I received this book from Le French Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review
Published: November 19, 2015
Number of pages: 140
Series: Winemaker Detective #9
Series: Winemaker Detective #9
SYNOPSISA business magnate calls on wine expert Benjamin Cooker to kickstart his new wine business in Beaujolais, sparking bitter rivalries. Can the Winemaker Detective and his assistant keep calculating real estate agents, taciturn winegrowers, dubious wine merchants and suspicious deaths from delaying delivery of the world-famous Beaujolais Nouveau?
WHAT DID I THINK OF THIS BOOK
I am so happy that I got to visit the Winemaker Detective series again. In this book you will not find a lot of bloody graphics but what you will find is great characters, a murder, suspense and a whole list of suspects. You may also learn a little about wine and the area where it comes with, as with each of these books they are titled after a wine. It is nice to enjoy the descriptions these authors use in their story as it really makes the book come alive. I also like that they are shorter and quicker to read. In fact you could read this book in one sitting. This book is a part of a series but you should have no problems reading it as a stand alone. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
ABOUT THE AUTHORSJean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, wine lover and music lover respectively, came up with the idea for the Winemaker Detective series while sharing a meal, with a bottle of Château Gaudou 1996, a red wine from Cahors with smooth tannins and a balanced nose.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATORAnne Trager loves France so much she has lived there for 27 years and just can’t seem to leave. What keeps her there is a uniquely French mix of pleasure seeking and creativity. Well, that and the wine. In 2011, she woke up one morning and said, “I just can’t stand it anymore. There are way too many good books being written in France not reaching a broader audience.” That’s when she founded Le French Book to translate some of those books into English. The company’s motto is “If we love it, we translate it,” and Anne loves crime fiction, mysteries and detective novels.
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EXCERPTPicking up his boss’s silent cue, Virgile changed the subject. “What’s this Périthiard guy like?” he asked, turning the key to the ignition.
“To be honest, I’ve never met him. We exchanged a few e-mails, and I spoke to him on the phone this morning, when he asked us to meet with him. Other than that, I only know what I read in the papers.”
“He’s the one who founded that DIY chain, right?”
“Yes, Guillaume Périthiard is a self-made man. According to his PR people, he came from a modest family in Lyon. He didn’t even graduate from high school. He took a job in a tile factory as a teenager and worked his way up to general foreman in just three years. Afterward, he landed the coveted job of inventory manager, then acquisitions, and then sales. When the plant manager had some cash-flow problems and considered closing, Périthiard presented him with a plan to save the company. The bankers liked it. Périthiard took over management of the company and then bought a majority share.”
“He must be some kind of business genius.”
“That or charming, shrewd, and not much of a stickler for scruples. In any case, he was soon perceived as a visionary and natural leader. Once the business was his, it prospered, and at the age of twenty-five, he sold the tile factory to open a large-scale DIY store outside Villefranche-sur-Saône. From there, he built his own brand.”
“Do you think he was the one who came up with that kitsch logo—red letters on the yellow background?”
“Maybe. In any case, you see it all across France. The chain has ninety-three stores, and last year Les Échos named him entrepreneur of the year.”
“I will not leave Versailles,” Bérangère said in a tone closed to appeal.
Périthiard slipped his phone into the pocket of his dressing gown and gave his wife a cold look. She had shrugged when he bought the Maison Coultard négociant business and even smiled in a pinched-lip upper-class way that said: “A whim, my darling, not unlike the other whims you’ve entertained since your retirement.”
Now she was standing in the doorway, wearing her cream-colored skirt, light blue blouse, double-strand pearl necklace, and no smile.
He knew he should try to appease her. “You liked my cousin Sylvain when we’d go there on holiday, before the kids were born. I was almost jealous of him. Remember how we hiked up Mount Saint Rigaud? The country was so gorgeous, and the view was spectacular. We attended that village dance in Sarmentelles de Beaujeu and ate so much grilled sausage and local cheese on that rustic bread, you complained that you’d gain ten pounds.”
She looked away and began to walk slowly across the room. Bérangère was a master of the silent treatment.
“You didn’t think I would just play around with the business, did you?” Périthiard said, fully aware that this was going to be a hard sell—if not impossible. “I’d never be happy running it from a distance. And I’m going to be more than a négociant. It’s not enough to buy other people’s grapes and wine and bottle it for sale, as if it were my own. I’m planning to buy a wine estate in the Côte de Vaux or perhaps Saint Amour. I’ll be a real winemaker.”
“You know nothing about grape growing.”
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