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The Bordeaux Betrayal: A Wine Country Mystery (Wine Country Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – July 28, 2009

79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harvest time dumps a jeroboam of trouble on the doorstep of vintner Lucie Montgomery in Crosby's fizzy third mystery set in Virginia wine country (after 2007's The Chardonnay Charade). During an oenophilic supper at Mount Vernon, glamorous guest lecturer Valerie Beauvais hints there's something suspect about the prize bottle—a Bordeaux Thomas Jefferson supposedly bought for George Washington in 1790—to be auctioned at the upcoming charity fund-raiser Lucie will be hosting. But before the wine scholar can make it to Montgomery Estate Vineyard for a personal inspection, she's the victim of a fatal accident. Or is it murder? Turning detective, Lucie quickly finds plenty of bad blood—and deadly secrets—even among the horsey set she counts as friends. Despite a host of lesser players with no more dimension than a wine label and a confusing denouement, the action canters along briskly, infused with plenty of local color and wine lore. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Vintner Lucie Montgomery—The Merlot Murders (2006), The Chardonnay Charade (2007)—is getting ready for the harvest at her vineyard near Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. When she attends a lecture at Mount Vernon, she learns about the wines that Thomas Jefferson discovered in France and brought to George Washington. The lecturer later turns up dead, and Lucie suspects that the murder is related to the authenticity of a bottle of Chateau Margaux supposedly purchased for Washington that will be auctioned at a charity fundraiser she is planning. As Lucie investigates, her beloved grandfather comes to visit from France and provides valuable historical information about the wines to be auctioned, leading to the discovery of fraud and betrayal in the wine world, as well as World War II ties that some local aristocracy would prefer to leave hidden. This will have broad appeal for its wine lore and historical detail and has enough action to keep the pages turning fast. --Barbara Bibel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wine Country Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (July 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143911238X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439112380
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,054,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ellen Crosby is the author of MULTIPLE EXPOSURE and GHOST IMAGE (Scribner, April, 2015) a mystery series featuring international photojournalist Sophie Medina. She has also written 6 books in the Virginia wine country mysteries featuring winemaker Lucie Montgomery, and MOSCOW NIGHTS, a standalone based loosely on her time as Moscow correspondent for ABC Radio News in the late 1980s. Before writing fiction, Crosby worked as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post and as an economist at the US Senate. Visit her website at www.ellencrosby.com and follow her on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks and on Twitter at @ellencrosby.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nice Lady VINE VOICE on September 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This story is simply terrific!! It is well-written and thoroughly engrossing. The author demonstrates superb character development and paints beautiful scenery with words.

The mystery is a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This book represents the third in the line of the Wine Country Mystery series. It tells the ongoing saga of Lucie Montgomery, the heir of the family vineyard in Virginia. The Bordeaux Betrayal begins at the time of the harvest of the grapes. It is autumn and the author describes the seasonal changes in Virginia beautifully. A critical event is a charity auction of a very rare bottle of wine that Thomas Jefferson bought for George Washington.

The mystery surrounds an unexpected, unexplained murder and the fun then really begins!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Holly TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the third book in the "Wine Country Mystery" series by Ellen Crosby. To be very candid, if this were the first book in the series, I would probably have given it a 4-star rating based upon potential. Since it's the third one, I have to give it a 3-star since some of the issues with the book should have been ironed out through author experience/editing.

I was really looking forward to reading this. I truly enjoy a good "cozy" mystery and it is a genre I read regularly (Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle, Teashop Mysteries by Laura Childs and the Gray Whale Inn Mysteries by Karen MacInerney). It is one of my favorite types of reading when in the mood for something light after reading "heavier" books. I also know a little bit about wine and find it very interesting, so I thought I really had a winner here! To be candid, I'm not really sure how I would classify this book and I can't say that I enjoyed it but I did't dislike it either (how's that for taking a stand?).

As you can read from the product description, this book is set in the wine country of Virginia. It is an area steeped in history with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington being major figures in its history. The book was more a wine making/history lesson than true mystery. While there was a murder early in the book which is resolved at the end, it was a minor part of the whole thing. At times I enjoyed all the history and wine making lessons and thought it was very good; at other points in the book I thought "enough already", let's get on with it. Some parts of the books were engrossing and others very boring -- too much of a good thing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tree leaf VINE VOICE on September 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My favorite kind of mystery is one where you don't know "Whodunit" until the very end. This one definitely qualifies. With lots of little surprises and twists and turns the reader is constantly turning pages to see what's next. And if the reader is also a wine lover, all the better. There are lots of little intimate facts about wine-making that makes one appreciate the process all the more. There is also a facinating mini trip through history involving wine that Thomas jefferson was to give to George Washington. All in all a great read and a really good mystery with tantalizing characters. I'm definitely going to check out the Ms. Crosby's other wine mysteries.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Words can be music VINE VOICE on September 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the third in a "cozy" series set in the Virginia wine country south of Leesburg and east of Middleburg, featuring vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery, and written by a former freelancer for the Washington Post. It's not bad. If you are crazy about this genre and not too picky about character depiction, it should do well enough. If you are really interested in facts about vineyards and wine, you will enjoy it. If you are a bit of a Francophile, you will like it since Lucie is French and her charming French grandfather Pépé comes to visit and plays a major role in the resolution of the mystery. I chose it because I am interested in wine (though not obsessed with it) and France (ditto) and I am a native of Virginia and know this area rather well since I visit relatives in the area. Crosby does a good job of bringing this Virginia countryside and the social relationships of its denizens to life - the upper crust ones who fox hunt, the outlanders who move in from the city and take offense at the fox hunting, the lower-middle class ones who run the breakfast places and radiate steel magnolia color while trying to make a living. I do love her Thelma who dresses up in a red dress to attract Lucie's grandfather. Thelma reminds me a lot of the people in a Joan Hess Maggody mystery.

The plot centers around a bottle of wine from Bordeaux (Chateau Margaux) which Jefferson ordered in 1790 for George Washington. A Middleburg oenophile has donated it for a charity auction at Lucie's vineyard, but questions are raised about its provenance, and the person raising the questions is killed. The resolution of the mystery is satisfactory, with a cool scene in a wine cellar which may be improbable but is fun. All this is nice light entertainment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sires on September 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the first few pages (when I read Lucie's acerbic comment to her escort who had been checking his watch too often)I knew I was probably going to like this book for the writing even if the mystery wasn't much. Lucie, the viewpoint character, is no doormat, nor is she a helpless damsel in distress. Luckily, the mystery was good and the writing (with some uneven bits) remained equally appealing.

While this is the third book in this series (after The Merlot Murders ((Wine Country Mysteries, Book 1) and The Chardonnay Charade (Wine Country Mystery)-- it is the first one I have read, and it stands completely on its own. The author does a very good a job of working information about wine and particularly Virginia wine into the story without sandbagging the reader with huge info dumps.

The main thing that prevents this book from being a five star read is the two-dimensional characterization of the first murder victim. I ended up wondering why someone hadn't done her in years before. She's a walking stereotype who spends a mercifully brief time in the book before she becomes a far more interesting dead body.

Recommended for people who enjoy classic mysteries, wine mysteries or mysteries set in interesting American backgrounds.
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