by Sandra Murphy
Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review & links to purchase it.
The test for a sommelier is an exacting one, requiring a lot of time and study. Katie Stillwell has passed the first hurdle but wants to go for the ultimate title. She’s got her notes and a study group so all she has to do is focus.
She works at an upscale restaurant, and naturally, is friendly to the clientele. When she’s invited to wine collector Paul Rafferty’s home as a guest, not the sommelier, she’s ecstatic. They’ll be tasting a bottle of wine that cost Rafferty $19,000 in an auction. He’s asked her not to reveal her job to the other diners, just enjoy the evening as a guest.
The problem starts with the first sip. The wine doesn’t behave as an old wine should, and it doesn’t taste that way either. Should she speak up or keep quiet? She does confide in Rafferty’s assistant but warns him to keep his mouth shut until the dinner is over. There’s no need to embarrass anyone by announcing the costly wine is a fake.
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Cooper asks a few leading questions but doesn’t give the secret away. He goes to the wine cellar to get a second bottle from the same dealer and auction but doesn’t come back. Katie looks for him and finds his body at the bottom of the stairs. It’s assumed he went for another bottle, and in the dark, fell. It does seem suspicious that the light wasn’t working.
Once Katie confesses that the wine was not authentic, Rafferty asks her to investigate which dealer put the bottle up for auction. He gets cold feet about it and asks her to stop, but it’s too late. The puzzle has to be solved. If Cooper’s death was murder, then the only suspects are the dinner guests.
In addition to Katie’s upcoming test, there’s a little complication in her love life. She’s attracted to Dean, a police detective, and he to her, but their jobs get in the way. She’s torn between wanting a relationship and giving total focus to her job.
This is the second book in the Sommelier Mystery series. Decanting a Murder was the debut. Katie is a likable character, always with more to do than there’s time for—everyone can surely relate. Her love life shows promise if she’ll let it; Dean is a good man so readers will root for him. There is a lot of information about wine in the book, but it’s spread out and delivered so smoothly, it’s part of the story.
To enter to win a copy of Uncorking a Lie, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “uncork,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 8, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please included your mailing address.
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