The author, Ms. Fiona Grace, has produced a brilliant cozy mystery. The story was slow in the beginning but gained super momentum and kept me excited and guessing until the climax. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the readers thoroughly engrossed. I loved
both the books in this series.
Olivia Glass has recently purchased a new farmhouse in Italy for growing her own vineyard as wine making business has been her long cherished dream. She and her best friend, Charlotte visit her farmhouse to get acquainted with the surrounding areas and learn about the history of the place. Meanwhile, there is a funny moment when Olivia gets scared of a spider and climbs the scaffolding only to be rescued by Charlotte who gets rid of the insect. Later, they visit the local hardware stores for buying the necessary items for wine farming.
A stranger irks her with his unsolicited advice.
They return to their farmhouse and get down outright to start planting the grape seeds. The same irritating stranger introduces himself as Danilo and tells Olivia that she and Charlotte have not done the planting properly. She is so angry that she asks him to leave immediately.
Her boss, Marcello, asks her to join him for a trip to Pisa when she returns to work. She is delighted to accompany him on this business cum pleasure trip. Marcello surprises her with his purchase of Franco’s winery that produces high quality wine. They enjoy some moments together having lunch and visiting The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Marcello tells Olivia that a celebrity, Alexander Schwarz, a famous author cum award winning wine maker is going to pay a visit. Olivia is thrilled with the news because she is looking forward to learn the nuances of quality wine making.
Things start going downhill after Nadia complains about their stock of Sangiovese wine getting TCA taint, that is their wine has been spoilt, creating a shortfall in their wine supply. Marcello takes a decision to hold an auction of their historic wine bottle by Brunello di Montalcino. Olivia is shocked to see Vernon Carrington, her former client, who was responsible for Valley Wines disaster, present at the auction. She had created the ad campaign for his company without realizing that their wines were of low quality. He recognizes her and speaks about her involvement in their marketing campaign. Gabriella, her nemesis, is delighted to get dirt on her after she hears him ramble about Olivia’s past career.
She is upset about Vernon winning the bid on the vintage wine. She offers to visit Vernon’s place with the auction related papers. However, she is shocked to find his dead body. She calls Marcello and apprises him of the situation. He calls the police and the medics.
Detective Caputi arrives at the crime scene. She grills Olivia in every possible way. She suspects Marcello, Antonio, Olivia, Nadia and Alexander Schwarz because he had a tussle with the deceased. Detective Caputi informs Marcello, Nadia, Antonio and Olivia that Vernon died after drinking a poisoned wine. The auction was the last place he was seen and didn’t stop anywhere. She takes Nadia into custody and wants to arrest Olivia because she was acquainted with him in the past. The Wine Tasting room at La Legganda is closed until further notice. Olivia is desperate to solve the case to clear her name as well as others in order to resume business.
She decides to interview the neighbors to see if they noticed anything out of ordinary or a stranger in their neighborhood. She is stunned to find the British couple who have no idea about the murder. She approaches another neighbor Sven who claims to have seen a visitor at Vernon’s house. Olivia is numb with shock after she gets the physical description of the visitor from Sven.
Who is the visitor? Did he poison Vernon? How will Olivia save herself and others from the clutches of Detective Caputi? There is a major element of surprise awaiting the readers. Highly recommended for reading for all the cozy mystery lovers.