Dying on the Vine by Ann Roberts is a mystery set in Oregon and the world of winemaking. Ari is supposed to be on a pleasurable weekend with friend Jane, while they finalise the arrangements for Jane’s forthcoming wedding at the winery owned by one of her oldest friends. But once again Ari is drawn into a mystery that must be solved, or the business may just go under. Whilst investigating a death on the property Ari begins to see that winemaking is astoundingly complex and requires a skillset she could never have imagined. It’s also very competitive and emotions run high. Finding out who could be responsible is not going to be easy when secrets, lies and jealousies are the order of the day.
I really liked Ari. She was one of those quietly confident people. She’s good at what she does, and her easy-going manner has a way of working, when more direct law enforcement tactics fail. She takes her time to find out and manages to get people to confide in her. Her relationship with Jane was funny, but also quite touching and caring. Jane is so different from her. She comes across as very sure of herself and is a terrible flirt. Their friendship works because of their differences. She’s also a sounding board and therefore really useful when Ari is mulling over the clues.
The Writing Style
The story is well-paced, with revelations coming bit by bit, whetting the appetite. The writing shows skill and a love of language. The descriptions of Oregon, and especially of the vineyards is wonderfully immersive.
I love mysteries, and especially ones where I don’t guess whodunnit. This was one of those stories.
Dying on the Vine is a really good mystery that kept me on my toes. I now want to go back and read the previous seven books in the series. There’s no need to have read them first as the story is very self-contained, but my enjoyment of the story and the characters has encouraged me to try them.
We find out a lot about the wine industry in the story and I found it completely fascinating. I had no idea so much went into producing my bottle of Pinot. The characters are all well thought out and well written. They felt real. Ms Roberts is extremely skilled at bringing her characters to life. It was a joy to read and is the kind of book to savour, like a large glass of your favourite wine.
Excerpt from Dying on the Vine by Ann Roberts
Mina took a deep breath. “Yes, if I make the wrong decisions and the wine tastes terrible, or even mediocre, then Sisters Cellars takes an enormous hit, perhaps it goes under. Now, no one goes into winemaking to get rich and only the largest vineyards, those bottling a hundred thousand cases a year, will be wealthy. We’re here to make memories. We want people who drink a bottle of Sisters Cellars wine to remember the occasion where they consumed it—their daughter’s wedding, a son’s bar mitzvah, celebrating the incredible job promotion.” She suddenly stopped and blushed. “Sorry.”
“No need to apologize,” Jane said and gave Mina a one-arm hug.
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Book 7 Justice Calls
Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-1642471229
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