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Sharpshooter (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #1)
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Sharpshooter (Sunny McCoskey #1)

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Sunny McCoskey is the independent chef/owner of Wildside, a little cafe nestled in Napa Valley, where the food is exactly right. When the heir apparent to a major vineyard is shot dead, and Sunny's eccentric winemaker friend, Wade, is arrested for the murder, she launches her own investigation. The solution lies in the tangled personalities and politics of the wine industr ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by Chronicle Books (first published January 1st 2002)
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Just a fun series to read if you like the Napa Valley, wine, food, and a little mystery. I read this first one and had to get all the rest. Fast and easy!
A surprisingly good book - which I wasn't expecting! The main character is not a cop or investigator, Sunny is a chef and restaurant owner in Napa Valley. When one of her closest friends is suspected of a murder he didn't commit, Sunny throws herself into figuring out the crime. Would any of us not do the same to help our friend? I enjoyed Sunny even with all her mistakes during in the investigation. The information about wine and harvesting grapes given in the book was interesting. Sunny's rest ...more
It always interested Sunny to see how a person reacted to a glass of wine or a new food. It was a one-second preview of how they would act when faced with the unpredictable, a snapshot of how they approached experience. Some people were hardly aware they had a glass in their hand, and the wine in it would be gone before they realized they were drinking. Charlie wasn't a connoisseur and didn't pretend to be one, but he was clearly interested enough to want to stop and taste what he was drinking.
Johnathan Weston
How did I find out about Nadia Gordon and the Sonny McCoskey mysteries? I honestly can’t remember. Something in the back of my head says it was a post regarding some eBook special on, but I can’t find that post. Whatever it was, I was prompted to get a copy of the first book and check it out. I haven’t read too many mysteries, only the Sherlock Holmes stories and the first of the “Cat who…” series. Consequently, I didn’t completely know what to expect sitting down to this book.

Sunny McCos
Brenda Mengeling
I bought my copy of Sharpshooter at a winery in Napa Valley that claimed to be a model for the winery featured in the book. The funny thing is that that doesn't really translate into a compliment for that winery, but Sharpshooter is a very good mystery with appealing characters. Sunny McCoskey, a small restaurant owner, turns amateur sleuth when her good friend is accused of killing the pain-in-the-ass heir to the major winery next door. Even though the heir was shot by an expert sharpshooter, w ...more
For a book that goes on quite extensively with descriptions about the food, wine, and even clothing, I don't really know much about what the main character, Sunny, looks like. I have an impression of someone with bangs and maybe green eyes? No idea about anything else (or maybe I just missed the descriptions of her in the story?). Some of the other charters are more thoroughly described (Rivka in particular), but the unevenness in the use of descriptions is distracting. What they tell me is that ...more
Although this is the first in the series I read book #2 (Death by the Glass) first and enjoyed it more. This first book definitely shows some weaknesses in plotting. I was bothered the entire time by the idea of someone being able to support themselves and a dozen employees in Napa Valley with a restaurant that is only open for lunch Monday-Friday. While it gives Sunny a lot of time to run around and ask questions it seems totally implausible. Also, the fact that all the murder suspects are perf ...more
Started out okay, but I was left feeling faintly disappointed. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think that was because the character that was ultimately identified as the killer was introduced later in the book, didn’t have large part in the action and that seemed like cheating. But I’m not sure that’s all, since introducing characters later in the book does happen often enough.

I think I thought the book harked back to the “old” mysteries, before the cozy mysteries now seem to have overrun the g
Samantha Smith
I discovered this book through a program I held at my library called "Mysterious California". This program was sponsored by the California Center for the Book and featured various California authors. This book was my favorite of the bunch. This book is book one in the Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley mystery series. It interested me because of the environmental aspects that are central to the book, but also because of of the cooking (the main character Sunny owns a restaurant). This book is different ...more
A surprisingly good book with lots of vino consumed. Murder in the first chapter and the wrap-up in the last chapter. In between we are running around Napa talking to neighbors, finding out about viticulture, and always reading about great food prepared with precision and passion. It was both refreshing and unrealistic at times to have the principal character assuming the role of a private investigator. This is a woman who owns a restaurant and is an insomniac, but a person you would want as a f ...more
Not bad. I enjoyed reading this now that I am a California resident, and living very close to wine country. I learned a lot about wine making, more than from a recent winery visit in fact! Sunny was a good character, but I'm not sure I could handle her overly nosiness in future volumes.
I thought this was definitely a cut above your average cozy. The wine/food California setting was interestingly portrayed. There was a nice core group of characters who were pretty well fleshed out and the heroine was appealingly flawed. Overall a very good debut.
Rose Chin
I enjoyed reading this mystery it was very well written, with a good balance of descriptive writing, but the story unfolds at a good pace. Giving the reader the ability to get to know the characters and the backdrop, as well as letting you unravel the Mystery. It is a great read and I would recommend it those that like mysteries.
Dot Heimer
A good read set in Napa Valley. Liked the character Sunny Croskey, ,the food and wine.Will continue the series.
Great mystery. A little slow starting, but I got into it and enjoyed it immensely.
I will read the rest.
Fun summer read for anyone that likes good food, good wine and a good mystery.
This book was OK. I think I'll try another in the series to see where it goes.
I liked this. I think I liked it because you get to vicariously live the Napa good life through her characters. I don't know what that would mean in real life, but here it means driving around a pretty countryside, knowing a lot about wine -- and enjoying extremely good home cooking with friends.

I found the characters generally not-annoying and the mystery to be pretty interesting. I think it's a relaxing, escapist, non-challenging read. Which has inspired me to write a really boring review. So
The idyllic life of a chef/owner of a small restaurant in Napa is turned on its head when her friend is arrested for murder. Did I say idyllic? Long hours, physical labor and not a lot of money. If a real chef read this book, however, they would probably hoot with laughter over the idea a restaurant could make money only being open for lunch Mon-Fri. But with good wine, good food, and good friends, this is enjoyable reading with a good mystery thrown in to boot.
Actually, I would give this 3.5 stars. i always like books with chefs or restaurants or food in them....this had all three plus wine/Napa Valley, one of my favorite places. A quick and easy read. A bit of a surprise at the end.

I agree with another reader who said that the character descriptions were lacking, especially that of Sunny, the narrator. And Sunny becoming a "private investigator" was a bit of a stretch. I will try #2 in this series.

A murder mystery set in the Napa Valley, this book is the genre cousin of chick lit. The main character is completely stock, what with being a single, independent woman too curious for her own good while leading a sort of fantasy life. Even with familiar pieces from chick lit / flick central and a slightly transparent plot, it’s an enjoyable read, and I will be picking up the other books in the series at some point. Recommended.
I was excited to find a localish-to-me mystery by a local author. I wanted to love it. I did not. It was... okay. I was hoping it would be a bit like Poppy Z. Brite's later stuff, thinking murder in the Napa wine world might read something like murder in the New Orleans restaurant world but it came up short of the gripping, page-turning intrigue I was hoping for.

I think I learned more from it than I was entertained by it.
Well this was a fast and interesting read set in the Napa Valley. I did sip on wine when I was nearing the end. There is plenty of information about grapes, wine and agriculture to be found in this novel. Also, you'll want to make sure that you are planning to eat or have eaten a good meal. The characters are likeable and I look forward to getting to know more about the main ones in subsequent books.
Feb 15, 2007 Sandy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery buffs, bay area locals
Shelves: whodunnits
Set in Napa Valley, this mystery centers on the murder of a famous winery heir. The characters are quirkier and more interesting than I expected, and I also enjoyed learning more about the wine industry. Warning: the protagonist is a chef, so in addition to countless tantalizing descriptions of wine there are also enticing food descriptions to deal with. Do not read on an empty stomach!
Joanne Sumalpong
I know how I found out about this book. Watching foodnetwork with Giada De Laurentis. She had a "book club" over for food and drink. I caught the name of the book a gal was holding, and looked it up online.
Very light reading after "The a Book a Thief." Yeah!
Pam Knox
Disease carrying insect (a sharpshooter) is on its way to Napa to destroy the vines or is it? A light mystery with food and wine and wine country.
Murder mystery set amid the sights, smells, and tastes of Napa Valley. The mystery part was fun, but the real captivator in this book is the food, wine, and setting. It does feel a little like Nancy Drew grew up, moved to Napa and opened a delicious organic cafe, though. Looking forward to reading the rest in her series while sipping a glass of wine.
The sion of a winery is found dead, shot through the heart, there is a nasty bug that will kill the vines and battle between the organic farmers and the vineyard owners over spraying.

Just another day in wine country for Sunny McCloskey; until her friend is charged with murder and she plans to find the real killer.
Burlingame Public Library
Sunny McCoskey is a cafe owner and sleuth in the Napa Valley wine country. She drinks her morning coffee with a touch of wine in it and makes the most amazing meals while she solves murders. The sharpshooter is an insect that is able to wipe out the entire wine country vineyards.
This was a fun and easy read. Not sure if this was her first book or not, but it was enjoyable. It was great to read about an area I am somewhat familiar with and can identify with the fact that characters tend to congregate in these out of the way areas no matter where they are.
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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)
  • Death by the Glass (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #2)
  • Murder Alfresco (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #3)
  • Lethal Vintage (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #4)
Death by the Glass (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #2) Murder Alfresco (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #3) Lethal Vintage (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #4) Murder Alfresco: A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery (Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mysteries)

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