Deadly Tasting by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen
Source: Blog Tour
Description: When a body of an elderly man is found with 12 neatly arranged wine glasses and only one filled wine expert Benjamin Cooker is called in. With the help of the local police and his assistant Virgile, Cooker is on the hunt of a killer who has a connection to Bordeaux's complicated past. As the bodies fall and the wine glasses fill up Cooker is racing against time and a killer.
Why I Picked This Book: The premise appealed to me. Also, how could I resist a book that mixes murder and wine?
Pro: I was a little worried going in because this is a translation and my luck with those has been decidedly mixed. However, I needn't have worried. The writing style and pacing is smooth and this is a quick entertaining read. There was a slightly formal feel to the book so that it read like a classic mystery which really appealed to me. Benjamin Cooker is an interesting character - he's a well recognized expert in his field and has the ego that goes along with it - so I really appreciated the bit of humor dealing with the cabbage soup diet imposed by his wife. It brought the character down a bit and definitely humanized him. I did see that this was #4 in a long going series. I haven't read any of the previous books but I don't feel like that was a problem. While you do get the sense that this isn't Cooker's first case there isn't any knowledge that you're missing as a reader by starting at this point in the series.
Con: While the book felt like a classic mystery the end took a darker turn that surprised me a bit and maybe didn't quite fit. I would've liked to have had a little more setup to what happened. Everything made sense and was fit the story so this is just a minor quibble.
Overall: This was an interesting mystery series that I am looking forward to read more of. If you enjoy wine, France and murder mysteries this is not to be missed!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely to any mystery lover!
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