The Chardonnay Charade (Wine Country Mystery Series #2)

The Chardonnay Charade (Wine Country Mystery Series #2)

by Ellen Crosby
4.1 14

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The Chardonnay Charade (Wine Country Mystery Series #2) by Ellen Crosby

The Chardonnay Charade begins with a daring helicopter flight in the middle of the night. Facing a freak spring frost that threatens to kill the grapes in her vineyard, Lucie Montgomery hires a chopper to fly over the vines in order to blow warm air on them. But her thoughts soon turn from grapes to murder when she discovers the body of Georgia Greenwood, a controversial political candidate, lying near the fields. Georgia's husband, Ross, Lucie's friend and doctor, immediately falls under suspicion. To make matters worse, Ross, a renowned collector of Civil War documents, has just discovered a letter that seems to prove that Confederate president Jefferson Davis had prior knowledge of the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. In the small town of Atoka, Virginia -- proud home to the "Gray Ghost," the Confederacy's legendary guerrilla commander -- the letter is a bombshell.

Three years ago Ross saved Lucie's life after she was involved in a near-fatal car crash. Now she intends to return the favor and prove Ross's innocence. As the search for Georgia's killer escalates, Lucie crosses swords with her attractive but cantankerous winemaker, Quinn Santori, and confronts her own unwelcome feelings of jealousy over his new romance and job prospects. Her worries about her kid sister's out-of-control drinking and a second vineyard-related death further ratchet up the tension. Even though Lucie believes that in vino veritas -- in wine there is truth -- she finds that the path to uncovering a murderer involves making a heartbreaking decision that will alter the lives of those she loves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416545682
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 08/07/2007
Series: Wine Country Mystery Series , #2
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 98,590
File size: 696 KB

About the Author

Ellen Crosby is the author of Multiple Exposure, the first book in a series featuring photojournalist Sophie Medina. She has also written six books in the Virginia wine country mystery series. A former freelance reporter for The Washington Post, Moscow correspondent for ABC Radio News, and an economist at the US Senate, Crosby lives in Virginia with her family. Learn more about her at

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Chardonnay Charade (Wine Country Mystery Series #2) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
JamesJohnCudneyIV More than 1 year ago
3 out of 5 stars to Ellen Crosby's The Chardonnay Charade, her second book in the "Wine Country Mysteries" series. I enjoy wine and I enjoy this series, but I found myself putting the book down a few times without any sense of urgency to get back to it. In the end, I am glad I read it and I will continue a few more in the series, but there were a few times I wasn't very engaged due to the way the story has been told. Story Lucie Montgomery is still healing from the death of her father and a few other family friends in the last book when the wife of her doctor is found dead in Lucie's vineyard, possibly due to her staff's negligent activities. Lucie soon learns the victim was bashed on the head prior to having some of the chemicals on her property attack the victim's body, but the suspects all point to friends of hers which makes it even harder to accept. Lucie supports her doctor who is accused of the murders and helps him prove his alibi, but when another death adds the intrigue of political scandal, Lucie's confused. Her vineyard becomes a spot for lovers' trysts upping the game of who is actually having an affair on his/her spouse. Add in a charming British transplant, some sisterly bonding time with Mia and the potential for Quinn, her new winemaker, to abandon her (or kiss her!), and you've got tons of stories beginning to burgeon. In the end, the killer is caught but it's not something Lucie is happy to hear given all that she's been through lately. Strengths If you love wine, you will feel right at home. The author adds in many different background stories about the grapes, processes and EPA oversight regulations. It helps you feel connected with a bit of the past when Thomas Jefferson built wineries from European grapes, something important to these Virginia vintners. Lucy is a great character who you sometimes dislike and sometimes root for. I like the balanced approach because she seems very real. She is well-written with flaws and strengths, but each time, I find myself wanting to keep learning more. Suggestions I really don't like Lucie's family, but I'm hoping her relationship with them will change in the next book given what happened to Mia at the end of this one (no spoilers here!). It feels like Lucie is too alone and I want her to have someone on her side for a change. The plot was a bit predictable. I had 3 potential outcomes (and there were quite a number of suspects) and this was at the top of my list. I didn't want it to come true, but it did... I think it bothers me because I took it as another blow to Lucie that the killer is someone she knows (not really a spoiler as she knows almost all of the suspects). I was hoping it would go differently. Final Thoughts I waffled between a 3 and a 4 on this review, having a few good highlights but also a few "blah" parts... in the end, I think it gets pushed down to a 3 because it took me a week to read and I'm usually done in 3 days with a book of this size. It rolls along without any major cliffhangers or major dramatic moments which can be good but sometimes you need a few surprise nudges. If you've read the first one and are on the fence about the second one... if you need suspense and action, this isn't for you; however, if you enjoy the relaxing story-telling type approach, then you should keep reading this series.
ARS1953 More than 1 year ago
I have read 3 of these now, and they have decent mysteries and lots of information about wine and Virginia wine country. Even if you are not a wine lover, you will find these books interesting!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Open up a nice chardonnay -- or even a merlot, find a comfortable chair and enjoy accompanying Lucie Montgomery as she discovers who is responsible for the dead corpse found in her vineyard. This is an enjoyable and intriguing story that captures the reader from the first sentence. Told against the backdrop of the tight knit community of Virginia wine (and horse) country, the added details of local civil war history and of the art of winemaking blend nicely with a good tale. The characters are finely drawn, with rich histories of their own. This is a highly enjoyable and captivating mystery.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Chardonnay Charade Ellen Crosby Scribner, Aug 2007, $24.00 ISBN 9780743289924 The late seasonal frost endangers the vines in Lucie Montgomery's Virginia based winery. Lucie spends the night freezing as she and her crew tries to keep the vines from freezing. However, upon daylight, to her chagrin, Lucie finds the corpse of politician Georgia Greenwood. The police investigate the murder with the victim¿s husband Ross as the prime (and only) suspect. Meanwhile since Georgia¿s body was contaminated by pesticide, EPA officials consider fining Lucie for misuse. She plans to stay out of the inquiry as she has enough to do with her winery, her alcoholic sister, and her jealous ire at her winemaker. An outraged Lucie decides to investigate the homicide as she does not trust the nouveau officialdom to seek the truth when she and Ross are convenient. --- The latest A Wine Country Mystery (see THE MERLOT MURDERS) goes down smooth from start to finish due to Lucie¿s actions as she adapts from saving her vines to saving her friend and her reputation. The contrast between old money and the invading newcomers add regional depth to this fine tale. However, it is the cast from the bristly heroine to her winemaker to her sister to her friend and finally the cops who turn THE CHARDONNAY CHARADE into a palate pleasing tasty tale. --- Harriet Klausner