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Mayhem in Margaux

Mayhem-in-Margaux

 

Mayhem in Margaux
By
Jean-Pierre ALAUX and Noël BALEN
translated by Sally Pane
Publisher:  Le French Book
Pub. Date:
May 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1939474384

First published in French:
Sous la robe de Margaux (2012)

Pages:  153
Genre:  Whodunit / Cozy mystery / Detective
Source: Received from the publisher for a
virtual book tour on France Book Tours

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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges

2015 ebook my-kind-of-mystery-2015 2015 Translation

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MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

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Here we go again with”The Winemaker Detective series “, now with its 6th book and another famous wine in the Bordeaux region: Mayhem in Margaux. This short cozy is actually packed with lot of goodies.

That Summer, France was afflicted with a terrible heat wave and drought. Many elderly were victims, and it was a tough year also for vineyards, exactly as it happened in Summer 2003. Detective and wine connoisseur Benjamin’s daughter, Margaux, is in vacation from the US. When Antoine, a wine manager, takes her out to dinner, they have a major car accident. Reckless driving? Sabotage? Would someone want to target Margaux to take revenge against her father who just wrote a severe critique in his guide against that wine?

There’s a lot going on in this short cozy.

Neat that Benjamin’s daughter’s name would be Margaux, a common first name but also the name of one of the most renowned Bordeaux wines. Château Margaux dates back to the beginning of the 19th century.

In this book of the series, there’s more team work between Ben and Inspector Barbaroux, who happens to be also quite knowledgeable in wines. This was a nice addition, not mentioning the personal implication of Ben through his own daughter whom he wants to protect at all cost.

As usual, apart from the enjoyable suspense, there were great descriptions of the landscape (not only the wine region, but also the famous Cordouan lighthouse).
As for the wine, I enjoyed the historical details and the explanations on issues such as the effect of extreme heat on vineyards and the complex problem of the cork taint.
There’s even the question of illegal Moroccans working in France.

VERDICT: Fun short cozy packed with suspense, historical details, explanations of issues related to growing wine, and even social problems in France. Grab a glass and enjoy!

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

It’s summer in Bordeaux. There’s a heat wave, the vineyards are suffering, vintners are on edge, and wine expert Benjamin Cooker’s daughter is visiting. A tragic car accident draws the Winemaker Detective and his assistant Virgile into a case where the stakes are very personal, and they uncover the dirty secrets hiding behind some of Bordeaux’s finest grand cru classé wines from Margaux.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

 

Alaux-Balen

©David Nakache

The authors of the Winemaker Detective series, are Epicures.
Jean-Pierre Alaux is a magazine, radio and TV journalist
when he is not writing novels in southwestern France.
He is the grandson of a winemaker
and exhibits a real passion for wine and wine making.
For him, there is no greater common denominator than wine.
He gets a sparkle in his eye when he talks about the Winemaker Detective,
which he coauthors with Noël Balen.
Noël lives in Paris, where he shares his time between writing,
making records, and lecturing on music.
He plays bass, is a music critic and has authored a number of books
about musicians in addition to his novel and short-story writing.

 ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

Translator Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Masters Degree in French Literature from the University of Colorado where she wrote Camus and the Americas: A Thematic Analysis of Three Works Based on His Journaux de Voyage.  Her career includes more than twenty years of translating and teaching French and Italian at Berlitz and at Colorado University Boulder.  She has worked in scientific, legal and literary translation; her literary translations include Operatic Arias; Singers Edition, and Reality and the Untheorizable by Clément Rosset.  She also served as the interpreter for the government cabinet of Rwanda and translated for Dian Fossey’s Digit Fund. In addition to her passion for French, she has studied Italian at Colorado University, in Rome and in Siena.  She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband.
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