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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Review - Pairing a Deception

I reviewed the 1st in series, Decanting a Murder (click here) by Nadine Nettmann - a real-life Sommelier.  I missed the second in the series, but here is the third in the series for you.

Author: Nadine Nettmann

Copyright: May 2018 (Midnight Ink) 240 pgs

Series: 3rd in A Sommelier Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Amateur Sleuth

Main Character: Katie Stillwell, Restaurant Sommelier prepping for Master Sommelier exam

Setting: Modern, Santa Barbara

Obtained Through: Publisher for an honest opinion -Netgalley

Cover Blurb:  "With only a few days left until her Advanced Sommelier exam, Katie Stillwell hopes to balance studying with attending a wine and food festival in Santa Barbara.

The weekend with Detective Dean is off to a great start―until an attendee is murdered and suspicion falls on the festival emcee, Master Sommelier Hudson Wiley. Katie tries to keep her focus on the festival and her last-minute studying, but when she discovers people aren’t who they say they are, she finds herself in the middle of a tangled web where nothing, except the wine, is what it seems."

Katie Stillwell takes most everything in stride, including her boyfriend having to rush back to the city for his job in the middle of their romantic weekend.  She  isn't intentionally investigating, not much, but she is putting together a number of clues.  Detective Dean is the romantic interest who gets called back to his job a few times in the course of this novel.  Thus, there wasn't much revealed about him in this novel other than he is trying to make the relationship work. Hudson Wiley, the Master Sommelier and prime suspect exhibits plenty of strange behavior and you never quite know what his deal is.  This time around there is no wine tasting group or friends in the story, but there is an eclectic group of festive attendees.

The setting of the wine festive works well.  The plot was a little disjointed for me (may just be me), and the pacing stayed steady, perhaps a little too steady.

The climax had a slight killer confrontation that was okay, but I didn't really feel it.  I really prefer a killer reveal that has me flipping pages with my heart pounding - this didn't do that for me.  I have even enjoyed books that have less suspense for more realistic with the police involved in the killer reveal, but that wasn't the case here either. 

This was a fast read in that it seemed short and compact (a mere 240 pages). The story was entertaining enough, but I didn't feel a sense of urgency for Katie to solve the crime.  I would have liked a bit more suspenseful killer confrontation or romance to get the blood pumping and invest me in the story, but others may like the even emotions of the story.  I really enjoyed the wine references and notes throughout and the setting.

Good - A fun read with good qualities for those who enjoy a tamer mystery. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t know much about wine? Or perhaps you know a friend
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‘The Little Wine Guide’ spans Cabernet to Chardonnay with tips on how to chill and store wine to buying wine among the vast options.

This jam-packed little book removes the mystery and makes savoring a fine wine fun. Learn the lingo fast through an overview of wine to get you on your feet pronto. Learn about the basic wine types to planning your own wine tasting, the intricacies of restaurant presentation etiquette to an overview of wine in America to assist you on your personal wine journey! Understand your unique taste preferences and what interests you in the world of wine from blogs, movies, documentaries, magazines or books on the people of the wine world.

Buy Here:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble  | Website

Kerrianne (Goodreads) 5 star  "Great and compact intro into the world of wine. Can't wait to tour some local wineries with my new found knowledge. So happy I was able to win this through a Goodreads Giveaway!"

Cynthia Calongne--Lyr Lobo 5 star  "What a great book - fun content, well-organized and easy to read and digest!"

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