> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Book Review: Deadly Tasting by Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noël Balen, Translated by Sally Pane
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: Deadly Tasting by Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noël Balen, Translated by Sally Pane

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge, from Le French Books, via Edelweiss, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And now for another book in the Paris Winemaker series!


A serial killer is on the loose in Bordeaux. A local chief detective calls wine expert Benjamin Cooker to the crime scene of a brutal murder. The killer has left a strange calling card: twelve wine glasses lined up in a semi-circle with the first one filled with wine. Cooker is charged with the task of identifying the fabulous grand cru and is astonished by what he learns. A second victim is found, with two glasses filled. Is the killer intentionally leaving clues about his victims and his motives? Memories are jogged about the complicated history of Bordeaux during Nazi occupation. It was a dark time: weinfuhrers ruled the wine trade, while collaborationists and paramilitary organizations spread terror throughout the region. In present-day wine country, time is running out. Will Cooker and his young assistant Virgile solve the mystery before all twelve glasses are full?


I love this series! I always learn SO much about French wine! It's like getting a wined education with a good book- double the pleasure for one cost! This is the follow up to Nightmare in Burgundy, and the 4th, in the actual 22 book series.It actually is more of a short story at only 144 pages, but Cooker is at his best. He very much reminds me of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot! The series is like a gourmet, intellectual, play, where the locations and wines, always play a key part in the mystery at hand. This story is no exception with a Chateau Petrus at center stage- it provides the significance that allows Cooker and Virgile to set their sights on the past, to solve the mystery in the present. It was neat plot ploy and one that allowed for some interesting French history lessons as well.

If you're looking for a great book/series to put in a gift basket for the book loving foodie, this is the one to pick! Add some great wine, cheese and crackers, and you have a lovely picnic basket gift, that will have the recipient gushing!

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!

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