Uncorking a Lie
A Sommelier Mystery, Book#2
By Nadine Nettmann
Author’s Website: http://nadinenettmann.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
It was the kind of invitation Katie Stillwell had only dreamed about: a dinner party at the Sonoma mansion of famed wine collector Paul Rafferty to celebrate a rare bottle of wine. Everyone enjoys drinking the $19,000 wine, but Katie realizes it’s not the older vintage listed on the label. When she confides in Mr. Rafferty, he asks her to investigate, and she soon discovers the deception goes beyond money. As Katie falls deeper into the world of counterfeit wine, she learns everything is at stake—even her life.
I have discovered a new author to me…combining a number of my favourite things – reading in general, reading cozy mysteries specifically and wine – all in one fun story. A wonderful pairing this is.
Uncorking a Lie (the second book in the Sommelier Mystery series) begins with Katie Stillwell (sommelier at Trentino’s) receiving a dinner invitation to the home of Paul Rafferty (wine collector). Served at dinner was the 1975 Chateau Clair Bleu that Paul had purchased at an auction recently for $19,000. During the festivities, Cooper Maxwell (Paul’s assistant) heads down to the wine cellar. Cooper does not return in a timely fashion so Katie goes after Cooper but instead finds Cooper dead at the bottom of the stairs. Initially, his death is thought to be an accident, but following the autopsy, it is now changed to homicide. So, all the dinner guests are now suspects, even Katie. So, what is a girl to do to clear her name but solve the mystery herself.
One of Katie’s thoughts certainly parallel mine with respect to keeping bottles of wine:
“I understand saving special bottles for long periods of time, but to know that a wine would never be released from the bottle, never to get to live out its purpose of being enjoyed and savored, always gave me a tinge of sadness.”
In true sommelier fashion, Katie sipped wine while talking with Roberto and identified the wine with no problem while she was investigating:
“I swirled the wind and took a deep sniff, a heavy scent of lychee floating from the glass. I sipped. The wine was well-balanced with almost a limestone quality to it. There was grapefruit and lychee, along with strong minerality. My mind raced to identify the wine. Possible varietals included Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Riesling… It’s an Alsatian Gewürztraminer. Gotta love that lychee.”
The mystery of “whodunit” managed to keep me guessing until the end – a quality I like in this genre. So many suspects Katie had to weed through. The relationship between them all certainly added depth. At times I was a bit frustrated with Katie…. for gosh sakes she had a concussion and was told to stay put but no…. she had to go and track down the bad guys herself. That certainly left me on the edge of my seat for a few pages 🙂 . She seemed so meticulous with respect to her sommelier duties and studies but when it came to sleuthing, she did not seem nearly as organized. But in the end, the bad guy was caught and all is well in the Napa Valley once again.
I found the interactions with Dean plausible and sweet in a “budding relationship” sort of way. I can’t wait to see what the next installment of the Sommelier Mystery series has in store for Katie and Dean.
“Katie, I’d do anything for you. Don’t you know that?” His blue eyes sparkled and there was a moment of electricity between us.
I have already obtained book one, Decanting a Murder, and cannot wait to start reading it. Hopefully more books are in the works for this series.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*