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Murder Uncorked - a Review
Murder Uncorked is the first in a series of wine lover’s mysteries written by Michele Scott. Why are these mysteries for wine lovers? Well, the story is centered around wine. Not only do you get the privilege of reading a great mystery, you learn which wine needs to be paired with each of the included recipes.
Nikki Sands, an aspiring actress, is waiting tables until her big acting break comes along. This break comes along in a way than she does not expect, nor does it come from the acting business. As a waitress, she has noticed that her tips are larger if she knows which wines to recommend to the customers. She has taken the time to learn all she can about wine. She has attended wine tastings, checked books out of the library on wine, and trained her palate to taste the differences between each wine. All of this effort really pays off when Derek Malveaux, a big name in the wine industry, comes in to eat with his obnoxious date, Sabrina.
Through a freak accident that was mostly Sabrina’s fault, one of the drinks Nikki served at their table ends up spilling down Sabrina’s expensive dress. When Nikki quits her job because of the fit Sabrina throws, Mr. Malveaux takes Nikki to dinner that evening as an apology for the rude behavior of his earlier arranged date. He offers her the job of sales manager at his winery, not as an apology, but because of her knowledge of wine. Astounded, she agrees to take the job on a temporary basis to see if she is as qualified for it as Mr. Malveaux seems to think she is. She will live in a cottage on the estate while she has the job. If she takes the job full time, it will become her home.
Trouble begins on her first night there. Seeing movement outside her window, she goes to investigate. Her short-lived role as a policewoman that lasted only four episodes has given her a somewhat dangerous curiosity about things. She stumbles over the body of Derek’s top winemaker in the bushes. There is another murder later on; Nikki is also the one who discovers the body in the second murder.
This murder mystery of full of all the twists and turns you expect in one. Embezzlement, deceit, a nutty family full of drama, scorned lovers, divorce, and plenty of red herrings so you are never sure which character committed the murders. Amidst all the skillfully crafted craziness, Derek and Nikki have a definite romantic interest in each other - an interest which each one of them are afraid to pursue.
Great wine and the food that goes with it are central to the story, the majority of which takes place at the Malveaux Estate. The following recipes are included in the book: Goat Cheese and Mixed Mushroom Bruschetta, Maine Diver Scallops, Risotto with Lemon and Basil, Stilton Cheese & Port, Goat Cheese and Apple-Smoked Bacon Tart, Broiled Oysters with Jalapeno Pesto, and Pork Tenderloin with Salsa Verde. These recipes are placed at the end of some of the chapters, so they don’t interfere with the story. Throughout the book you are also taught, in a way that pertains to the story, about wine.
I must say that I was impressed with this book, which was sent to me free of charge by the management of BellaOnline. The author so skillfully wrote this story that I would be amazed if you could guess the identity of the killer. I know I couldn’t and I have read so many mysteries that I almost always successfully guess who did it.
For those of you who would like to own your own copy of Murder Uncorked, I have provided a link below to buy the book through Amazon.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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