Deadly Tasting (Winemaker Detective Mysteries #4)
by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen
Deadly Tasting is a short little novel. It has the feeling of an episode in an ongoing PBS mystery series. By that, I mean that it is kind of quirky, slow-moving, and talky. There is talk about French wine, as you would expect, and also talk about what went on in the Bordeaux area during World War II. Much of the talk centers around the Nazi occupation and the French collaborators. Sometimes there is too much talk. I started to skim over it, because I didn’t know the area, or the vineyards.
The main characters aren’t too well-developed, but still fun and likeable. I’m sure that you would get to know them better if you read the rest of the series. The plot was fairly straight forward with no major surprises. Like I said, more like a TV episode than a movie.
This is an interesting, quirky, little book. Not bad, but nothing too much either. If you drink French wine, this series will be right up your alley, but for the rest of us, there isn’t too much that will connect.
I give Deadly Tasting 3 Stars out of 5. If this sounds interesting to you, you probably will like it, but most Americans will find it rather too quirky.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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?
Series: Winemaker Detective (Book 4)
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Le French Book (October 17, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
About the Author
is a magazine, radio and TV journalist when he is not writing novels in southwestern France. He is the grandson of a winemaker and exhibits a real passion for wine and winemaking. For him, there is no greater common denominator than wine. He gets a sparkle in his eye when he talks about the Winemaker Detective, which he coauthors with Noël Balen
. Noël lives in Paris, where he shares his time between writing, making records, and lecturing on music. He plays bass, is a music critic and has authored a number of books about musicians in addition to his novel and short-story writing.