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The Merlot Murders by Ellen Crosby
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The Merlot Murders

by Ellen Crosby

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Lucie Montgomery's father, Leland, has been killed in a hunting accident on the family's Virginia vineyard. Lucie's godfather tells the death was no accident. With her greedy brother, hell-raising sister, and a seemingly cut-rate vintner, all the suspects are disturbingly close to home. Unsure whom she can trust, Lucie must uncover the truth-and save the vineyard. First in the Wine Country Mystery Series.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Mar 30, 2017 |
okay... here's the thing: a while ago, i bonked my head. badly. it's messed up many things for nearly 3 months now, including my reading. my ability to focus on more challenging or deeper books has been flattened. so i've been flailing about trying to find less taxing reads that are entertaining and well written. that, apparently, is a task easier said than done. cozy mysteries have worked for me in the past. i somehow stumbled onto this series, so decided to give it a shot. along with mysteries, i like wine. though the titles in this series are cheesy (more wine, please), i was drawn to the setting and the fact the author is a journalist. so there's how we got here.

overall, this novel was fine. it's a reasonable setup for the books which follow. the whodunnit dragged out a bit as the suspects piled up, and some plot points were flimsy, but i didn't mind several of the characters and i am curious as to how things will evolve through the series. the book worked for what i needed and there's potential here. ( )
  Booktrovert | Jan 20, 2017 |
Returning home after two years away, Lucie finds that a lot has changed except for her love for the vineyard and winery. She finds herself fighting to keep it while also seeking answers to a death in the family. He author weaves a story that drew me in and kept me up to find the answer. There are some tense moments and surprises. I am ready for the next in the series. ( )
  rwilliams2911 | Jun 21, 2016 |
Having read and enjoyed Ellen Crosby's Sophie Medina mysteries, I was looking forward to reading this first book in her Wine Country series-- even if I don't like wine. I found The Merlot Murders to be every bit as intelligently written and absorbing as Multiple Exposure and Ghost Image.

Lucie Montgomery is a complex character, and the plot certainly isn't short of family dynamics with her obnoxious brother Eli, his greedy wife, and their gullible little sister. There's also a head vintner on the property whose motivations aren't very clear.

Added to the first-rate mystery are fascinating snippets of the history of wine making in Virginia. Between this series and Martin Walker's series set in France, I have a feeling that I'm going to end up being a very knowledgeable oenophobe. Crosby also gives an outline of Lucie's family history as well as the house and vineyard. This information put me firmly in Lucie's No Sale camp, but it also made me wonder why no one else in the family felt the same way.

See? Although the mystery is taken care of through the course of The Merlot Murders, I'm left with questions about Lucie and her family, and this is definitely going to make me continue reading the series. Bring on the chardonnay! ( )
  cathyskye | May 26, 2016 |
An enjoyable mystery for this wine lover. Lucie is a likable character, kick-ass but with her insecure moments, too. Looking forward to checking out other titles in this series. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
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It has become quite a common proverb
that in wine there is truth.

--Pliny the Elder
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For André
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I have always been fascinated by alchemy, though I draw the line at black magic.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743289900, Hardcover)

A phone call at two thirty in the morning is never good news. Lucie Montgomery's semiestranged brother, Eli, calls her in France to tell her their father, Leland, has been killed in a hunting accident on the family's five-hundred-acre Virginia vineyard just as the fall harvest is about to begin. By the time he calls, Eli has already made funeral arrangements with what Lucie argues is indecent haste.

It is an emotional trip home -- the first since an automobile accident two years ago, which left Lucie disabled and dependent on a cane. Her family's once elegant home and winery are now shabby and run-down, thanks to her father's penchant for fringy business deals. Eli, also cash-strapped and desperate to support his new wife's extravagant lifestyle, has already convinced their rebellious younger sister, Mia, to sell the debt-ridden estate and reap the profits from the valuable land it sits on, overruling Lucie's protests.

On the eve of the funeral Lucie's godfather, Fitz, a partner in the family business, tells her Leland's death was no accident. Whoever killed him was motivated by the potential sale of the vineyard. It is the last conversation she will have with Fitz. Now the lone holdout preventing the vineyard sale, Lucie realizes she's next in line for another "accident." With her greedy brother, hell-raising sister, and a seemingly cut-rate vintner hired by Leland just before he died, all the suspects are disturbingly close to home. Unsure whom she can trust, Lucie must uncover the truth about the deaths of her father and godfather -- and oversee a successful harvest to save the vineyard she loves.

Set in the historic heart of Virginia's horse and hunt country, "The Merlot Murders" is filled with fascinating detail about the science and alchemy of wine making.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"A phone call at two thirty in the morning is never good news. Lucie Montgomery's semiestranged brother, Eli, calls her in France to tell her their father, Leland, has been killed in a hunting accident on the family's five-hundred-acre Virginia vineyard just as the fall harvest is about to begin. By the time he calls, Eli has already made funeral arrangements with what Lucie argues is indecent haste." "It is an emotional trip home - the first since an automobile accident two years ago, which left Lucie disabled and dependent on a cane. Her family's once elegant home and winery are now shabby and run-down, thanks to her father's penchant for fringy business deals. Eli, also cash-strapped and desperate to support his new wife's extravagant lifestyle, has already convinced their rebellious younger sister, Mia, to sell the debt-ridden estate and reap the profits from the valuable land it sits on, overruling Lucie's protests." "On the eve of the funeral Lucie's godfather, Fitz, a partner in the family business, tells her Leland's death was no accident. Whoever killed him was motivated by the potential sale of the vineyard. It is the last conversation she will have with Fitz. Now the lone holdout preventing the vineyard sale, Lucie realizes she's next in line for another "accident." With her greedy brother, hell-raising sister, and a seemingly cut-rate vintner hired by Leland just before he died, all the suspects axe disturbingly close to home. Unsure whom she can trust, Lucie must uncover the truth about the deaths of her father and godfather - and oversee a successful harvest to save the vineyard she loves."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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