One of those rare breaks in the daily hubbub, offering a relaxing journey through French wine country peppered with reflexions on greed, remorse, and friendship.
In the mist-covered hills of Sauternes, where the wine is luscious and the landscape beguiling, the brutal murder of an elderly couple intrigues the wine expert Benjamin Cooker and awakens memories for his dashing assistant Virgile Lanssien. Drawn into the investigation, the two journey through the storied Sauternes countryside, where the Château d’Yquem has reigned for centuries. Will the murder go unexplained and the killer remain free? The Winemaker Detective’s discernment and incessant curiosity push investigators to look deeper, while Virgile rekindles memories of his days at school and questions the meaning of his life.
In another satisfying wine novel with a French flair, authors Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen give readers a perfectly intoxicating combination of French wine, gourmet meals, and mystery in the gloriously described Sauternes 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 of read on the international mystery and crime scene: a pitch-perfect, wine-infused, French-style cozy mystery.
About the Author
The authors of the Winemaker Detective series are epicures. 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. He gets a sparkle in his eye when he talks about the Winemaker Detective mystery series, which he coauthors with Noël Balen. Noël 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 prolific novel and short-story writing.
Noël 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 prolific novel and short-story writing.
Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Master’s 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.
In France, there are twenty-six books in the series so far (12 published to date in the U.S.), as the series grows and evolves, do you find it easier or more difficult to fall into the story and discover new and exciting plots?
Each book is an adventure in and of itself. It is hard to describe the process in terms of ease or difficulty. It is true that our characters are more familiar to us, and their personalities more present, and even more complex. At the same time, each plot requires us to explore a whole new lay of the land, which in the case of this series begins with the wine region where the story takes place. It is important that we invent new stories and new approaches, that we continue to find original ideas.
You have written together now for many years, as well as writing separately. Who does what in the partnership? What are the advantages?
Yes, it's been fourteen years now that we have written together, and both of us have our own approaches. Jean-Pierre also works as a reporter, and spends a lot of time out in the vineyards, tasting, and meeting people involved in winemaking, for whom it is a passion. Noël is good at refining the story, and the two of us together have learned what their respective qualities are, and where their weak spots lie. Working together in this way, striving for high standards, we advance without looking back, knowing that the world of winemaking has a wealth of stories to be told.