My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
Curl up with a glass of merlot and travel to California wine country, where a sweet, unsuspecting town becomes the site of mischief and murder…
This is a cozy mystery that will check all your boxes: a charming bed and breakfast, a clever heroine and a lovable cattle dog named Rex…you are sure to fall for this series!
Weeding out killers wasn’t part of the job description . . .
Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is excited to participate in an event to raise awareness for the plight of struggling veterans in their Northern California coastal community. Local wineries are sponsoring tastings, and to prepare for a culinary competition, professional chefs will forage for wild edible greens. Kelly plans to come along, despite a warning to beware of poachers, who have been stealing the highly valued succulent Dudleya farinosa.
The senior sleuths who call themselves the Silver Sentinels join forces with environmental activists known as the Succulent Saviors to thwart the poaching operation. When a consultant for the sale of a local winery is murdered, the poachers are suspected—but so is a wine merchant, Kelly’s friend Phil. As Kelly and the Silver Sentinels attempt to root out the real killer, what she digs up might just put her permanently underground . . .
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
I’ve enjoyed the previous books in this series, so when I was in the mood for a familiar cozy mystery series I decided to pick this one up. Returning to this series always feels like spending time with familiar characters and it’s always fun to pick up another book in this series. This was again a great read and I liked seeing all the plot lines develop.
Murder in the Wine Country has a lot going on, at times I thought it might be too much for one book, but it sure made for an engaging read. There is this big event that the main character’s boss is putting together which forms the backdrop for a lot of the story. Then there are poachers who are active and a dead body. Kelly and the Silver Sentinels have to band together again to help solve this mystery. And then there are plenty of smaller side plot lines regarding the characters that are progressing as well.
So this book actually had multiple mysteries sort of running alongside each other, at first it was unclear what was related and what not, but that worked to keep the mystery up. I enjoyed seeing how everything developed, but looking back it did feel like a certain mystery was put on the back burner for most of the middle of the book and then got resolved rather quickly toward the end. There wasn’t as much figuring out suspects and finding clues, both mysteries were rather straightforward and most of the tension was in seeing how it all played out. With everything going on it definitely held my attention even with the mystery being not as strong as in some of the other books.
As this is book 6 in the series I really enjoy spending time with the by now familiar characters. Seeing the silver sentinels and Kelly try and solve the mysteries and seeing the intricacies of each of the characters. Then there is Helen and her son Tommy, the local law enforcement officer, Scott, as well as Phill, Daniel and other characters Kelly knows through her work. It has a rich cast of characters and it’s a joy spending time with all of them. Through the previous books I’ve gotten to know all of them, so even tough it’s a large amount of characters it’s never confusion. Then there is a whole new group of characters related to the event and some side plot lines regarding them that progress throughout the story.
To summarize: I enjoyed returning to this series for another great cozy mystery read and spending time with the by now familiar characters. This book has a lot going on with some main mysteries as well as various side plot lines, but it all works out and made for an engaging read. Looking back I did feel like one of the mysteries was put on hold for a large section of the book. The murder mystery was resolved rather easily by the end and lacked the longer looking for clues parts other books have due to the other mystery going taking place as well. It still made for a great read and I liked the unique twist to have two mysteries going on in the same book. One of my favorite parts of this series is spending time with all the characters again and seeing what’s going on. There are some character related side plot lines as well and I liked reading it and seeing how everything developed.