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The Chardonnay Charade (Wine Country Mysteries #2)
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The Chardonnay Charade (Wine Country Mysteries #2)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  770 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Mixing fine wine and murder produces "another hit" (Kirkus Reviews) in Ellen Crosby's second mystery as Virginia vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery discovers that uncovering a killer can bring a harvest of dilemma and danger.

Lucie Montgomery thinks she has troubles enough with a freak spring frost that is threatening to kill her tender young Chardonnay grapes, but when the
Paperback, 330 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Pocket Books (first published 2006)
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Laura W
As Chardonnay Charade begins it is about nine months after the events of the previous novel. Lucie and her winemaker Quinn have managed, despite their differences, to keep the vineyard going. Unfortunately the Virginia spring has turned unseasonably cold forcing them to drastic measures to keep the vines from freezing. Even more unfortunately after two sleepless nights of battling the weather a guest from a reception held at the vineyard is found dead among vines that had just been sprayed with ...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
I still like this series more than most other cozies I've read, but this second book took some steps in directions that aren't really my cuppa. The love triangle (or quadrangle, or maybe some other geometric shape) felt strange and forced, and when it comes to Lucie and Quinn's relationship I'm being told that it's entirely antagonistic but I'm being shown a much stronger friendship than that. And the repeated focus on Kit's weight and eating habits was uncomfortable at best. But again I liked t ...more
I'm very glad I read the article in Culture Map written by a local food critic. She suggested several "culinary" mystery series including the Wine Country Mysteries. I'm becoming quite fond of Lucie Montgomery and her friends. In THE CHARDONNAY CHARADE the wife of Lucie's doctor is murdered in a very grotesque way. This book is a cozy and while not hard-boiled, it's a little "heavy" so let's call it soft-boiled! Well written, lots of information about wine and wine making in Virginia. Beautiful ...more
Good read...great historical backing of old Virginia families as well as info on Virginia vitaculture of wine. And we all know I lovvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeee wine.
So this book was good, but also frustrating. The biggest complaint I have is that there was almost no mention of what happened in the first book--the main character contributes to the accidental death of her uncle--in any kind of lasting way. Also, her former fling killed her godfather. But no lasting scars.
The silly struggle I had--the narrator gave this woman--a native and resident of the Leesburg area--a southern accent like someone from the Deep South. It was incredibly annoying and just no
Cindy Huffman
So after some real heavy books. in volume and in subject matter, I thought it would be nice to read something more 'light-hearted'. Instead of a Harlequin Romance, which were by far a favorite light read for me as a young girl (and I'm now 40!). So I thought a mystery series set in wine country would do the job.

The one I actually had saved in my wake county library book list was titled The Merlot Murders but since that wasn't available, I picked this one. The titles were tickling my fancy so how
Falling into a genre somewhere between "beach read" and "cozy", The Chardonnay Charade is a pleasant little tome that will keep you entertained. While it does not have the complexity of great vintage, it does have the sparkling effervescence of a mid-priced champagne.

Lucie Montgomery, our vineyard owner who made her first appearance in The Merlot Murders, returns with yet another murder to solve, more threats to the survival of her winery, created by both Mother Nature, toxic chemicals, and the
#2 in the Wine Country Mysteries. This entry sparkles with wine lore and Virginia history of the civil war era. Lucie continues the tension with vintner, Quinn Santori, from the prior series entry The Merlot Murders (2006), but the reader wishes he could shake her and tell her to stop dithering and talk to the man.

Wine Country mystery - A bizarre May frost threatens Lucie Montgomery's Virginia winery operation. After spending the night keeping her vines from freezing, the easily peeved Lucie is
Derek  Erb
I read this, the second in the series, immediately after reading the first in the series: The Merlot Murders.

It was enjoyable, predictable and easy to read. I had become only slightly annoyed by the gimmicky formula of a constant sudden occurence of a vital event at the end of each chapter in the first book. Unfortunately this continued in this book and got on my nerves after a while. It's sometimes like reading a cheap old radio script. I can even imagine the organ chiming in as we learn "he's
A good follow-up to the first book in this series, especially in terms of character development. The author uses the setting of a winery to good effect, especially how day-to-day business challenges affect personal relationships.

I'd quibble with the way she presents the Civil War, but I think perhaps the author doesn't feel the need to challenge the typical white Southerner's viewpoint. Too bad, but maybe she feels it's too much of a digression from the mystery.

Picky editor's note: Still too man
If you are OK with the general premise of 'some person who has nothing to do with it gets herself mixed up in a murder investigation and despite having no actual skills or knowledge related to crime solving is able to find and confront the murderer before the police do' then this is a perfectly fine novel. I am finding that this model of mystery novel is irritating me (it didn't used to, but seems to be doing so now).
That said, the extensive information about the history of the Commonwealth of V
Judy Iliff
Often times, the second book in a series is not as well done as the first and those that follow the second. Such is not the case with this series.

Lucie now owns the vineyard and is trying to bring it back to what it was when her mother was alive. After hosting a benefit for the free clinic, and after trying to save the vines from a freeze, Lucie discovers the body of the doctor's wife on the road. This is the same many who "saved" her after the car crash that crippled her. Now she is determined
Karen Lindh
The plot was a little predictable, but the elements of the story: the Virginia history; winemaking techniques; and the tension between Lucie and Quinn kept the story interesting to me.
I liked this one, but not quite as much as the first one in the Wine Country series. However, that is likely because I read about a third of it at the beginning of the year and didn't have access to it again until November to read the rest. I do enjoy the way she weaves wine information throughout the book, and I love the Virginia setting. I also like the fact that the main character uses a cane - she writes about people with disabilities in a matter-of-fact way that, as a person who also uses a ...more
Gerri Balter
I really like this series and I'm not a big wine drinker. The author does a fantastic job of weaving history, mystery, and information about growing grapes and making wine into a fascinating book. I enjoy a book where the killer isn't so obvious that I know who did it by chapter 2. This is one of those books. I read while I ride LRT and I couldn't quite finish the book before I got home. I had to sit down and finish it.
Patricia Kay
Ms. Crosby's experience as a journalist unfolds with her descriptive writing, her plot, her geographical history and introduction to wine.
Setting is a vineyard. Quick read. Predicable.
good story, interesting facts throughout
Zoe Jussel
Good read as were the other two. Learned a lot about wine and wine history. I like that aspect.
Fairlee Corkran
I m really enjoying this series
Easy fun read with good characters.
The second in the series - I read the third one first and the first one next - big mistake in this series because there's a lot of "history" as the story develops. Now I'm caught up.

Enjoyable plot about the vineyard owner and her disfunctional family, involving a "friend" found dead in he vineyard.

The characters grow on you but aren't always predictable (which is a good thing). Makes you want to read the next book (which I'm doing now, well, actually the fourth!).
This series continues to grow on me, although I do wish I'd read the last two books in order instead of the other way around. The author makes good use of both the Virginia setting and the wine industry in developing her plots and her characters. She does a great job of dealing with her ongoing characters and their problems and adding in a dose or two of Southern charm and eccentricity.
I hope the series continues.
This book was so-so--it would have been more interesting if the author had written it in a less scholarly manner. James Madison, the father of our Constitution, played an important role in the founding of our country. As Madison's wife, Dolley's role and contribution to that history is what kept me reading. If you like reading about historical people, try the book--but get it from the library.
It was ok, I felt like I knew "who dunnit" pretty early on. Also, a lot of love for Virginia and The South (is Virginia really "The South", sorry, being a westerner I'm pretty ignorant on those matters). I suppose if you are from there and have a sense of the place (the terroir of the novel as it were), you might like it better than I did. Even as a wine person, it wasn't really for me.
This is the second of the Wine Country Mysteries. The characters are really great. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses and their relationships are as complicated as real life ones can sometimes be. The plot in this one was good, too. I did suspect the murderer, but there were enough twists and turns to keep the story interesting. I'm looking forward to the next one.
"With wine and hope anything is possible" A Spanish proverb. I guess I need to drink more wine. This is the second in the Wine Country Mystery series. What I really enjoyed where the subtle references to the first book for the reader to catch. I also like the early american history that is interwoven into the story. The characters are being to grow on me.
Yes, I read another in the Wine Country Mystery Series. I do enjoy reading about life on the vinegard. Nicely developed characters, more great narratives about viniculture, nice descriptions of life in Central Virginia, plus some more Civil War history. I even liked the mystery this time and I will probably read the two others in the series so watch for more.
Sue Kutay
I enjoyed this book as a vacation read. It was an easy read and kept the reader engaged. The author clearly enjoys American history, the book is riddled with references, but with some judicious skimming it didn't bog the book down.
the is the second in the series and I would keep on reading to see how Lucie continues to fare in running a vineyard.
I can honestly say these are some of the most enjoyable books to read. Something about them is just so relaxing (even though its a murder mystery). I'm not sure if its the familiarity with the characters, or the peaceful backdrop of the vineyard and winery, but its just very...calming. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in series.
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Ellen Crosby is the author of 2 mysteries featuring photojournalist Sophie Medina: MULTIPLE EXPOSURE and GHOST IMAGE (Scribner, April, 2015). She has also written six books in the Virginia wine country mystery series featuring winemaker Lucie Montgomery, and MOSCOW NIGHTS, a standalone mystery published in the UK. Before writing fiction, Crosby was a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, Mos ...more
More about Ellen Crosby...

Other Books in the Series

Wine Country Mysteries (6 books)
  • The Merlot Murders (Wine Country Mysteries #1)
  • The Bordeaux Betrayal (Wine Country Mysteries #3)
  • The Riesling Retribution (Wine Country Mysteries #4)
  • The Viognier Vendetta (Wine Country Mysteries #5)
  • The Sauvignon Secret (Wine Country Mysteries, #6)
The Merlot Murders (Wine Country Mysteries #1) The Bordeaux Betrayal (Wine Country Mysteries #3) The Riesling Retribution (Wine Country Mysteries #4) The Sauvignon Secret (Wine Country Mysteries, #6) The Viognier Vendetta (Wine Country Mysteries #5)

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