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The Critic: The Second of the Enzo Files Hardcover – November 15, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Enzo Files
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; First Edition edition (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781590584583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590584583
  • ASIN: 1590584589
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #852,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Oenophiles and fans of CBS's Cold Case will relish May's slightly far-fetched second outing to feature France-based Scottish sleuth Enzo Macleod (after 2006's Extraordinary People). When the corpse of powerful American wine critic Gil Petty turned up in southwest France, local cops were perplexed: the body was dressed in the robes of a local fraternal organization and appeared to have been practically pickled in wine. Four years later, shortly after Enzo, who specializes in unsolvable murders, reopens the case, another wine-saturated corpse is found. Petty had made countless enemies in the wine world, and his ex-wife and daughter had few kind words to say about him, but what connects him to the second killing? Enzo's emotional drama with both his daughters and romantic attractions to two charming ladies, plus tidbits about wine production and the art of wine tasting, make this a full-bodied, satisfying read. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Another oenophile's tip sheet with the bonus of a finely crafted and surprising mystery."  --Kirkus Reviews

"Oenophiles and fans of CBS's Cold Case will relish May's slightly far-fetched second outing... a full-bodied, satisfying read." --Publisher's Weekly
 

"A sharp edged tale woven with the intricacy of a spider's web.  Intelligent, involved, and ingenious." -- Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author


More About the Author

"Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth" New York Times

Peter May is the multi award-winning author of:

- the award-winning Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland;
- the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell;
- the Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, which is set in France;
and Entry Island (January 2014, Quercus UK) the latest of several standalone books.

He has also had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.

One of Scotland's most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.

Born and raised in Scotland he lives in France.

After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy - The Blackhouse - was published in France as L'Ile des Chasseurs d'Oiseaux where it was hailed as "a masterpiece" by the French national newspaper L'Humanité. His novels have a large following in France. The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world's largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.

The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers). It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA.

The Blackhouse won the US Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel at Bouchercon in Albany NY, in 2013.

Customer Reviews

I did enjoy this book - escapist thriller with interesting characters and settings.
Sheila Rice
Despite these criticisms, the plotting is good, the descriptive writing excellent and I feel considerably more educated about the subject of wine than I was before.
FictionFan
The character of Enzo, for me, was annoying; almost distasteful to the point where I'm not certain even the author likes his character.
L. J. Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts VINE VOICE on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: There is a smell among the vines.

Former forensics expert, Enzo Macleod, takes up his second challenge of solving seven unsolved murders written about in a book by Roger Raffin. Gil Petty was the world's leading expert. His review could catapult the price of a particular wine, or destroy a winery until he went missing. No one expected he would turn up three years later as a scarecrow in a vineyard having spent those three years in someone's wine vat.

There are two major factors which influenced by feeling toward this book: the characters and the mystery. The character of Enzo, for me, was annoying; almost distasteful to the point where I'm not certain even the author likes his character. Enzo was arrogant, disrespectful and dismissive to others. He assumed no one knew as much as he did. He has an assistant, Nicole, who is one of my favorite characters. She is smart, gutsy and guileless and Enzo treats her rudely. He complains about one woman in his life not being willing to commit to him while hitting on every other woman in sight. He abandoned his first daughter, yet feels he can dictate her life. In this book, he commits one redeeming act but then promptly spoils it.

May did capture me with a very compelling opening. Set in France's Gaillac region, he creates a wonderful sense of place with his descriptions of vineyards and the process of winemaking. I enjoyed reading about the wineries and the impact critics can have on the price of their wine and their overall success.

The forensic information was fascinating, particularly the method of identifying from what winery the wine, found in the victim's body, had come and the difference between the French and American methods of winemaking.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit VINE VOICE on December 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The critic of the title was a renowned wine critic whose opinions in his newsletter could make or break a vintner. He disappeared four years previously and his body has just turned up dressed in the garb of the Brotherhood of the Order of the Divine Bottle, his body obviously having been immersed in wine. The case was one of five unsolved mysteries in a book, the first of which was solved by Enzo Macleod, a Scotsman now a professor of forensics in France.

Enzo now travels to Gaillac, a wine-producing section of France, to look into the critic's murder, and discovers a series of other seemingly unrelated disappearances. There are plenty of suspects and too few clues. Complicating the task are several problems, including the critic's secret code for evaluating the wines he tasted, as well as inter-personal relationships.

The novel is so well written, the background of the production of wine and descriptions of the elements so well done, that the reader is carried along in a heady manner. The solution to the various puzzles is so unexpected, that the reader is rewarded beyond expectations. "The Critic" is highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (8/07)

Enzo Macleod is off and running in the investigation of a murdered wine critic. His body was actually found four years ago hanging on a cross in a vineyard in France. Apparently, prior to being crucified, his body had spent about a year marinating in a vat of red wine. Enzo uses his knowledge of forensics to help crack this case. He also is in contact with the deceased man's daughter, who happens to be attracted to older men, such as Enzo. While this case is being investigated, more killings occur.

Enzo discovers a link between crimes that happened two-hundred years ago and now. He also needs to find out why the wine critic was wearing ceremonial garb of the Brotherhood of the Order of the Divine Bottle. As he gets further involved, he discovers that his own life is in danger. He is determined to solve this case before another murder occurs. Narrowing down the list of suspects is difficult; Enzo even suspects the critic's daughter. He also is dealing with his own personal issues revolving around a psychologist, his daughter, and his assistant.

Peter May has written an excellent novel with "The Critic." He manages to successfully incorporate mystery, suspense, humor and a little romance into one great plot. He describes the wine-making process in great detail, as part of understanding the aspects of the mystery. He does this in a way that is very interesting and adds to the story. While I enjoyed this mystery, I appreciated being educated on this.

I recommend "The Critic" to both male and female mystery fans. Wine lovers will really enjoy this. I look forward to reading the first book in Enzo's series and for future mysteries to follow. Readers' groups will love this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Gil Petty, a world-renowned wine critic, went missing during a tasting tour and his body is discovered three years later on a cross in a French vineyard. It's up to Scottish forensic expert Enzo Macleod to re-open the old case to discover the heart of winemaker envy, competition, and the roots of a unique style of wine murderer in THE CRITIC, a mystery packed with unexpected twists and turns which is perfect for any public lending library strong in mystery writings.
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