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The Merlot Murders (Wine Country Mysteries #1)

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  1,800 Ratings  ·  313 Reviews
A phone call at two thirty in the morning is never good news. Lucie Montgomery's semiestranged brother, Eli, calls her in France to tell her their father, Leland, has been killed in a hunting accident on the family's five-hundred-acre Virginia vineyard just as the fall harvest is about to begin. By the time he calls, Eli has already made funeral arrangements with what Luci ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Scribner (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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BJ Rose
I didn't realize this is part of a series when I picked it up - in fact, I didn't figure it out until I got to the end of the book and thought there should be more to the story, so I looked up the author's name and discovered more Wine Country Mystery books. Don't get me wrong - the murder mystery in this one is nicely solved, it's the family story that continues on. The author does a very nice job of getting the reader into the mindset of the winery owners, and there's a wine primer of sorts sc ...more
Dec 18, 2012 Joanne rated it liked it
I was going to give this 2 stars, but since I'm planning to read the next book in the series, I guess I must have liked it a little more than that! I listened to this book, and I must say I really enjoyed the descriptive language more than I probably would have had I been reading the book. Plus, I've noticed that the second book in a series is often better than the first, so I'm cautiously optimistic!

Partially crippled in a car accident 2 years ago, Lucie Montgomery has been living in France wit
I've been reading good cozies for a while now, and this book is a sort of return to my old history with them. So Lucie's not completely stupid. No, scratch that - she is completely stupid. She gets into accidents that are not her making, sure, but her I'm completely fine reactions are over the top and annoying. Her crutch is that she literally has a crutch to walk with having had an accident that mangled her leg. I would think that would make her more concerned for her well-being after an accide ...more
Oct 30, 2008 Sandie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of "cozy" mysteries
A murder mystery deftly intertwined with instruction in the basics of wine making as well as a little Virginia winemaking history is the imaginative cocktail offered up by author Ellen Crosby in The Merlot Murders.

Lucie Montgomery is an improbably heroine with an equally unlikely occupation. She is a woman who overcomes obstacles, both physical and emotional as she delves into two mysterious deaths while fending off a former lover, an abrasive vintner with a questionable past, assorted inquisit
Stephanie A. Cain
Jan 20, 2009 Stephanie A. Cain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really enjoyed this one. The main character, Lucie, is an engaging character, and the setting is like a character of its own. You learn a lot about the process of growing grapes and making wine, as well as the history of the Virginia wine country.

Lucie Montgomery has needed cane to walk since the accident that ended her relationship with Greg Knight two years ago. She went to France to recover and only returns to America when her father is found dead in the family vineyard. There she discovers
3 stars to Ellen Crosby's The Merlot Murders. I was very much looking forward to reading this book and in the end, I was glad I did. It was a complex whodunit mystery with a few side stories and a great new series full of interesting characters, settings and possibilities.

Lucie returns home to Virginia from France after her father passes away. Some whispered it was murder, but her siblings just want to sell the family home and winery to be able to move on. With a new vintner, and some ver
Apr 06, 2011 Anna rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who love cozy mysteries
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011
I like mysteries, thrillers, detectives, police procedurals, you name it. And while I have a few favorite authors (Camilleri, Connelly, F. Kellerman, Larsson etc etc), I'm always worried that I soon run out of the cases by my favorite detectives, so I'm constantly searching for new mysteries to fill the future void and to expand the horizons. If I like the author, great, if not, at least I tried. And I would or will try another Wine Country mystery if one will cross my paths in the future...

Angela Holland
Oct 06, 2010 Angela Holland rated it it was amazing
I know I have said this about cozies before, but I loved this book. I enjoy all cozies that I read but this even more than others. One thing I like is that there was a little history involved in the story telling. Lucie is a person that I liked from page one, I even felt sorry for her at times even though she I think she can be a strong person. Greg made me want to reach in the book and slap him silly as well as Eli. I did not like either of them. Quinn is a person that one minute I liked and th ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Hannah rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I blame my dark eye circles and constant yawning today on this book; I made the mistake of starting The Merlot Murders late last night with the thought that I’d read a few chapters before retiring to bed. That never ended up happening, because it was simply impossible put the book down. I must confess, first of all, that I know virtually nothing about wine and have little interest in it. I don’t even like drinking it. But it speaks to Ellen Crosby’s excellent writing that I enjoyed not only the ...more
May 15, 2008 E rated it liked it
Okay, yeah sure, I usually prefer more hard-boiled, dark detective fiction with PIs or police procedurals and avoid mysteries with cheesy titles (like this one) and amateur-sleuth-driven plots (fill in here all of the food-related, cat-protagonist, knitting, botany mysteries with the pun-filled titles, and you get what I mean). But having recently moved back to Virginia, I was seduced by the setting in the Virginia wine country and any excuse to think about drinking wine.

While the plot will not
#1 in the Wine Country Mysteries. Lucie Montgomery takes over a struggling vineyard in Virginia horse country in this cozy mystery series debut. Interesting wine lore abounds but Lucie's personal interactions do not always ring true. Her brother and sister-in-law are caricatures. Her vintner wants to run the vineyard and winery with a free hand but Lucie argues that she is knowledgeable about the business and demands that he take input from her; the conflict runs through the book but her experti ...more
So yeah, I'm a sucker for these punny amateur detective books, whatever. This one was pretty good, a new one that I didn't get from my mom but instead from my future father-in-law, and my boyfriend and I couldn't stop laughing about him having it. He likes wine and mysteries, but maybe not the punniness so much. He didn't finish it--not his cup of tea--but he knows me so he gave it to me.

Lucie, the main character, is really appealing and the wine country setting is gorgeous. The wine facts and h
Jul 25, 2010 smetchie rated it did not like it
Let it be known that if you are in a bookclub with me and you choose a book I will read it. NO MATTER WHAT. (I'm not sure if that counts for anything but there it is.) "The Merlot Murders?" I mean really. And it's a series! You could also read "The Bordeaux Betrayal" and "The Chardonnay Charade." My eyes hurt from rolling so much. What a dumb book. But I already knew that from reading the title so here's a list of good things because I love being positive:

1) I learned some things about wine maki
Nov 28, 2014 Just rated it really liked it
It turned out to be a good book. I will look for more of Ellen Crosby's mysteries. I hadn't read anything by this author before so I wasn't sure how it would develope.
K. East
Jan 21, 2017 K. East rated it liked it
This is the first book in a mystery series that might technically be called a "cozy mystery" as it has a female protagonist that involves herself in solving murders and other mysterious events, living in a close, tight-knit community. The fact that it takes place in Virginia on a family-owned vineyard makes it slightly unusual, but not so far outside the norm to exclude it from the sub-genre. It was the wine connection that got me interested in the first place and should keep me involved, but it ...more
Linda C
Jan 12, 2017 Linda C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, food
Lucie Montgomery returns from France when her Father dies. She finds many questions concerning his death and her sister and brother pushing her to sell the family winery. There is a new winemaker and the winery buildings seem to be the only things being maintained. When a dear friend of her father's also dies, Lucie tries to figure out what is going on. His share in the winery given to her allows her to oppose the sale. Determined to keep the winery and rebuild she begins to hunt for money to su ...more
Jan 20, 2017 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-books
2.5 stars, if we could.

okay... here's the thing: a while ago, i bonked my head. badly. it's messed up many things for nearly 3 months now, including my reading. my ability to focus on more challenging or deeper books has been flattened. so i've been flailing about trying to find less taxing reads that are entertaining and well-written. that, apparently, is a task easier said than done. cozy mysteries have worked for me in the past. i somehow stumbled onto this series, so decided to give it a sho
Jan 08, 2017 Beth rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
this one made me antsy

Despite some interesting characters, on page 150 I was wondering when the mystery was going to happen. yes, I knew who was dead, yes I knew at lesat one of them was a murder and probbably the other- plus there was something missing, but it didn't really feel like anyone was to figure anything out

In the end it was ok , all the clues added up,but I just didn't feel it
Linda Smatzny
Oct 23, 2016 Linda Smatzny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Wine Country Mystery series featuring Lucie Montgomery. It takes place in Virginia. Lucie returns home after two years to find the family wine business in disarray. Her brother and sister want to sell but Lucie doesn't and believes the accident that killed their father was no accident. The book was a quick easy .
Jan 19, 2017 Lesley rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. Had a lot of promise In the beginning but then got dragged down by too much family drama. I also did not like the way it ended, not enough wrap up for me. Although it did paint an interesting picture of the wine industry and was a great setting.
Jan 21, 2017 Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carrie and Caron
Shelves: mystery
This was such a good story, as usual I kind of figured it out before the end. But there were some unexpected twists I didn't see coming. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series, I hope they are as good as this one was.
Feb 13, 2017 Betsy rated it liked it
How often are you going to find mysteries that take place in two of your favorite Virginia counties and include wine?
Feb 23, 2017 Nicole rated it did not like it
I liked the story line, it kept me interested but I really didn't like one single character in this book except one that died early on. Seriously!
Dec 19, 2016 boogleloo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ab
AB 12.14.16
Nov 23, 2016 Marlene rated it liked it
Robert Palmer
Jan 09, 2017 Robert Palmer rated it it was ok
This mystery novel is the first in a series " a wine country mystery " in the beginning I was very much impressed with the writing as Lucie Montgomery,living in Paris, receives a call from her brother,Eli,that there Father has been killed in a hunting accident. Lucie has been living in Paris for the last two years since her auto accident which left her disabled and needs a cane to walk.
When Lucie arrives home in Virginia she finds the winery and the home are now shabby and run down and her broth
Jan 17, 2017 Candy rated it it was ok
This was just ok to me ... I think it was just too much of everything (dysfunctional family, warped people, background) ... I felt like I struggled through it.
Julie Cordova
This has been a busy summer. I've had to rely heavily on audio books to get my book fix. I checked this book out to listen to on our anniversary trip to Colorado wine country - Palisades. I searched for a book about wine and I thought a mystery set at a winery would be fun.

I didn't care for the lead character, Lucie Montgomery at first. Although I finished the book, I can't say I felt any emotional connection to Lucie at the end. I didn't particularly like how she responded to the events taking
Nov 21, 2015 Johnny rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
While pondering the mystery section in my local library, I ran across this series of Wine Country Mysteries of which I was unaware. Judging from the title, I presumed the adventures would be based in Napa or Sonoma counties in California. To my surprise, these adventures take place in Virginia—our nation’s first “wine country,” if not most successful. In general, The Merlot Murders, and the rest of the series (I’ve already started The Chardonnay Charade.), seems to have the facts right with rega ...more
Sep 14, 2011 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an absolutely wonderful book. It is not the simple cozy that you would imagine from the cover and the blurb, which I liked. In fact, it seemed to take quite awhile (until a second murder, in fact) before any serious sleuthing happened. I was so impressed with the amount of character development, especially with Lucie. She was in a car accident that left her with a permanently disfigured leg, but she doesn't let it slow her down at all. In fact, her disability is only a disabil ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Merlot Murders - Ellen Crosby - 3 stars 1 11 Jan 12, 2017 04:42PM  
Mystery 7 31 Aug 04, 2016 05:37PM  
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Ellen Crosby is the author of THE CHAMPAGNE CONSPIRACY, the 7th book in the Virginia Wine Country mysteries, which will be out November 1, 2016. Also in 2016, GHOST IMAGE, the second Sophie Medina mystery will be out, along with the US edition of MOSCOW NIGHTS. Before writing fiction, Crosby was a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, Moscow correspondent for ABC Radio News, and an economist ...more
More about Ellen Crosby...

Other Books in the Series

Wine Country Mysteries (8 books)
  • The Chardonnay Charade (Wine Country Mysteries #2)
  • 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 Champagne Conspiracy (Wine Country Mysteries #7)
  • The Vineyard Victims (Wine Country Mysteries, #8)

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