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One Foot in the Grape (Cypress Cove Mystery #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  255 Ratings  ·  57 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
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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
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
E pensare che all'inizio avevo accantonato questo libro nella lista delle possibili letture, quelle da rivalutare prima di acquistare! Poi ho letto i commenti di alcune mie amicizie qui su GR e ho deciso di dargli una possibilità. Sono stata subito catturata dalle prime pagine: mi piace lo stile di questa autrice. Poi c'è un bel cast di personaggi. Infine, per una volta non sono riuscita a capire chi era il colpevole: fino all'ultimo c'erano varie possibilità e solo una decina di pagine prima de ...more
Mark Baker
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, mystery
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-challenges
This is the first installment in the Cypress Cove Mystery series. Penelope "Penny" Lively has left her job as a photojournalist and returned to Cypress Cove, CA to take over her Aunt Monique's Joyeux Winery after the woman's death. With the help of her niece Hayley and winery manager Connor, Joyeux is well on it's way to having a successful harvest and making a name for itself in the wine market.

As the 24th Annual Autumn harvest approaches, Penny is looking forward to having her wines entered in
Shirley Schwartz
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this new series. What's not to like? - Wine, California wine country, photography and a wonderful new batch of characters? The book is set in the California wine country, and the main charater, Penelope Lively has recently returned to take over the small winery that her aunt has left her. She has left a high-powered job in San Francisco as a photo journalist, and not under very good terms, but she knows she up for this new challenge. When her neighbour who was a friend of her au ...more
Once Upon a Romance Reviews
3.5 Stars
Sexual Content: None
Language Content: None/Very Mild
Violent Content: Minimal

Penny is surprised that her neighbor requested that she investigate the sabotage happening at her winery. Sure Antonia was her late aunt's friend, but she didn't see why she was chosen. Needless to say, Penny agrees, not sure that she'll actually find anything.

I'd say murder was something, plus Antonia's family is fond of bickering and selfishness, which could be motive. There will be no end to the possible scen
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best cozy mysteries I have read in years. This is a definitive cozy mystery. .I am a avid speed reader of many mysteries and this is my hands down favorite of this year !
The setting the dialogue, the sleuth are done to perfection. I read it in one afternoon as it rendered me unable to function until it was over. This is a beautifully crafted new series about a new winemaker vs. a older winemaker and her family in Carmel Valley CA. The characters are all exquisitely done and
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The first thing that I fell in love with was the beautiful scenery. I have never been to a winery but it is certainly now on my to do list. The wineries in this book were populated with some very interesting characters. On Penny’s there is the charming Connor and her sweet niece Hayley. But next door… and use next door loosely because these sound like really big wineries… at Antonia’s winery there is a whole cast of quirky and dramatic people. It is next door where two mysteries unfold - first w ...more
Dec 18, 2015 rated it liked it
I received this book for free through a Goodreads Giveaway and since cozy mysteries are my guilty pleasure I was excited to jump into this one! It's easy-reading with over-the-top drama, a murderer/who-dunnit story line and an obvious love story (or more) on the side. Everything you'd want from this genre. The author has obvious knowledge of wine and this region so there is a lot of detail in regards to that aspect of the story which I didn't feel took away from the overall story, but was a litt ...more
Karen Holman
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a story set in the wine country of California. The characters add interest to the story and the ending leaves the reader wondering if there will be another book in this series.
Vikki Spencer armstrong
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed One Foot in the Grape, the first in a new mystery series.

The setting - in the vineyards - was beautifully drawn. And the main characters are people I would like to get to know better as the series progresses.

As a first-time mystery writer, Carlene O'Neil avoids some of the pitfalls that can plague the genre. The mystery itself was satisfying; there were plenty of suspects to choose from and a victim whose death you want to see avenged. The protagonist - Penny Lively - was likea
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First in a series that looks promising.

This is a first in a series, and while I typically withhold my opinion until the second book comes out, this looks to be an enjoyable experience. I found the characters entertaining, and the story / mystery well written. All of the characters were introduced in an appropriate manner, and I was able to remember who was who. (There were not too many people thrown at you too quickly. ) The storyline was well developed, and arrived at a satisfying conclusion.
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Cozies are hit or miss for me, but I keep trying. This was better than a lot of them - I would like to see another in the series - but not a book that made me say "wow".

The main character is a young woman who has been a photojournalist until she had a disagreement with the newspaper editor, so now she is running a winery inherited from her aunt. Lots of description of how wine is made. I would like to have more of the backstory (or, conversely, leave it out). It didn't quite fit with the rest of
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After reading the second book first, I went back to read book number one. I found this one to be as enjoyable, fast paced and as fun to read as the second one in the series. The characters are interesting and make you appreciate your own family more. Antonia Martinelli once again asks Penny Lively to help her find out who is sabotaging her winery. While Penny is looking for the root of the sabotages, murder crushes the wine festival and alters the family dynamics of a famous winery.

It took me to
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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
More about Carlene O'Neil

Other books in the series

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