An NYPD detective, in France to attend a wedding, finds herself investigating a murder as well.
Max Maguire, the daughter of a legendary NYPD detective, has spent her life trying to replace the brother who was killed in an accident. The reluctant sleuth is half French, but her mother’s aristocratic family disowned her when she married an Irish cop. Even during her school years in France, Max avoided them. Now she’s visiting the gorgeous Marne Valley, an area known for producing champagne, for her school friend Chloé Marceau’s wedding at the family’s estate. Ever since the death of her much older spouse, Chloé’s beautiful aunt, Léa de Saint-Pern, has run the family vineyards and champagne company. But that ends when she’s found dead late on the night of the wedding. Marceau family friend Olivier Chaumont, a sophisticated examining magistrate, becomes Max’s lover and even more unwilling partner in solving the murder. Max soon learns that several people had been interested in buying Léa out, among them a German whose French father was a collaborator during the war. Marc, Chloé’s new husband, is an ambitious young man with plenty of ideas of his own who’s worked for Léa. His mother is a woman of mystery; his father is unknown. Chloé’s alcoholic uncle, the first police suspect, is the second victim. Max and Olivier combine their many talents to root among long-buried family secrets to catch a killer.
First in a planned series inspired by the author’s many trips to France. The mystery is less complex than the heroine, who’s nearly as appealing as the descriptions of the wine district.