The Sauvignon Secret: A Wine Country Mystery

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WHEN LUCIE MONTGOMERY FINDS the body of prominent wine merchant Paul Noble hanging from a beam in his art studio not far from her Virginia vineyard, she is unwittingly dragged into Noble’s murky past. Once a member of the secretive Mandrake Society, Noble might have aided in a cover-up of the deaths forty years ago of a disabled man and a beautiful young biochemist involved in classified government research.

A seemingly innocent favor for an old friend of her French grandfather sends Lucie to California, where she teams up with Quinn Santori, who walked out of Lucie’s life months earlier. Soon Lucie and Quinn are embroiled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game that takes them from glittering San Francisco to the legendary vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, and back home to Virginia, as they try to discover whether a killer may be seeking vengeance for the long-ago deaths. As Lucie and Quinn struggle to uncover the past, they must also decide whether they have a future together. Blending an intriguing mystery with an absorbing plot, vivid characters, and a richly evoked setting, The Sauvignon Secret should be savored like a glass of fine wine.
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About the author

Ellen Crosby is the author of Multiple Exposure, the first book in a series featuring photojournalist Sophie Medina. She has also written six books in the Virginia wine country mystery series. A former freelance reporter for The Washington Post, Moscow correspondent for ABC Radio News, and an economist at the US Senate, Crosby lives in Virginia with her family. Learn more about her at EllenCrosby.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 16, 2011
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781451628418
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Ellen Crosby's third tale of suspense set amid the vines of Virginia wine country involves a two-hundred-year-old bottle of Bordeaux that Thomas Jefferson may have purchased for George Washington and is turning out to be a wine to die for.

It has been a year since Lucie Montgomery took over running her family vineyard at the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. The Bordeaux Betrayal now sweeps her into a mystery that began more than two centuries ago in France and ends in murder not far from Montgomery Estate Vineyard.

When author and historian Valerie Beauvais turns up dead the night after a verbal brawl with a noted wine critic on the grounds of Mount Vernon, George Washington's home, Lucie is certain Valerie's death is related to something she knew concerning the authenticity of the priceless Washington Bordeaux.

As Lucie and her eccentric winemaker Quinn Santori bring in the last grapes of the season, Quinn's controversial past becomes intertwined with the murder and the rare wine, testing the bonds of their increasingly close relationship. New neighbors challenge Lucie for allowing a century-old hunting club to use her land for foxhunting; Mick Dunne, Lucie's ex-lover, comes back into her life; and her beloved French grandfather makes an unexpected visit that will rekindle painful memories some would prefer to forget.

As Lucie investigates the shadowy history of the Washington wine, she uncovers a web of deceit and betrayal and a long-forgotten scandal that affects not only the international wine world but her own as well
The Chardonnay Charade begins with a daring helicopter flight in the middle of the night. Facing a freak spring frost that threatens to kill the grapes in her vineyard, Lucie Montgomery hires a chopper to fly over the vines in order to blow warm air on them. But her thoughts soon turn from grapes to murder when she discovers the body of Georgia Greenwood, a controversial political candidate, lying near the fields. Georgia's husband, Ross, Lucie's friend and doctor, immediately falls under suspicion. To make matters worse, Ross, a renowned collector of Civil War documents, has just discovered a letter that seems to prove that Confederate president Jefferson Davis had prior knowledge of the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. In the small town of Atoka, Virginia -- proud home to the "Gray Ghost," the Confederacy's legendary guerrilla commander -- the letter is a bombshell.

Three years ago Ross saved Lucie's life after she was involved in a near-fatal car crash. Now she intends to return the favor and prove Ross's innocence. As the search for Georgia's killer escalates, Lucie crosses swords with her attractive but cantankerous winemaker, Quinn Santori, and confronts her own unwelcome feelings of jealousy over his new romance and job prospects. Her worries about her kid sister's out-of-control drinking and a second vineyard-related death further ratchet up the tension. Even though Lucie believes that in vino veritas -- in wine there is truth -- she finds that the path to uncovering a murderer involves making a heartbreaking decision that will alter the lives of those she loves.
This globe-trotting mystery featuring intrepid photojournalist Sophie Medina is an “assured tale of love, loss, and secret agendas, the first in a new series, which... offers a complex portrait of our nation’s capital, with its historic beauty and roiling underbelly of deceit and danger” (Publishers Weekly).

When photojournalist Sophie Medina returns to London from an overseas assignment, she discovers that her husband, Nick, a geologist and covert CIA operative, has been abducted and assumed dead. Three months later, a friend in the British government relays that Nick has been spotted in Moscow, but Sophie is allowed little joy before the news turns dark—Nick is accused as a suspect in his boss’s murder and rumors circulate that he’s involved in illicit Russian oil deals. With her every step closely watched, Sophie moves to Washington, DC, to be with her family and friends.

There, Sophie is drawn deeper into Nick’s shadowy world. While photographing an exhibit of two never-before-seen Fabergé imperial eggs at the National Gallery of Art, Sophie is confronted by a Russian oil tycoon, implicating her husband in an international energy scheme. On the run from Nick’s enemies, Sophie plays a high-stakes game of Russian roulette as she tries to determine friend from foe and prove her husband’s innocence.

Weaving together political intrigue, art history, and international espionage, the fast-paced Multiple Exposure is the thrilling first novel of an exciting new series.
From the author of Multiple Exposure, the second “intriguing…compelling” (Publishers Weekly) novel in the thrilling Sophie Medina mystery series that features a photojournalist as she races to find an international treasure before a murderer finds her.

When freelance photojournalist Sophie Medina finds Brother Kevin Boyle, a Franciscan friar and controversial environmentalist, dead in the magnificent gardens of a Washington, DC monastery, she is sure her friend was murdered. Shortly before he died, Kevin told Sophie he was being stalked, possibly because he uncovered a botanic discovery potentially worth millions of dollars. Left with few clues to his secret, Sophie is determined to figure out who killed Kevin.

Beginning with a key that leads to a priceless original seventeenth-century encyclopedia of plants, Sophie leaps into an international treasure hunt following a trail that begins in the US Capitol and eventually leads to London and the English countryside. Before long Sophie suspects Kevin’s murderer may have been someone who knew him well. With time running out and a suspect list that includes the world’s leading botanical experts and political royalty from both sides of the Atlantic, can Sophie solve the two-hundred-year-old mystery before Kevin’s killer finds her?

A tale of greed and betrayal involving politicians, diplomats, European royalty, and a century-old monastery, Ghost Image is filled with political intrigue, history, and an international high-stakes race against a killer that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
The death of a former presidential candidate in a fiery car crash at her Virginia vineyard has ties to a thirty year-old murder, as well as to Lucie Montgomery’s own near fatal accident ten years ago, as she searches for a killer who now may be stalking her.

When Jamison Vaughn—billionaire real estate mogul, Virginia vineyard owner, and unsuccessful U.S. presidential candidate—drives his gold SUV into a stone pillar at the entrance to Montgomery Estate Vineyard, Lucie Montgomery is certain the crash was deliberate. But everyone else in Atoka, Virginia is equally sure that Jamie must have lost control of his car on a rain-slicked country road. In spite of being saddled with massive campaign debts from the recent election, Jamie is seemingly the man with the perfect life. What possible reason could he have for committing suicide . . . or was it murder?

Before long Lucie uncovers a connection between Jamie and some of his old friends—an elite group of academics—and the brutal murder thirty years ago of a brilliant PhD student. Although a handyman is on death row for the crime, Lucie soon suspects someone else is guilty. But the investigation into the two deaths throws Lucie a curve ball when someone from her own past becomes involved, forcing her to confront old demons. Now the race to solve the mystery behind the two deaths becomes intensely personal as Lucie realizes someone wants her silenced . . . for good.

The Vineyard Victims is a nominee for the 2018 Mary Higgins Clark Award.

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