The first I’ve read of Ellen Crosby’s work, this seventh book in her Wine Country Mysteries series intrigued me from the start. Family feuds, wine, history and a mystery all rolled into one. Please read on for my review of
The Champagne Conspiracy
Never having read this series before, I was curious to see if this book would work on its own, and whether information would be presented in a way to keep the major players in the story identifiable. The relationship with Lucie and Quinn did take some adjustment to understand their dynamic, but the characterizations are so present that it wasn’t long before that dynamic was presented. Plenty of other secondary characters, sure to be familiar with those who have read the series, presented themselves, and understanding everyone’s roles and relationships to the plot and one another did take much (if not all) of the book, and unfolded in ways that made sense.
The villain in this story was wonderfully complex with his fingers in many different subplots, all coming clear at the very end. Intermixing history and the politics of the Harding era was a nice touch that helped to set both the reasons and a depth to the feud that made sense, and had me continually engaged. Not over-dramatized or laced with red herrings to increase readers’ tension, the story was reasonable in pacing and never had moments of “oh get on with it” that interrupted the flow.
Truly intriguing with plenty of characters that I am curious about and would like to see more of (Hope being a particular favorite) I’ve added earlier titles in this series to be read during my leisure time.
Title: The Champagne Conspiracy
Author: Ellen Crosby
Series: Wine Country Mysteries #7
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Dual Timeline, Family Saga
Published by: Minotaur Books
Published on: 1 November, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours
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Winter has come to the Montgomery Estate Vineyard in Atoka, Virginia. Lucie Montgomery and winemaker Quinn Santori have decided to make champagne, a first for the vineyard.
But then Gino Tomassi, Quinn’s uncle, turns up on their doorstep one afternoon, demanding help in solving the mystery of what happened to Zara Tomassi, the first wife of his grandfather, who died in a San Francisco hotel in 1923 under suspicious circumstances. And it seems there’s no coincidence that her death came the day after President Warren Harding passed away in that same hotel. Gino needs answers before his blackmailer takes him for all he’s worth―or exposes an explosive family secret.
Lucie searches for what happened almost a hundred years ago as she delves into Prohibition-era Washington, D.C.―a town of bootlegging and duplicity, jazz clubs and speakeasies. But then the investigation turns deadly, threatening Lucie, her relationship with Quinn, and the vineyard, as they realize someone is still out there nearly a century later who will go to any lengths to keep the truth about Zara’s death a buried secret.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.