Seven Deadly Zins: A Sonoma Wine Country Mystery

Seven Deadly Zins: A Sonoma Wine Country Mystery

by Nancy J. Parra


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The second in Nancy J. Parra’s Sonoma Wine Country mysteries is sure to make fans of Ellen Crosby heady with delight.

Which suspect drowned an inspector in the Zinfandel? Sonoma tour guide Taylor O’Brian uncorks another intoxicating Sonoma Wine Country mystery.

Taylor O’Brian, founder of “Off the Beaten Path”, takes small groups on wine country tours of romantic Sonoma County. Friends are everything in the tour business, so Taylor is happy to guide investors to the winery owned by her friend Tim Slade. But vintage turns to vinegar when an FDA inspector is found floating face down in one of Tim’s vats of squished grapes.

Tim is arrested on suspicion of murder, and Taylor and her friends rally to prove his innocence. But it’s not an easy task, especially since the winery proprietor’s acidic sense of humor tends to reap a harvest of sour grapes. Taylor’s investigation is withering on the vine until she discovers that Tim’s girlfriend, Mandy, is having an affair with a self-help guru. But before she has a chance to confront Mandy, Taylor finds Tim standing over the body of the dead guru.

This tart turn of events sends a bottle shock through Sonoma. Might Taylor’s friend really be a Zin-ful killer? If so, could Taylor be the next victim? The tour guide and her friends come to realize that the true murderer’s scent is obscured by an unsavory bouquet of red herrings.

A complex mystery designed to delight the palate of wine and cozy mystery enthusiasts alike, Seven Deadly Zins is the second quirky installment in Nancy J. Parra’s Sonoma Wine Country mysteries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683318712
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 229,941
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Nancy J. Parra, also known as Nancy Coco, is the author of the Perfect Proposals mysteries, and the Baker’s Treat mysteries. Her writing has been praised as witty and her protagonists plucky by reviewers around the world. She lives in Oregon with her trusty Bichon-Poo. Nancy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, writes for the Killer Character Blog on the eighth of every month and loves to hear from readers.

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Seven Deadly Zins: A Sonoma Wine Country Mystery 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Mousiemom123 10 months ago
A highly entertaining mystery with engaging characters and a great sense of humor.I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading her other series. I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Taylor O’Brian owns Off the Beaten Path Wine Country Tours. She offers unique outings for small groups to visit local wineries and other points of interest in Sonoma County. This time she has a group of investors and their first stop is a winery owned by her friend Tim Slade. Unfortunately when Tim demonstrates one of the key processes of winemaking he gets a terrible surprise. A body in one of the vats. Without an alibi, he is arrested. Tim can rub some folks the wrong way, but he is not a killer. Since this is not the first time Taylor has been involved in a murder investigation she knows the ropes. She knows she is going to have to come up with a least one alternate suspect. Strangely it is a visit to see a self-help guru that points Taylor in the right direction. Yes, she is there when another dead body is found, but it helps her to start to uncork this wine filled mystery. There is a lot happening in this story and at times it gets to be a little chaotic. In addition to the main murder mystery, Taylor learns she has new competition in the wine tour realm. I must say the other woman seems far more organized and business savvy, she makes Taylor look like an amateur. Also, Dr. Adam Brinkman, a renowned self-help guru comes to town and crowds are lined up for his seminars. Aunt Jemma leads a “seance” when her psychic friend is unavailable and then that psychic takes over one of Taylor’s tours when Taylor has to handle a family crisis. It all blends together but not as smoothly as I would have liked. There is a really nice twist at the end that really saved this story for me. Taylor has evolved a little bit since the first book, A Case of Syrah, Syrah, but I still find her frustrating. She is her own worst enemy. She pushes ahead without a clear plan of where she is headed or what she is trying to accomplish. She leads with her heart and not with her head, which can be endearing until it happens too often. I enjoyed her get-togethers with her friends and the relationship she has with her aunt. There are two potential love interests for her but she is indecisive about them as well. The setting is wonderful. I could picture most of the places traveled very easily. I have always wanted to take a vacation to Sonoma and visit as many wineries as possible. The setting and the colorful covers are what really drew me to this series. This story missed the mark for me a little bit, but I have hope that Taylor will continue to evolve and I will grow to like her as much as I do the supporting cast.
Thebookdevourer More than 1 year ago
First, the cover was so adorable. I know that we should not judge a book by its cover but I do so love cats and though I'm not a wine drinker (I can't spell connoisseur lol) I do enjoy anything written about my home state, California. Having been to Sonoma many times, I was able to identify with some of the places mentioned. Aunt Jemma is a wonderful character as were the other main characters that kept me enthralled. Along with this, the storyline is fun enough to catch you immediately and keep you reading. The author is a fabulous storyteller. I received this book from NetGalley for free and am voluntarily giving my honest opinion. Thank you!
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Seven Deadly Zins is the second book in A Wine Country Mystery series and I did feel it can stand on its own. Taylor O’Brian was lured to Sonoma County by her Aunt Jemma from her job in advertising in San Francisco. Instead of working at Aunt Jemma’s winery, Taylor created Off the Beaten Path to provide tourists with unique wine tours. Unfortunately, Bridget Miller decided to do the same thing and her business has doubled since she began (with fancy pink buses too). It would help if Taylor networked and advertised her business (use social media too). The author started this storyline and then it disappeared. I wonder if she will pick it up again in the next book. Taylor is a slightly annoying main character who wants to help her friends when they need assistance which is how she gets herself mixed up in a second murder. Taylor enjoys spending time with her girlfriends eating barbecue and drinking wine (they do this frequently). There are two men who are potential love interests for Taylor and she waffles between them. I hope the author is not heading down the love triangle road. The mystery appears to be convoluted, but the solution can effortlessly be discerned. I was not a fan of how the police were portrayed (that they were not up to the task of solving the crime). Taylor believes she can solve the crime better than the professionals and believes she is always right. The author took the time to describe the female characters outfits (every single one of them) in detail. I wish the author had spent the time describing what zinfandel looks and tastes like instead (I reached the end of the book and still had no clue—you can tell that I do not drink wine). I also felt that Aunt Jemma’s fake séance was not needed in the book (really did not add anything). The story could have used more character development and depth along with stronger dialogue. Seven Deadly Zins is a slow starter, but it picks up as the story progresses. There are some loose ends at the end of the book plus there are missing details (Aunt Jemma’s last name and the name of her winery for example). I am giving Seven Deadly Zins 3 out of 5 stars. Seven Deadly Zins is an airy cozy mystery with recipes at the end.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Seven Deadly Zins is the second book in the A Wine Country Mystery series. Taylor O’Brian has recently formed Off The Beaten Path and provides tours of the smaller wineries and walking tours of some of the beautiful spots in the area. Her next group that will be touring is a group of investors looking to purchase or invest in local wineries. Tim Slade, who owns a winery near Taylor’s Aunt Jemma asks when his winery will be one of the stops on her tours. She agrees to include with this group. As Tim is explaining the process of producing wine he finds a body in one the vats. The will soon be identified as Realtor Jeffrey Hoag. Tim’s girlfriend, Mandy, worked for Hoag in his real estate office. Sheriff Hennessey feels he has enough evidence to charge Tim with the murder of Hoag. Taylor’s friend, a lawyer, is able to get Tim released on bail. Also going on in Sonoma, Dr. Brinkman, a meditation guru, has moved to town and is seeking new followers. Mandy has arranged for free tickets to Taylor, Holly, Taylor’s best friend, and Chelsea, a friend and newspaper reporter. Drinks are provided to everyone to “relax” the potential followers. Taylor and Chelsea decide to abstain, but Holly drinks hers. After the meeting, Holly wants to pursue the meditation ritual that Brinkman is backing. Taylor and Chelsea feel that there was something mind-altering in the drink. A couple of days later, Holly wants to go to another meeting and Taylor agrees to go along to make sure Holly doesn’t turn over savings to the group. When they arrive, Mindy sees them and offers to take them backstage to meet Dr. Brinkham. What they find is Tim looking over Brinkaham’s body and Tim has blood on his shirt. Once again the police arrest him and bail will be denied. Taylor can’t believe that Tim would ruin a vat of wine by putting a dead body in a vat and with the help of Chelsea and Holly they set out to find the killer. In addition to being concerned about finding the killer, Taylor is also concerned about the new tour company that has just started operating. The owner, Bridget, has a high-tech bus and Taylor is worried about Bridget taking away some of her business. A wonderful addition this fun series which also has an interesting cast of characters. Recipes are also included with the book. I will be watching for the next book in the series.
CozyOnUp More than 1 year ago
Taylor O’Brian, owner and operator for Off The Beaten Path tours in Sonoma County, has a lot going on in this book. Her good friend Tim Slade is arrested for murder when he finds a body in a vat of wine during one of her tours, she’s got competition from a new, and rapidly rising tour operator whose business is booming, she’s attracted to two strong and attractive men, and her beloved Aunt Jemma is put at risk when it seems she and the gang are hot not he murderer’s trail. While there is a lot going on, the story lines all fit in together and you don’t feel like there a disconnected stories taking you all over. What you will find are a lot of suspects, some surprises along the way, and surprise ending that will keep you in suspense until the very end. I enjoyed the quirky aspects of the quirky tours, the committed friendships that Taylor has, and the wine country setting. I did find Taylor a tad flakey for someone who had such a successful career before heading to be with her Aunt Jemma. Hopefully she will evolve and bring her business acumen to the winery and her business over the next few books. Overall, this is a solid mystery that will have you wishing for more from this author and series.
Tangen More than 1 year ago
amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths, murder, wine, California, law-enforcement, lawyers Taylor appears to be a magnet for dead bodies, and this one is a shady realtor discovered in a vat of very desirable zinfandel. She has some very good friends and a dear aunt who aid and abet her in all things. From this basic start, add in the beleaguered vintner, a fascinating sheriff and similar lawyer, an iffy and expensive guru, and Taylor's rather neglected tour guide business just for interest, then let the sleuthing begin! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley.
Bobbie Kirkland More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of SEVEN DEADLY ZINS (Wine Country Mystery Book 2) by Nancy J. Parra in exchange for an honest review. Taylor O’Brian is happy to do a favor for a friend; she has a tour group comprised of people interested in the possibility of investing in a winery, and her friend Tim Slade has just asked her to introduce him to just such a group. Alas, no one wants to invest in a winery that has bodies floating in its vats. When Tim is arrested for the murder, Taylor investigates the crime in an attempt to clear his name. This was an interesting adventure in wine country. I had not read the first book (A Case of Syrah, Syrah). The characters were likeable, and I became interested in the future of Taylor’s business. #SevenDeadlyZins #NetGalley
BookloverUT More than 1 year ago
Taylor O’Brian, a tour guide in Sonoma County, takes small groups on wine country tours. Taylor decides to guide some investors to the winery owned by her friend Tim Slade. But when an FDA inspector is found floating face down in one of Tim’s vats of squished grapes, Taylor has to find the killer before Tim is sent up the river. This was a good whodunit filled with suspense, intrigue, and wine. Taylor was a very likeable character who loved to take control and figure out the truth. She did things that would get her in trouble, although it was always to help someone she loved. The plot was intricate, and there were many suspects and red herrings to keep a reader guessing. I think this book would be a fun read for cozy mystery readers who love wine. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher and am voluntarily reviewing it.