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.
Chardonnayed to Rest (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 220 pages
Kindle ASIN: B078QSQXBF
Finding a murderer requires 100% proof.
In Seneca Lake, New York, Norrie Ellington’s Two Witches Winery has been selected by the local vintner community to host the annual Federweisser, a celebration of the season’s first fermentation of white Chardonnay grapes. But the festivities are spoiled when Norrie learns that landowner Roy Wilkes has raised her neighbor Rosalee Marbleton’s rent so high, she may have to close her vineyard.
Before the rent hike could go into effect, Wilkes is found dead on Roslaee’s property—stabbed by a flowerpot stake—and she becomes the police’s number one suspect. To clear her friend’s name, Norrie conducts her own investigation. But as she gathers clues, Norrie finds herself targeted by a killer, and if she’s not careful, her desire to see justice done may die on the vine . . .
We are back at the Two Witches Winery just in time for the annual Federweisser celebration. Norrie tries to juggle the preparation for the event along with meeting here screenwriter deadlines. Thankfully the staff of Two Witches has things well in hand because Norrie receives a frantic call from Rosalee Marbleton telling her she has found a dead body on her property. The dead man turns out to Roy Wilkes, the man owns access to the water needed for Rosalee’s winery. He had recently raised the rent so high that it could put her out of business. It’s not bad enough that she found the body but the murder weapon also belongs to her. Rosalee knows it looks bad and begs Norrie to find the real killer. A task Norrie doesn’t take lightly. Neither does the killer as he sets his sights on her.
I really like Norrie. She takes on everything thrown at her. She has become to go to person called to investigate anything shady or nefarious in the Seneca Lake wine community. Heck, they call her before calling the authorities, something that really upsets Deputy Sheriff Gary Hickman. Norrie has a great group of people to support her. These characters are diverse and very well crafted. They have their gifts and idiosyncrasies, but they will do anything for Norrie and the Two Witches Winery. The author has done a great job of making these characters genuine.
J. C. Eaton has fermented a fun mystery for readers to enjoy. A victim no one knows much about except for the fact that he didn’t have any friends and that no one is upset he is gone. A little digging brings more suspects to light but the author also serves up a good share of red herrings to divert and confuse. I enjoyed following along with Norrie, Theo, and Don as they not only did the legwork but online searches too. Even following along I was surprised by the way the big reveal took place. It was exciting and loved that some assistance came from someone truly unexpected.
I was captivated from beginning to end. A real character-driven mystery with just a blossom of romance and glass or two of humor. This Wine Trail Mystery gives us a peek at winemaking and running a successful winery along with an entertaining story. Pinot Red or Dead? will be out March 26 and I am impatiently waiting 🙂
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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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”