- Series: Lucie Montgomery (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books; 2nd edition (July 31, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416536043
- ISBN-13: 978-1416536048
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 78 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,761,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Merlot Murders ((Wine Country Mysteries, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2007
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"Like a fine wine, full-bodied, complex and satisfying." -- Sun-Sentinel (South Florida)
"A neat whodunit." -- The New York Times
"A terrific kickoff to what promises to be a highly satisfying new series." -- Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Ellen Crosby is the author of Multiple Exposure, the first book in a series featuring photojournalist Sophie Medina. She has also written six books in the Virginia wine country mystery series. A former freelance reporter for The Washington Post, Moscow correspondent for ABC Radio News, and an economist at the US Senate, Crosby lives in Virginia with her family. Learn more about her at EllenCrosby.com.
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Lucie Montgomery is a complex character, and the plot certainly isn't short of family dynamics with her obnoxious brother Eli, his greedy wife, and their gullible little sister. There's also a head vintner on the property whose motivations aren't very clear.
Added to the first-rate mystery are fascinating snippets of the history of wine making in Virginia. Between this series and Martin Walker's series set in France, I have a feeling that I'm going to end up being a very knowledgeable oenophobe. Crosby also gives an outline of Lucie's family history as well as the house and vineyard. This information put me firmly in Lucie's No Sale camp, but it also made me wonder why no one else in the family felt the same way.
See? Although the mystery is taken care of through the course of The Merlot Murders, I'm left with questions about Lucie and her family, and this is definitely going to make me continue reading the series. Bring on the chardonnay!
The first novel in a series often has to include a lot of exposition to explain the characters and their relationships to each other. Crosby did not go overboard with this but offered glimpses of of interaction for future books in this series.
The ending felt rushed which made me give this debut four stars instead of five. I appreciate a well developed resolution and want to know both motivations and outcomes. In this instance I had a "you're kidding" moment because the villainry seemed a little contrived.
I am looking forward to continuing this series and hope to see more depth to the characters of Mia and Eli. They seemed a little one dimensional in this book.
We both liked The Merlot Murders very much and am sure we will enjoy all the others. Enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountain setting as well as the Civil war references.
Good characters including brother Eli, always broke trying to support Brandi his gold digger wife. Thelma, who knows everything going on in town. Her childhood friend, Kit and assorted others in a small town.
A very good series.