MERLOT MURDERS, THE by Ellen Crosby - SIGNED BOOK CLUB EDITION See all titles by Ellen Crosby.
A phone call at two thirty in the morning is never good news. Lucie
Montgomery's semiestranged brother, Eli, calls her in France to tell her
their father, Leland, has been killed in a hunting accident on the
family's five-hundred-acre Virginia vineyard just as the fall harvest is
about to begin. By the time he calls, Eli has already made funeral
arrangements with what Lucie argues is indecent haste.
It is an
emotional trip home -- the first since an automobile accident two years
ago, which left Lucie disabled and dependent on a cane. Her family's
once elegant home and winery are now shabby and run-down, thanks to her
father's penchant for fringy business deals. Eli, also cash-strapped and
desperate to support his new wife's extravagant lifestyle, has already
convinced their rebellious younger sister, Mia, to sell the debt-ridden
estate and reap the profits from the valuable land it sits on,
overruling Lucie's protests.
On the eve of the funeral Lucie's
godfather, Fitz, a partner in the family business, tells her Leland's
death was no accident. Whoever killed him was motivated by the potential
sale of the vineyard. It is the last conversation she will have with
Fitz. Now the lone holdout preventing the vineyard sale, Lucie realizes
she's next in line for another "accident." With her greedy brother,
hell-raising sister, and a seemingly cut-rate vintner hired by Leland
just before he died, all the suspects are disturbingly close to home.
Unsure whom she can trust, Lucie must uncover the truth about the deaths
of her father and godfather -- and oversee a successful harvest to save
the vineyard she loves.
Set in the historic heart of Virginia's horse and hunt country, The Merlot Murders is filled with fascinating detail about the science and alchemy of wine making.
"A neat whodunit." -- The New York Times
"Fast-paced...a treat for those who like unusual settings." -- Library Journal
"Superb. Crosby delivers a fine mystery full of twists, realistic characters, and finely ladled suspense." -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel