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[(Corked by Cabernet: A Wine Lover's Mystery)] [by: Michele Scott] (Anglais) Broché – 3 février 2009

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Corked by Cabernet Nikki Sands, manager of the Malveaux Estates in Napa Valley--and girlfriend of the owner--is blissfully happy. That is until a guru's devotee is killed on the famous Napa Valley Wine train and ruins her peace of mind. Includes recipes and wine pairings. Original. Full description

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Amazon.com: 13 commentaires
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5th installment of Wine Lover's Mystery series is quite palatable! 10 février 2009
Par K. Albeck - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Corked by Cabernet expands upon some of the characters we've met in the previous volumes in the series. Derek's brother Simon and Simon's domestic partner Marco have been enthusiastic about Guru Sansibaba for a while now; in this outing, Sansibaba, aka Alan Sansi, is bringing his group to the vineyard for a seminar. When one of Sansi's business associates is found dead, and then the associate's wife is discovered as well, it's up to Nikki to help Detective Robinson solve the murders and save the vineyard's reputation.

Derek is (somewhat conveniently) away on business and missing throughout most of the story, but that works well plot-wise. We get to know not only the Sansi family but also Jonah Robinson and a character from a previous book, Alyssa.

I agree with Harriet in her opinion that "the motive comes late and seems a bit weak." I thought the book wrapped it up in a hurry and conclusion felt a little rushed to me. Still it's enjoyable to see again characters that we've gotten to know through previous books, and it's a light and fun read.

Included as well are a handful of wonderful-sounding recipes and the wines to pair them with. Really, though, Ms. Scott, chili ought to have beans in it. No point in disagreeing. Chili. Needs. Beans. :)
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
lighthearted fun Napa Valley whodunit 3 février 2009
Par Harriet Klausner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
In Napa Valley, Malveaux Estates manager Nikki Sands and owner Derek Malveaux are in love and plan to live together on the property. However, she is bit upset at a time she is overly busy to learn Derek's gay brother Simon and his partner Mario have arranged for Guru Alan Sansi and his Source of Enlightened Elite (SEE) to conduct a seminar on the estate. Derek explains he needs the money while he also informs his beloved he is going to New York on business.

The SEE attendees arrive and Nikki realizes they have family conflict starting with the guru's daughter Sierra and Japanese publisher Iwao Yamimoto who wants to become the SEE publisher and demands Alan look at a video he brought with him; Alan refuses. On the Napa Valley Wine Train, a drunken Sierra heads to the storage car to find more wine only to see the body of Iwao. Nikki contains the crime scene until Detective Jonah Robinson arrives. He warns her to not sleuth, but asks her to listen to the SEE members when they talk. She enlists Simon and Mario, but though Nikki tries to do no more than listen, she begins to sleuth.

Although the motive comes late and seems a bit weak, the latest Vintage Murder amateur sleuth (see MURDER UNCORKED and MURDER BY THE GLASS) is a lighthearted fun Napa Valley whodunit that goes well with red wine. The recurring cast is solid though Derek is conveniently across the country during the "not" investigation as he would have taken his beloved to task for her involvement. The SEE members especially the guru and his family are a fascinating crew as each has issues, especially the three adult children. Fans of the series will enjoy Nikki's inquiry as she swears she is not investigating just assisting Robinson.

Harriet Klausner
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Bubbly and Spicy Book 15 juillet 2010
Par Andrea - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
This is the 5th book of the wine lovers mystery series. I have read and enjoyed each one so far.

This is a strong, well-written, clever, fun, and creative book. The plot and all the pieces fit together and were perfect. The characters are well-developed and interesting. And love the main character, Nikki.

I enjoyed the unfolding of the mystery. It was interesting, entertaining, well-developed, and clever. Everything in the book fits together and made the unfolding of the mystery at the end of the book that much better.

But before the mystery unfolds, this book, as all of the books in this series, is alive and sparkling, bubbling over. The characters and adventures are fun and live and interesting. Nothing dull or boring about this book. Nothing weak about it, either. The plot and characters are very strong. This book was very well-written.

I enjoyed this book so much. This series is backdropped by "wine", but not so much as to where a non-wine drinker wouldn't like it. I'm a non-wine drinker, but I still loved the series nonetheless. The most this series might make me thirst for is sparkling grape juice.

I noticed that this book has tender passion and love for children in it. Not so much that it smothers the book, but subtly enough to where you know what kind of heart the author has. Even though that might not have anything to do with the actual plot, it made me love and appreciate the book that much more, to know that kids are loved and respected.

I've noticed that this series has a bit of the "exotic" - just enough to spice it up but not overwhelm it.

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book, as the whole series so far. Good, interesting books, with the perfect amount of spice and spark. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes cozy mysteries.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Delicious Culinary Mystery 29 mars 2009
Par Tracy F. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Realistically, I always find series mysteries best read in order. It's harder to jump right into a series and pick up the different nuances of each characters' personality. CORKED BY CABERNET is the fifth book in Michelle Scott's Wine Lover's Mystery Series.

The heroine, Nikki Sands, has moved in with Derek Malveaux, owner of Napa Valley's popular winery Malveaux Estates. As her life starts down this new path, Derek heads off to NY to conduct business. Not before Nikki learns that Derek's brother has agreed to open their hotel to the Source Enlightened Elite (S.E.E.) So, Nikki, Derek's brother Simon and Simon's significant other make plans to host this group for a week.

As is typical in Nikki's life, nothing goes quite as planned. One of the group members is murdered on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Nikki plans to let the detective do all the investigating, but he does ask her to keep her eyes and ears open. With that, Nikki gets sucked into another murder mystery while Derek is helpless to get home because of a snow storm in the east.

As usual, there are some great recipes in this latest book:

Pork Loin with Pearl Onions and Grapes
Butter Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Walnut Cilantro Sauce
Serrano Lime Grilled Prawns
Cheese Ravioli with Sweet Italian Sausage
Partygoer Chili
Chicken Fried Steak with Biscuits and Gravy

I haven't tested any of them yet, but definitely will be doing so in the near future. With the arrival of warmer weather, I think the serrano grilled prawns might have to be first on the list!

The mystery is difficult to solve, mainly because clues are revealed later in the book, but I was focused more on the characters' relationships, so I found it didn't bother me much. Watching Derek and Nikki's relationship was a main draw, though he doesn't stay a main feature in the book for long because of his trip to NYC.

Best of all, thanks to a surprise twist, I find myself very eager for next book!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
It's okay, but this once-excellent cozy mystery has lost me 1 août 2010
Par Esther Schindler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I've faithfully followed the exploits of Nikki Sands, the once-actress (in a short-lived detective TV show) who finds a new home in the Napa vineyards, since the first book in the series. The author did a good job of creating characters I cared about, imparting useful knowledge about wine (and the occasional recipe, which I would pretend I'd cook one of these days), and putting dead bodies in our way whose murders our heroine, naturally, was compelled to solve.

But I think this is the last of these novels I'll bother with.

I feel vaguely guilty about this, like I'm deserting a friend whom I've known for years, so maybe I should explain.

The hardest task for any author of a cozy mystery is making the situation plausible. After all, by definition the hero is a "regular person" getting involved in a murder investigation (rather than a cop or private investigator, which is another genre altogether). Most of us are perfectly happy to leave the process to the professionals, so an author has to stretch a bit to come up with a reason that this amateur would do otherwise. As an avid reader of these stories, I'm usually willing to suspend my disbelief... to a point.

Nikki Sands passed that point.

In this fifth book in the series, Nikki finds herself responsible for the Malveaux Estates hosting a week-long retreat for the guru who Simon and Marco follow. One of the guests/followers is found dead on the Napa Wine Train, and of course Nikki must identify the murderer. Initially, this is the same sort of situation that has been presented in earlier books, except that I don't buy the reasons for Nikki to get involved, I don't think the local cop would behave as he did (I'm being coy about plot points here to prevent spoilers), and Nikki's own attitudes (particularly about the guru) shift without a believable process. The result was that I perceived Nikki as an annoyingly nosy person rather than a heroine whose actions I could relate to (and cheer for); I kept thinking that if the detective did his job, she wouldn't have to snoop so much.

The actual murderer's motivations do come too late, but by that time I didn't really care anymore. There isn't much wine knowledge imparted, either, which might not bother me if the story held together.

Please don't think that the book stinks. I did finish the story, and I wanted to know WhoDunnit. I *liked* the book. But I find that I have no particular urge to pre-order the next one in the series.
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