Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Review: Grand Cru Heist by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen

net galley disclosure



Welcome to the second book in The Winemaker series!
(book one was Treachery in Bordeaux)

Grand Cru Heist cover



Synopsis:

After Treachery in Bordeaux, here is another Epicurean whodunit in French wine country. Immerse yourself in French countryside and gourmet attitude with our wine-loving amateur sleuths. This time they gumshoe around the Loire Valley before heading back to Bordeaux. 

One winter day in Paris, renowned wine critic Benjamin Cooker’s world gets turned upside down when his car gets highjacked. He loses his treasured tasting notebook and his feeling of safety. To recover, he retreats to the region around Tours, sure that the wine and off-season calm will restore is sense of self. There a flamboyant British dandy, a spectacular blue-eyed blond, a zealous concierge and touchy local police disturb his well-deserved rest. From the Loire Valley to Bordeaux, in between a glass of Vouvray and a bottle of Saint-Émilion, the Winemaker Detective and his assistant Virgile turn PI to solve two murders and very peculiar heist. Who stole those bottles of grand cru classé? Take this Epicurean journey through France to solve the whodunit. 

Note from the Authors:

Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, wine lover and music lover respectively, came up with the idea for the Winemaker Detective series while sharing a meal, with a bottle of Château Gaudou 1996, a red wine from Cahors with smooth tannins and a balanced nose. 


Review: 

It's no surprise to me that this series is being made into a French television series (check out Le French Book for a preview!) ! Using the same characters, the authors put them in a different setting, but provide the reader with the same wonderful reading experience. Not only do you get to learn a LOT about wine (and vintage vintages), but you get an absorbing mystery that will keep you wondering what the truth is behind what appears to be a straight forward who-dun-it! This book is on the shorter side, but it is a great follow up to Treachery and helps to expand the main characters, and to allow the reader to get to know their quirky personalities better. This is a lovely afternoon read, read with a glass of any of the lovely Malbec wines

Book three, Nightmare in Burgundy)  is already translated and that review will be coming up soon! Check out the book series' webpage for more info on upcoming titles!



About the Authos:
Jean-Pierre Alaux is a magazine, radio and television journalist when he is not writing novels in southwestern France. He is a genuine wine and food lover, and won the Antonin Carême prize for his cookbook La Truffe sur le Soufflé, which he wrote with the chef Alexis Pélissou. He is the grandson of a winemaker and exhibits a real passion for wine and winemaking. For him, there is no greater common denominator than wine.Website: http://www.jean-pierre-alaux.book.fr/

Coauthor of the Winemaker Detective series, Noël Balen lives in Paris, where he shares his time between writing, making records, and lecturing on music. He plays bass, is a music critic and has authored a number of books about musicians in addition to his novel and short-story writing. Website: http://www.noelbalen.com/

About the Translator:
Anne Trager has lived in France for over a quarter of a century, working in translation, publishing and communications. In 2011, she woke up one morning and said, “I just can’t stand it anymore. There are way too many good books being written in France not reaching a broader audience.” That’s when she founded Le French Book to translate some of those books into English. The company’s motto is “If we love it, we translate it,” and Anne loves crime fiction, mysteries and detective novels--and wine.


Check out Le French Book for links to buy these translated ebooks!

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