Friday, December 11, 2015

Backstabbing in Beaujolais (Winemaker Detective Mystery #9)

Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen
Translated from the French by Anne Trager
Le French Book, November 2015
122 pages

Publisher's Description:
A business magnate calls on wine expert Benjamin Cooker to kickstart his new wine business in Beaujolais, sparking bitter rivalries. Can the Winemaker Detective and his assistant keep calculating real estate agents, taciturn winegrowers, dubious wine merchants and suspicious deaths from delaying delivery of the world-famous Beaujolais Nouveau?
My Thoughts:

This is the first of the Winemaker Detective books I've read, so I won't pass judgment on the whole series. And this one got glowing reviews at GoodReads and Amazon, so I was all set to be dazzled. But now that I've finished the book, I'm sort of wondering what all the uproar was about. It was entertaining and a very fast read -- I think it took me about two hours, and I'm a slow reader. Not really much of a mystery, though.

The book starts out promisingly enough with a dead body discovered in a vat of Beaujolais. But then there's a flashback to three months earlier, and we don't get back to that murder until near the end of the book. And by that point I thought it was pretty obvious "who dunnit" and I was beginning not to care.

There was naturally a lot of talk about wine and wine-making and wine country, which I expected and enjoyed. I was just hoping for a little more suspense. But I did like the central characters, wine expert Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile, and wouldn't mind getting to know them a little better -- so I'm still planning to try one of the earlier books in the series, just to be fair.

My Rating: ✭✭✭ (out of a possible 6 stars / Grade = B-)

Disclaimer:  I received my copy of this book free of charge from the publisher. No other compensation was received, and no one attempted to influence my opinion of the book.

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