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.