The Winemaker Detective: An Omnibus
Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen
Le French, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
he Winemaker Detective
, by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen and translated from the French, is an intriguing omnibus of three stories woven around wines and mystery.
aster winemaker Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile Lanssien play amateur sleuths around the French countryside. Benjamin is a well respected winemaker with a vast knowledge of wines and their making. Virgile, a young man following in his master's footsteps, accompanies his boss, eager to learn all he can.
he two encounter death, tainted barrels of wine, bad weather, and grapes that decline on the vine, in three separate stories –
Treachery in Bordeaux
Grand Cru Heist
Nightmare in Burgundy
. This is the beginning of a made-for-TV series with more to come.
part from the mouthwatering accounts of glorious foods, other descriptions gracefully present the French countryside for readers' edification. It's beautifully done and gives the reader not only a desire to enjoy the wines noted in the book but also to travel to France to see the terrain where sun shines helpfully on the grapes, where the night sparkles with stars and where the wine is magnificent.
did find the multitude of varieties of wines mentioned a little too hard to follow. One need not be a vintner to enjoy this omnibus, but it sure would help. I enjoyed the two main characters – Benjamin and Virgile. They played off each other very well and kept the action moving. Each story led to the next and became more enjoyable as they played out.
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