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by Ellen Crosby

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 987-0-7432-8992-4
Publisher: Scribner

Mystery, murder and misunderstandings in Virginia wine country.

Vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery and her winemaker Quinn Santori (The Merlot Murders, 2006) have different opinions about the vineyard’s future and are constantly squabbling over decisions. But an unexpected May frost makes them put aside their differences long enough for an all-night battle to save the vines. Inspecting their work the next morning, they discover the body of abrasive local politician Georgia Greenwood, wife to Dr. Ross Greenwood, who saved Lucie’s life after her devastating auto accident. The body is scarred by a pesticide left in a field, and the vineyard may be in trouble for not storing it properly. Meanwhile, wealthy Englishman Mick Dunne, arriving to buy land for a vineyard, makes romantic overtures to Lucie and commercial ones to Quinn. A worried Lucie, certain Ross is innocent, favors missing musician and part-time field hand Randy Hunter as a suspect, since he was Georgia’s lover. When Randy’s dead body washes up on a downstream island, it seems likely that he killed Georgia and then took his own life. But when an autopsy proves he was murdered, Ross is arrested, and Lucie adds a crusade to save him to her own problems with her binge-drinking sister, her indifferent brother, Quinn’s new girlfriend and Mick’s possible plan to hire Quinn away from her.

Complex, likable Lucie’s suspenseful second is another hit.