The “addictive” Winemaker Detective mystery series returns to Burgundy, France, where wine connoisseurs and amateur sleuths Benjamin Cooker and Virgile Lanssien sniff out wrongdoers during a hazardous harvest.
The perfect wine, the perfect harvest... and the perfect murder?
When world-renowned wine expert Benjamin Cooker’s elderly father needs him most, the erudite consultant and his dashing assistant Virgile Lanssien are called away to Burgundy to orchestrate the harvest. More than just picking grapes, the Winemaker Detective must keep a delicate balance between an old-time vintner and his heir as a catastrophic hailstorm endangers some of France’s most celebrated wines. Adding insult to injury, the brutal and mysterious murder of a grape picker sends shock waves through the winemaking world and the small-town gendarmes find evidence incriminating Cooker. He and his trusty assistant put their sharp senses to work detecting clues and subtleties in the tight-knit community to find where the real killer is lurking.
In another satisfying wine novel with a French flair, authors Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen give readers a perfectly intoxicating combination French wine, gourmet meals, and mystery in the gloriously described Burgundy wine region with all the scenery, scents, and sounds of France. This light, fun mystery combines amateur sleuths, food, and wine in a wonderfully French mystery novel that doubles as a travel guide. It is a new kind read on the international mystery and crime scene: a pitch-perfect, wine-infused, French-style cozy mystery.
About the Author
Jean-Pierre Alaux is a magazine, radio and TV journalist when he is not writing novels in southwestern France. He is the grandson of a winemaker and exhibits a real passion for wine and winemaking. For him, there is no greater common denominator than wine.
Noël Balen lives in Paris, where he shares his time between writing, making records, and lecturing on music. He plays bass, is a music critic and has authored a number of books about musicians in addition to his novel and short-story writing.
Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Masters Degree in French Literature from the University of Colorado. Her career includes more than twenty years of translating and teaching French and Italian at Berlitz and at University of Colorado Boulder. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband. She has translated several titles in the Winemaker Detective series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is Cooker and Co. at their finest, matching those around them wit for wit, glass for glass. As much as I enjoy following Benjamin and Virgile throughout this series, Elizabeth has grown to be my favorite character. Her interactions with “Beau-Papa”, as she calls Benjamin’s father, are some of the best scenes in this book. Readers really get to see the different facets to her in this work, and it is quite the treat. This doesn’t mean that Cooker and Virgile’s adventures are taking it easy in the meantime, far from it! They’re embroiled in a case, a vineyard’s race against time, and simmering family intrigues. Readers must take a deep breath and try to keep up! This particular book goes more into the wine process than the previous in the series, and really brings that side to life. From Virgile reminiscing about his grandmother and childhood memories – to Benjamin advising local winemakers using both old and new techniques – the authors’ love for this craft really shines through. It allows the reader to enjoy the story on a deeper level, something the authors find a new way to achieve every time. Yet another stellar read! I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley
Benjamin Cooker was set to spend some time with his wife and father in London. It’s bad timing as the grape harvest is due to be picked and the Lemoine family needs his advice on the picking schedule. As Cooker and his assistant, Virgile make their way to the vineyard they pass a site being cordoned off by a young police officer. When the Winemaker Detective instructs his assistant to pull over, they are informed a body has been discovered and are strongly advised to return to their car. More daunting than. a body in the vines, clouds are collecting on the horizon that promises a grape damaging thunder storm. Alaux weaves a mystery within his delectable descriptions of wine. His pacing of the mystery and the details of the countryside where the vineyards are located is rich. I would strongly advise reading this series at an acceptable time for having a glass of wine at hand. It didn’t matter that it was ten o’clock in the morning, I wanted a glass of wine. The fun, respectful working relationship Benjamin and Virgile have is entertaining. This is my first taste of the Winemaker Detective series but I can assure you I will be looking for more. I must confess, I have been to the region covered in this installment and it was a major influence of this title for me. It was so much fun to recognize the names of the towns that I have visited and could easily visualize the countryside. I want to thank the publishers for generously providing this title for my honest review.
Title: Red-handed in Romanée-Conti - Winemaker Detective Book 12 Author: Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noël Balen Translated by: Sally Pane Published: 11-15-2016 Publisher: Le French Book Pages: 140 Genre: Mysteries, Thrillers and Suspense Sub Genre: Cozy Mystery; Amateure Sleuths; Culinary ISBN: 13-978-1939474650 ASIN: B01LZJS0KE Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 4.5 Stars I receive a copy of Red-handed in Romanée-Conti from the Publisher an NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Benjamin Cooker must leave his wife Elizabeth behind to help his father when he goes to a vineyard Burgandy with his assistant Virgile Lanssien to organize the harvest. An impending hailstorm threatens the valuable grapes, Cooker must referee between the old time vintner and his modern heir, add to the stress level the body of a woman who was picking grapes was found on a neighboring vineyard. When the police find links between the victim and Cooker he falls under suspicion. With an alibi to prove he was innocent cooker and Lanssien help the local police investigate, but with the area vintners and resident leery of the two it is not an easy task. As always Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noël Balen bring the story to life with picturesque descriptions of the scenery and characters that are well developed and believable. The plot is well thought out and delivered at a steady to quick pace. This unique series appeals to those who love to read cozies, enjoy learning about different locales and wines and intriguing sleuths then you need to check out this mystery series.Red-handed in Romanée-Conti can be read as a stand alone book, but is best to read the entire series from the beginning to see how Benjamin Cooker and Virgile Lanssien have grown and their relationship has developed throughout the series. My rating for Red-handed in Romanée-Conti is 4.5 out of 5 stars. The Winemaker Detective series continues to be one of my favorites. Many thanks to Sally Pane for sharing her talents in translating it from the original French to English text.
Another great story as the Winemaker Detective and his faithful associate deal with a strange murder at an abandoned abbey near a vineyard devastated by a hailstorm. It has good information about both food and wine, a sub-plot involving Cooker's father, and a convoluted mystery. Each new episode is as good as the first, and the series entrances the reader. I'm looking forward to more.