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Murder Alfresco (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #3)
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Murder Alfresco (Sunny McCoskey #3)

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  231 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Walking home late one night from a party, Napa Valley restaurant owner Sunny McCoskey happens upon the shocking sight of a murdered woman, bound and hanging from the tree of a local vineyard. Shortly before, she'd seen a truck leaving a local winery, driving without its headlights on. Was it the murderer? And did the murderer see her as well? Sunny's investigation introduc ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 2nd 2008 by Chronicle Books (first published May 1st 2005)
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Mary Mack

Sunny McCowsky is a chef and owns Wildfire a local restaurant in Northern California . Walking home alone one cold evening from a late night party at her boyfriends' she finds a body of a woman hanging from a tree in a local vineyard. She is determined to find out more about the young woman and why she was killed and left in the hanging there.
This is the first Sunny McCowsky mystery that I’ve read and even though it wasn’t the first in the series it’s easy to follow the characters and sort eve
Feb 05, 2012 Barbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-cozy
Oh, I am so conflicted about this book. I like Sunny McCloskey and her friends. Their relationship and interactions are witty and fun and loving. They seem like a caring and supportive extended family and a great group to be a part of and hang out with. I love the Friday night get-togethers.

However, Sunny is turning out to be one of these hardheaded, tenacious and TSTL cozy heroines. She just can’t let go and just keeps pushing and sticking her nose into things she has no right or business doin
Jun 19, 2009 Marlyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, wine
This is the third book in the Sunny McCloskey series. I met Nadia at Left Coast Crime in Hawai'i last March, and won this book for correctly answering a trivia question.
Sunny is the chef/owner of Wildside a restaurant in the Napa Valley. She leaves a boring party late one night, intending to call a taxi, but discovers that her cell phone battery is dead. Since it's only a few miles, she decides to walk home. The only vehicle she sees is a truck pulling out from the drive of a vineyard. A few min
Ellen Marchessault
Feb 06, 2016 Ellen Marchessault rated it liked it
Shelves: california
Sunny McCoskey's third outing. This time she discovers a woman hanging from a tree at the Vedana winery. Of course she cannot leave the solving to Steve Harvey, local police officer. The climax comes on the road to the top of Mt. Tamalpais, after a few trips to Sausalito. Reliable read.
Colleen Shogan
Jan 01, 2015 Colleen Shogan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this series, mostly because the main character, Sunny, has some flaws that make her more realistic. And I love the setting and reading about her work as a restaurant owner.
Aug 17, 2014 Kerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good light reading book. I like the setting in the wine country with the added dimension of a chef being involved. Based on this book I would read other books by Nadia Gordon.
Samantha Smith
May 17, 2011 Samantha Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book three in the Napa Valley mystery series. I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked the food talk, the description of the landscape, and the fact that we get to know Sunny, the protagonist, a bit more in this novel. However, I found the actually mystery and motive less appealing than in the first two books in the series. After finishing the book, I found myself wondering who the killer had been and when I rememebered I kept thinking, wait, why?! The motive wasn't compelling. But this didn' ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Genie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
An ok mystery, a new series for me, Descriptions of sunny' s life as a cook and restaurant owner were interesting to me, almost more than the mystery itself. I wanted to eke reading but really only2-3 stars worth.
Dec 16, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Well Sunny McCoskey is certainly continuing to improve as an amateur sleuth. She can't stop herself from wanting to solve the case and she also seems to be the one who is finding the body! Her insomnia may keep a reader up to all hours, wanting to finish the story. I do look forward to reading another book in this particular series. Also the descriptions of Napa Valley have made visiting a priority;preferably without encountering any of the dangers that Sunny has found herself in! I do like goo ...more
Aug 07, 2014 Adina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect series for the summer.
Jane Brant
Aug 26, 2013 Jane Brant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While there is an "indulgent" amount of Napa Valley/Bay Area culinary references, this is an overall fun book for someone who knows California and just wants to flavor it via the printed word. The murder mystery itself is weak....a little bit developed mixed with a lot of fluffy air. Fun, nonetheless! Makes you want to either cook or drive to your nearest five star restaurant. Not too many mysteries do that! The "meat" motif vs. vegetarian is a little tongue-in-cheek, I think.
Jul 25, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sunny finds a body at a vineyard on a midnight stroll and a combination of distress and her insatiable curiousity get the better of her once more. This time we escape St Helena for some roadtrips to Sausalito and the Muir Woods area. Bondage, Ferrari's, and houseboats intrude on the usual Napa themes of wine and food. Looking forward to the next book when we see if Rivka's connection with her new boyfriend is still going strong and if Sunny expands her business.
So... there are no consequences for evidence-tampering? No say, arrest-like consequences for removing evidence, running evidence under warm water, recording over evidence, failing to turn evidence over to police WHEN YOU ARE A MATERIAL WITNESS IN A MURDER CASE?

Good to know.

I wish Gordon didn't write such lovely sentences, because overall these books are convoluted and over-indulgent.
Sep 23, 2010 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best plot of the series and also the creepiest of the series to date. I very much recommend not starting this book at bedtime as Sunny’s discovery of a dead body is leaps and bounds more spine-tingling than anything in prior books. Cannot believe my local library does not own the next book, as I’m dying (pun intended) to get another fix of Sunny’s entertaining adventures with wine. Recommended.
Apr 19, 2012 Judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading about the Wine Country, but it was clear who the murderer was in the first 5 sentences of his/her (no spoilers here) introduction.

And the actions of Sunny, the main character, were completely idiotic. A great background from someone who obviously knows her territory spoiled by a sloppy plot.
Jun 19, 2011 Debbie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the most disappointing mysteries I've ever read. The story was disjointed and the characters were poorly developed and not very likable. I love Napa Valley wine country and was really hoping to enjoy this series but I don't think I can read another one of these.
Oct 03, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Nice mystery read, and the food descriptions (the heroine owns a small restaurant in Napa) made me hungry!

(And thanks to my visit to the SF area this year, I recognized many of the locals, which was cool.)
Sep 23, 2008 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Liz
I really like Nadia Gordon's books. I've read two now, and they are fun, easy reads. Great for a long flight. She is a San Franciscan who writes murder mysteries set in Napa Valley.
Pam Chapman
Loved the first two Sunny McCoskey mysteries - this one not as much. Still love the characters and setting - wine country in the Napa Valley and all of the food references.
A little too much of the main character making silly excuses for doing dumbass things. I know mystery writing is a tightrope, but still.
Dec 05, 2012 Tammy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second book I've read by her. I like the female character who is spunky like Kinsey in the sue grafton novels.
Feb 20, 2010 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
can't help myself - i love this series set in napa valley, yummy food and sights and totally engaging...
Jul 10, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another immensely satisfying book about chef Sunny McCloskey and the California wine country.
Jessica (booneybear)
I would have never finished this book had it not been so short. Not my cup of tea whatsoever.
Jen Mcpherson
Jul 03, 2013 Jen Mcpherson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished it in one very long day at the office between tasks.
Jul 04, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Now I'm ready for a glass of wine and some good food!
Aug 08, 2011 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the settings of St. Helena and Sausalito!
Aug 06, 2013 Mima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it really Intense
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Sep 20, 2016
Honey Goydas
Honey Goydas marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2016
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Nadia Gordon is the pen name of writer Julianne Balmain.
More about Nadia Gordon...

Other Books in the Series

Sunny McCoskey (4 books)
  • Sharpshooter (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #1)
  • Death by the Glass (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #2)
  • Lethal Vintage (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #4)

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