Mulled to Death
Colorado Wine Mystery #3
By Kate Lansing
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
A Valentine’s Day getaway is on the rocks when a young winemaker discovers a body at an alpine resort in this delightful cozy mystery.
When Parker Valentine decides to take a weekend getaway with her boyfriend Reid, a ski trip seems like the perfect choice. Between hitting the slopes and persuading the resort’s wine director to sell her mulled wine, Parker is eager to mix business with pleasure. But her plans are muddled when she finds the resort owner’s body on a treacherous portion of ski trail near the resort.
As a result, not only is Parker’s romantic weekend thrown into chaos, but now that the owner has died, her business deal is due for a frosty reception, and her life might be in danger as well. After a series of unfortunate mishaps befall Parker, she realizes that whoever killed the resort owner might want to tie up loose ends. Parker’s going to need all of the investigative skills at her disposal to catch a killer before they put her on ice. (Goodreads)
Mulled to Death, the third book in the Colorado Wine Mystery Series, takes readers away from its established Boulder setting to a luxurious ski resort where murder and misadventure threaten to ruin Valentine’s Day Weekend. Author Kate Lansing delivers an action packed, intriguing cozy tale.
Winemaker Parker and her chef boyfriend Reid, along with her brother and best friend, get away for the weekend at the Silver Creek Ski Resort. Its pristine snowy setting is beautiful, but Parker is having a hard time since the Valentine holiday makes her miss her deceased aunt even more than unusual. At least she has the opportunity to pitch her mulled wine to the wine director of the resort Akira while she is there. Things look promising until the resort’s owner, Olympic champion Annamarie Bauer dies in an apparent skiing accident. But, Parker thinks it was more than a mere accident and investigates. She must be on the right track because the “accidents” she is having are getting more and more dangerous.
I enjoy the premise of this series, and there is just the right amount of wine tidbits sprinkled throughout to make the winemaking theme compelling but not so many that a non-drinker would lose interest. Parker is an interesting protagonist, observant and a good problem solver but quite relatable with insecurities that most of us experience as we go about life. Reid, Liam, and Sage are all fun to hang out with, and their relationships with Parker are the heart of the book.
The variety of characters central to the murder mystery is entertaining, even the often unpleasant one like resort manager Paisley. Reid worked at the resort at one time, and his familiarity with several of the employees helps readers get to know the new characters quickly. I hope that Akira appears in future books in the series. Even though Annamarie dies early in the story, readers learn a lot about her from Parker’s chats with her suspects. There are plenty of clues sprinkled throughout the story, but I did not figure out the killer’s identity before the very Hercule Poirot style reveal.
As always with this series, my only quibble is that it is written in present tense. It is not my favorite, but I seemed to acclimate better here than in previous books in the series. Mulled to Death is a fun, engaging read sure to please any cozy mystery fan.