Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Winemaker Detective Mysteries: An Omnibus
The Winemaker Detective Series
ean-Pierre Alaux & Noël Balen
Anne Trager and Sally JPane (Translators)

Le French Book
December 5, 2015/ ISBN 978-1939474568
Mystery / Cozy /Culinary / French

Reviewed by Richard Morelli


Winemaker Detective Mysteries: An Omnibus is a new release by the publisher that includes the first three short novels in this popular French series: Treachery in Bordeaux (Book 1), Grand Cru Heist (Book 2) and Nightmare in Burgundy (Book 3).

Each novel features the adventures of amateur sleuth and world famous winemaker Benjamin Cooker, adventures that thrusts the reader into that arcane world of French high-end wine making and business. Due to Benjamin's work as wine consultant, he travels around France. As a result, we are introduced to the various wine regions, their vineyards and local cuisine. As is true with all the winemaker novels, these stories are as much a celebration of France and its well-deserved reputation for quality wines and food, as they are an exploration of finely tuned, enticing mysteries.

Because these three novels are mysteries, we are introduced to a darker side of the wine business - intrigue, theft, unfriendly competition and other shady aspects of the business that inevitably draw Benjamin into the darker realms of the wine business. His newly hired young assistant, Virgile Lanssien, is an amusing and interesting counterpoint to the older Cooker. Although Virgile is a budding wine expert, has an excellent wine palette and enjoys France's finest cuisines, his lack of sophistication and his free spirited actions provide interesting contrasts to Benjamin's more formal manners.

For the oenophile, these adventures provide good insight into the history of France's various vineyards and their growers. I liked that, in addition to being mysteries, there is a lot of good information about France's diverse wine regions, their history and the world famous vintages ("crus") the regions produce. These books provide good background information for any traveler to the wine regions covered in these novels.

Reviewer’s Notes: The Winemaker Detective series is currently a big hit on French TV.

Reviewed 2015