BITTER FINISH by Linda J. Barnes


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Rich, handsome Michael Spraggue (previously featured in paperback only) is a shamus-turned-movie-actor--who now turns shamus again, when a corpse pops up at the Holloway Hills Vineyards in the Naps Valley: Spraggue, you see, is still a partner in the winery, with old-flame Kate. Who is the dead man? Is it Kate's gifted new winemaker Lenny Brent? So it seems till a second body--definitely Lenny's--is found in Kate's car trunk. So Spraggue sets out to identify the mystery-corpse and finger the murderer, forging a trail through the tight little world of wine-growers and critics, with rumors of takeovers and illicit affairs. . . and plenty of suspects: Lenny's dowdy ex-wife; his gorgeous ex-mistress; his ex-employer; his predecessor at Holloway Hills; etc. And it all leads up to an athletic confrontation with the killer in an old winery. Thanks to the intriguing wine-biz detail and a hero with panache: lively, solid mystery-entertainment, a notch or two above average.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's