Sunday, December 10, 2017


The Vineyard Victims (Wine Country Mysteries, #8)The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had to create a 30 day challenge for myself to get reading again. I pledged to read at least fifteen minutes a day so that in ten days I was able to finish VINEYARD VICTIMS by Ellen Crosby.

FIRST SENTENCE: "My mother warned me to stay away from bad boys even before I started dating, but she'd married one herself - my father - and, as they say, apples don't fall too far from the tree."

THE STORY: The story starts with a one two punch. Two accidents propel the narrative. The first is the accident that disabled narrator Lucie Montgomery ten years earlier which still haunts her and the second is the accident that Lucie witnesses that results in the death of billionaire Jamison Vaughn, who recently lost the election for President of the United States. And although the authorities determine the car crash was an accident, Lucie suspects it was suicide considering the dying man asked her to do something for him.

This is the eighth book in the Wine Country Mystery. The Vineyard in the small town of Atoka, Virginia, about fifty miles from Washington, D.C. seems to attract death.

My guess is that reading the books in order would fill in a lot of details. It takes a little more concentration for the reader to begin to build a world this far into a series.

Interesting historical facts add to the fun including the story of the Norton grape and the growth of the wine industry in America add to the enjoyment of the story.

"As any winemaker knows, drink too much of your own stuff and you get what's called a cellar palate. Eventually you start overlooking deficits in your own wine, your palate is no longer honed to notice the nuances in other varietals, and you become numb to the differences you would have noticed if you drank more widely."

And did you know that "Madeira has the distinction of being the only alcohol in the world that never goes bad."
WHAT I THOUGHT: I'm not much of a wine drinker but my thoughts on that are changing after reading this book. Not particularly a cozy reader either but was still touched by the ending.  (Yes, there were tears.)

My guess is that it would be better to read the series in order although this entry stood alone pretty well. The author plots and writes carefully making it easy for the reader to follow. I actually found Lucie a bit annoying although she is an interesting narrator.

If you like a good cozy, you'll want to start with Ellen Crosby's MERLOT MURDERS and read all the titles in this series.

BOTTOM LINE:  Recommended for lovers of cozy mysteries, Virginia, and wine.

Series: Wine Country Mystery
Title: Vineyard Victims
Author: Ellen Cosby
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin's Press / Minotaur Books
No. of Pages: 336
Copyright: November 7, 2017
ISBN-10: 1250076625
ISBN-13: 978-1250076625

Disclaimer: An final copy of this book was provided to me by St. Martin's Press / Minotaur Books for a fair review. 

ELLEN CROSBY is the author of the Virginia wine country mysteries and two mysteries featuring international photojournalist Sophie Medina. In 2017, Minotaur Books will publish THE VINEYARD VICTIMS, the 8th wine country mystery, along with the paperback edition of THE CHAMPAGNE CONSPIRACY, (wine country book 7). Before writing fiction, Crosby worked as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post and as an economist at the US Senate. Visit her website at and follow her on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks and on Twitter at @ellencrosby.(From Amazon)

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