Welcome to la belle France, land of wine and murder.
Soon after she’s caught on video getting a little too rough with a rapist while her partner stands back watching, NYPD detective Max Maguire returns to France as a bodyguard for wine critic Ellen Jordan. Max’s father, Hank, a revered NYPD officer, and her mother, a member of a wealthy aristocratic French family who cast her off when she married Hank, have combined forces to send her to France with Ellen, who’s made important enemies by lowering her score on several wines and declaring the valuable bottle a wealthy collector purchased a fake. When Ellen dies in her hotel room, Max convinces examining magistrate Olivier Chaumont that her death was murder. As she resumes her love affair with Olivier, they become entangled in both the tricky murder case and a potentially major scandal concerning French wines rebottled and passed off as expensive vintages. Max tries to maintain her cover as a bodyguard while meeting various people involved in the wine business, each of them a suspect in both fraud and murder. When Max accompanies Ellen’s body back to New York, Olivier quickly follows, posing as a wine collector. Digging into the American connection places their lives in danger.
This second case for Max (Champagne: The Farewell, 2012) offers a wide range of suspects along with a love affair with both a complex Frenchman and France itself.