Even The Gourmet Detective doubts that he’s the best man to find out why the owners of the tiny Peregrine Vineyard has made a series of ever richer cash offers for the surrounding Willesford Vineyard. But Sir Charles Willesford insists that he’s tried everything else without result—Edouard Morel, the French detective he hired to uncover the motive, has disappeared himself’so The Gourmet jets off to Provence just in time to discover the corpse of a Willesford worker apparently gored by a wild boar. It’s only the first of four deaths (there’ll be three fruitless attempts on The Gourmet’s life as well) that The Gourmet will learn about en route to finding out what’s so valuable about the Willesford property. (Hint: It’s not water, oil, or precious minerals; it doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the Willesford wines; and, yes, it does turn out to draw on The Gourmet’s expertise in an unexpected way.) Apart from the motive for all this skullduggery, though, most of King’s ingenuity seems to go into dreaming up novel ways to kill, or nearly kill, his large, glossy cast, and of course into choosing the right wines for the meals that celebrate so many of the characters’ entrances. As in his first two cases (Spiced to Death, 1997, etc.), the highlights here, for better or worse, are a series of lovingly described meals, paired with name-brand vintages or surprisingly good local wines.