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Late Harvest Havoc

(Le Sang de la vigne #12)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Winter is in the air in Alsace and local customs are sowing trouble, piquing the curiosity of the famous winemaker from Bordeaux, Benjamin Cooker. While the wine expert and his assistant Virgile settle into their hotel in the old city of Colmar, distinguished vineyards are attacked. Is it revenge? The plot thickens when estates with no apparent connection to one another su ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published December 15th 2015 by Le French Book (NY) (first published November 16th 2005)
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Late Harvest Havoc is book 10 in the Winemaker Detective Mysteries. Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile are in Alsace tasting vines. But, they notice when they settle in the little peaceful town of Colmar that not everything is fine with the vineyards. There is someone out there attacking the vineyards. Who is behind it, could it be more than one person, and have it something to do with WW2?

This book felt a bit less charming than the books usually do, the tone is a bit darker. Benjamin Coo
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
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Another interesting and educational installment in this enjoyable series.

Traipsing the Alsace region was exciting. A region superstitious and suspicious. Once again I lavished in the areas cuisine, wine, hotels and history as well as residents. Cooker’s gift of quotations and historical facts are always welcomed along with witty repartee with Virgile. The mystery aspect was a quiet unveiling, a slow process as “the Alsatian chainsaw massacr
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
If you like wine or just want to learn more whilst enjoy a cosy mystery set in France, then these books are for you. They are easy to read, there is no overt violence, the descriptions of the scenery make the story come to life; and there is a great personal interaction between Benjamin and his protegee, Virgile. The stories are not overly long, and the pace is constant, all being riveting to the end.
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

There has been a subtle shift in the Winemaker detective series in last few books. They have gotten a little less cozy and a little darker. This doesn’t mean that the series still isn’t cozy or that all have a sudden Alaux and Balen have become Nordic crime writers. And the change, to be frank, isn’t bad, and is for the better.

But is a noticeable change – one that had me double checking the authors as well as the translator.

Benjamin and his assistant Virgile are
Jennifer (JC-S)
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
‘In just minutes, death would strike again.’

Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile are on their way to Colmar in the Alsace region. Benjamin Cooker is perplexed by the destruction of some vines – 120 in total – cut by a chainsaw. He is also thinking about life and death, having witnessed a death in a cathedral in Strasbourg. No sooner does he arrive at the vineyard where the vines were destroyed when other vineyards are attacked. Benjamin Cooker himself falls under suspicion. There doesn’t se
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved all the books I have read in this series but it was my favorite. It was most adventurous, full of twists and suspense with some interesting historical references. In this new adventure Benjamin showed us around another beautiful French region, Alsace. I have been there a few years ago and I found it charming, a perfect mix of French and German culture. I liked so much to visit it again with the famous winemaker.
Benjamin and his increasingly indispensable assistant Virgile are in Alsace f
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Benjamin and Virgile are back! This time they are in Alsace. Benjamin is on his way to Germany to meet with a client but he stops off in Alsace-Lorraine to sample some local wine and food. Unfortunately, someone has decided to attack vines, with what appears to be a chainsaw at local wine estates. Even if the village is plagued by suspicions of bad luck Benjamin and Virgile won't let the get in their way as they try to work out who the culprit or culprits are.

Every time I read a book in the Wine
Clare O'Beara
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: europe-crime
Riesling wines from the Alsace region are at the heart of this mystery. Once more Cooker and Virgile are travelling around the wine regions of France, hoping to have some tastings and help some friends. But the steep slopes and end of year atmosphere cast long shadows.

When vines are reported to be vandalised, and more than one vineyard is hit over a period, the question arises whether this is all the work of one individual or whether copycats are taking the chance to settle old scores. Cooker h
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, netgalley
Excellent! Another case solved.
Feb 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
It was the second book of the series I read. I was not enthousiasic about the other one but I wanted to try another one. Sadly, I was even more dissapointed in this one. I read it at night and I kept falling asleep. Never a good sign, is it? There was no suspense, nothing very interesting happened at all. I don't understand how the detective can solve the crimes with so few details. I always want to find out for myself who the culprit it. It is not possible with this series because it is all too ...more
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review and rated it 4 out of 5 Stars.

A lover of good food and sweet wine, I was more than happy to get a chance to read and review Late Harvest Havoc, the tenth (10th) book in The Winemaker Detective series by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen. Set in Alsace, the northeastern French region of the Rhine River, wine experts and amateur detectives Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile find themselves emb
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I’ve been known to enjoy a glass of wine (or two even). Even more appealing if I can do this while looking out onto some splendid French vista. Wine + France is a near perfect combination (now if only someone would create a chocolate flavoured wine I’d be in heaven….) Add a touch of mystery to that combination and you have the set up for The Winemakers Detective Series by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balan. This highly successful series delves into the darker world of the wine industry with the ai ...more
DelAnne Frazee
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Title: Late Harvest Havoc - The Winemaker Detective Mystery 10
Author: Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen
Published: 12-15-15
Publisher: Le French Book
Pages: 114
Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense
Sub Genre: International Mystery & Crime; Amateur Sleuth
ISBN: 9781939474599
Reviewer: DelAnne
Reviewed For: NetGalley
My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Someone is sabotaging the vines on the vineyards in Alsace. Unfortunately Benjamin Cooker and Virgile Lassien are found at more than one of the loca
Rife with puns and turns of phrase, the latest Winemaker Detective book highlights the banter between Benjamin and Virgile, allowing us a deeper look into their personalities and partnership. Several times the characters almost break the fourth wall – you expect them to turn and wink at the reader at any moment! It is a book that is very aware of itself, even going so far as to self-reference its own title! You can tell the authors were having a lot of fun writing this one.

In addition to the sel
Andrea Stoeckel
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
[ I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising]

"A life well spent brings happy death.’”

So says Virgile Lanssien to his boss Sir Benjamin Cooker in yet another wonderful
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, z-2016
While I'm not a wine aficionado, I do know that I like the wines of Alsace, so was pleased when I realized this book in the series takes place there. The tone of this book is more somber than others, as it starts with an unexpected death while Mr Cooker is visiting the sights in Strasbourg, then proceeds to serious vandalism and additional (un)natural deaths. At the same time, Mr Cooker finds that a number of unpleasant events occur that sour his experience in the region, and a lot of people see ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I almost never read mysteries. I came across this one on netgalley and was interested because of the food and wine aspect of the writing, and because I hadn't read a mystery in so long I thought it was overdue.
So that being said, I did not like it at all. It felt shallow, one dimensional, under-developed, and just overall lacking substance.
However, as previously stated, I do not normally read mysteries, or serial mysteries, so I do not know if this is normal or not. Since it is a short read, it
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Murder and Destruction in Alsace

The Alsace region is steeped in the history of both France and Germany. It is also a region where belief in witchcraft is rife. Benjamin Cooker is looking forward to introducing his assistant Vergile, to the wines and sumptuous food of this region, but almost immediately they are met by a death while touring the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg. This unpleasant start to the trip is rapidly followed by an attack on Benjamin's car and the wanton destruction of vi
Dawn Thomas
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Benjamin Cooker, the wine expert, is on a tour of a cathedral in Strasbourg when the tour guide, Jeanne, collapses to the floor. Just moments ago, she was asking him for a date. Benjamin realizes how quick life can change. He and his assistant, Virgile Lanssien, are in Germany to meet with Fritz Loewenberg for a tasting.

When the rear tires on Benjamin’s vintage Mercedes Benz 280SL, the hotel manager lends him the hotel Toyota. In search of vandalized grape vines, Benjamin swears to miss a wild b
Susan Johnston
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As in all the Winemaker Detective stories, Bejamin Cooker and his trusty assistant, Virgile, are in another area of France, tasting and helping winemakers with their vintages. This time they are in Alsace.
It is always informative reading these books as I come away with a deeper knowledge of wines and the areas from which they hail. This time there was some history as it is an area that has vollied back and forth between France and Germany.
Someone is vandalizing the vines just as the late harvest
Linda Baker
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Late Harvest Havoc is another visit to the wine-growing regions of France, this time, Alsace. Our guide is the eminent wine critic, Benjamin Cooker and his assistant, Virgile. There is trouble in Alsace though; vines are being destroyed by a mysterious vandal. The vineyards involved are seemingly unrelated, but can the answer be revenge, possibly linked to the Nazi occupation of France? Cooker himself even comes under suspicion for a brief time.

Benjamin is his usual dapper, urbane and somewhat i
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-pre, mysteries
This was my introduction to Benjamin Cookson and his assistant Virgile. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them in Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen’s Late Harvest Havoc. It won’t be my last encounter.
The story line takes place mostly in Alsace, France. The buildings, churches, countryside and vineyards were unfamiliar to me. I spent some time googling many of the locations, hotels, and restaurants. It made the already good descriptions come to life.
The solution to the mystery was somewhat tele
Erin L
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-food, netgalley
I received this book as an ARC in return for a review. It's a series I'd never read before and jumping into a series at book ten can always be a little bit of a gamble.

First, joining the story late in the game did not seem to hurt this novel at all. It works well as a stand alone, but it also made me interested in the characters. I'd like to read more about Benjamin and Virgile and will look for other books in the series soon.

Having recently made our own trip to the fall wine festival in the Oka
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Someone had been cutting the precious grape vines in Alsace, France, with its marvelous wines and nearby German Moselle and Rhines; its extraordinary food and gorgeous views, and wine taster and writer of the Cooker Guide, one of France’s premier guide to wines is there working with growers, along with his handsome assistant, Virgile.

At first a suspect, then an ardent sleuth, looking into the family turmoils there, Benjamin Cooker and his assistant become again those with the insight into the hu
Nicola Mansfield
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The tenth satisfying addition to the Benjamin Cooker series begins with a macabre little opener to set the mood. This time, Benjamin and Virgile are on a whirlwind tour of Alsace and a small section of Germany trying to uncover the identity of a vandal who is chainsawing rows of young grape vines from various vintners with apparently no connections. They end up uncovering gossip and family secrets that lead full circle to the opening setting for a broody and moody ending. I always say this, but ...more
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received eBook via Netgalley for honest review.

Another wonderful trip into wine, history, French and German countryside with Benjamin and Virgile. Mayhem ensues, somebody is destroying vineyard vines causing all kinds of finger pointing and accusations. The sabotage seems unrelated and local police are at a loss. Not much is cozy this time for Benjamin, no gentlemen quarters with book lined rooms and leather chairs. But rather open air, quaint towns, landscapes, local color both in the surroundi
A Holland Reads
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As you know I have been enjoying this series more and more with each book that is added to it. I have to say them one may have been my favorite or at least it is right up there at the top. As always we learn about wines as we read as well as we get to learn about a new part of the world in this book. I love the descriptions of the setting as it makes me feel as if I am right there along with the characters in the story. This book in particular I think was full of even more adventure and drama. I ...more
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Benjamin Cooker is publisher of "The Cooker Report" in which he details his love affair with French wine. He travels the country with his assistant, Virgile, meeting the vintners, tasting their wines, hearing their stories. And sometimes, just sometimes, he encounters a mystery.

In this "cozy mystery," someone has been hacking away at precious grape vines at several vineyards in Alsace.

How Benjamin and Virgile, together with the local police, narrow down the list of suspects, while sampling and
Ken Fredette
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story involved a love triangle of a woman (Veronique Deutzler), her lover (Andre Deutzler) and her husband (Iselin Deutzler). It involved being snubbed when he (Andre) was in the ninth grade. He took it out on other wine makers by cutting there vines.

There were several other deaths which involved people who were privy with the grapevines. The Deutzler father (Vincent) was killed by his nurse and in the beginning a guide to a cathedral (Jeanne) had a heart attack. The cafe owner also had a h
Eileen Hall
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another delicious Winemaker Detective Mystery. Well up to standard!
Great storylines set in the world of winemaking.
Not a lover of wines from Alsace, but the description of the area more than made up for it.
This is another well written story and should be read whilst partaking in a glass or two of something tasty!
Can't wait to read more from this excellent series.
I was given a digital copy of this novel by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review, which I am very happy
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