NOBLE ROT by Will Harriss


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 In Harriss's third (Timor Mortis, 1986; The Bay Psalm Book Murder, 1983), Vinnie Letessier, after playing his way through college and an inherited fortune, finds refuge with his uncle Francis, beleaguered owner of a winery in Napa Valley. Vinnie sets about learning the business, which suffers another setback when a body is found in the fermentation tank--probably the work of Triskelion, a sinister company that covets the winery's land for a mega-resort complex. Homicide detective Holly Shelton is investigating when things turn really nasty with the murder of Uncle Francis. Vinnie manages to pull the business together, fall in love with ceramic artist Peggy Singletary, and look into some possible candidates for his uncle's killing--such as Francis's ex- wife Adrienne, now living with the winery's ex-manager George Preston; and politician Andrew Lacroix, with a shady European past and a girlfriend who was no friend to Francis. There are other suspects, and Vinnie eventually fumbles his way to the right one- -with Detective Shelton just a step behind him. Never gripping but affable, with a chuckle or two. Add a plus for wine buffs.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-08865-5
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1993