Murder Uncorked by Michele Scott
From the back:
Nikki Sands was like every other aspiring actress—waiting tables between jobs. But Nikki had taken serving wines to heart. She knew enough to impress Napa Valley’s golden boy, Derek Malveaux, who offered her a job at his vineyard. And though Nikki may have left her dreams of stardom behind, the world of wine is ripe with intrigue—and the seeds of sleuthing are planted.
Nikki has just set foot on Napa Valley’s rich soil when she realizes her new job may not be as safe as she thought. First off, Derek Malveaux is disconcertingly sexy. Second, his top winemaker is dead in the bushes outside Nikki’s cottage. It doesn’t take a connoisseur of foul play to know something’s taken a terrible turn…
I actually wasn’t planning on reading this. I picked it up to glance at it before returning it to the library and got hooked. Nikki is a great main character and I had to see what happened to her next. It’s a fun, little mystery with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. Of course, Nikki is the amateur detective who really has no business investigating anything, but still manages to do a better job than the police, which is common enough in this type of mystery. There’s a hint of romance that I’m a little worried about. I hate romances that drag on and on and never go anywhere. I did enjoy the details about the vineyard and wine-making and hope these continue throughout the series.
There are recipes included for several of the dishes at the end of the chapter when they’re served, or not served as the case may be. A wine is suggested for each, too, in keeping with the theme of the book.