Divide and Concord (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
5th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (April 30, 2020)
Paperback: 254 pages
Kindle ASIN: B086WPY24R
Norrie Ellington is a sucker for doing good deeds, but when she agrees to let a film crew use her winery as a backdrop and one of them turns up dead, she’ll have to act fast because this crew knows how to put on an act . . .
When screenwriter and winery co-owner Norrie Ellington agrees to let her producer film a movie scene at Two Witches Winery, her biggest concerns revolve around the crew trampling her precious vines and starstruck fans crowding the vineyard to spot the famous actors. But nothing had prepared her for the film’s director, an unbearable diva with a growing list of unreasonable demands—along with a growing list of enemies. And when the director turns up dead, apparently the victim of foul play, a very public altercation Norrie had with the victim the day before puts her in the spotlight as the lead suspect.
Knowing she’ll have to root out the killer herself to get off the narrow-minded local sheriff’s most-wanted list, Norrie compiles a large selection of potential suspects, including vengeful actors the director had once blacklisted and even the director’s estranged husband, a high-profile candy magnate trying to bring a burgeoning market for concord grapes to the region. Weeding out false leads and planted clues, Norrie knows it’ll take some quick thinking to track down the culprit, before she becomes the murderer’s next target in a deadly harvest . . .
Murder rears its ugly head again near Two Witches Winery and this time it involves a film crew filming a scene from one of Norrie Ellington’s screenplays. When the over-the-top director is found dead the entire cast and crew find themselves in the police spotlight. Surprisingly Norrie finds herself there too due to a public altercation. The victim’s husband, a candy magnate bringing his business to the area also plays a key role. First, bringing excitement to the area with his expected need of concord grape juice but also could he have been in the area and killed his wife?
To help catch the real killer Norrie enlists the help of her friends from the neighboring wineries. They all know their businesses depend on putting the murder behind them as quickly as possible especially when it looks like the killer’s sights are now set on Norrie.
With this installment, the series has moved to a new publisher and I am so happy about that because I was definitely not ready to see these character’s stories end.
All the recurring characters are strong and Norrie is a great protagonist. I really appreciate the relationships she has built with everyone around her especially because her time at the winery is basically limited to the year her sister and brother-in-law are in Costa Rica studying a very special bug. I could see her lengthening her stay though because of these friendships and her new romantic relationship, but we will have to see. I do enjoy the way her personal life story continues to evolve and grow.
The mystery was an entertaining one to follow and solve. The nods to Miss Marple and Nancy Drew were a nice touch. There were plenty of twists and turns. The social media research done to investigate the suspects felt very current. I did enjoy the big reveal and thought it was pretty funny that is didn’t play out as planned. There was also a Wine and Cheese Festival the wineries are hosting and the staff at Two Witches have to deal with all the fans that show up because actors Priscilla McCoy and Gavin Chase are now filming in the vineyards. The authors blend all the drama and day to day activities very well.
Divide and Concord is a delightful addition to this series. Engaging characters and a stirring mystery kept me captivated from the first page to the last. I am hoping for many more books in this series.
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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. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name.
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. 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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