When all the evidence points to Katie’s best friend, the outspoken and independent Tessa, Katie drops everything to clear Tessa’s name. Using her deductive wine skills, she tries to track down the real killer. But when repeated attempts are made on her life, Katie discovers that everyone’s secrets must be uncorked―including her own.
I knew next to nothing about wine when I started Decanting a Murder. That was no longer the case when I swiped to the last page in my Kindle. Ms. Nettmann, who is a Certified Sommelier herself, put a 'suggested pairing' of a wine at the beginning of each chapter; and here's the interesting thing: it was not paired to a food, but to the prevailing drama in the ensuing chapter!
At the beginning, things do not look good for Katie, our heroine. She takes the test for certification as a sommelier and fails. Then her friend Tess invites her to a wine-tasting party at an exclusive nearby winery. Before the evening is over, the owner of the winery is found dead (in one of the brewing vats, no less), and the evidence seems to be pointing to Tess.
Tess and Katie have been friends for a long time, and in their youth, Tess took sole blame for a burglary they had both committed. Katie feels honor-bound to prove that her friend did not commit the murder, nor the embezzlement of which she is accused. Before the book is over, she goes to her 'friend' on the local police force and confesses to the previous crime, in part because she fears the prior record would hamper Tessa's chances in the murder trial, and partly because it was the right thing to do. I have to give her points for that.
Along the way, there were many threats coming Katie's direction, and more than one attempt on her life. Along the way, she and the policeman are growing closer, but must remain a certain distance apart because, well, he is a policeman and she is best friend of the accused. There was a hilarious bit in the jail, when Katie is visiting Tessa, who talks about Katie's attraction to the local LEO. Little did she know that the man was standing out of eyesight listening to every word!
Decanting a Murder was both enjoyable & exciting to read. Maybe it's part of the convivial nature of fine wine, which is often present, along with appetizers, snacks or meals when one gathers with friends. Maybe it's because Katie's friends (and father) are there for her when the going gets tough. Maybe it's both.
So, sign me up with any future installments of Nettman's 'Sommelier Mysteries'! I'll bring the wine.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Nadine Nettmann, a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, is always on the lookout for great wines and the stories behind them. She has traveled to wine regions around the world including Chile, South Africa, Spain, Germany, and every region in France. When she’s not visiting wine regions or dreaming up new mysteries, her travel articles have appeared in AAA Hawaii, New Mexico Journey, Modern Luxury Hawaii, and Inspirato. Nadine is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She lives in California with her husband.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)