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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this second book in the series, Nikki Sands has settled into her new job at the winery in Napa Valley. She's made a few close friends, and is beginning to explore romantic entanglement with two men. One is her boss, and the other is the brother of Isabel, a good friend. Life's pretty good. But then...

Isabel, who owns a new restaurant, agrees to cater a wedding, then she discovers that the bride is marrying Isabel's (sort of secret) lover. Understandably, Isabel is upset, expecially when it turns out that the bride, Susan, is a mean and nasty person. After Susan is murdered at the wedding, the police decide that Isabel is to blame -- and Nikki, of course, has to find the real culprit. The only problem is that Susan was mean and nasty to LOTS of people; the question is, which one of them had reason enough to kill her?

The book is entertaining, if not breathtakingly "force this book on all my friends" so. Nikki has believeable reasons for making her decisions, the victim deserved her ill fate (you know that from the first chapter), and the author does keep you guessing about the identity of the murderer. A few too many things happen conveniently for the plot's sake, but they're all forgiveable in a cozy little story like this.

The story stands well on its own; you don't need to have read the previous book in the series (though you might learn a little more about Derek by doing so; he's away on business for a large chunk of this story). You can certainly put your feet up, pull the box of chocolate chip cookies closer to you, and spend an enjoyable afternoon falling into this tale.

One thing that Michele Scot does particularly well is weave the wine and food into the story. After a chapter in which the characters had an important conversation while eating dinner, for example, the book has a mini-chapter with the recipe specifics. I'm not sure what people will think of me when I pull out a mystery book from which to cook "pork tenderloin with port wine mushroom sauce, with Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin," but the recipe is appealing enough that I plan to do just that.

Not a WOW but definitely entertaining... particularly if you're a foodie.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved Murder Uncorked, so couldn't wait to pick up Murder by the Glass... and now that I've finished it, I'm thirsty for the third.

If you're looking for an escape to the wine country... spiced with a touch of murder, plenty of romance (with two dishy, to-die-for men), and lots of great wine and food, look no further. Scott pulls you in on the first page and doesn't let go till you're done. Her characters are great -- I love the Bridezilla in particular, as well as the two men who are vying for the leading role in Nikki's life -- and the plot is a puzzler that will keep you guessing to the end.

Murder By the Glass is a perfect read for a summer afternoon -- with a glass or two of wine and some munchies, of course. Be warned, though -- the ending will leave you anxiously awaiting the release of the next installment. Fortunately, you can pass the time trying out the fabulous recipes (and wine-pairings) sprinkled throughout the book. That's what I plan to do!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the 2nd installment in the Wine Lover's Mystery series, Nikki Sands is surrounded by love, wedding bells, wine, and jealousy. Nikki, the Malveaux Estate's winery manager, attends the first wedding that best friend, Isabel, is catering for her new restaurant, Grapes. It sounds innocent enough, but it turns out that Isabel was coerced into catering the wedding for ex-boyfriend, Kristof, and his fiancé', Susan. Isabel is having a difficult time with the "bridezilla", and Nikki quickly steps in to lend her emotional support and encouragement. When Susan is found dead moments after the wedding ceremony, all eyes turn to Isabel as being the likely suspect. And when several pieces of incriminating evidence point directly to the jilted lover, Nikki jumps to her friend's defense and begins to investigate. Meanwhile, Nikki is having a difficult time juggling two men...her boss, the handsome, somewhat elusive, Derek Malveaux, and the exotic and romantic brother of Isabel, Andres. In between her job at the estate and dates with two exciting men, Nikki figures out that Susan had numerous enemies and that finding the murderer will be much more difficult than choosing the best wine to pair with dinner.

I enjoyed both of the books in this series and am looking forward to many more books to come by this talented author! Nikki is a strong female character, and I am intrigued by both of the love interests in her life. Unlike many other cozies, neither love interest is involved with law enforcement, which is a refreshing change of pace. Nikki uses her contacts within the wine industry to unearth any gossip, and uses intuition and street smarts to catch a killer. This is a great, fast moving read to take to the beach on a hot summer day.

The first book in the series is called "Murder Uncorked". Enjoy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another chance to spend a few hours with a good read, Murder by the Glass finds Nikki Sands still as puzzzled by and about the men in her life. However, her amateur sleuth's skills are just as sharp and effective as in the first book, Murder Uncorked. Finding the murder victim is no surprise to Nikki, for the witchy woman had upset several people who could live without her. As Nikki takes on the task of working out the mystery surrounding the murder, she is faced with the even more difficult task of knowing what her heart is telling her she should do about Derek and Andres.....both of whom have awakened her heart to feelings she'd long locked away. Murder by the Glass is fun to read and delicious to cook by, wine glass in hand.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As with the first in this series (Murder Uncorked) I LOVED THIS BOOK! It is one of the few books that I didn't want to put down. In both books I loved that I could not solve the mystery until she revealed the murderer to us! (Rare, I always seem to figure it out!). I also thorougly enjoyed the visual imagery Scott created for the reader. I really feel as though I know the characters, the wineries she takes us to, the restaurants they dine in etc. AND I love the wine education she has given me. As someone fairly new, but very interested in, the world of wine, Scott was able to mix in an education in wine, along with a wonderful romance, and intriguing murder mystery. Can't wait for #3 in the series, I just pre-ordered it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is the first mystery novel I have ever read that has been set in the Northern California wine country, and I was impressed. Having lived in the Napa Valley for several years, I could identify with the locations mentioned the the book and almost smell the grapes growing in the Valley.

I really wished that I had read Scott's first title in this series because I found myself a bit lost when she referred to events that had happened previously. Scott's character development was good, although I felt that there were too many "suspects" with shady pasts that made it hard for me to zero in on who might have done it, prior to actually finding out at the end of the book. I was actually surprised at who the murderer was!

Also, I like when romance is mixed with mystery, but in a more subtler way. The main characters' romantic interests in her boss and friend are a little too obvious for this soon in the series, perhaps these could be developed over a longer period of time, leaving more imagination to the reader?

Overall, a good mystery set in a delightful region. Wine lovers should enjoy the recipes and wine pairings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I liked her last book (Murder Uncorked), but this book was great. I couldn't put this one down till I finished reading it. The comedy in it is pretty much directed towards gay men or women, but I think that everyone can enjoy this book.

One of the things that I enjoy most about this one is that the pacing is better and it makes it much more suspenseful. Get it, read it, and tell a friend(oh and it doesnt hurt to have a glass of wine)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Failed actress Nikki Sands, introduced to us in "Murder Uncorked", has moved to the Napa Valley, where she has started her new job as assistant to winery owner Derek Malveaux. The story opens with Derek and Nikki attending a swanky Napa Valley wedding, only to have Nikki stumble across the body of the bride shortly after the wedding. But when one of Nikki's new friends, Isabel Fernandez, is accused of the murder, Nikki is sure that Isabel is innocent and sets out to find the murderer. "Murder by the Glass" features a lot more sleuthing by Nikki, which I found enjoyable. Also a plus in this second book is the development of the characters of "The Boys of Summer" (a nickname given to Derek's half-brother Simon and his lover Mario). In the first story, Derek and Mario were made out to be the laughing stocks of the Malveaux family, but in this one we nmeet them and they play a key role in solving the mystery. There is lots of lots of very funny dialogue in this book.

Nikki's love interestes continue to develop as well, with her relationships with both Andres Fernandez and Derek Malveaux becoming heated. Like the first book, there are several recipes given, along with suggested wine pairings for the recipes.

All in all, this was a delightful cozy. Now I can't wait for my copy of "Silenced by Syrah" to get here, so I can find out what happens next in Nikki's Napa valley life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nikki Sands is beginning to settle in to her new job at the Malveaux Estate in Napa Valley. Plus she has two men who appear to be interested in her, but she isn't sure.

Her friend Isabel is catering a big wedding at a Sonoma mansion before she realized it was the wedding of her lover (she didn't know he was engaged). The bride treats Isabel terribly. Nikki tries to help out to run interference.

After the ceremony, Nikki is asked to take a glass of wine up to the bride. Unfortunately she finds her sprawled on the floor, murdered. Even though the bride had many enemies, the police find evidence that Isabel is the killer. Nikki knows this is impossible. So she and Isabel's brother, one of the two men interested in her, to try to prove Isabel innocent.

Nikki is such a fun character. The interaction between her and the two men in her life adds a lot of mystery to the book. There are so many wonderful characters, and the California wine country is such a fabulous backdrop for this series. I loved this book and highly recommend it!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book in the delightful series that is set in the Napa area of California. This story actually ranges farther afield geographically. This is a series of books that I have recommended (and in some cases purchased) for friends that are looking for an entertaining read that finsihes nicely without the heavy, cloying after-taste of some other stories.
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