Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Vintage Murder - Michele Scott

A Vintage Murder
A Wine Lover’s Mystery
Michele Scott
Berkley Prime Crime


If you’ve been reading the series so far, you’ll know that in the last installment (SILENCED BY SYRAH) vineyard manager Nikki Sands was torn between two men. That question is resolved in the first chapter here, and not a moment too soon. I enjoy the mystery aspects of the series far more than any ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ drama. For those who wish to remain unspoiled, I won’t mention the chosen man’s name here.

Nikki and her chosen are in Australia to work out a deal with Hahndorf Winery. As it happens, when they arrive, they find a movie being filmed there. Nikki, at one time an actress, is quite interested in the proceedings. But there’s a huge wrench thrown into things when the leading lady ends up dead. Seems she was asleep in her locked trailer when a poisonous snake, belonging to someone else on the set, managed to get in and bite her. Not many snakes are able to unlock a door, so Nikki immediately suspects foul play.

With a big-budget movie on the line, and some solid acting experience in her past, Nikki is invited to fill the shoes of the leading lady. This puts her in the perfect position, not only to take another shot at her dreams of stardom, but also to find out who killed her predecessor. And make sure she doesn’t suffer the same fate.

I found the notion that a major movie would simply hire the nearest female to step into the leading role a bit far-fetched. But, this is basically escapist entertainment, so suspension of disbelief is in order. The new setting means that new readers will have no trouble jumping in at this point, and provides an entirely new set of suspects. This is another solid entry in a very entertaining series.

Rating: 7 ½
July 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22254-6 (paperback)


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