On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
A Riesling to Die (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (March 27, 2018)
Paperback: 220 pages
Kindle ASIN: B073NP1VDY
A deadly search for sour grapes . . .
Norrie Ellington is a successful screenwriter living in New York City. She’s also been a silent partner for her family’s winery upstate—until her sister and brother-in-law take a year-long sabbatical. With an experienced staff doing the work, Norrie figures Two Witches Winery will run itself while she enjoys the countryside and writes in peace and quiet.
Unfortunately, there’s a sour grape in the town of Penn Yan who doesn’t care for vineyards. Bed and breakfast owner Elsbeth Waters complains to everyone who’ll listen that the local wineries are bad for her business. But when Elsbeth’s body is found on Norrie’s property, the victim of foul play, the screenwriter-turned-vintner dons a sleuthing cap to uncover the identity of a killer who told the B&B proprietress to put a cork in it—permanently . . .
We arrive at the Two Witches Winery in upstate New York with Norrie Ellington. A family-owned winery that her sister, Francine, and brother-in-law, Jason, run as she is a very silent partner. Her brother-in-law has been given a research grant that will take the couple out of the country for a year and they have asked Norrie to take over while they are gone. Norrie has a job, a full-time job, as a screenwriter and really doesn’t want to step in, but her sister assures her the staff handles most everything. She just needs Norrie to oversee things, attend a few meetings, and handle any emergencies that arise. There will be plenty of time to work on her screenplays and make her deadlines.
Before Francine and Jason even arrive at their, no cell signal, out in the sticks, Costa Rican destination one of those rare emergencies arises in the form of a dead body among the Riesling vines. A woman Norrie had the displeasure of meeting upon her arrival. Elsbeth Waters was the owner of the nearby bed & breakfast and constant complainer of almost everything that happened in the town of Penn Yan and all the surrounding wineries. Let’s just say there is no shortage of suspects. There is also a couple of businessmen trying to buy up all the Penn Yan wineries so that they can open their own mega-winery business. Not really an emergency, because there is no way they are selling, unless they have something to do with Elsbeth’s death.
Norrie feels like she is in the middle of one her drama filled movies. With the body found on her land, and the police are eyeing her as a suspect, she has a vested interest in seeing the killer brought to justice and she doesn’t have a lot of faith in the local law enforcement. She hasn’t been around in a long time so as she gets to know everyone she decides to do a little snooping too.
I am late to the party on this series and am upset with myself. I have been enjoying the author’s Sophie Kimball Mysteries while this one was screaming from my Kindle. I am determined to get Chardonnayed to Rest read too before Pinot Red or Dead? hits stores.
I liked Norrie immediately and Francine too for the short time we got to spend with her. We are also introduced to a large cast of characters that make up the staff at Two Witches Winery, the other local winery owners, the victim, and her niece, and the businessmen that could crush not only grapes but the dreams of everyone in the area. The author’s do a great job of making each character unique so it is very easy to keep everyone straight. Cammy runs the tasting room and she and Norrie become fast friends, as do the men that own the nearby winery. Theo and Don are good friends with Francine and Jason and Norrie knows she can trust them. They really have her back and help her in many ways. I truly enjoyed the way so many rallied around to help Norrie get her feet under herself with the winery and in her mission to catch a murderer.
Two characters I can’t fail to mention and they need their own paragraph is the dog and the goat on the cover. Charlie is a Brindle Plott Hound and Alvin is a Nigerian Dwarf goat. Charlie stole my heart, even if he does need a bath almost every day. Alvin and Norrie don’t get off to a good start but he played a major part when he needed to.
The mystery itself was a real treat. Plenty of suspects and some crazy theories kept me guessing the entire story. I was kinda on the right trail, but some red herrings diverted my attention more than once. Norrie took some huge risks and while scary, the authors added some comic relief at the perfect times and in the perfect amounts.
I probably will never travel to Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York and their 3 Wine Trails, but I sure had fun on my first literary trip there. J.C. Eaton gave us a bird’s eye view and I am excited about my next visit. Chardonnayed to Rest is queued up as one of the next books on my Kindle, just waiting for me to get started. Stay tuned for my review.
About the Authors
Ann I. Goldfarb
New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com
James E. Clapp
When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.
Also by J.C. Eaton
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