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A Vintage Murder (Anglais) Broché – 1 juillet 2008

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A Vintage Murder Nikki and her boyfriend visit Australia's Hahndorf Winery, which is being used as a movie set. After the lead actress is found dead in her trailer, bitten by a poisonous snake, Nikki combs the vineyards to catch a killer. Includes recipes and wine pairings. Original. Full description

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Amazon.com: 18 commentaires
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Down and Out Down Under 11 juillet 2008
Par Ms. Jessica - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
This book had some funny moments and I am very glad the author has Nikki reach a decision regarding her love interest instead of spending a dozen books with an unrealistic love triangle (hello, Joanne Fluke). Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with the book. The Australian setting has such potential, but there is very little detail about the backdrop, to the point where the book could just as easily been taking place in Napa. I liked that we got to know Nikki better since more details about her background were provided, but the thing that I could not get past was the whole angle of Nikki stepping in for the lead actress in the movie being filmed at the vineyard. To me, it was just way too unrealistic that Nikki would be asked to step in for the murdered lead actress on a moment's notice, to co-star with a leading man that is likened to the celebrity level of Clooney and Pitt! The previous books lead us to believe that Nikki was a mediocre actress who never made it, now suddenly some old clips of her show on the internet convince the producer that she is the next Nicole Kidman? On top of that, she learns an Australian accent in one day? I appreciate that inserting Nikki into the movie is a good way for her to investigate, but it just was a bit much. The murderer was an interesting surprise, and Simon's appearance on the scene was entertaining, as were the pop culture references. Readers of the series will still enjoy this book, but I am looking forward to the story and character returning to work in Napa.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wine, Women and Weirdness Down Under! 4 juillet 2008
Par Story Circle Book Reviews - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
The latest entry in the Wine Lover's Mystery series is a mixture of romance and murder. When protagonist Nikki Sands joins her boss-now-boyfriend Derek in an adventure to the wine country area of Australia, she has no idea how wild her life is about to become!

Nikki and Derek are on a fact-finding mission, hoping to get a license to distribute wine in the States from a dynamic popular Aussie winemaker. Their romance is so new that even a simple kiss causes Nikki to tremble in her boots. And then there's the brouhaha at the winery: a Hollywood movie production company is filming a hot new movie with hot young stars, complete with dingoes, snakes and boxing kangaroos.

The Napa couple have only been in Australia two days when the leading lady of the movie dies, due to a venomous bite from a brown snake. The bizarre death is written off as an accident, despite the actress' unpopularity and diva behavior, but Nikki isn't sure. Is she the only one that believes Lucy Swanson was murdered?

As the story unfolds, our characters are joined by Simon, who is Derek's gay brother, and Marne, a nasty nuisance from Nikki's Hollywood past, a gossip columnist with a vitriolic tongue. When Nikki is tapped to take Lucy's place as lead in the movie, she puts herself in the perfect place to snoop. Each day brings new revelations and more bizarre behaviors from the movies actors, the winemakers and the support staff of the movie company. As Nikki tries her best to be a dynamite actor, she is constantly distracted by clues and confused by contradictory information.

The book is a great summer read--and the recipes are mouthwatering. Each recipe includes suggested wine pairings, and whether or not you will ever try the recipes, they add spice and interest to the plot. It would have been good to have a bit more on the wine making of Australia, and such mundane information as the difference between Syrah and Shiraz. (Both are basically made from the same grape, a Rhône varietal.) Nonetheless, this book kept my interest from beginning to end, and left me eager to try the Chocolate Silk Pie, paired with the 2004 Zinfandel Crookshed as its wine partner!

by Laura Strathman Hulka
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A not-very-wine mystery in the land down under 25 octobre 2008
Par Esther Schindler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I've been following Michelle Scott's series about Nikki Sands from the beginning. I like the premise: an actress who takes a job at a Napa winery and, following the cozy mystery formula, stumbles upon bodies that just demand her problem solving skills. As with well-crafted novels, I learned something new about the subject matter (in this case, wine) while I was entertained by the setting and the tale-spinning. But this entry in the series is disappointing.

For one thing, A Vintage Murder has very little wine in it. Picking up right after Silenced By Syrah, Nikki and her boss (and new beau) go to Australia to cut a deal with a winery in the Barossa Valley. A movie is being made on the grounds, and shortly after the female lead just-so-happens-to-die, Nikki (the ex-actress, remember?) takes over the part. And, of course, she is convinced that the death was a murder. (You'll get all that off the back of the book, so it's no spoiler.)

Maybe the premise could have worked, but Scott doesn't pull it off all that well. You learn more about movie-making and Australian animal training than about wine (which isn't bad, but not what we've come to expect from a wine series). But mostly, the plot is too contrived. I wasn't able to buy into the events that transpired or the characters' behavior. For example, with a major motion picture underway, would any director sign an actress (even a good one) simply because she was _there_?

The result is that I'm glad I read this book... but it wasn't up to the rest of the series. I'd give it a solid "it's okay." I still care about the characters, and if (like me) you've been reading since its inception there isn't a reason NOT to pick this one up. But if you're a fan of Aussie wines and you're hoping for a good cozy mystery set in that environment, you'll be disappointed.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent beach reading 5 juillet 2008
Par William McNeill - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
This story is a nice addition to the set. We finally find out which man Nikki chooses; although, was there any serious doubt? The story advances nicely and takes a couple unexpected turns. The plotting is much tighter than previous stories. The resolutions involve more than just solving the crime; there are many personal issues that are also settled (or at least heading in that direction). I am already eagerly anticipating the next in the series 'Corked by Cabernet'-due out in February.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Adventurous 16 octobre 2008
Par Andrea - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
This book takes place in Australia. Nikki and her business partner Derek are in Australia on a business trip; they will be back in Napa Valley soon.

Even though Nikki and Derek are conducting wine business, this trip is definitely eventful, interesting, and adventurous, from Derek's hilarious brother Simon to a movie-making scene to murder. One interesting thing was the horrible-tasting wine at that horrible winery that Nikki visited. (Not the winery they are doing business with - just a winery they visited and test-tasted.)

A movie is being made on site at the vineyard. It is a movie dedicated to someone who truly loved animals. Then a murder happens. Nikki is determined to solve the mystery of the murder.

Nikki makes a decision between the two guys in her life. I will not say which one she chooses, but I will say she didn't choose the one I wanted her to!

This is a Wine Mystery Series. The books in this series are awesome. Both the atmosphere and the mystery part are good, well-written, and fun. A person does not have to be a wine lover in order to like these books. In fact, I am a teetotalist. The most these books will make me thirsty for is sparkling grape juice.

This author also writes a Horse Lovers Mystery series. In fact, that series is how I became attracted to her books. I felt sure I would enjoy a Horse Series.

This book has such a beautiful cover. Even though I would have read the book anyway (as I read all the Wine and Horse books by this author), the cover alone would have been enough to attract me! Even though we aren't supposed to judge books by their covers - this book can be judged by its cover! When I saw the beautiful purple artwork, I immediately adored it! And this book does live up to its cover!
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