I love traveling to new places via a great book. This week I was able to journey to Cypress Grove in California’s wine country and meet some very interesting new friends. One Foot in the Grape by Carlene O’Neil is the first part in the new Cypress Cove Mystery series.
From the back of the book:
In California wine country, the town of Cypress Cove may seem peaceful. But someone’s about to pop their cork…
After losing her job as a photojournalist, Penny Lively is trying to get her life back in focus. Inheriting the family winery from her late aunt may be the fresh start she needs. Thankfully she’s got her niece Hayley and her handsome winery manager Connor to help. But the person in need of more urgent assistance is Antonia Martinelli, the owner of the neighboring winery, who has her own barrel full of problems. Someone’s spoiling her wine, and with the upcoming Autumn Festival, she needs Penny’s nose for clues to sniff out the culprit.
But Penny’s search for answers sours after the body of a staff member is found in a grape crusher. Since Hayley was the last to see him alive, she’s the prime suspect in the case. Now Penny must hurry to find the real killer before Hayley withers on the vine…
The first thing that I fell in love with was the beautiful scenery. I have never been to a winery but it is certainly now on my to do list. The wineries in this book were populated with some very interesting characters. On Penny’s there is the charming Connor and her sweet niece Hayley. But next door… and use next door loosely because these sound like really big wineries… at Antonia’s winery there is a whole cast of quirky and dramatic people. It is next door where two mysteries unfold - first who is sabotaging the wine and second, and probably most important, who is a killer!
I found the murder method in this book to be very unique, and even a little unsettling to visualize and, at least for me, the killer remained a mystery until the reveal. This debut was a perfect start to what I know will be a fun series and I one I will continue to seek out. I just have to know what happens with everyone, and what mysteries await Penny.
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