The French Paradox

Ellen Crosby. Severn, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-9101-3
In Crosby’s intriguing 10th Wine Country mystery (after 2019’s The Angels’ Share), vintner Lucie Montgomery is dismayed to discover the body of landscape designer Parker Lord, her good friend and adviser, in the vineyard of her family’s Virginia winery. Parker had received death threats after publishing a highly controversial book about climate change. Lucie does what she can to assist the local authorities, identifying several suspects among the close-knit community. Meanwhile, Lucie’s 93-year-old French grandfather is due to arrive from Paris, his visit coinciding with the 90th birthday of Cricket Delacroix, an intimate friend of Jackie Onassis, who bequeathed to Cricket a number of paintings by 18th-century French painter Vigée le Brun. As Lucie and her fiancé, winemaker Quinn Santori, search for the killer, they uncover a possible link between Parker’s murder and Jackie, the paintings, and her grandfather, who had a fling with Jackie in 1949 during the future First Lady’s junior year abroad. Well-researched historical details bolster the complex plot. This tale of ambition, artistic integrity, privacy, and wine should win Crosby new fans. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/08/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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