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[(A Toast to Murder)] [by: Michele Scott] (Anglais) Broché – 6 avril 2010

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A Toast to Murder The big day is swiftly approaching for Nikki Sands, manager of the Malveaux Estates in Napa Valley, and her fianc, owner Derek Malveaux. But when they start receiving cryptic messages questioning their belief in fate, things quickly turn fatal. Includes recipes. Original. Full description

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Amazon.com: 12 commentaires
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Well plotted cozy that has reached maturity 17 avril 2010
Par sevenmoonlight - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Sixth book in "A Wine Lover's Mystery" with the main character of Nikki Sands who once starred in a short lived TV series but now manages a vineyard. The setting is current day in Napa Valley on the Malveaux Estates/Vineyard

In book one Nikki gives up the last of her dreams of being an actress in Hollywood and takes a job at the Malveaux vineyard working for Derek - the owner. Throughout the books there has been increasing romantic tension between Nikki and Derek even though both were dating other people. Most significantly Nikki was dating the manager of another vineyard, Andres and Derek briefly dated Renee Rothschild before coming together - and both Andres and Renee are back in this installment.

The story begins with introducing Violet, the newly adopted toddler of Simon (Derek's brother) and his partner Marco. Violet falls asleep with Nikki and upon waking finds gum stuck in her hair. Only a few days before her wedding to Derek (that's right - they are tying the knot) the gum must be cut out and Simon gets the hairdresser to turn Nikki into a platinum blond while he is at it. The fact is established early that Nikki has been receiving notes, even text messages with the theme "Do you believe in fate?" and signed with the Greek words Moros Apate Thanatos (Doom, Deceit and Death) and that morning she had received a newspaper clipping of Derek's first marriage notice to Meredith (first book - she is now in jail and Nikki helped put her there).

To add to the complications to Nikki's life and approaching wedding, Patrice, Derek's step mother, comes back uninvited and moves in claiming the vineyard is her home. Patrice was in the first book and hated Nikki then and probably still does. The stess mounts and Nikki is trying her best not to be a Bridezilla. The wedding day seems on track and Simon is walking Nikki down the aisle when Simon takes a bullet in the arm that was likely intended for Nikki. Then one of Derek's college pals is found dead and the sleuthing begins.

I felt the climatic reveal was a bit rushed - Nikki is checking out a theory and in a paragraph or two wham, killer revealed and show down. I felt like a few more chapters were needed to lead into the revealing of the killer. But otherwise it was a suspenseful revealing with palpable danger. I do have reservations for future books - I like the current arrangement and I fear that if Nikki and Derek start a family, as the book indicates they are trying to do, that much of what I like about the series will completely change and be a different dynamic - essentially a different series. I can easily see there being the "before kids" book and the "after kids" books division taking place.

Read the complete review here:
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Almost Five Stars 9 avril 2010
Par Ms. Jessica - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
There is A LOT going on in this book! Nikki and Derek are super busy with making sure every detail is ready for their wedding. Derek's college friends all come into town for the wedding and they each packed a suitcase full of secrets. A couple of Derek's friends are pretty awful, leaving Nikki to question how her fiance could be friends with such jerks. However, it is easy to bring to mind friends that we all have from our past that seem to stick around just because you have been friends with them for so long. Add to that divorce, affairs and children and things start to get crazy.
As if dealing with Derek's friends' drama isn't enough....Simon and Marco have adopted a baby, Simon's evil cougar mother has descended on the vineyard with her creepy 20-something new husband to move back into the mansion, Derek's ex-girlfriend is trying to sabotage the wedding, Nikki and Derek are receiving ominous notes, Nikki has a hair emergency and last but not least, Andre is back and still in love with Nikki. Phew!
Chaos ensues and gives Nikki some serious cold feet. There are plenty of suspects and red herrings in this book and the author does a great job of giving the reader clues without being obvious. Since there are sub-mysteries galore, it is pretty tough to know which clues fit with which mystery. I really enjoyed Nikki and Derek's reactions to all of the murder and mayhem and I was happy to see them support each other and not have too many "miscommunications".
As usual, the sense of place was terrific and the recipes look fabulous. You will definitely want to curl up with a glass of wine and those delicious crostinis. On a side note, I was pleased to see Bonterra wines featured. I love Bonterra, especially the Cabernet, and its the best organic wine I have had as of yet.
The only reason I didn't give it five stars was that the ending seemed a bit rushed to me. Since there was so much going on, there was a lot to wrap up and it felt like the author ran out of time. I would have rather the book had one or two more chapters instead of a very brief epilogue.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wine Cozy 4 octobre 2011
Par Andrea - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Every book in this series has been stunning, awesome, entertaining, very well-written, a perfect work of art.

But this book is even better. The author has really outdone herself on this one. It is so entertaining and well-written and interesting and good, that after I got to a certain point (which wasn't very far into the book), I could not put it down.

Characterization and setting are superb. I feel the characters are real and that I know them and love them (except for the bad guys, of course). Settings/atmosphere is amazing. For example, in this book, when Simon took Nikki to the beauty parlor (the second one), I felt I could almost smell the beauty parlor smells and felt the atmosphere of a beauty parlor. That's pretty good writing. The whole setting of the book is fine and delicate, luxurious, clean, and comfortable. I feel the atmosphere of the winery, the restaurant, the hotel, the home, etc. as glamorous, perfect, elegant.

In this particular book, Nikki and Derek are planning their wedding. Friends are coming to Napa Valley for the ceremony and festivities. Will Nikki like Derek's friends? Will the parties be happy and full of comradery? Will the wedding be beautiful and perfect? Will everything go smoothly and as planned?

I wish I could answer all these questions, but that would ruin the book. I cannot say more.

I will say that Simon is a character. It's hard to not like Simon. Derek's brother Simon has been with us in all these books. He's something else.

Nikki is a strong character. I love and admire her. She stands up for what she believes in and doesn't let anybody bully her around. And at the same time, is a good person. I guess you could say she is a rose, along with the thorns of self-protection.

If you love cozy mysteries, I would recommond these books. You don't have to be a wine-drinker in order to love these books. I am not a wine-drinker. The most these recipes have made me crave is sparkling bubbly grape juice or apple juice. And oh, I did not mention the recipes. They sound exotic.

I also learned some things about wine-making. Oh, not so much that it was too much. It was just a little bit. I knew nothing about making wine, storing it, fermenting it, etc. The little bit of information was interesting. Like I said, it was the perfect amount. I don't like too much info (that could make it boring), but just enough to barely touch on the subject so that we know a little about what's going on with it.

I just cannot sing enough praises for this book. It was interesting, well-written, and fantastic.
Five Stars 19 août 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I enjoy the series very much. Love the characters. Look forward to reading more additions.
More please! 26 avril 2015
Par Susan M Barber - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Love, love, love this series! Love the characters and the stories. More please!
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