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Though she despises the groom, Jean Applequist boards an elegant yacht in San Francisco Bay for the wedding of her good friend Diane and wealthy real estate developer Martin Wingo. But things go terribly wrong: the evening ends in ...
Though she despises the groom, Jean Applequist boards an elegant yacht in San Francisco Bay for the wedding of her good friend Diane and wealthy real estate developer Martin Wingo. But things go terribly wrong: the evening ends in tragedy, not celebration when, after exchanging vows, Wingo disappears into the bay.
Diane asks Jean to investigate Martin's murder out of fear that the police will uncover too many of his secrets. Jean agrees, but discovers it's not easy to find out who killed a blackmailer and a womanizer. The list of potential suspects is long.
Joining forces with the young and geeky Zeppo, Martin's former assistant and armed with the details of Martin's operation, the two soon find themselves way ahead of the San Francisco homicide detectives, a dangerous place to be.
Their questioning of Martin's victims elicits strong reactions, from fear to rage to attempted murder that endanger them both and force Jean to fight for her life - twice.
Posted August 21, 2012
Seriously good wine, characters, locations and mystery. Jean Applequist
has a nose for seriously good wine. She can recognize the real from the
fake, and she writes wine columns with great aplomb. She’s famous, and
she’s hard to miss with that curious cut of prematurely silver hair.
She’s a great character, and she carries Lisa King’s mystery novel,
Death in a Wine Dark Sea, lifting it high above the general mystery
genre. Jean likes men, doesn’t like monogamous commitment, takes risks,
and notices things. So it’s not surprising her friend asks her to
investigate when the groom at a high-class wedding falls into the frigid
waters of San Francisco Bay. The list of suspects is pleasingly peopled
with rich and famous larger-than-life characters, each with their own
devious secrets, each enjoying their own masterfully planned success.
Jean enlists the help of the victim’s oddly secretive and geeky
associate, Zeppo, and soon the two of them are enjoying fast cars, fine
dining and high speed chases through gloriously depicted California
countryside. The pacing is great with lulls to savor human comfort and
food, then sudden frantic life-or-death threats of disaster. The
characters are wonderful, from gay rights campaigner to ultra-right-wing
bodyguard to politician to Vietnam vet. Death in a Wine Dark Sea is
pleasingly dark but filled with light, intriguingly unconventional while
still being a satisfying, red-herring filled mystery, a sensuous feast
for all the senses, and a fantastic introduction to a modern-world,
thoroughly American, high-society and intrepid Miss Marple for the
2000s. Disclosure: I received a bound galley of this novel from the
publisher, the Permanent Press, in exchange for my honest review.
Posted July 31, 2012
Death in a Wine Dark Sea has all the elements of a great read. Intelligently written, strong character development, twists and turns galore. Add great food, interesting locations in San Francisco and northern climes, exceptional wine, mystery, sex, and a cast of contemporary characters right out of Dickens' novel. A real page turner which I hated to have end. Can't wait for Lisa King's next book. Bravo!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.