The Winemaker Detective series - T01
144 pages - 13.95 $
The publisher Le French Book has a mission to publish in English French books they enjoyed. So once again I discovered French authors in English. As I am more and more fond of French novels, as their undeniable quality only confirms the rise of French crime fiction in the world, I decided to try my luck with this first volume in a series devoted to pleasures and wine. Knowing that I was born in Pessac (near Bordeaux), it was with pleasure that I discovered a region that I left before knowing it.
In modern-day Bordeaux, there are few wine estates still within the city limits. The prestigious grand cru Moniales Haut-Brion is one of them. When some barrels turn, world-renowned winemaker turned gentleman detective Benjamin Cooker starts asking questions. Is it negligence or sabotage? Who would want to target this esteemed vintner? Cooker and his assistant Virgile Lanssien search the city and the vineyards for answers, giving readers and inside view of this famous wine region. The start of a 22-book wine-plus-crime mystery series that delves into the underworld of a global luxury industry. The world of wine is no more respectable than the world of finance. There’s money, deceit, death, crime, inheritance, jealousy—all the ingredients needed to distill a fine detective series. The series is a hit on TV in France.
What's good about it ?
You don't read that book, you enjoy and sip it while lounging in vineyards or admiring architecture and painting. This is clearly not a detective story like any other: it doesn't happen much... not even a murder! This can be annoying for who thinks it's a classic novel detective. It's true that at one point I said to myself "but when will the action happens?"
Maybe because this is the first volume, the authors spend time describing Cooker's living environment, people around him, the decor, his tastes (for painting and wine), we participate in the writing of his book (to the point of reading some passages) and learns more about the history of the region (or country I meant!) It may seem long to some, especially as the book is short. This clearly leaves little time for the plot, but that's part of the charm of this particular novel.
There's comfort food... and there's comfort books and Treachery in Bordeaux is one of them. No horrible murder, rampage, disillusioned cop, but a mystery that is solved, a cozy atmosphere and an apology for the art of living, of enjoying life, of good food and good wine. The atmosphere is very French, which can charm or not the non-French.
In a nutshell
A very nice little book with a cozy atmosphere, a simple and well done mystery. For those who enjoy the pleasures of life. This is a 3.5 / 5 for me.
Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.