Title reveal — A new Winemaker Detective mystery

French wine country mystery set in the heart of Vouvray.

We promised you another Winemaker Detective novel, this one set in Vouvray. We have the title for you: Foul Play in Vouvray.

If you like stories with wine, love, betrayal, jealously, movie stars, and luscious French countryside, you’ll love this one. In line with the others in the series, it’s another fun read with some of our favorite characters. We are looking to release it in early 2019. Many thanks to our top-notch translation and editorial team, Sally and Amy, for their hard work to make this happen.

Here is a sneak preview.

The book will take you right to the heart of France

Highway 751 moseyed along the slumbering waters of the Loire River.  After passing Montlouis, they crossed over the river and drove through the village of Vouvray, with its slate-topped roofs. They passed the Petit Côteau estate below Château Moncontour and continued on the winding road of the Vallée Coquette. The tufa houses were tinged orange under the last rays of the sun.

You’ll learn about wine and contemplate love

“Yes, son, kind of like that.” Benjamin glanced at his assistant. Virgile appeared to be drinking it all in, so he continued. “Vouvray’s one of the most diverse wines you’ll ever come across—ranging from dry to sweet and still to sparkling—but they’re all prized for their intrinsic nature. Despite everything I’ve written about Vouvray in my Cooker Guide, I can’t top the Wine Folly’s description: it’s ‘loved for its delicate floral aromas and boisterous taste that will pucker your lips and make you immediately wish for another sip.’”

“Sounds romantic. One sip, and you’re smitten. Love at first sight.”

“I wouldn’t say they’re the same thing. I think smitten is more superficial than love.” Benjamin crested a hill and passed a slow-moving car. He felt Virgile’s eyes on him and glanced his way. “What is it, son?”

“Can I ask a question, boss?” 

“Go ahead.”

“Was that how it was with you and Mrs. Cooker? Love at first sight?”

Benjamin shifted in his seat. He had never been asked this before. Had it been anyone else, he wouldn’t have answered, but because it was Virgile, he did. “Yes, you could say that, although I wouldn’t use those exact words. I had many liaisons in my youth, like you, but when I met Elisabeth, that was it for me. She had grace, intelligence, and heart. She was quick and witty too. In all these years, I’ve never been bored, and every time I pull into the drive at Grangebelle, I’m excited to see her. What about you, son? Do you believe in love at first sight?”

You’ll delve into history

“It’s a matter of time and place. First: Vouvray and Montlouis are separated by the Loire. But in the nineteen thirties, something else came between them. Vouvray and Montlouis were divided into two distinct wine-growing areas. Remember when I told you they were in the same district once? Vouvray became the first appellation of controlled origin in the Loire Valley, while Montlouis was considered something of a poor relative. That’s not the case today, mind you. Montlouis is well respected for its wine. But being split up more than eighty years ago fueled a rivalry. According to some people, they keep a close eye on each other even now.”

And we hope you’ll enjoy the read. We’ll tell you more soon.