I really liked this cozy mystery set in Colorado wine territory. I like Parker, who is desperate to make her new winery a successful enterprise. She turns into an amateur sleuth when a food critic is poisoned drinking her chardonnay on opening day. I have a bent toward amateur sleuths and liked the whole investigative process. The villain was no surprise to me as there were plenty of hints to this character along the way.
The strength of this cozy mystery is the information about wine. I had no idea, for example, that grapes take on the flavor of plants growing around them, such as peaches or apples. And I never understood the big deal of pairing food with wine. Lansing explained how the flavors compliment each other, bringing out the best but not overpowering the taste experience.
My favorite part of the book, however, was the life lesson it contained. It's the imperfections that give wine tannins, ultimately adding flavor and texture to the wine. Just like life, imperfections challenge us and make us better people.
I enjoyed this cozy mystery and Lansing's first full length novel. She's off to a good start on this series. I'll be watching for the next one. I liked the recipes included in the book too.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Kate Lansing is an award-winning short story author with her work appearing in anthologies. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She and her husband live in Denver, Colorado, with their three year old daughter.
Berkeley, 304 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)