> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Book Review: Nightmare in Burgundy by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen
Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Review: Nightmare in Burgundy by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen

edelweiss disclosure

Staying with our French them for the moment....

Welcome to the third book in The Winemaker series!
(book one was Treachery in Bordeaux and book two was Grand Cru Heist)

The Winemaker Detective leaves his native Bordeaux to go to Burgundy for a dream wine tasting trip to France's other key wine-making region. Between Beaune, Dijon and Nuits-Saint-Georges, it turns into a troubling nightmare when he stumbles upon a mystery revolving around messages from another era. What do they mean? What dark secrets from the deep past are haunting the Clos de Vougeot? Does blood need to be shed to sharpen people's memory? 

Follow master winemaker Benjamin Cooker and his sidekick Virgile Lanssien, in their latest adventure, solving the latest vineyard mystery, in France. 


There is always a thrill to see your name (and your blog's) in print! I was surprised, and very happy, to see a quote from my review of Grand Cru Heist, in the beginning notes of this book (ebook version)!So I started the book on a very happy note! That state continued as once again as I started reading the book! I am not surprised the book series has been made into a TV series in France, as when I read the books, I can see it very much in my mind! Unfortunately my reading French is MUCH better than my listening French, so watching them without subtitles is not as enjoyable, so for now, I;ll stick to the books!

Once again the authors give us a neat little mystery that Benjamin stumbles into and can't let go of, and must solve with Virgile's help. Sometimes the mystery gets lost as the reader listens as Benjamin expounds of the different virtues of wines, and the areas they come from. You get so entranced in learning all about the varietals and tastes, that you almost forget you're reading a mystery novel! And be sure you have eaten before reading these books, as there is always delicious food with the wines, that will have you salivating while reading, which can result in some late night cravings!

But the lessons in wine all have subtle clues to the mystery and once you finish the book, you go 'ah ha!' as all the dominoes fall into place and see the path! Reading one of the Vineyard series books is like stepping out of your world and into another in France. You may not want to leave! I personally would LOVE to go on a wine tour with Benjamin, and explore parts of France that tourists don't see! Book 4, Deadly Tastingis due to come out this Summer- I can't wait! Check out this great novel, and you'11 lee what I mean! Hats off the to crew at Le French Book, for another great translation!

About the Authors:

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:

Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Masters Degree in French Literature from the University of Colorado.Her career includes more than twenty years of translating and teaching French and Italian at Berlitz and at Colorado University Boulder.  She has worked in scientific, legal and literary translation.  She also served as the interpreter for the government cabinet of Rwanda and translated for Dian Fossey’s Digit Fund. In addition to her passion for French, she has studied Italian at Colorado University, in Rome and in Siena.  She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband. This is her first translation for Le French Book!


  1. i dont know how to pronounce most of the character names but it sounds good!

  2. How cool your name and blog was in the ebook version, loved reading that. My daughter loves mysteries so she may enjoy. I am always looking for books for her or my sister but my sister is into romance books


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