Late Harvest Havoc

Late Harvest Havoc

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Late Harvest Havoc 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Late Harvest Havoc - The Winemaker Detective Mystery 10 Author: Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen Published: 12-15-15 Publisher: Le French Book Pages: 114 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: International Mystery & Crime; Amateur Sleuth ISBN: 9781939474599 ASIN: B018GX1ALK Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars . Someone is sabotaging the vines on the vineyards in Alsace. Unfortunately Benjamin Cooker and Virgile Lassien are found at more than one of the locations of vandalism. Not to mention his vintage Mercedes is wrecked when they our touring the region to research for Cooker's Guide Book. The two men are in drawn into the center of old rivalries, vendettas and mystery. Unless they can find out who is behind everything they may end up serving the time. As always Alaux and Balen have provided a novella filled with action, suspense and mystery in which the wine detective must take time from his beloved wines and culinary delights to assist locals in a crime investigation. The difference in this one is that Cooker and Lassien have become suspect themselves and encountered the wrath of the locals that believe they are responsible for everything that has happened recently. Although short the drama of the story is as good as any full length novel. On the plus side is also that Late Harvest Havoc can easily be read in one sitting and as a stand-alone. I do recommend you read the others in the series to see how the two became acquainted and their relationship developed as the series progressed. I have been reading them all over the last month and I have one more, book 11, Tainted Tokay. I hope that Le French book has plans to translate the other 11 books as well. I think I should enjoy seeing the television series to see how the books and visual compare. My rating for Late Harvest Havoc is 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
MariaD1 More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review and rated it 4 out of 5 Stars. A lover of good food and sweet wine, I was more than happy to get a chance to read and review Late Harvest Havoc, the tenth (10th) book in The Winemaker Detective series by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen. Set in Alsace, the northeastern French region of the Rhine River, wine experts and amateur detectives Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile find themselves embroiled in solving another murder and dealing with suspicious wine growers all while traveling back and forth between Germany and France. Filled with the history of the region, colorful descriptions of the region’s food and local people, Late Harvest Havoc is a fine addition to an already established series. Deciding to introduce his assistant/apprentice to the Northeast countryside of France and its regional wines, Benjamin Cooker and Virgile Lanssien head to the Alsace region in Benjamin’s vintage Mercedes with plans to eat, drink and conduct more research for the “Cooker” guidebook. They didn’t plan one of the local guides dropping dead during a historical chapel tour or on becoming suspects in a local police investigation of “vine vandalism”. A suspicion Benjamin doesn’t take well, especially since his beloved car is also vandalized. Already a fan of this series, I could not wait to see what Mr. Alaux and Mr. Balen had in store for Benjamin and Virgile in this installment and I was not disappointed. As this series continues to progress, Benjamin and Virgile become more like a father and son; they understand each other’s mood swings and truly care for one another. Their dialogue is witty, occasionally sarcastic and they have a lot of fun traveling the countryside tasting wine. Especially since it is often accompanied by great food. While they can’t seem to help getting involved in solving murders, murder literally seems to follow them around, they enjoy the challenge solving a crime gives them and Benjamin is becoming quite proud of how much better they are at it than some of the local police. The authors do a wonderful job educating the reader about the Alsace region while solving a mystery. A region steeped in both French and German history, Alsace is clearly filled with natural beauty, great wines and good food. I personally have always wanted to visit this region of France because of how it has gone back and forth between France and Germany since the end of the Roman Empire. The two mysteries (the murder and the vandalism) are well written and there are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader entertained and guessing. I especially enjoyed reading the back and forth between Benjamin and Virgile when they were both tired and a little stressed out. Will Benjamin and Virgile discover who is behind the “vine vandalism” in the region? Will Benjamin’s beloved car suffer as a result of Benjamin’s investigation? And will they discover who killed the chapel tour guide and why she had to die? You’ll have to read Late Harvest Havoc to find out. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more books in this series.
StudentofParables More than 1 year ago
Rife with puns and turns of phrase, the latest Winemaker Detective book highlights the banter between Benjamin and Virgile, allowing us a deeper look into their personalities and partnership. Several times the characters almost break the fourth wall – you expect them to turn and wink at the reader at any moment! It is a book that is very aware of itself, even going so far as to self-reference its own title! You can tell the authors were having a lot of fun writing this one. In addition to the self-aware aspect of the writing, the style from chapter to chapter matches Benjamin’s mood and circumstances, keeping the reader immersed, and feeling the events with him. As always, the story is experienced most through the senses, with the flavor and smell descriptions even more vibrant than before. Indeed, I recommend more than ever having something to eat before reading, as your stomach will yearn for the delicious dishes, and your palate will crave the riotous flavors of the wine, throughout all the meals featured. This work however, also provides a great visual stimulation for the reader as well. The detailed description of the astronomical clock and the cathedral were so beautiful and moving, that I looked them up after reading, putting them on my bucket list to visit someday. I love the way the authors take the time, through Benjamin’s hobby of giving Virgile a little history lesson here and there, to explain side details to the reader. It adds a great layer of communication between author and reader, beyond the story. For example, the lesson on toasting history was very neat, as it puts many other works in a new light, allowing me to deepen my reading of them. The conclusion wraps up all the loose ends, and the culprit and motive are hidden until the reveal, keeping the reader turning the page in anticipation. A satisfying read! I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley
libriamorimiei More than 1 year ago
I loved all the books I have read in this series but it was my favorite. It was most adventurous, full of twists and suspense with some interesting historical references. In this new adventure Benjamin showed us around another beautiful French region, Alsace. I have been there a few years ago and I found it charming, a perfect mix of French and German culture. I liked so much to visit it again with the famous winemaker. Benjamin and his increasingly indispensable assistant Virgile are in Alsace for a tasting and find themselves involved in an unpleasant episode. In the picturesque town of Colmar a mysterious vandal destroyed some vines. This act is somehow connected to the Nazi occupation of the region? Virgile and her cantankerous boss will try to find the culprit. A plot well woven, a compelling mystery to solve, magnificent and vivid descriptions of landscapes, great tasting and wine recommendations and perfect culinary combinations: this book is a real treat, ideal for a pleasant winter evening. I can't wait to see where Benjamin and Virgile bring us in their next adventure. I received an advance reader edition of this book via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
wordsandpeace More than 1 year ago
VERDICT: Appealing mystery for all your senses, with a strong sense of unity between plot and place. A very enjoyable way of discovering a unique region of France. It was delightful to follow the characters in that really neat area. First, take time to appreciate the ambiguous cover. What is really coming out of that tonneau? Know that the French title of the series translates literary as “the blood of the vine”. This is particularly relevant for this specific mystery, as you will see later. Wine connoisseur and detective Benjamin is to meet a businessman in Germany, so he decides to stop in Alsace on his way, with his assistant Virgile. As soon as they get there, Benjamin goes to visit the marvelous cathedral of Strasbourg, unique with its pink stone. There are a few unique pieces in it, and that’s how the mystery begins, with Benjamin admiring the Astronomical Clock as well as the nearby Pillar of Angels. The description and history are included in the narrative thanks to a local tourist guide Benjamin is listening to. But shortly after, Benjamin sees the guide fall to her death in a strange way. Who is she? Was it an accident or did someone kill her? As Benjamin and Virgile visit other quaint Alsace cities, Colmar being one of these beauties, they hear about another strange happening: vines are being cut down with a chainsaw! And they multiply all over the area. Imagine: a serial killer attacking not people but vineyards, with a powerful weapon, and with no apparent connection between the places attacked. To top it all, Benjamin discovers soon after that someone slashed the back tires of his car! What’s going on here? Alsace is very close to Germany. The border is the river Rhine itself. The two countries are so close there that the region has been back and forth French and German during different periods in history. It has a unique culture and even a unique local type of dialect. France-Germany, that sends us back for instance to World War Two. Could all these happenings be related to old revenge (the book opens precisely with a quotation by Balzac on revenge!), about dealings during WWII? about the Resistance? And how are these connected with the death of the tourist guide? Grudges can go on for generations, and resentment is not uncommon in rural areas. The relationship between Benjamin and his young assistant has evolved along the series. This time, Benjamin does not hesitate to go alone to his business meeting in Germany. He leaves Virgile by himself to do some precious groundwork to try to solve this mystery and prevent the killer from destroying more vineyards.
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
As you know I have been enjoying this series more and more with each book that is added to it. I have to say them one may have been my favorite or at least it is right up there at the top. As always we learn about wines as we read as well as we get to learn about a new part of the world in this book. I love the descriptions of the setting as it makes me feel as if I am right there along with the characters in the story. This book in particular I think was full of even more adventure and drama. I love how Benjamin and Virgile play off of each other in these books. It helps make for a good story line by having the characters so well developed. I can't wait to see what these authors have to offer us in the next book.