cover image Blood Vines

Blood Vines

Erica Spindler, read by Orlagh Cassidy, Macmillan Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 11 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4272-0866-8

When her bipolar mom dies from an overdose of meds, Alex Clarkson discovers the old gal has been hoarding family secrets, mainly a marriage to a member of a Sonoma Valley winemaking dynasty. Alex, a San Francisco bartender working on her doctoral thesis in human belief systems, puts her life on hold and rushes to wine country to meet the family she’s never known she had and on the way reconnecting with a childhood friend now a handsome local. Orlagh Cassidy does her best, but the material, including some melodrama, a murder or three, sexual depravity, and even ritual sacrifice among the grapes, is a bit too listless for even a spirited rendition to help. A St. Martin’s hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 18). (Mar.)