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Wine Country Mysteries Books In Order

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Publication Order of Wine Country Mysteries Books

The Merlot Murders (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chardonnay Charade (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bordeaux Betrayal (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Riesling Retribution (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vintage Vendetta (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sauvignon Secret (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Champagne Conspiracy (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vineyard Victims (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Harvest of Secrets (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Angels' Share (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The French Paradox (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bitter Roots (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Wine Country Mysteries is a series of cozy mystery books by Ellen Crosby, American novelist. Wine Country Mysteries series features Lucie Montgomery, who manages the family winery based in Virginia. The series is set about 50 miles from Washington. This is a region of rolling hills with winding country lanes that are lined by pretty villages and Civil War-era stone walls. However, among the peace and tranquility in the region, Lucie Montgomery, a vineyard owner uncovers the long-buried secrets that lead to killings and the suspects who are friends and family members that she has known and loved throughout her life.

Ellen Crosby started the Wine Country Mysteries series back in 2006 with the novel titled: The Merlot Murders. The series consist of 6 novels which concluded in 2011 with the book; The Sauvignon Secret. A former Moscow correspondent for the ABC Radio News, economist at the United Sates’ Senate and freelance reporter for The Washington Post, Crosby currently lives in Virginia together with her family.

Here is a breakdown of the first 2 early books in the Wine Country Mysteries Series by Ellen Crosby:

The Merlot Murders

A phone call at 2.30 the morning has never been good news. Eli, Lucie Montgomery’s semi estranged brother, calls her in France to tell her Leland, their father who has been killed in the hunting accident on their family’s 500-acre Virginia vineyard shortly before the fall harvest begins. By the time Eli calls, he has already made the funeral arrangements with which Lucie argues as being indecent haste.

It’s an emotional trip back home. This is the first trip since an automobile accident happened 2 years ago that left Lucie dependent on the cane and disabled. Her family’s once elegant winery and home are now run-down and shabby, thanks to their father’s penchant for the fringy business deals. Her brother, who is also cash-strapped and at the same time desperate to support his wife’s extravagant way of life, has already convinced Mia, their rebellious young sister, to sell the debt-ridden estate and then reap the profits from this valuable land it sits on, which overrules Lucie’s protests.

On the eve of their father’s burial, Fitz, Lucie’s godfather and a partner in the family’s business, tells her that Leland’s death wasn’t accident. Whoever killed her father must have been motivated by the imminent sale of this vineyard. It’s the last conversation that she had with her godfather. Now with the lone holdout that’s preventing the sale of the vineyard, Lucie realizes that she is next in line for yet another “accident.” With her hell-raising sister, greedy brother and the seemingly cut-rate vintner who was hired by Leland before he died, all suspects are disturbingly closer to home. Unsure about whom she can actually trust, Lucie has to uncover the whole truth about the godfather and father. She oversee a very successful harvest so as to save the vineyard that she loves.

Set in the historic heart of Virginia’s horse and hunt country, The Merlot Murders is filled with fascinating detail about the science and alchemy of wine making.

The Chardonnay Charade

Following the success story of The Merlot Murders, Ellen Crosby returns with yet another tale of suspense that’s set amidst the vines of Virginia wine country. As the novel begins, it’s about 9 months after the events in the previous book. Lucie and Quinn, her winemaker have managed to keep the vineyard going despite their differences. Unfortunately the Virginia’s spring season has turned unseasonably cold which forces them to make drastic measures so as to keep these vines from freezing out. Even more unfortunately after 2 sleepless nights battling with the weather, one guest from a reception that was held at this vineyard is found dead amongst vines that had been sprayed with a certain toxic pesticide. Now not only does Lucie have to deal with the inclement weather but she also has to deal with the real threat which the EPA would close her vineyard.

If you have ever lived in wine region, then you will be amused at the part where Lucy Montgomery, the vineyard protagonist and owner, is questioned just because she was taking another wine other than her own. She responds that they do not want to get the cellar palate to be focused on their own style to an extent that that they cannot distinguish problems and subtleties.

Interestingly enough, there also exists a sub-plot in the novel. One of the main characters in the novel discovers a certain historical artifact from the latter portions of the War of Northern Aggression (or the War to Preserve Union if you prefer). This artifact purports to tie down Jefferson Davis , the CSA president to the assassin of the United States’ president; a guy with a beard. This artifact also threatens to start its own set of Civil War amongst the population of this town that is famous for guerrilla fighters who are known as the Mosby’s Raiders. As a result, the question of authenticity turns out to be one more mystery for Lucy Montgomery’s investigative mind to figure out and find a long-lasting solution. Things are becoming more and more complicated for Lucie Montgomery.

This is a very interesting new series by Ellen Cosby. Its cast of the recurring characters is well written and large. In addition, the location ii this novel is described in detail such that the vineyard along with the surrounding areas nearly become another character. The Wine Country Mysteries Series has enough twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing up to the end. The overall storyline arcs are especially strong in the series so it will be better for the readers to start at the beginning. All elements come together quite well in the novel. You will certainly love this book and how it combines your love for wine and history.

All in all, The Chardonnay Charade seems to be much more interesting than The Merlot Murders; the first book in Wine Country Mysteries Series. Even though here seems to be too much coincidence in the final solution, it’s still remains to be a great novel that you should look out for.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Wine Country Mysteries

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