The latest in the Cypress Cove Mysteries is out. I reviewed the 1st book, One Foot in the Grape (click here) and have been waiting to see what happens next. We also got a delightful character guest post by Penny Lively (click here). Let's go back to sunny California and see how wine country is handling another murder.
Copyright: March 2016 (Berkley) 304 pgs
Series: 2nd in Cypress Cove Mystery series
Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy
Main Characters: Penny Lively, former photojournalist newly inherited Joyeux Vineyard
Setting: Modern day, Napa wine country - California
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Penny Lively loves running her family’s winery, but to keep business growing, she needs to find a way to attract more guests. She is considering investing in a new train line through wine country. Penny and her winery manager, Connor, travel to a lavish resort to hear the details of the investment opportunity. Unfortunately, her neighbor’s flirtatious daughter, Chantal, is also there, swirling up trouble by flirting with the married investors—and with Connor too.
When one of the investors’ wives is murdered, Chantal, who was seen fighting with the woman, is the prime suspect. Chantal may be a man-crazy, but she’s no killer. So Penny starts asking some questions and discovers that her fellow potential investors have more than their share of deadly secrets.
Penny Lively is on the scene again when murder strikes. The tension leaps off the page in this addition, as Chantal pushes her flirtation with Connor...and other men at the investment wine and dine experience. The wine train makes a unique and effective setting for part of the book. I enjoyed the weaving of Penny's jealously over Connor with her working to clear Chantal's name anyway. Antonia even reconnects with an old flame who owns a Napa vineyard and their competitive banter has romantic undertones. The story moves right along at a nice clip and Penny finds herself in the killer's sights. It ends with some surprises and twists that provide a nail-biting killer reveal.
I enjoyed this thoroughly and was swept away in the story, surprised to find myself in snowy Colorado rather than sunny California whenever I was forced to put the book down.
Rating: Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list