Monday, October 31, 2016

The Champagne Conspiracy

Title: The Champagne Conspiracy
Author: Ellen Crosby
Expected Publication: November 1st 2016 by Minotaur Books
Format: eBook, Hardcover, 368 pages
Genre: Mystery
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press / Minotaur Books for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Wine Country Mysteries #7

Secrets, lies, greed and blackmail – pretty much the whole kitchen sink was included in the newest in the Wine Country Mystery series by Ellen Crosby, five years after The Sauvignon Secret, the reader finds Lucie Montgomery and her winery doing better than expected. Everything and everyone are on track until Gino Tomassi barges onto the vineyard property and accuses his cousin Quinn Santori of blackmail and deceit.

The two set out to solve the mysterious death of Zara Ingrasso Tomassi, Gino’s grandfather’s first wife, the daughter of a Prohibition-era congressman and possibly the mistress of President Warren Harding. At the same time, WWII veteran Roxy Willoughby dies and it is discovered that there was a last minute change to her will. At first blush, the two deaths decades apart do not seem related, that is until Lucie digs deeper and discovers too many similarities.

Where there is money there is greed and Lucie is determined to answer the questions that everyone else wants to keep hidden. It does get twisty since there are many parts to this story and from time to time, you are going to have to remind yourself who is related to whom and from which branch of the family, but after that, the story bounces along with an even tempo and might have you running to do a little side research.

There is a great deal going on in this book with the reader moving from story line to story line, then add in references from The Great Gatsby and Murder on the Orient Express and you will find yourself burrowing deeply to get to the end of this book and thankful that Ellen Crosby returned to this series. Other than following a titling trend, there is very little in this book about Champagne, granted there is a great deal about conspiracies, maybe Claret Conspiracy would have been better since a British saying was a turning point for Lucie.

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