I am pretty sure I have read another mystery by Michelle Scott, and possibly even reviewed it here, but I am too lazy to try to figure that out. I came across the book with the same title as this entry in a Good Will Store, and bought it for 99 cents. It is vaguely possible I overpaid, in the sense that lately I have been acquiring a lot of books form various places for free, but still. It was a quick read, a fun read, and filled with food (and wine). I am not sure, but this one might be the first in the series, a series entitled Wine Lover's Mysteries, and featuring a character named Nicki Sands, once an actress who had starred (though her own reflection on that experience paint her as a pretty bad actress) in a detective television show as Detective Martini.
The book is set in Napa Valley, at a fairly high end vineyard, with all sorts of suitably soap opera like characters qwith twisted familial relationships. My one real issue with the book is the tone with which the gay characters are described; it feels a bit like "I have to include them but they put me [or at least the narrator] off." They are somewhere between caricatured and treated like they are nasty just because they are gay. And then, there are a few other quibbles -- once in a while a trace of didacticism reaches out from the page; one only needs to define brix once for this reader, at least. But the author does so several times. And, as usual, the somewhat heavy handed romantic end of the plot does grate a tad.
Did I say I enjoyed the book? It may not sound like it, but I did. It was light and airy -- somewhere between a souffle and a balloon. And, it took away some of the realities of life's problems and made them seem less important. After all, no one has been murdered that I know . . . (and this despite the violence of Chicago streets).
Ok, not my best effort as a review. Have fun if you read this. Yes, there are recipes included. And click here for additional reviews with some in depth reflection on the book (or the series) collected by the author.