My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love to read, learn about history, and drink wine. In the Wine Country Mysteries series by Ellen Crosby, I get all three at once… even better when I have a glass in one hand and the book in another. I found this series a few years ago, even though the debut book is approaching two decades in age, and read only the first two books. I enjoyed them but was searching to read a variety of cozies which meant I stopped… but now that I’ve picked a few series to finish out, catching up with The Bordeaux Betrayal happened this week. There are ~10 books in the series with a new one published just this year. I was glad to jump back into this lovely rural world in Virginia (not too far from Washington DC) where Lucie Montgomery is attempting to run a winery after her parents have passed away.
Lucie had a car accident years ago leaving her walking with a cane. Without it, she can barely move. With it, she feels at a disadvantage and works on her emotional and mental side to try to overcome the pain and loss. Her two siblings are distant, and a family friend turned out to be someone she shouldn’t trust. Even Quinn, the winemaker her father hired before his death, is trouble, but Lucie has a crush on him and enjoys the banter. Sometimes it’s a little too much reality in my opinion. In this book, Quinn’s ex-wife shows up in town on the arms of a local winery owner. The owner’s partner has donated a bottle of wine from the late 18th century intended for Thomas Jefferson from France. Is is authentic? It must be if someone wants to kill for it. New in town, Valerie, a woman flirting with Lucie’s on-again / off-again love interest from England, tells Lucie the bottle is possibly a problem for someone. What does she mean? Unfortunately, a car accident takes her life before she can meet Lucie to explain. Who killed her to keep quiet?
The book is great. It’s more of a slow-burner with a lot of focus on the winery business and comings and goings of the people around Lucie. The mystery is strong, but it’s never the primary driver in the story (in a good way). And before anyone asks, I didn’t have a Bordeaux, so I drank a Pinot Noir instead (my favorite red). Lucie’s relationship with the Englishman and an attraction to Quinn heat up… who will win and keep her heart? Or who will save her if she needs help (tho she’s usually good at protecting herself)? Just as she puts everything together, she encounters the killer(s) while visiting a nearby house with her elderly grandfather who’s on a visit from France. (He’s a great character, btw!).
Add in some WW2 drama over the German occupation of France, the spoils of war, the truth about how far people can be pushed, and some drama with fox-hunting, this book has lots of wonderful stories. I recommend the series and this book for anyone who likes a slower mystery with some drama and classic American rural history experiences. Lucie’s plain and simple, but direct and smart. I like her a lot. I already ordered the 4th book for later this month.
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.