Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California

Frances Dinkelspiel. St. Martin's, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-03322-2
Dinkelspiel (Towers of Gold) has a personal stake in California's rich wine legacy—her wealthy great-great-grandfather, financier Isaias W. Hellman, essentially controlled the state's wine business in the late 1800s—but she maintains her objectivity in this dark exposé that uncovers a history of violence, deceit, and obsession. The book pivots on the October 2005 arson fire that destroyed a former Navy bunker near San Francisco, which had been converted into a wine storage facility housing an estimated 4.6 million bottles valued up to $400 million. The man convicted of that crime, Mark Anderson, is now serving a 27-year prison sentence. He communicated numerous times with Dinkelspiel, who often questions Anderson's credibility while telling his sordid story. Via numerous interviews with Anderson's acquaintances and former employees, government agency representatives, winemakers, and other industry experts, she weaves Anderson's misadventures into the cinematic, convoluted history of wine in California's seductive Napa Valley. The author's gripping descriptions of the fire and its aftermath, her unflinching narrative, and her vast knowledge of the subject matter make this a page-turner for both wine aficionados and casual tasters. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/21/2015
Release date: 10/06/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-250-03321-5
Hardcover - 487 pages - 978-1-4104-8731-5
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-250-11389-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-1152-6
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