Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Foot in the Grape (Cypress Cove Mystery, #1)” as Want to Read:
One Foot in the Grape (Cypress Cove Mystery, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Foot in the Grape

(Cypress Cove Mystery #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  318 ratings  ·  69 reviews
In California wine country, the town of Cypress Cove may seem peaceful. But someone’s about to pop their cork…

After losing her job as a photojournalist, Penny Lively is trying to get her life back in focus. Inheriting the family winery from her late aunt may be the fresh start she needs. Thankfully she’s got her niece Hayley and her handsome winery manager Connor to help.
Paperback, 294 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Berkley Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Foot in the Grape, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Foot in the Grape

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  318 ratings  ·  69 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of One Foot in the Grape (Cypress Cove Mystery, #1)
I thought this was a very good first in series, an overdue read from my staggering TBR. The setting is a winery in the Carmel/Monterey region, a lovely, special area of California. I certainly plan to read the next.
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One Foot in the Grape is the first book in the A Cypress Cove Mystery series.

A wonderful new series, full of mystery and also giving the reader an insight to the wine industry.

Penny Lively, after losing her job as a photojournalist has to decided to come back to Cypress Cove to take ownership of the winery she has inherited from her Aunt Monique. The winery has been running under the capable direction of her winery manager, Connor and her niece, Haley. About six months after Penny arrived, the
Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
ONE FOOT IN THE GRAPE was a good start for the new Cypress Cove Mystery series.

Although I’m not a wine drinker (not a drinker at all for that matter), the beauty of vineyards are undeniable. While reading this story, it was easy to picture myself among the rows of ripening grapes, with the sun shining on a quiet, peaceful day. Well, you know, if there hadn’t been a murder. ;-)

Author Carlene O’Neil has done a wonderful job on this first book. Well thought out characters, like protagonist Penny
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
It took me way too long to choke this one down. I know there have been several positive reviews but I could not get into this one. I don't know - something about the characters didn't resonate with me. I definitely like wine and wine country. The main character wasn't 100% likeable and neither was Antonia, the matriarch of the family she's been ordered to help (their wine has been 'bad'). Again, another pain in the ass old lady character who rules with an iron fist. Seriously. I prefer the love ...more
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Dollycas's Thoughts

Penelope (Penny) Lively has inherited the family winery and after a little dust-up at her last job it is perfect timing. Her cousin Hayley has the degree in Viticulture and Connor manages the day to day tasks of the vineyard. Penny focuses on the business side of things. As a photojournalist she has a keen eye and takes some wonderful pictures that she sells as prints as postcards. Her keen eye is just what is needed to help Antonia Martinelli. The Martinelli winery and Penny'
Kim Reads (Read Your Writes Book Reviews)
Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews
by Kim

Penelope (Penny) Lively has returned to Cypress Cove, California after losing her job, to take over her Aunt Monique’s winery, after the woman’s death. Six months in, things are going well, until Antonia Martinelli, a distant relative, Monique’s cousin and owner of the neighboring winery asks her for help in figuring out who is sabotaging her wine. The Autumn Festival and harvest time are near and if Antonia can’t figure out who’s behind the sabota
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reading One Foot in the Grape by Carlene O'Neil and I put into words the sheer pleasure of being in wine country again. I closed my eyes and I was back by the lone cypress, driving along the ocean, seeing Pebble Beach for the first time, and especially the sweet smells of the grapes in the air. I closed my eyes a lot.

Penny Lively has returned to run her aunt's winery after the death of her aunt and her loosing her job as a photojournalist. She becomes involved in the death
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: daniele

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Daniele

One Foot in the Grape is the first book in the Cypress Cove Mystery series, and it is a strong debut. Penny, who sees life best through the lens of a camera, has left her job as a photojournalist to embark on a new adventure. She has inherited her Aunt Monique’s winery, and with the help of her handsome manager Connor and her niece Hayley, she has settled into a good routine. Harvest is quickly approaching and the annu
K.A. Davis
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
ONE FOOT IN THE GRAPE is an entertaining, well plotted book. I loved the winery setting with the tidbits of running a winery, harvesting, and making wine woven into the story. I think Carlene must have done some awesomely fun wine tasting tours…ahem…I mean research, to write this book. The characters were well developed and Penny is a likable, sassy protagonist. She has several one-line zingers that had me laughing out loud, and one incident was so funny (at least to me), I had to go back and re ...more
Mark Baker
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2015
When Antonia Martinelli asks Penny Lively to look into sabotage at the Martinelli Winery, Penny feels like she has to say yes. However, things quickly escalate to murder, and Penny feels like she has gotten in over her head. Can she find the killer? Is the murder related to the sabotage?

This debut is filled with strong characters and a compelling plot that kept me turning pages. Sadly, the timeline early on had some errors in it, which is a big pet peeve. Those issues were resolved later in the
Doward Wilson
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
California wine country setting, family owned vineyards and murder. This is a great combination in this new series. I really enjoyed the whole approach that the author took, as it was the murder that took front and center with the setting more in the background. The characters were very defined and totally believable. The murder is complex, with twists and turns to a surprising end. This is a series to start and keep up with. Carlene O'Neil has a good thing going. ...more
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a good mystery
Shelves: cozies
Being a bit of an Oenophile I was thrilled to read this story. Many of my vacations have included visits to local wineries. The story was a fun read, and Penny is one gutsy lady with a great support team. I highly recommend this story to anyone looking for a new author to enjoy and grow with.
Avery Daniels
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Penny is in her mid thirties, a head strong person used to being on her own. She is a likeable character. Haley complements Penny well and grounds her. Connor, the Winery manager is the potential romantic interest who harps about Penny's safety. Antonia is the iron-fisted matriarch of a dysfunctional family that includes daughters Francesca and Chantal, plus Stephen the heir and his wife Veronica. Chief Lucas works the case without being antagonist with Penny. This cozy has solid characters and ...more
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-print-book
I'd read the third book in this series probably three years ago, so I honestly didn't remember much of anything about the characters. It was kind of all new to me, but I did enjoy this author's first novel (according to her bio) a lot and thought she did a great job for a first cozy mystery. I'm hoping the next book gets a little more into the key characters, because I feel like I know the Martinelli family a lot better than I do Penny, Connor and Hayley even though I like their characters a lot ...more
Genevieve Bomes
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Penny Lively is back home after inheriting her Aunt's winery. With her niece Heidi and manager Conner she thinks life is going well until her neighbor and good friend of her aunts asks her to look into a case of sabotage at her winery. Penny sets out to solve the case but when murder happens followed by a second one Penny starts to wonder if she is in over her head.
This is a great story. Lots of suspects and great character development. The story line moves fast but is well developed. I love how
Linda C
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, mystery
Penny Lively loses her photojournalist job over the questionable ethics of her editor and finding another proves difficult. When her aunt passes leaving her the family winery she relishes the fresh start. When the Martinelli Winery next door owned by a distant cousin begins having sabotage problems its matriarch, Antonia, asks Penny to investigate. When the body of a staff member is found and it looks like a member of the family may be involved questioning becomes difficult and secrets are broug ...more
Lauren Kelsen
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-the-library
I’m an aspiring wine lover and a new reader to cozy mysteries, and this book took it to a whole new level for me! The cute, flirtatious budding romance between main character and an important figure to her winery was an added bonus. However, the twists and excitement of trying to figure out who was responsible kept me hanging on every word. I can’t wait to pick up the next book in this series and hope that Carlene O’Neil will write many more in the Cypress Cove Mystery line.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Loved the setting, enjoyed the characters. Enjoyed the plot. The only thing with some of the newer books is that when a character gets roughed up, it doesn’t seem to phase them much. I’d hurt, move slow the next few days and be rather shocked so I don’t know if it’s even necessary for the characters to get hurt - just scare them. Otherwise, let us know they feel it.
Regardless the author does a good job weaving a story.
Sara Hollingsworth
Fairly standard, but cute cozy mystery. The plot was better than the average cozy mystery though the romance is flatter and the characters are bit less fleshed out. The main character occasionally annoyed me, and she's pretty judge-y. But overall, not bad. And it works very well for my puntastic popsugar challenge. ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable book! Beautiful descriptions of the various locations brought them alive in my imagination. Believable characters and a storyline that kept me guessing to the end made this a good read and wishing that I had the next book in the series available.
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
The mystery was good with lots of viable suspects. My only issue was that the main character constantly did stupid things that put her in danger. I felt like I was watching one of those stupid horror movies where the teenagers go into the serial killer’s lair.
Lena H.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book started really strong, I laughed out loud at the very first page. It did slow down as the book progressed and there wasn't a lot of investigation but it was still very enjoyable. I have the next book and can't wait to read it! ...more
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
O'Neil's character development is extremely relatable in this mysterious read. A momentum of 'what's next,' encapsulate her pages making 'One Foot in the Grape,' an intriguing read for any book lover. ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I like cozy mysteries, but I found this one harder than most to get through. Not 100% sure why.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
A cute cozy mystery! I enjoyed the setting and liked the heroine. There was a little too much exposition, but that’s fair for a first book. I would definitely keep reading the series.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
It was alright, but it was very generic and I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries lately that all take place in Napa and involve wine
Sharon Bezrutczyk
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book I have not read anything by this author before,but I will now
Stacie Amelotte
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“A SIMPLE house rule, ignored once, and I end up with a dead body on my hands.”

This is a great new series! What's not to like? - Wine, California wineries, photography, a wonderful new batch of colorful characters and did I mention, WINE? This is a book that very much sticks to the cozy mystery format, but it is fast-paced with plenty of plot twists and red herrings. I like Penny and I love all the references to wine making in the book. This part of California is noted for the excellent vintages
Peggy R
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
One Foot in the Grape is a delightful start to Carlene O'Neil's Cypress Cove Mysteries. With this first installment, this series shows plenty of promise. This book caught my interest right from the start and had me turning pages until the very end. The story contains strong characters, especially our main character Penny, and Antonia Martinelli, a fellow winery owner and family member. I liked Penny and the fact that she was strong, independent and quick witted. The entire Martinelli family plan ...more
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Penny Lively has returned to Cyrpess Cove after inheriting her aunt's beloved winery. She is settling in to her new roles, working on collecting her first harvest and is enjoying taking photographs of the beautiful landscape in her free time. Everything is going fairly smoothly until she gets a visit from an old family friend who owns the neighboring vineyard. She is seeking Penny's help because someone is sabotaging her wine and she's pretty certain it's someone in her family or on her staff. O ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Partners in Crime (Tommy & Tuppence, #2)
  • Charlatans
  • Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery, #1)
  • Twelve Slays of Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery, #1)
  • Statue of Limitations (A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery #1)
  • Curse of Strahd (Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition)
  • Outside the Law
  • Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery, #1)
  • The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: A Feywild Adventure (Dungeons & Dragons Book)
  • Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets (Down South Café Mystery, #5)
  • Nessa's Seduction (Guardians of Alba, #1)
  • Dead and Breakfast (Merry Ghost Inn, #1)
  • And Now You're Back
  • Chilled to the Cone (A Bakeshop Mystery, #12)
  • Moving is Murder (A Mom Zone Mystery, #1)
  • Arctic Christmas Ambush
  • His Last-Chance Christmas Family (Welcome to Starlight, #3)
  • Stolen Secrets
See similar books…
Carlene O’Neil grew up in the heart of Northern California Wine Country and is accredited by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. A former television writer, she currently makes her home outside Los Angeles, where she can be found sailing in the Santa Monica Bay or doing research for her next novel.

Clearly, any novel set in wine country requires extensive research. One Foot in the Grape  is her d

Other books in the series

Cypress Cove Mystery (3 books)
  • Ripe for Murder (Cypress Cove Mystery, #2)
  • Hair of the Dog (Cypress Cove #3)

Related Articles

Longtime readers of thriller and mystery novels often get hooked on a particular series. It’s a good system for everyone involved. The authors...
15 likes · 6 comments