Screenplay writer Norrie Ellington is babysitting her sister and brother-in-law’s business, the Two Witches Winery, while they travel the world looking for insects (yes really!) Norrie’s also trying to keep up with her own job, writing romantic screenplays for television. But it seems yet another dead body has turned up in wine country and she just can’t resist trying to solve the case.
While the overall mystery held my interest, I felt that some of the clues Norrie coaxed out of the locals were obtained far too easily. For example, when she decided to talk about the floral, perfumy notes of a wine in order to coax a suspect into talking about a lingering perfume clue, the ploy was such an immediate success that it felt contrived. Finding a seat in a local bar right next to a person of interest was convenient, but while Norrie listened in to his conversation with the bartender, she gained more information in ten minutes than Nancy Drew could have rounded up in a week.
What did I love? The two incorrigible young boys who not only got the story rolling, but kept it energized all the way through. Nearly every character was well-written and interesting. The case kept me guessing all the way, and I found myself grabbing my Kindle often, needing to see where we were going.
I have not read the previous six books, but this one stands on its own quite well, so if you’re new to The Wine Trail Mysteries, don’t worry about that. Love a cozy? I’ll admit this one’s got snuggle power.
My thanks to author J.C. Eaton, NetGalley, and Beyond the Page Publishing for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.