"Death in Wine Country" By Gemma Halliday: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of this book and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

A Vintage Cozy Mystery!

Emmeline Oak is the owner of Oak Valley Vineyard situated in the middle of the iconic Sonoma wine country. She has used her talents and training in the culinary arts to set her vineyard apart and hosting various public events and festival to highlight her wines and display her winery as the perfect venue for conferences, galas, and milestone celebrations to improve her bottom line. She has a wonderful and positive support system of friends turned family to assist her: vineyard manager Hector Villarreal and wife Conchita, sommelier Jean Luc Gasteon, winery manager Eddie Bliss, and of course, BFF/local jewelry designer Ava Barnett. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” so Emmy has invented herself as an amateur detective honing her skills on a few pesky murders that have plagued her vineyard and the community. Her association with the handsome Detective Christopher Grant continues to be a complex relationship. They have “something” going on which can curl her toes, but those pesky murders seem to get in the way. Wine, dine, and a cozy murder...entertaining fun!

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Image Source Gemma Halliday Publishing
Death in Wine Country earns 5/5 Camera Close-ups...Entertaining Fun!
Fame, whatever degree, is a double-edged sword. Carrie Cross, actress on the soap Carefree Hearts, can afford a luxurious second home in wine county, but will need to upgrade security measures to block overzealous fans who have blurred the line between the villainous character she portrays and her real positive personality. Emmy met and had been hired by Ms. Cross when she worked in L.A. as a personal chef, and now, as a regular client, Emmy is set to cater Ms. Cross’s housewarming party with more cast members and “network mucky mucks” in attendance. “This is going to be so fun!”

Ava is set to help out Emmy with prep and serving the perfect “vegan” buffet, but she’s a bit overwhelmed by the appearance of all the soap stars and relishing in all the gossip. And there was plenty! Harper Bishop has been axed from the show with a “demoralizing” on-screen demise. She’s not happy or interested in playing nice with the producers in attendance. Emmy overhears uncomfortable conversations and witnesses a few private squabbles, but it’s the body she finds in the corral that is the most regrettable. Harper is dead!

It’s a Wrap! Gemma Halliday has penned another engaging drama in her Wine and Dine Mystery series set in the middle of one of my own favorite destinations...Sonoma wine country. I am such an eager fan not only of her well-developed mystery with plenty of suspects, realistic motives, enough twists to keep me guessing, and a satisfying conclusion, but for the characters she’s created. Emmy is very talented with a caring nature for her friends that have become family to her, and she’s quite the addition to any investigation, however, she isn’t always forthcoming with law enforcement and is often told to stand down. Ava is also a creative talent with a personality a bit over the top which often has her doing before thinking, but didn’t we all have a fun-loving friend that often is the life of the party. In many ways she is the opposite to Emmy making it a fun dynamic when the two partner. So with greed, women scorned, secrets, a few extra felonies, and lots of personal peril readers are treated to winery activities, friendships, and lots of food and wine. I love it all!

Bonus! Cozy mysteries are often equated to bonus recipes, and when the main character is a culinary genius who owns a winery, you’re in for a treat! With each recipe, referred to and linked in the story itself, you’ll get a full list of ingredients, easy-to-follow directions, Tips! for substitutions, and the best Wine Pairings to make the meal complete: Wine Marinated Stuffed Mushrooms, Seared Wagyu Steak, Prawns, Garlic & Chili Linguini, Blueberry Lemon Bread with Lemon Icing, Irish Coffee, Chicken Piccata, Simple Salmon, and Sherry Potatoes.

Alert! The sixth Wine and Dine Mystery book, Fashion, Rosé & Foul Play, is set to release in August. Trouble comes to Emmy’s BFF Ava Barnett when her chance to showcase her jewelry ends with a murdered model and the custom emerald necklace stolen! Preorder HERE.

Be a Big Gemma Halliday Fan!
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Gemma Halliday pens other popular and entertaining series cozy fans will enjoy. My favorite series is this Wine & Dine Mysteries, but I greatly enjoy her other series that combine full-length books and some entertaining short stories. Check out her exciting cozy series: High Heels Mystery with #13 Suspect in High Heels due in October, Hollywood Headlines with #6 Hollywood Revenge out this year, Jamie Bond, Marty Hudson, and Tahoe Tessie Mysteries. Coming this year is her thriller Dead to Rights from her Anna Smith & Nick Dade series.

Facebook–Gemma Halliday
 Website–Gemma Halliday
Twitter @gemmahallidayca

To enter to win an ebook copy of Death in Wine Country, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "wine country,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 16, 2020. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting. Lots of good mysteries in wine country. Count me in!

  2. This is intriguing! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  3. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading.

  4. Somehow it seems our beautiful areas that produce these fine wines are a great setting for a mystery.
    Definitely an interesting plot. robeader53(at)yahoo.com

  5. sounds like a good read. kckendler at gmail dot com

  6. Sounds faulous and love the recipes, extra fun bonus!

  7. Love books with a little something extra...

  8. wonder when I will be able to review this cactusack01@gmail.com

  9. Look forward to reading this intriguing book

  10. I love cozy mysteries and would love to read Death in Wine Country. rhondastruthers@yahoo.ca


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