Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite
Bartender Tales by Amber Moore is wonderfully written story that begins with Wesley Lake looking for a full time bartending position. After checking out one bar called The Last Stop, which seems to be offering what he is looking for, Wes calls the owner. The owner wants to sell the place, but he needs the bar to be open. The last bartender suddenly quit. Wesley accepts the position, and suddenly his life begins to change for the better. Good pay, and a new dog that suddenly appears and protects him from a knife wielding drunk. After buying a side car for his motorcycle, he and his dog, his new best friend Bishop, move into a new apartment. Every bar has a history, and this one comes with a persistent town slut that won’t take a hint.
By now Wesley has made a small group of friends, but none of the locals want to share the history of this bar with Wes. After a month and a half, Wesley realizes that a body count of six customers have died after leaving the bar. After being urged to start reading the newspaper, he puts together a notebook, and discovers a disturbing pattern.
Amber Moore does a magnificent job of describing the business of the bar, as well as how a bartender reacts to his gut feelings. As a former bartender, I was able to identify with and relate to Wesley’s ups and downs. The characters in Bartender Tales are varied, believable and real. Ms. Moore’s writing style is detailed and powerful, with a lot of genuine empathy for the main characters. She throws a couple of plot curves and surprises in for good measure and, by last call, parting is such sweet sorrow.