Dying on the Vine (Gideon Oliver Series #17)

Dying on the Vine (Gideon Oliver Series #17)

4.2 9
by Aaron Elkins
     
 

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Edgar® Award–winning author Aaron Elkins’s creation—forensics professor Gideon Oliver—has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a likable, down-to-earth, cerebral sleuth.” Now the celebrated Skeleton Detective is visiting friends at a vineyard in Tuscany when murder leaves a bitterSee more details below

Overview

Edgar® Award–winning author Aaron Elkins’s creation—forensics professor Gideon Oliver—has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a likable, down-to-earth, cerebral sleuth.” Now the celebrated Skeleton Detective is visiting friends at a vineyard in Tuscany when murder leaves a bitter aftertaste…
 
When Gideon Oliver and his wife, Julie, are in Tuscany visiting the Cubbiddu family, the renowned Skeleton Detective is asked to reexamine the remains of a mysterious family tragedy. Pietro Cubbiddu, former patriarch of the Villa Antica wine empire, is thought to have killed his wife and then himself in the remote mountains of the Apennines. It does not take long for Gideon to deduce that, whatever happened, a murder-suicide it was not.
 
Soon Gideon finds himself in a morass of family antipathies, conflicts, and mistrust, to say nothing of the local authority’s resentment. And when yet another Cubbiddu relation meets an unlikely end, it becomes bone-chillingly clear that the killer is far from finished…

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Edgar-winner Elkins’s cleverly plotted 18th Gideon Oliver mystery (after 2009’s Skull Duggery) takes the man “known throughout the world of forensic science as the Skeleton Detective” to Tuscany, where he looks into the apparent murder-suicide of Pietro Cubbiddu, the strong-willed patriarch of the famous Cubbiddu wine-making family, and Pietro’s wife, Nola. After examining the remains, Gideon concludes that it’s an unusual double homicide instead. The family and its confidantes had motive and opportunity for killing the couple—but why push the bodies off a cliff, then shoot them after they’re already dead? The later murder of an estranged half-brother of the three grown Cubbiddu sons creates both clues and confusion. A convincing resolution more than offsets the painstaking discussions of the manner of death that initially slow the pace. Evocations of Tuscany and a lively cast of supporting characters, notably feisty police lieutenant Rocco Gardella, balance the cerebral investigation with charm. Agent: Lisa Erback Vance, Aaron M. Priest Literary. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
“No one does it better than Aaron Elkins.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“The whole world is Gideon Oliver’s playing field in Elkins’s stylish mysteries.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Evocations of Tuscany and a lively cast of supporting characters, notably feisty police lieutenant Rocco Gardella, balance the cerebral investigation with charm.”—Publishers Weekly

“Delivers another delicious blend of forensic science and a to-die-for setting…The family turns out to be as tricky as the Borgias, and the motives for murder elbow each other for precedence. Much about wine, Florence, forensics, and evil. Great bouquet.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“Aaron Elkins’s charming Gideon Oliver series—the celebrated ‘Skeleton Detective’—moves to Italy in this solid entry…[Elkins] infuses the story with details about winemaking, describing it so well we can almost taste the barrel-aged vino. For mystery lovers, Dying on the Vine is indeed a tasty treat.”—Mystery Scene
 
“It’s nice to see Gideon back in southern climes enjoying the good life.”—Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal
After a three-year hiatus, "Skeleton Detective" Gideon Oliver heads to Tuscany in his 17th entry (after Skull Duggery). The vineyards hold dark secrets for his friends.
Kirkus Reviews
Yet another lecture/vacation junket, this time in Tuscany's wine region, turns into a murder investigation for forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver and his unexpectedly helpful wife, Julie. Eleven months after he disappeared during his routine monthly retreat to a cabin in the hills, Sardinian-born vintner Pietro Cubbiddu's skeletonized remains are discovered at the bottom of a steep cliff by a passing hiker, along with those of Nola, his wife of 25 years, who'd vanished soon after. Elderly police pathologist Dr. Melio Bosco pronounces the case a murder-suicide: Pietro shot Nola to death then sent her over the edge and followed both steps himself. Luckily, Gideon Oliver happens to be on hand to give a forensic seminar and visit Julie's old friend Linda Rutledge, whose husband, Luca, is one of Pietro's three sons and successors. In short order, Gideon determines that nearly everything about Dr. Bosco's reconstruction of the deaths is wrong. That turns out to be an important finding since a good deal depends on who died first and how, especially since Cesare, a son of Nola's first marriage, is suing his stepbrothers--Luca, Nico and Franco, the eldest son who's now running the winery--for financial and emotional losses. Nor can anyone be quite certain whether Pietro, on returning from the sabbatical he never completed, was going to accept a German brewer's offer of €5.5 million for the family company, which certainly would have strained family ties. A lot less tension for all hands than the unusually suspenseful The Worst Thing (2011). It's nice to see Gideon back in southern climes enjoying the good life, even if he's never cared for osso buco.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101613498
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/04/2012
Series:
Gideon Oliver Series , #17
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
68,664
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author


Aaron Elkins is the author of the Edgar® Award–winning Gideon Oliver Mysteries as well as his most recent novel, The Worst Thing. He lives with his wife, Charlotte, on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

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