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Harvest of Secrets

(Wine Country Mysteries #9)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  387 ratings  ·  86 reviews
The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery's first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer.

It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery's family cemetery, and the disc
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  387 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Harvest of Secrets is the 9th book in the 'Wine Country Mysteries' written by Ellen Crosby. This series focuses on the Montgomery Vineyard in Virginia, not too far from Washington DC, where historical and current mysteries intermix and revolve around politics, family history, and wine. In this caper, Lucie, a ~30ish engaged and disabled vineyard owner, runs into a guy she had a crush on in France many years ago. He's been exiled by his father to learn how to grow up, but the man can't stop findi ...more
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This the ninth installment of the Wine Country mysteries, set in "horse country" rural Virginia, about 45 minutes from Washington, D.C. Lucie Montgomery's workers find an old skull on her family's vineyard and she wants to investigate whether the remains belong to one of her ancestors. On the adjacent vineyard owned by a former Secretary of State and his long-time partner, Robyn-- a prominent French winemaker, the son of a wealthy French baron from Bordeaux, has come into their employ. But he ca ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This may be the best one yet! This series just keeps getting better!
I had begun this series quite some time ago and realized that I had missed a few along the way, so I was happy to read Ms. Crosby's newest in the series.

I was a little concerned that I had missed 2 in the series, but the author had put in enough backstory that I was not confused. The story itself was great and held my attention throughout. I recognized most of the characters.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When workers discover a skull buried in a storage shed on Lucie Montgomery's property, she calls in the sheriff. However, the murder victim lived in the mid-19th century. A glimpse in the family Bible reveals no death date appears next to Susannah Montgomery and additional evidence gleaned points in that direction. Although Lucie recently took a DNA test, the archaeologist working the case wants Lucie's DNA in the same format as the bone sample's DNA. While she spit for the test that revealed an ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Lucie is busy with harvest season and while her brother, Eli, is looking to build a home for him and his daughter, happens upon a skull while digging. On top of that Jean-Claude is aristocrat is found dead in his winery which happens to be neat Lucie's winery. While all this is going on she finds out that her father had a son with another woman when she was born and she meets up with her half brother. A lot of interwoven history and mystery together but very well put together.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ellen brings history, locale and murder together in a way no one else can. Well done.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another solid installment in the Wine Country mystery series. Didn't guess the perp, either.
Sue Em
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Lucie Montgomery finds the body of a French winemaker, her childhood crush,in this latest excellent entry in the Virginia wine country series. As she becomes involved in trying to prove the innocence of her friends, a skeleton is discovered on her property. One of the strengths of this series is the author's ability to delve into history making the past and present interesting and relevant. Highly recommended. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchang ...more
Stanley McShane
This book captured my interest immediately and never let go. While it is Book 9 of the series, it functioned well as a standalone. No problem sensing protagonist Lucie Montgomery.

A skull is uncovered near the family cemetery by her immigrant workers and Lucie feels a kindred spirit, discovered to have been a young woman. She can't help but delve deeper into the mystery possibly involving family. Having opened Pandora's box, however, she'll be diverted into the history of her family's Civil War e
I have a confession to make. I actually sent my copy of Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby to a friend who is a big fan. That means I don't have my copy in front of me to refer to. It feels as if the review is missing something when I don't have the book in hand.

Lucie Montgomery's workers at her Virginia vineyard may be right. It might be unlucky to find a skull. After a shed was destroyed during a storm, two of the men went to clear it. That's when they find a skull buried outside the family c
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
As I started reading this 9th in the series, I thought maybe it was time to be done. But as the book moved on and the backstory mystery fleshed out, I was drawn in my the history. Could be the fact that I had lived in Northern Virginia for a time, so Middleburg and Leesburg were places I had been too. An interesting new family member makes me think the series will continue on.

"It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull i
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Wine Country Mysteries series is not your usual who-done-it; it is also a history lesson of Loudoun County, Virginia, with a mystery thrown into keep your attention.

As the vineyard is preparing for an incoming hurricane, the workers at Montgomery Estate Vineyards unearth a skull that has been buried under a shed outside of the family cemetery. Detailed forensics reveals that the skull, and the rest of the bones, have been there for more than a century, but what is interesting is the quilt t
Paula Ratcliffe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I enjoyed finishing this latest in Ellen Crosby's Wine Country Mystery series on this snow day/work is closed day! In fact, most of Michigan's lower peninsula is closed today 😲❄☃ I always learn something about wine (growing, harvesting, making etc) in her books but this book has an interesting twist connecting the family to the underground railroad. I can't wait to see where this thread goes in the next book!
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
So we all know that usually the murderer is a fringe person in a cozy. I am okay with that. What bothers me here is that Lucie always talks about how much work it is to run an vineyard and how busy they are, and then spends the bulk of the book not working at the vineyard. Kind of does a disservice to all those small vineyard owners.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this story. It contained so many side stories that were interesting. The family genealogy, the Underground Railroad, and the family relationships now deepening with other characters, both new and old in this series. Great read. I enjoyed this book.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This ninth book in a series about Virginia vineyards continues to provide information about wine making, a precarious enterprise, at best, and its long tradition in this country. Lucie Montgomery continues to be a bright, courageous, and empathic, protagonist whose challenges and successes have been well documented in previous books.

While a complicated murder investigation is always embedded in these novels, here the issues of slavery and immigration are as important to the story line. Ellen C
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed this series from the beginning with its well-written descriptions of Virginia wine country and winemaking, believable family characters, and just the general loveliness of Ellen Crosby herself. This one was one of my favorites in the series, because it stood apart with its timely theme of anti-immigrant sentiment. Crosby doesn't hit the reader over the head with it, rather weaving it seamlessly into the plot. Really well done. I'll keep reading this series as long as she has it in ...more
Avid Series Reader
Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby is the 9th book of the Wine Country mystery series set in contemporary Virginia. Lucie Montgomery owns and operates the Montgomery Estate Vineyard. Harvest season is always the busiest time of year, but Mother Nature is interfering this year: a hurricane is headed their way. Lucie and her winemaker Quinn (who is also her fiancé) decide they must pick a particular field of grapes early, before the storm hits, to avoid total ruin of the crop. To get the picking d ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery's first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer.

It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery's family cemetery, and the discovery of the bones coincides with the arrival of handsome, wealthy aristocrat Jean-Claude de Marignac. He's come to be the he
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
A stellar entry in the Wine Country Mysteries.

Lucie Montgomery, along with her fiance winemaker Quinn, is running the family winery in Virginia. They are grappling with a coming hurricane AND the wine harvest when some of her vineyard workers discover a skull in a shallow grave.

A little research soon reveals that the skeleton dates from more than a century ago and that the victim, who was murdered, is likely an ancestor of Lucie's. Her delving into the family history leads to some interesting in
Jeanne Locke
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This mystery is actually two mysteries, one going back to the Civil War and one in the present. It also deals with the complexities of slavery and race in the South, both in the past and in the present in a very personal way for the narrator Lucie, who is the owner of a vineyard in bucolic Virginia.

I found the book to be very moving and learned a little bit about the underground railroad too which was a bonus. The title with its references to secrets is a clue to the complexities that inform the
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading another Ellen Crosby Wine Country Mystery is like being reunited with an old friend who tells you all the gossip! In Harvest of Secrets, Crosby deals with profiling, the stresses of grape harvest in Virginia wine country, and a mysterious old skull found near the Montgomery family cemetery. And, we get to hang out with Lucie's and Quinn's wine country community. As tensions rise over the murder of a French winemaker and the disappearance of the prime suspect, one of Lucie's employees, we ...more
Linda Frances
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't like this one nearly as much as others in the series. There wasn't as much attention to detail, and very little about the vineyard and wine making. Lucie seems more concerned about an old murder victim than the current murder. As much as she talks about a hurricane approaching and how much help they need, but she spends her time researching family history, and getting to know a previously unknown family member. Since the vineyard is her livelihood, wouldn't you think she'd concentrate o ...more
Pat Dupuy
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the latest of the series featuring Lucie Montgomery, friends, and family. Lucie owns Montgomery Estate Vineyard in Virginia. Two bodies crop up: one is the wealthy French aristocrat who is the new winemaker in the area; the second is a female, Civil War era, who might be related to Lucie. Both are murder victims. Lucie investigates the first to protect loved ones from suspicion and/or arrest. She investigates the second to discover the truth that was hidden by her family generations ago. ...more
Lori Bonkoski
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lucie finds herself with a skull found on her property and then the murder of a french wine maker, who was her first crush, and a big reveal about her own family. The skull and her family issue lead to a very interesting journey and filled the story with great research. The murder also led to consider issues of immigration and how we see those who come to this country to work in agriculture. I was glad to see this issue handled so well and hope that this is truly how people work together. I love ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another interesting addition to the series set in a vineyard in rural Virginia. A skull is found near the family cemetery and Lucie believes that it might belong to one of her ancestors. She hires a forensic anthropologist to examine the skull, search for the remaining portions of the corpse, help determine how the person died. In the meantime a man from her past is murdered and Lucie finds his body; simultaneously there are investigations into modern and ancient murders. Lucie also discovers a ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
I am so saddened by this book! I have enjoyed this series so much up until this point. The blatant disrespect and misrepresentation for immigration and law enforcement have ruined this series for me. I don't think I can even go back and read the earlier books again. The whole experience is tainted. If you're looking for fiction and can look past the extreme falsehoods, this is an entertaining read. But if you need some plausible reality to be present this book is not for you.

Ms. Crosby, I'm ver
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, library
Interesting information on wine making but the story left questions i.e. why were people handling a 1860's quilt (carrying it around in a paper bag) that had been wrapped around a dead body/skeleton found buried in dirt? The quilt was very fragile, dirty and had to have smelled from the dirt alone!
Then the main characters find a small cottage on their property, property that they grew up on and by their admissions explored as young kids/teens to find hideouts to drink and make out-surely the cot
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Ellen Crosby is the author of the Virginia Wine Country mysteries, including THE FRENCH PARADOX (Book #11), which will be published in the UK on January 29, 2021, as an ebook on March 1, 2021, and in the US on April 6, 2021. She is also the author of the Sophie Medina mysteries and MOSCOW NIGHTS, a standalone mystery. Before writing fiction, Crosby was a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, ...more

Other books in the series

Wine Country Mysteries (10 books)
  • The Merlot Murders (Wine Country Mysteries #1)
  • 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)
  • The Angels' Share (Wine Country Mystery, #10)

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