Grapes of Death
(A Tangled Vines Mystery)
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2013)
An Imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Cover Illustration by Ken Joudrey
Cover Design by Kevin Brown
Trade Paperback: 288 pages
E-Book File Size: 859 KB
Elise Beckett’s family owns a vineyard in River Bend, Texas. Her boyfriend, Stuart, lives and works in Dallas. About a 5 hour drive apart. They had met through his work for the Texas Organic Garden and Research Foundation. Elise is trying to develop a grapevine that can tolerate the Texas heat and droughts. They have been doing the long distance relationship thing for about 6 months with Elise doing most of the traveling. He has offered her a dream job in organic horticulture research, but her family is really counting on her to stay working in the family business. Since her dad died they need her more than ever. Her Uncle Edmond is no help, he was really upset when his brother left the whole vineyard to his wife and cut Edmund out completely. Every day Edmund comes up with a new plan to provoke the family.
Then Uncle Edmond’s body is found dead on vineyard land. At first it is thought it was an accidental drowning but the cause soon points to murder and every Beckett, even Elise, is a suspect. In fact there appears to be a long tangled vine of suspects. Elise just can’t leave things to her friend since childhood, Deputy Jackson (Jax) Landry. Hopefully she won’t become the murderer’s next victim.
When I think of vineyards in the United States I think California, not Texas. I was excited to uncork this one and I was not disappointed. In fact I read it from start to finish in one sitting.
The first book in a new series is a huge undertaking because the author needs to not only introduce the characters and the setting but give readers an interesting mystery with plenty of twists and turns. Folger did that and more. The mystery was complicated and kept me guessing almost to the very end. My “aha moment” was just a bit before Elise’s.
Folger has laid a great foundation for the series to go forward and she gave us characters that we care about and want to see what direction they take. Plus she described the setting beautifully and even explained how hard it is to grow grapes in Texas.
All that being said we have just scratched the surface of these characters. The have plenty of room to grow from Elise and Jax, the main characters, to all the supporting characters of Elise’s family. I think this is going to be a very interesting series.
Pour yourself a nice glass of wine and curl up with this cozy as soon as you can.
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