Book Review

THE MERLOT MURDERS
by Ellen Crosby

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Mystery, Amateur Sleuth

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Crosby makes her American mystery debut with this scintillating novel set in the heart of Virginia wine country. Lucie Montgomery has been living in the south of France for two years, ever since a car accident left her with a crippling leg injury. When her brother Eli contacts her about her father's sudden death, she flies to Virginia and to the vineyard she once called home.

The place is in disrepair, and Eli wants to sell the vineyard and the Montgomery home. But another untimely death and threats to her life have Lucie questioning the circumstances surrounding her father's death and determined to discover the identity of the culprit or culprits and keep her family's legacy. Her brother
continues to act suspiciously, catering
to his pregnant wife's every need. The new vintner has a suspicious past, and Lucie's rebellious sister Mia is seeing Lucie's former boyfriend, Greg, a first-rate womanizer.

Crosby's depiction of Virginia's lush rural countryside is the perfect backdrop for this engaging mystery, and Lucie is a likeable protagonist. The top-notch suspense keeps you guessing until the riveting conclusion. (Aug., 304 pp., $24.00)

Reviewed By: Sheri Melnick

Publisher: Scribner

Published: August 2006

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