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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: "Deadly Tasting" (Winemaker Detective Mysteries #4) by Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen

A serial killer is on the loose in Bordeaux. A local chief detective calls wine expert Benjamin Cooker to the crime scene of a brutal murder. The killer has left a strange calling card: twelve wine glasses lined up in a semi-circle with the first one filled with wine. Cooker is charged with the task of identifying the fabulous grand cru and is astonished by what he learns. A second victim is found, with two glasses filled. Is the killer intentionally leaving clues about his victims and his motives? Memories are jogged about the complicated history of Bordeaux during Nazi occupation. It was a dark time: weinfuhrers ruled the wine trade, while collaborationists and paramilitary organizations spread terror throughout the region. In present-day wine country, time is running out. Will Cooker and his young assistant Virgile solve the mystery before all twelve glasses are full?
*(summary courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review:
Although not the first in the series, it is the first is the series that I have read. It is a rather quick story steeped in history, specifically World War II. It had a whole lot of info I did not know of, and that is really saying something. Main character Benjamin may be a connoisseur of wine, but I'm a connoisseur of WWI and II facts.
This was a nice detective story in the most unusual way-it all started with wine, Petrus to be exact. The killer's "calling card" was incredibly ingenious, and a small part of me was hoping he got all 12 of his victims and wouldn't get caught. Especially when the M.O was revealed at the very end of the book (My grandfather was Jewish, so it struck a nerve).
Benjamin is seriously dedicated to uncovering all the clues and catching this killer. And his assistant was pretty swell as well. The writing was great and the humor especially made me giggle, even if it was corny. It was interesting to learn that the French had a hand in the Holocaust as well, which no one ever talks about. Although the French would rather portray themselves as victims. I'm not hating since I'm of French descent as well LOL. The ending was somber, though, which is appropriate after the shocking revelation at the end.

Favorite Quote:
"Elizabeth had cut a large head of cabbage, four slivers of garlic, six large onions, a dozen peeled tomatoes, six carrots, two green peppers, and one stalk of celery and plunged them into three quarts of water with three cubes of fat-free chicken broth. The mixture, seasoned with salt, pepper, curry powder, and parsley, had been boiled for ten minutes and then simmered until all the vegetables were tender."

140 pages
Expected publication: October 14th 2014 by Le French Book

Rating: 🔔 🔔 🔔 🔔

Recommend?  It's a good book. I recommend it.

(ARC courtesy of Net Galley and Le French Book)


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