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Sharpshooter (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #1)
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Sharpshooter (Sunny McCoskey #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  390 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Sharpshooter: A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery (Napa Valley Mysteries)
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by Chronicle Books (first published January 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
this was a 'lite' mystery. easy to read and an interesting story.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm on the fence about this book. The Napa Valley setting is really well done and makes you feel like you're there. The actual plot though was kind of slow and dragged in places, but it did pick up. There was very secondary mystery about a food thief and I thought the resolution to that was quite strange. I will likely read the second book since the setting was so enjoyable.
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Just a fun series to read if you like the Napa Valley, wine, food, and a little mystery. I read this first one and had to get all the rest. Fast and easy!
Beverley Lombardi
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Good book. I would read others in the series. If you enjoy wine, you will like this mystery.
It always interested Sunny to see how a person reacted to a glass of wine or a new food. It was a one-second preview of how they would act when faced with the unpredictable, a snapshot of how they approached experience. Some people were hardly aware they had a glass in their hand, and the wine in it would be gone before they realized they were drinking. Charlie wasn't a connoisseur and didn't pretend to be one, but he was clearly interested enough to want to stop and taste what he was drinking.
Johnathan Weston
Jun 20, 2012 rated it liked it
How did I find out about Nadia Gordon and the Sonny McCoskey mysteries? I honestly can’t remember. Something in the back of my head says it was a post regarding some eBook special on, but I can’t find that post. Whatever it was, I was prompted to get a copy of the first book and check it out. I haven’t read too many mysteries, only the Sherlock Holmes stories and the first of the “Cat who…” series. Consequently, I didn’t completely know what to expect sitting down to this book.

Sunny McCos
Brenda Mengeling
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries, fiction, 49
I bought my copy of Sharpshooter at a winery in Napa Valley that claimed to be a model for the winery featured in the book. The funny thing is that that doesn't really translate into a compliment for that winery, but Sharpshooter is a very good mystery with appealing characters. Sunny McCoskey, a small restaurant owner, turns amateur sleuth when her good friend is accused of killing the pain-in-the-ass heir to the major winery next door. Even though the heir was shot by an expert sharpshooter, w ...more
Apr 08, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars, to be more precise. (If there hadn't been two typos not caught by editors before printing, I would've rated this mystery story four stars.) This novel is very formulaic and similar to every Nancy Drew plot line. It's basically a Nancy Drew mystery for grown-ups, but not as "grown-up" as I might have liked. I was hoping for a little romance (or even lust) between Chef Sunny and just about anyone else in the novel. However, I really did enjoy this book; it took me back to that same joy ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2012
Although this is the first in the series I read book #2 (Death by the Glass) first and enjoyed it more. This first book definitely shows some weaknesses in plotting. I was bothered the entire time by the idea of someone being able to support themselves and a dozen employees in Napa Valley with a restaurant that is only open for lunch Monday-Friday. While it gives Sunny a lot of time to run around and ask questions it seems totally implausible. Also, the fact that all the murder suspects are perf ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it liked it
For a book that goes on quite extensively with descriptions about the food, wine, and even clothing, I don't really know much about what the main character, Sunny, looks like. I have an impression of someone with bangs and maybe green eyes? No idea about anything else (or maybe I just missed the descriptions of her in the story?). Some of the other charters are more thoroughly described (Rivka in particular), but the unevenness in the use of descriptions is distracting. What they tell me is that ...more
Sep 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Started out okay, but I was left feeling faintly disappointed. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think that was because the character that was ultimately identified as the killer was introduced later in the book, didn’t have large part in the action and that seemed like cheating. But I’m not sure that’s all, since introducing characters later in the book does happen often enough.

I think I thought the book harked back to the “old” mysteries, before the cozy mysteries now seem to have overrun the g
Teresa LaBella
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A tip from a literary agent piqued my interest in reading beyond the romance genre I write in. I am so glad I did! Author Nadia Gordon's mastery of mystery pulled me in and through, from the Part One Murder by Moonlight of Jack Beroni, heir apparent of the family Napa Valley vineyard and fortune, through the satisfying Agatha Christie-style who-done-it ending. Heroine Sunny McCoskey steps out from her chef's comfort zone at the cafe she owns to solve Jack's murder and save a good friend's liveli ...more
Samantha Smith
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
I discovered this book through a program I held at my library called "Mysterious California". This program was sponsored by the California Center for the Book and featured various California authors. This book was my favorite of the bunch. This book is book one in the Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley mystery series. It interested me because of the environmental aspects that are central to the book, but also because of of the cooking (the main character Sunny owns a restaurant). This book is different ...more
Apr 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly good book with lots of vino consumed. Murder in the first chapter and the wrap-up in the last chapter. In between we are running around Napa talking to neighbors, finding out about viticulture, and always reading about great food prepared with precision and passion. It was both refreshing and unrealistic at times to have the principal character assuming the role of a private investigator. This is a woman who owns a restaurant and is an insomniac, but a person you would want as a f ...more
Joan - xstitchfan
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly good book - which I wasn't expecting! The main character is not a cop or investigator, Sunny is a chef and restaurant owner in Napa Valley. When one of her closest friends is suspected of a murder he didn't commit, Sunny throws herself into figuring out the crime. Would any of us not do the same to help our friend? I enjoyed Sunny even with all her mistakes during in the investigation. The information about wine and harvesting grapes given in the book was interesting. Sunny's rest ...more
Jun 08, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked this. I think I liked it because you get to vicariously live the Napa good life through her characters. I don't know what that would mean in real life, but here it means driving around a pretty countryside, knowing a lot about wine -- and enjoying extremely good home cooking with friends.

I found the characters generally not-annoying and the mystery to be pretty interesting. I think it's a relaxing, escapist, non-challenging read. Which has inspired me to write a really boring review. So
Jun 04, 2010 rated it liked it
A murder mystery set in the Napa Valley, this book is the genre cousin of chick lit. The main character is completely stock, what with being a single, independent woman too curious for her own good while leading a sort of fantasy life. Even with familiar pieces from chick lit / flick central and a slightly transparent plot, it’s an enjoyable read, and I will be picking up the other books in the series at some point. Recommended.
Feb 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Actually, I would give this 3.5 stars. i always like books with chefs or restaurants or food in them....this had all three plus wine/Napa Valley, one of my favorite places. A quick and easy read. A bit of a surprise at the end.

I agree with another reader who said that the character descriptions were lacking, especially that of Sunny, the narrator. And Sunny becoming a "private investigator" was a bit of a stretch. I will try #2 in this series.

Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The idyllic life of a chef/owner of a small restaurant in Napa is turned on its head when her friend is arrested for murder. Did I say idyllic? Long hours, physical labor and not a lot of money. If a real chef read this book, however, they would probably hoot with laughter over the idea a restaurant could make money only being open for lunch Mon-Fri. But with good wine, good food, and good friends, this is enjoyable reading with a good mystery thrown in to boot.
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it
I was excited to find a localish-to-me mystery by a local author. I wanted to love it. I did not. It was... okay. I was hoping it would be a bit like Poppy Z. Brite's later stuff, thinking murder in the Napa wine world might read something like murder in the New Orleans restaurant world but it came up short of the gripping, page-turning intrigue I was hoping for.

I think I learned more from it than I was entertained by it.
Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Well this was a fast and interesting read set in the Napa Valley. I did sip on wine when I was nearing the end. There is plenty of information about grapes, wine and agriculture to be found in this novel. Also, you'll want to make sure that you are planning to eat or have eaten a good meal. The characters are likeable and I look forward to getting to know more about the main ones in subsequent books.
Lori Cipro
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this series of books with Sunny McCoskey, the Napa Valley chef and sleuth. Her character, as those of her side kicks and friends are well defined as is dining and enjoying lovely wines in Napa. They are such fun reads with well thought out plots. I now want to go to Napa valley and enjoy the area, some delicious food and yummy wines.

When is the next book in the Sunny McCoskey series coming out...I can't wait
Rose Chin
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this mystery it was very well written, with a good balance of descriptive writing, but the story unfolds at a good pace. Giving the reader the ability to get to know the characters and the backdrop, as well as letting you unravel the Mystery. It is a great read and I would recommend it those that like mysteries.
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Murder mystery set amid the sights, smells, and tastes of Napa Valley. The mystery part was fun, but the real captivator in this book is the food, wine, and setting. It does feel a little like Nancy Drew grew up, moved to Napa and opened a delicious organic cafe, though. Looking forward to reading the rest in her series while sipping a glass of wine.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The sion of a winery is found dead, shot through the heart, there is a nasty bug that will kill the vines and battle between the organic farmers and the vineyard owners over spraying.

Just another day in wine country for Sunny McCloskey; until her friend is charged with murder and she plans to find the real killer.
Ellen Marchessault
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: california
First in the Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley mystery series. Sunny runs the Wildside restaurant. Her friend Wade Skord has been accused of murdering Jack Beroni, profligate heir-apparent to the Beroni Vineyard, situated right next to Skord's own vineyard. Sunny embarks on some amateur sleuthing & figures out who-done-it.
Jan 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery buffs, bay area locals
Shelves: whodunnits
Set in Napa Valley, this mystery centers on the murder of a famous winery heir. The characters are quirkier and more interesting than I expected, and I also enjoyed learning more about the wine industry. Warning: the protagonist is a chef, so in addition to countless tantalizing descriptions of wine there are also enticing food descriptions to deal with. Do not read on an empty stomach!
Joanne Sumalpong
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I know how I found out about this book. Watching foodnetwork with Giada De Laurentis. She had a "book club" over for food and drink. I caught the name of the book a gal was holding, and looked it up online.
Very light reading after "The a Book a Thief." Yeah!
Burlingame Public Library
Sunny McCoskey is a cafe owner and sleuth in the Napa Valley wine country. She drinks her morning coffee with a touch of wine in it and makes the most amazing meals while she solves murders. The sharpshooter is an insect that is able to wipe out the entire wine country vineyards.
Sep 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
A nice little mystery set in Napa Valley. The main character owns a restaurant so there are nice food descriptions. I bought and read it in San Francisco, so I probably gave it a higher rating than it deserved because I was "on location".
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Nadia Gordon is the pen name of writer Julianne Balmain.
More about Nadia Gordon...

Other Books in the Series

Sunny McCoskey (4 books)
  • Death by the Glass (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #2)
  • Murder Alfresco (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #3)
  • Lethal Vintage (A Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mystery, #4)

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