Title: Murder in the Vineyard
Author: Denise Jaden
Publication Date: April 28, 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A heated religious argument. A murder that’s not as obvious as it seems. A first date gone very, very wrong.
Mallory Beck didn’t expect to start dating her detective friend and childhood crush, Alex Martinez. At the very least, after her husband’s recent death, she didn’t expect to date someone she really likes so soon. But this isn’t a real date anyway. It’s a Bible study, and she has some questions about God, not to mention the pressing need to escape her recently freeloading father for an evening. Besides, how heated could things get at a Bible study?
The heat, it turns out, burns between two other attendees with opposing opinions on alcohol. When one storms out of the meeting early and then later turns up dead, Alex and Mallory find themselves at the heart of another murder investigation.
Can they uncover the secrets simmering through their cozy community town to get to the truth?
Why This Book
Murder in the Vineyard is the fourth in the Mallory Beck Cozy Culinary Caper series, which follows the young widow of a mystery writer, her old school crush who is now a local detective, the teen girl Mallory befriended in the first book, and the cat of Mallory’s late husband. While each book is relatively short and quick, they really have some nice twists and turns and small developments in terms of characterization and romance.
In this fourth installment, Mallory and her detective friend, Alex, are headed to a local vineyard to attend a bible study group. Of course, being as Christian as this community is, it isn’t exactly welcome news that their meeting is being held at a vineyard where the owners even attempt to serve alcohol, and it especially doesn’t go over well with one member in particular. And of course the evening must end with a dead body and the start of Mallory’s fourth mystery as an amateur detective who certainly doesn’t mean to stumble into all these cases.
My review: “Just like the previous mysteries, Murder in the Vineyard presents a fast-paced, twisty mystery with plenty of red herrings. Everything about it was extremely smoothly done and I liked that I didn’t easily guess who did it, instead figuring it out with the characters. There was more at play and I really liked how it pulled in the history of the victim more than previous books have. I also really liked how there was a bit more danger in this one”
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