dramatic swirl on the small island. Her childhood abuser, the steroid-engorged security guard who molested her while dating her mother, reemerges, seemingly up to his old tricks. But then he's murdered, and Travis is too involved to make much sense of the crime. Then Travis's absentee father, the titular old man, unexpectedly returns seeking peace, but his law-skirting chaos gets in the way of reconciliation. This installment, initially rushed in the way of sequels, has a slapdash air that seems appropriate to the loose, breezy tone and adds to the sense of genial messiness. Wry and surface deep, even when dealing with the psychological trauma of child abuse, it skims by with enough violence and smut to interest but not depress, the magnetism of its protagonist exerting as much pull as the plot.
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Review

Sept,2010,
Phyllis Smallman deals with a serious issue in her story but doesn't run away from it. She combines it with an absorbing storyline and captivating people......

Another winner for Phyllis Smallman! --Connie Gregory

The Sherri Travis series was listed as one of the top 6 mystery series for 2010 summer reads by Good Morning America --World News.com
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Product Details

  • Series: Sherri Travis Mysteries
  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Mcarthur & Company; 1 edition (May 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552788369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552788363
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,244,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Phyllis Smallman's first novel, MARGARITA NIGHTS, won the inaugural Unhanged Arthur award from the Crime Writers of Canada after being shortlisted for the Debut Dagger in the U.K. and the Malice Domestic in the U.S.. Her writing has appeared in both Spinetingler Magazine and Omni Mystery Magazine. The Florida Writer's Association awarded CHAMPAGNE FOR BUZZARDS a silver medal for the best mystery and her fifth book, HIGHBALL EXIT, won an IPPY award in 2013. LONG GONE MAN won the Independent Publisher's IPPY Gold Award as best Emystery/thriller in 2014. The Sherri Travis mystery series was one of six chosen by Good Morning America for a summer read.
Before turning to a life of crime, Smallman was a potter. She divides her time between a beach in Florida and an island in the Salish Sea.
Visit her website at www.phyllissmallman.com

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Toni Osborne on December 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Book 3, in the Sherri Travis Mystery

This installment is a captivating tale with a serious moral undertone meant to please lovers of soft mysteries and aficionados of female sleuth protagonists. Ms. Smallman's novels are a great escape from hard core detective stories and thrillers, easy and enjoyable to read.

The compelling plot punctuated with suspenseful moments has restaurateur Sherri Travis returning to her hometown of Jacaranda, Florida. As new owner of the beach front Sunset Bar and Grill she quickly learns the pre-season slump is not all smooth sailing, her hope is to survive till the tourists return and business is in full swing.

As business begins to pick up, her mother's boyfriend, Ray Leenders, suddenly comes back into the picture. He had taken advantage of her when she was twelve and the memories have haunted her ever since. She kept the secret hidden never telling anyone especially her father, Tully Jenkins, an ex- Vietnam vet with a bad temper and a short fuse. Now years later, Ray reappears dating Rena Cagel, who runs the store below the bar and Sherri suspects he is likely up to his old tricks and abusing her sixteen year old daughter, Lacey. Questioned, Lacey confirms her suspicions and confides that she is also reluctant to tell her mother, she accepts Sherri's offer to stay at her condo to escape the unwanted advances. Sherri confronts Ray and threatens to blow the whistle on him. Things quickly spiral out of control and Tully offers his help and before we know it someone ends up in hospital and Sherri finds herself the prime suspect in a murder case.

The storyline has a lot of momentum to it especially with Sherri finding herself involved in one crisis after another.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mount Newton scribe on October 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Sherri Travis, bar tender/owner,is a juggler of finances and tricky situations. The pace is fast as Ms travis struggles to keep afloat while dealing with some of the more earthy characters her small Florida town has to offer. The parade includes an ex of her mother who was an abusive jerk who has now wormed his way into the bedroom of another woman and her vulnerable teenage daughter. The characters are crisp, endearing and credible. Smallman has a talent for turning the earthy side of life into a darn good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Thanks in part to her silent partner lover, Sherri Travis now owns the Sunset Bar and Grill in Jacaranda, Florida where she was previously a bartender only. However her euphoria turns to concern when Ray John Leenders arrives at the bar's parking lot. When Sherri was almost twelve years old, RJ moved in with her mom and her. He consistently would trap her and eventually tried to rape her; she fought him off, but feared telling her dad who was a hot tempered veteran. Now he is the boyfriend of storeowner Rena Cagel, the mother of young teenager Lacey. Sherri fears for the child and warns Rena who defends Ray John. Lacey confesses to Sherri that the animal is assaulting her, but cannot tell her mom who believes he is perfect. Sherri warns Ray John to leave Lacey alone, but he ignores her and comes after her.

Additionally, Sherri has a second issue with another man from her past arriving. Her father Tully Jenkins asks her to help him deploy a detailed revenge scheme. She tells him about Ray John and he promises to take care of business. A homicide later and the police suspect Sherri.

The latest Travis amateur sleuth (see Margarita Nights and Sex in a Sidecar) is a terrific thriller as the lead protagonist's horrific childhood comes back to haunt her with two males who she knows still belong in the swamp, preferably dead. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Sherri realizes Lacey's RJ nightmare is her RJ nightmare and never slows down as the bartender fails to heed the advice of the late Miss Emma not to stoke the fire. Readers will appreciate this caring Floridian as she sets out to prove her innocence though caught in the nightmarish returns of two violent males.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Stocking on October 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phyllis Smallman has just released her new Sherri Travis mystery, "A Brewski for the Old Man." This is by far her best yet. She delves into Sherri's past (her relationship with her father and "Uncle Ziggy."). Also, a man who tried to rape Sherri when she was 13 resurfaces, and poses a clear threat to Sherri and to the woman and her daughter that he is living with.

Smallman has deftly picked up the pace with this story as well. There is a lot more suspense here, more edge-of-the-seat thrills than in either of her previous two novels. In particular, there is a segment with Sherri and her father in a boat in a Florida swamp, along with alligators and other unsavory characters of the two-legged variety.

In between times, Sherri wrestles with owning/managing the Sunset, a restaurant/bar whose business is booming. We are introduced to several employees of the Sunset, as well as to various and sundry customers.

Meanwhile, her boyfriend and business partner Clay is away on a fishing trip, and Sherri does her best to not let her troubles cloud their relationship. We also encounter Sherri's ex in-laws, who are a firm fixture in the social scene of Jacaranda, the town where Sherri lives. And we are re-introduced to Detective Styles, a local cop on the case, whose relationship with Sherri has yet to be hashed out.

This book will keep you guessing until the end. The fast pace and various and sundry locales and characters will hold your attention.

I recommend this book.

Valerie Stocking
A Touch of Murder (Samantha Kern Mysteries)
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