“Readers who would like to visit this part of France vicariously will like this book.”

This is not for mystery aficionados who are looking for puzzles...but I love this series. It truly concerns itself with France, wine region by wine region. It concerns itself with connoisseurship in food, wine and cigars...such as I found in France and Switzerland over many years of travel. The 'star' of this novel is La Charente, home to the grapes used in Cognac. Readers will learn something here: the typical fragrances (noses) of a well aged Cognac. We (briefly) meet 'Monsieur Body', one of those gifted noses. One also learns that defending cultural icons in a global economy is far from simple. 

More than other entries in this series, one is led to the lascivious: even the well-married and scholarly Benjamin Cooker is tempted to stray when he meets an 'Old Flame' who clearly longs to rekindle their romance. His talented assistant in the business of wine consultancy, Vergile, is similarly tempted and there is even a bit of sexual rivalry in the story. Many readers might find this 'piquant' and 'typically French.' However one may feel, this is the layer of psychology that makes 'Cognac Conspiracies' different from other entries in the series.

Readers who would like to visit this part of France vicariously will like this book. Francophiles who are open to the culture of this wonderful land will be well-informed and well-entertained. Having read a range of reviews of earlier works, I have learned that pure 'mystery' buffs will find less to occupy themselves with in this series. As always, 'procedure' is not foremost in the minds of our two writing partners. The mystery is resolved 'toute suite' at the end of each novelette (this is about 100 pages in e-book format.) I found the culprit here to be unexpected and it led me to revisit and to rethink the book in terms of each character's personal history.” —4-star Netgalley review

Cognac Conspiracies