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Backstabbing in Beaujolais

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Vintage rivalries make a "perfect mystery to read with a glass of vino in hand". The Winemaker Detective goes to Beaujolais in a French-style cozy mystery for lovers of food and drink, amateur sleuth stories, or anything set in France. A business magnate calls on wine expert Benjamin Cooker to kick-start his new wine business in Beaujolais, sparking bitter rivalries. Can the Vintage rivalries make a "perfect mystery to read with a glass of vino in hand". The Winemaker Detective goes to Beaujolais in a French-style cozy mystery for lovers of food and drink, amateur sleuth stories, or anything set in France. A business magnate calls on wine expert Benjamin Cooker to kick-start his new wine business in Beaujolais, sparking bitter rivalries. Can the Winemaker Detective and his assistant keep calculating real estate agents, taciturn winegrowers, dubious wine merchants, and suspicious deaths from delaying delivery of the world-famous Beaujolais Nouveau? Another adventure in this made-for-TV mystery series set in France. Both a wine novel and a mystery.


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Vintage rivalries make a "perfect mystery to read with a glass of vino in hand". The Winemaker Detective goes to Beaujolais in a French-style cozy mystery for lovers of food and drink, amateur sleuth stories, or anything set in France. A business magnate calls on wine expert Benjamin Cooker to kick-start his new wine business in Beaujolais, sparking bitter rivalries. Can the Vintage rivalries make a "perfect mystery to read with a glass of vino in hand". The Winemaker Detective goes to Beaujolais in a French-style cozy mystery for lovers of food and drink, amateur sleuth stories, or anything set in France. A business magnate calls on wine expert Benjamin Cooker to kick-start his new wine business in Beaujolais, sparking bitter rivalries. Can the Winemaker Detective and his assistant keep calculating real estate agents, taciturn winegrowers, dubious wine merchants, and suspicious deaths from delaying delivery of the world-famous Beaujolais Nouveau? Another adventure in this made-for-TV mystery series set in France. Both a wine novel and a mystery.

30 review for Backstabbing in Beaujolais

  1. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Benjamin Cooker and Virgile Lanssien are called in to help a business magnate to kickstart his new wine business in Beaujolais. But this is easier said than done. And, soon someone is shot to death...is it murder? Seductive women, jealousy, and murder are the ingredients in this book. It starts with a murder and then the book takes us 3 months earlier and we get to know the history behind everyone involved as Benjamin and Virgile work with Guillaume Périthiard to get his winery working. Unfortun Benjamin Cooker and Virgile Lanssien are called in to help a business magnate to kickstart his new wine business in Beaujolais. But this is easier said than done. And, soon someone is shot to death...is it murder? Seductive women, jealousy, and murder are the ingredients in this book. It starts with a murder and then the book takes us 3 months earlier and we get to know the history behind everyone involved as Benjamin and Virgile work with Guillaume Périthiard to get his winery working. Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone is happy with Périthiard entering the wine business and when he steals an employee from a rival the real trouble begins. I found this book actually to be very much different from the previous books I've read in this series. First it starts with the murder and then it goes back in time and we move to present time to have Benjamin revealing who the murderer is. Usually, there aren't that many suspects to choose from, but this time the book had several personal that could have done it, also the identity of the body is not revealed in the beginning so either one in the book could be it. And, the one that was killed was not the one that I had expected. This is a cozy french mystery book, so it's not much blood and gore. I find these books very nice to read between heavier and darker books. And, it's quite fun to read cozy mystery books set in France instead of England. A change of scenery is never wrong. I received a copy from the publisher and france book tours in return for an honest review!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    “Beaujolais is a lighthearted wine that makes people happy.” We simply cannot ever have too many novels from France here in the U.S. and the publisher Le French Book is trying to bring those novels, translated, to market. Especially popular among the “cozy” mystery set is this series of novels set in the wine regions of France by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen. We learn a great deal about wine production in each one, and the stories revolve around the great passions that wine evokes in producer “Beaujolais is a lighthearted wine that makes people happy.” We simply cannot ever have too many novels from France here in the U.S. and the publisher Le French Book is trying to bring those novels, translated, to market. Especially popular among the “cozy” mystery set is this series of novels set in the wine regions of France by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen. We learn a great deal about wine production in each one, and the stories revolve around the great passions that wine evokes in producers and buyers… This episode in the long-running mystery series manages to end before the body count exceeds two, and at the end everyone still alive is moving towards a fulfilling career or marriage. It is meant to be as lighthearted and refreshing as the wine it describes, and, for those with an interest in viticulture, it succeeds admirably. “…moderate consumption [of red wine]—one glass a day for women and two for men—can be good for the health: reducing your risk of depression as well as your risk of developing colon cancer… Wine has anti-aging properties. While consumption of other alcoholic drinks can increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer, red wine in moderate amounts can actually lower that risk. One study has even found that a chemical found in wine can improve your sensitivity to insulin. That means you’re not as vulnerable to diabetes…” While I am not convinced by the one study that suggests red wine might make one less vulnerable to diabetes, I believe the other claims have more solid scientific results. But I was surprised, I admit, to learn ”You can drink Beaujolais early on, but the wines frequently open up three to five years after being bottled. They are precocious and aromatic, but round enough to have a lingering taste. The story had the requisite homegrown local who harbored resentments against everyone, the millionaire businessman who wanted to bottle wine but knew nothing of the process, the gorgeously-dressed, slim, blond marketing wizard…you get the picture. One intriguing character, Benjamin, was a French wine expert who I could have sworn was British. Beaujolais wines have a unique winemaking process call ‘whole-berry fermentation.’ The technique preserves the fruity quality without extracting tannins from the skins. The vintners in this novel considered “drawing out the vatting time and submerging the cap of grape skins during the maceration to enhance flavor and intensity, thinking it would preserve the fruity aromas and flavors while enhancing color and tannins. Who knows if it would have worked? They never got to try it, sadly. “From time immemorial, [Beaujolais Nouveau] has been celebrated when it’s young, at the start of fermentation. Centuries ago winemakers traded early in the year, and the yeast would complete its job while the barrels were in transit, moving slowly by carriage or boat along the Saône and Rhône rivers or up the Loire.”Beaujolais Nouveau commonly goes on sale in November and is meant to be enjoyed before May the following year.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Another joyful mystery novella in the Winemaker series. The duo of Benjamin and Virgile are called into to aid a businessman, Guillaume, to get his wine business going successfully. At a reception, a murder occurs. We discover that it is a realtor with whom Guillaume had once had an affair. There is great character development and interaction, like the tension between Benjamin and Guillaume. There are unexpected twists to keep your interest in the story. I love the relationship between Benjamin a Another joyful mystery novella in the Winemaker series. The duo of Benjamin and Virgile are called into to aid a businessman, Guillaume, to get his wine business going successfully. At a reception, a murder occurs. We discover that it is a realtor with whom Guillaume had once had an affair. There is great character development and interaction, like the tension between Benjamin and Guillaume. There are unexpected twists to keep your interest in the story. I love the relationship between Benjamin and Virgile, it is one of the reasons I want to continue reading this series. It is well plotted, humorous and educational on the region and wines. I would recommend the book to other readers. Many thanks to Le French, the publishers for a copy of the book via netgalley.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    3.5 Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. This is another installment in the Winemaker Detective series. Benjamin and his lustful apprentice Virgile are hired to evaluate a winery by its potential buyer, who is facing disapproval from his wife. Of course, as always, there appears a body. I once said that the series reminds me of Jessica Fletcher, and this is partly true. In many ways, however, it is the children of Murder, She Wrote and Midsummer Murders. That is largely true here, and, in fact, there i 3.5 Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. This is another installment in the Winemaker Detective series. Benjamin and his lustful apprentice Virgile are hired to evaluate a winery by its potential buyer, who is facing disapproval from his wife. Of course, as always, there appears a body. I once said that the series reminds me of Jessica Fletcher, and this is partly true. In many ways, however, it is the children of Murder, She Wrote and Midsummer Murders. That is largely true here, and, in fact, there is more Midsummer than Murder She Wrote. This installment is a little more adult than previous, and is closer to one of the stereotypes of the French that Americans have. Part of this is because the supporting characters get more room here. Overall, that’s a nice touch and removes some of the status quo feeling that sounds Benjamin and his circle. There are also some in jokes about writing. The charm of the series lies in the authors’ description of French country and country life, and this book does not let the reader down. In fact, there seems to be more emphasis on description of nature in this book. In part, this seems to be a desire to make a little known part of France better known. This also seems to be true of the discussion about wine and marketing. It’s a bit more issue oriented in this regard. This isn’t to say the discussion is dull; it’s not and you might find yourself recalling it when you next buy wine. A good entry into an enjoyable series. Honesty, there should be a vacation tour tied to this series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    One of the best to date I think in this winemaker series. A man has sold a chain of DIY stores in France and now fancies himself as quite the vineyard owner, so he asks Cooker and Virgile to give expert opinions on a run-down winery in the Beaujolais country before purchasing. The tour is a thorough one and we meet neighbours who resent the newcomer for various reasons - he grew up in the area so he has old enmities as well as new; the tycoon's wife is not pleased at the thought of leaving Paris One of the best to date I think in this winemaker series. A man has sold a chain of DIY stores in France and now fancies himself as quite the vineyard owner, so he asks Cooker and Virgile to give expert opinions on a run-down winery in the Beaujolais country before purchasing. The tour is a thorough one and we meet neighbours who resent the newcomer for various reasons - he grew up in the area so he has old enmities as well as new; the tycoon's wife is not pleased at the thought of leaving Paris to rusticate either. Plenty of expert knowledge about the famous young red wine, classic versus modern techniques, and down to earth Lyons cooking including tripe. All this and a couple of murders to solve. It's amazing how much the authors pack into these short books! The translation is excellent and there is no need to have read the earlier books, which explore France one wine country at a time. But do.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    "If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." Rene Descartes. All great mystery stories are based upon the above premise, for both the reader and the author must forge a path, leave or pick up tidbits on the trail, and thus discover premises and discard the dredges of false clues. Now, imagine that one is in the world of the wine vintner and that the story line pertains to the Beaujolais wine country and all "If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." Rene Descartes. All great mystery stories are based upon the above premise, for both the reader and the author must forge a path, leave or pick up tidbits on the trail, and thus discover premises and discard the dredges of false clues. Now, imagine that one is in the world of the wine vintner and that the story line pertains to the Beaujolais wine country and all the sundry inhabitants there. Wine, loves, rivalries and murder meet in the vineyards and wineries. This is a who-done-it that sneaks up on the reader and in the final third of the book adds a piece- de-resistance that the reader will not uncover on his own unless he is a detective on the side himself. "Backstabbing in Beaujolias" is an engrossing wine country mystery story. I would give this one a 3.5. Thank you, Net Galley.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melisende

    If you like wine or just want to learn more whilst enjoy a cosy mystery set in France, then these books are for you. They are easy to read, there is no overt violence, the descriptions of the scenery make the story come to life; and there is a great personal interaction between Benjamin and his protegee, Virgile. The stories are not overly long, and the pace is constant, all being riveting to the end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘He wanted the whole region to know he had arrived.’ Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile have been commissioned by Guillaume Périthiard to help restore a wine estate in Beaujolais. Although Guillaume Périthiard wants to become a major force in the region where he grew up, it seems that not everyone is happy with his plans. While Benjamin and Virgile are overseeing the restoration of the vines and the wine making equipment, they are also trying to find out who is trying to sabotage Guillaume ‘He wanted the whole region to know he had arrived.’ Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile have been commissioned by Guillaume Périthiard to help restore a wine estate in Beaujolais. Although Guillaume Périthiard wants to become a major force in the region where he grew up, it seems that not everyone is happy with his plans. While Benjamin and Virgile are overseeing the restoration of the vines and the wine making equipment, they are also trying to find out who is trying to sabotage Guillaume Périthiard's business interests. Then, when one of Périthiard's new employees dies while out hunting, things get even worse. Who is trying to sabotage Guillaume Périthiard and why? While this is the ninth instalment of the Winemaker Detective series, it is the first I’ve read in this series. While I found it both interesting and entertaining and the story stands alone, I’d like to read more of the series to get a better sense of the main characters and their backstories. In this particular story, I thought I’d worked out who the culprit was. I was wrong, and clearly I’ll need to pay more attention next time. I already have the tenth instalment ready to read. This is a comparatively short novel, with fewer than 200 pages, perfect to while away a short journey. I think that the setting will appeal to many, as will the food and wine references. Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Le French Book for the opportunity to read this novel. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    The numerous players with their severely flawed characters mixed with their unscrupulous entanglements made for a riveting backdrop to an exuberant mystery. Cooker showed his savvy side by not allowing Guillaume Périthiard to control or manipulate him due to their professional arrangement. I like the control/power struggle hanging in the air between these two accomplished and intelligent men. The vast personalities and circumstances of the characters really made the narrative. Quillebaud’s death The numerous players with their severely flawed characters mixed with their unscrupulous entanglements made for a riveting backdrop to an exuberant mystery. Cooker showed his savvy side by not allowing Guillaume Périthiard to control or manipulate him due to their professional arrangement. I like the control/power struggle hanging in the air between these two accomplished and intelligent men. The vast personalities and circumstances of the characters really made the narrative. Quillebaud’s death provided a stealth twist, throwing this amateur sleuth off course, well done. Cooker and Virgile’s witty banter always entertain. Food, wine, literature and art served with a clever mystery always leave me craving more from the twosome of Alaux and Balen. As always I enjoy receiving a delicious education in food and wine, in this instance specifically the regional cuisine of Lyon and Beaujolais wine. Riveting from the first page as the mystery simmers until it is smartly deduced. Alaux and Balen provide yet another well crafted mystery with renaissance man Cooker and his trusted charming acolyte Virgile.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ken Fredette

    Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen wrote Backstabbing in Beaujolais with several twists in it which were involved in the play on backstabbing. There were several red herrings in this book. It was nice to read this murder mystery and be able to finish it in one go. I would recommend it to people who need a change of pace. Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen wrote Backstabbing in Beaujolais with several twists in it which were involved in the play on backstabbing. There were several red herrings in this book. It was nice to read this murder mystery and be able to finish it in one go. I would recommend it to people who need a change of pace.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    I had never heard of this author or collection prior to receiving this galley. I was pleased with the selection, however, I am far from a vintner, so I had to do some research while reading for full comprehension. I also wanted it to be longer! I am excited to read more, hopefully longer, adventures from this author!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Backstabbing in Beaujolais I love these books! This is my second read in the series and the gourmet aspect of the characters - wine, cars, cigars - just keep on getting better and more fascinating. The mystery is like the fluid of a ragout, keeping everything afloat and moving along. Bit it is the sweet and savory islands of good taste that really make the books worth reading. No arrogance or pretension here, every sip, bite, and experience is delivered at a level easily enjoyed and experienced b Backstabbing in Beaujolais I love these books! This is my second read in the series and the gourmet aspect of the characters - wine, cars, cigars - just keep on getting better and more fascinating. The mystery is like the fluid of a ragout, keeping everything afloat and moving along. Bit it is the sweet and savory islands of good taste that really make the books worth reading. No arrogance or pretension here, every sip, bite, and experience is delivered at a level easily enjoyed and experienced by the reader. Bon appétit!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sherry McWilliams

    Freebie for review. A mystery set between information on wine making etc. The mystery was interesting, the characters also. This is the second time I've waded through all the wine info to follow the mystery. I find the wine making detective interesting. Freebie for review. A mystery set between information on wine making etc. The mystery was interesting, the characters also. This is the second time I've waded through all the wine info to follow the mystery. I find the wine making detective interesting.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review and rated it 4 out of 5 stars. Just when you thought it was safe to drink the wine....... The ninth entry in the Winemaker Detective series, Backstabbing in Beaujolais, by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen begins at an outdoor reception being hosted by a newly opened vineyard. A reception where the body of a dead woman is found floating in one of the wine vats. Continuing to develop the relationship I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review and rated it 4 out of 5 stars. Just when you thought it was safe to drink the wine....... The ninth entry in the Winemaker Detective series, Backstabbing in Beaujolais, by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen begins at an outdoor reception being hosted by a newly opened vineyard. A reception where the body of a dead woman is found floating in one of the wine vats. Continuing to develop the relationship between their characters, and further establishing their ability to solve crimes, the reader is taken along on their journey as they discover who committed the crime. Fans of this series will find this to be another riveting adventure for Benjamin and Virgile while new readers will no doubt enjoy getting their first taste. Departing from their usual style, the authors begin this adventure with the discovery of the dead woman. A woman both wine expert Benjamin Cooker, and his apprentice Virgile Lanssien, know and have dealt with in the recent past. Using a “flashback” to tell the story, we learn about Benjamin and Virgile’s journey to the Beaujolais region in France to meet with Guillame Perithiard. A wealthy businessman who has decided to return to the area of his birth and start a second career as a wine producer. While Mr. Perithiard is used to getting his way, and is used to having the best that money can buy, he can only get Benjamin to inspect the vines and buildings of the vineyard he plans to purchase. Providing a report on the quality of the soil and plants is as far as Benjamin is willing to involve himself in the man’s newest endeavor. Once again the authors treat the readers to the beauty of France by providing a glimpse into a different region, the wines produced in the area and the local cuisine. All explained in the guise of Benjamin’s lessons to Virgile, who continues to benefit from his teacher’s vast experience. Introducing a handful of new characters, it’s clear that Benjamin is not only an expert in food and wine but also in how to make friends and influence people’s choices. I wish I had the time and money to take a trip to the region where this story takes place just so I could sample the wines and eat all of the same foods myself. The mystery is well developed and takes several twists and turns. While the dead woman is one of the characters we meet early in the story, she’s the real-estate agent who sold the vineyard to Mr. Perithiard, it takes a while to discover why someone would want to kill her and how she ended up in the vat. Especially since she’s quite beautiful and talented with dealing with people too. The story’s pace is good and the author’s writing style is well established and easy to follow. Will Benjamin and Virgile be able to discover the identity of the killer? Will the new vineyard and the wine it produces be ruined as a result of the crime? You’ll have to read Backstabbing at Beaujolais to fine out. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to read about Benjamin and Virgile’s next adventure.

  15. 5 out of 5

    DelAnne Frazee

    Title: Backstabbing In Beaujolais - Winemaker Detective Mystery 9 Author: Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen Translator: Anne Trager Published: 11-19-2015 Publisher: Le French Book Pages: 163 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine ISBN: 9781939474537 ASIN: B016J0NXKI Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars . Traveling to the Beaujolais region to meet with Guillame Perithiard A wealthy business man who has decided he wish Title: Backstabbing In Beaujolais - Winemaker Detective Mystery 9 Author: Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen Translator: Anne Trager Published: 11-19-2015 Publisher: Le French Book Pages: 163 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine ISBN: 9781939474537 ASIN: B016J0NXKI Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars . Traveling to the Beaujolais region to meet with Guillame Perithiard A wealthy business man who has decided he wishes to buy a vineyard in Beaujolais where he grew up. He is pushy and wants to become a premier Vintner immediately without taking time to build the property back up. There is also the pesky saboteur who is trying to get him out before he even opens. Add in a murder or two and you have a cozy mystery to fall into. With so much going on this is a busy Winemaker Detective book. Again Virgile takes center stage with the investigation while Benjamin is away. His character continues to grow. Benjamin is trying to learn patience which he needs when dealing with Perithiard, a car accident and the vandalism. As always the writing of Alaux & Balen leaves you feeling you are able envision the scenic beauty of Beaujolais. So much so that you can almost reach out to sample the sweetness of the grapes. I look forward to reading more in this series and hope that Le French Book has plans to publish the remaining eleven books in the Winemaker Detective series. Beaujolais is the ninth book in the series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone. I can tell you though that these are addictive and you will be looking to read the other books in the series. On the positive side you will get to watch the growth of the characters from one bookto the other. My rating is 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01... Barnes and Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/backs... GoodReads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... The Reading Room link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Stoeckel

    [ I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising] “‘ Instead of what our imagination makes us suppose… life gives us something that we could hardly imagine,’” Benjamin sai [ I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising] “‘ Instead of what our imagination makes us suppose… life gives us something that we could hardly imagine,’” Benjamin said Another wonderful story in the Winemaker Detective series has come out, and I am estatic at another chance to travel to France without a passport! This time, Benjamin Cooker and his apprentice Virgile find themselves in the middle of a crumbling winery as a millionaire: Guillaume Périthiard and his real estate agent are about to buy it. Self- taught, Périthiard thinks that everything will come up well if you hire the right people and toss enough money at them. Hence, Cooker and Co. were called as consultants. It will also give Cooker a chance to catch up with an old friend from his school days, Edmund, and his wife. Business and pleasure intertwine as they always seem to do, although Cooker does leave Virgile behind as he returns to home base, letting the new vitner know that he can't be bought. Juggling begins as the millionaire's original hire to sell the product dies while hunting and they caste about for the culprit, who remains hidden. Cooker sends him a replacement who, to his delight works out even better. As wonderful as the outcome can be, a lot of tedium comes with winemaking as we are reminded. In true Cooker style however, this wind up decenty and in order....now if Cooker can keep Virgile and his daughter apart, his life will again settle down...or will it? I have loved this series since it's first attempt at conquering the US a few years back. I learn new things every time about vinoculture and bottling and just how much Mr. Cooker loves his Cuban Cigars, wine, music and his wife...but maybe not in that order. My only problem is how short they are!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    Guillaume Périthiard has spent thirty years building a business empire and after selling it, is still young enough to enjoy his billions. But retirement is not in the cards for him; his new dream is to buy a vineyard and begin producing a premier Beaujolais Nouveau. The fact that his wife has no desire to leave their home in Versailles and move to the provinces has no bearing on his decision-making. So who would he call to advise him on the purchase of a defunct vineyard other than the premier w Guillaume Périthiard has spent thirty years building a business empire and after selling it, is still young enough to enjoy his billions. But retirement is not in the cards for him; his new dream is to buy a vineyard and begin producing a premier Beaujolais Nouveau. The fact that his wife has no desire to leave their home in Versailles and move to the provinces has no bearing on his decision-making. So who would he call to advise him on the purchase of a defunct vineyard other than the premier winemaker and critic, Benjamin Cooker. Mr. Cooker is more than happy to help (for a very large fee) but refuses to be bulldozed by the hard-driving businessman. Guillaume manages to offend quite a few people in the region. He hires away two employees of the powerful wine merchant family of Dujaray; one a Dujaray family member. He gets involved with a local real estate agent, hires a cousin with a long-standing grudge against him, and let's not forget his unhappy wife. What follows is vandalism escalating to murder and can only be solved by Benjamin Cooker and his assistant, Virgile. Backstabbing in Beaujolais is aptly titled as well as being a very entertaining read. As usual with this series, one learns about a new region of France, and much about wine and wonderful food. I really enjoy this series, perfect for an evening read and I look forward to the next visit with Benjamin, Virgile and the other characters in the Winemaker Detective series. Thanks to NetGalley and Le French Book for an advance digital copy. RATING- 3 Stars

  18. 4 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    My first adventure with Benjamin Cooker, the winemaker detective, and his assistant, Virgile Lanssien, was charming from the standpoint of the wine culture and the regional atmosphere in the Beaujolais area of France. As to the mystery portion of the novel, definitely not a favorite for me. This is the style of novel where the crime is discovered in the first portion of the book and then the author takes the reader back in time to establish the characters and possible motives for the crime. This My first adventure with Benjamin Cooker, the winemaker detective, and his assistant, Virgile Lanssien, was charming from the standpoint of the wine culture and the regional atmosphere in the Beaujolais area of France. As to the mystery portion of the novel, definitely not a favorite for me. This is the style of novel where the crime is discovered in the first portion of the book and then the author takes the reader back in time to establish the characters and possible motives for the crime. This isn't usually a problem for me even though I am likely to have to go back later to refresh my memory for what was going on when the crime was first discovered. This is a very short novel (less than 200 pages) so it doesn't take much time to read it. I was disappointed that the mystery was solved so quickly and with such a little bit of the investigative process as soon as the story reached the point once again of the crime being discovered. For readers interested in wine history and knowledge concerning the Beaujolais region and the Beaujolais Nouveau wine in particular this is a charming little story. The novel first appeared in 2005 and was translated from the French by Anne Trager, the founder of Le French Book. There are quite a few other books in the series. I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    I think that rating would really be more like two-and-a-half stars, on my scale. Backstabbing in Beaujolais is the first of the Winemaker Detective books I've read, so I won't pass judgment on the whole series. And this one got such glowing reviews here at GoodReads and Amazon, maybe I was expecting too much: I was all set to be dazzled. But now that I've finished the book, I'm wondering what all the uproar was about. It was passably entertaining and a very fast read -- I think it took me about I think that rating would really be more like two-and-a-half stars, on my scale. Backstabbing in Beaujolais is the first of the Winemaker Detective books I've read, so I won't pass judgment on the whole series. And this one got such glowing reviews here at GoodReads and Amazon, maybe I was expecting too much: I was all set to be dazzled. But now that I've finished the book, I'm wondering what all the uproar was about. It was passably entertaining and a very fast read -- I think it took me about two hours, and I'm a really slow reader. Not much of a mystery, though. The book starts out promisingly enough with a dead body discovered in a vat of Beaujolais. But then there's a flashback to three months earlier, and we don't really get back to that murder until near the end of the book. And by that point I thought it was pretty obvious "who dunnit" and I was beginning not to care. There was naturally a lot of talk about wine and wine-making and wine country, which I expected and enjoyed. I was just hoping for a little more suspense. But I did like the central characters, wine expert Benjamin Cooker and his assistant Virgile, and wouldn't mind getting to know them a little better -- so I'm still planning to try one of the earlier books in the series, just to be fair.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maria Beltrami

    Set among the vineyards of Beaujolais, this mistery is as fresh as a Beaujolais Nouveau and equally inconsistent. Two deads and a maliciuos accident sprinkle the plot, dramas whose solution requires just a couple of minutes to the nice couple of winemakers which act as amateur detectives. That said, this is the perfect book to cheer up a dull afternoon and clear off the mind from the many complications of life, not to mention that the English translation is very well done, as always for books by Set among the vineyards of Beaujolais, this mistery is as fresh as a Beaujolais Nouveau and equally inconsistent. Two deads and a maliciuos accident sprinkle the plot, dramas whose solution requires just a couple of minutes to the nice couple of winemakers which act as amateur detectives. That said, this is the perfect book to cheer up a dull afternoon and clear off the mind from the many complications of life, not to mention that the English translation is very well done, as always for books by this publisher. Thanks to Le French Book and Netgalley for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Ambientato tra i vigneti del Beaujolais, questo giallo è fresco come un Beaujolais Noveau e altrettanto inconsistente. Ben due morti e un grave incidente doloso costellano la trama, drammi la cui soluzione richiede giusto un paio di minuti alla simpatica coppia di enologi che fungono da investigatori dilettanti. Detto questo, è un libro perfetto per rallegrare un pomeriggio uggioso e togliersi dalla testa le troppe complicazioni della vita, senza contare che la traduzione inglese è molto ben fatta, come sempre per i libri di questo editore. Ringrazio Le French Book e Netgalley per avermi concesso una copia gratuita in cambio di una recensione onesta.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    As someone who enjoys quaffing the occasional glass of wine, I always find these stories satisfying on several levels. There is always a murder (two this time) for Benjamin Cocker to solve with his trusty assistant Virgile. They are never mysteries that have the reader on pins and needles. They are interesting but seldom high in the suspense department- more of a gentle mystery. The stories always provide background on one of the wine-growing regions of France and teach the reader much about what As someone who enjoys quaffing the occasional glass of wine, I always find these stories satisfying on several levels. There is always a murder (two this time) for Benjamin Cocker to solve with his trusty assistant Virgile. They are never mysteries that have the reader on pins and needles. They are interesting but seldom high in the suspense department- more of a gentle mystery. The stories always provide background on one of the wine-growing regions of France and teach the reader much about whatever wine is highlighted. This time it is Beaujolais which has gone from being very chic to being maligned and is fighting its way back to prominence. As someone who awaited the Noveau every November in the 1970's and 80's, it was really interesting to learn of its long history. Before Kindles, I was an awful cheater. I would flip to the end of the book if I was reading a mystery to find out whodunit and if my favourite characters survived, I have seldom suffered the frustration of not having the printed page to turn with this series. The stories just seem more mellow and not requiring any fast-tracking. If you are a suspense junkie, these may not be your books. But if you can sip and enjoy a story that has a smooth delivery, this might be just to your palate. Like a fine wine.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Thomas

    The story begins with a body found in a wine barrel and then jumps back three months. Guillaume Perithiard hires Benjamin Coker to assess a winery for a possible purchase. Benjamin sees potential and recommends the buy. He wants to make Beaujolais Nouveau, the best variety of Beaujolais. Laurent Quillebaud dies in a hunting accident. After his death, it becomes known he had AIDS. This leaves some to question if it was an accident, murder or suicide. Perithiard believes Benjamin would be available The story begins with a body found in a wine barrel and then jumps back three months. Guillaume Perithiard hires Benjamin Coker to assess a winery for a possible purchase. Benjamin sees potential and recommends the buy. He wants to make Beaujolais Nouveau, the best variety of Beaujolais. Laurent Quillebaud dies in a hunting accident. After his death, it becomes known he had AIDS. This leaves some to question if it was an accident, murder or suicide. Perithiard believes Benjamin would be available at his disposal, which is far from the case. Benjamin then finds an estate agent, Annabelle Malisset, for him. Being a beautiful woman is a bonus. Perithiard hires her on the spot. Perithiard’s affair with Solene Chavannes, cools off but it is too last, his wife, Berangere, found out about it and begins making demands. Things get interesting when someone begins vandalizing the estate. It is anyone’s guess who is behind it. Everyone begins to point a finger. There are so many people guilty of something but who is the murderer and why? This is the ninth book in the Winemaker Detective book series. Each book in the series spotlights a different type of wine. I recommend this book to anyone interested in cozy mysteries, wine or French regions.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    When was the last time you had a good Beaujolais Nouveau? No, I don’t mean one you bought from your favorite wine store and sipped in the comfort at home. I mean there – in the Beaujolais wine district itself in France. If your answer was there was no last time because there was no first time, then you have a great reason to treat yourself and to head to France and try a glass – try just drinking one glass! Of course you will go with a friend or lover and spend more than a day there – and you migh When was the last time you had a good Beaujolais Nouveau? No, I don’t mean one you bought from your favorite wine store and sipped in the comfort at home. I mean there – in the Beaujolais wine district itself in France. If your answer was there was no last time because there was no first time, then you have a great reason to treat yourself and to head to France and try a glass – try just drinking one glass! Of course you will go with a friend or lover and spend more than a day there – and you might just meet Benjamin Cooker – you have heard of him, right? The author of THE COOKER GUIDE TO WINE – and his young assistant, Virgile? And I imagine if you buy them a meal and let them choose the wine, the might just tell you their latest intrigue in Beaujolais – that a couple of excellent writers have described with imagination, suspense, a dash of humor and romance – and the gentleness of Benjamin Coooker himself. If you don’t meet either Benjamin Cooker or his assistant, then you will have to visit France via BACKSTABBING IN BEAUJOLAIS – and don’t’ forget that bottle to sip from as you do!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mave

    I love more and more this series, the books are short but very funny and interesting with intriguing mysteries to solve, lovable characters, many notions about wines and their production and a wonderful region of France to visit. In this new episode we know another beautiful area, Beaujolais. Benjamin and Virgile leave Bordeaux to help Guillaume Périthiard, a self-made billionaire who has decided to invest his money in the production of wine. He wants to become one of the largest winemaker, altho I love more and more this series, the books are short but very funny and interesting with intriguing mysteries to solve, lovable characters, many notions about wines and their production and a wonderful region of France to visit. In this new episode we know another beautiful area, Beaujolais. Benjamin and Virgile leave Bordeaux to help Guillaume Périthiard, a self-made billionaire who has decided to invest his money in the production of wine. He wants to become one of the largest winemaker, although his wife would have preferred him to do a quiet retreat. He has visited a beautiful estate with some hectares of vineyards in Beaujolais and wants the advice of Benjamin to verify if it can be a good deal. This is the ninth book in the series but can also be read as a stand alone. I would love to see even the TV series, I'd love to see those wonderful places that Virgile and Benjamin have visited in the various episodes. It's the ideal reading for a relaxing afternoon, perhaps with a glass of wine.

  25. 5 out of 5

    pdarnold

    I received this eBook via Netgalley for review. Better this time around. The characters are given more depth. The story moves along smoothly and the descriptions take me there to the wine country of France. Benjamin is called upon by a larger than life businessman, who seeks success no matter the cost, to consult him about buying a vineyard. The usual characters are here again, Virgile is given more responsibility, his "womanizing" ways not as problematic this time. Benjamin almost despises takin I received this eBook via Netgalley for review. Better this time around. The characters are given more depth. The story moves along smoothly and the descriptions take me there to the wine country of France. Benjamin is called upon by a larger than life businessman, who seeks success no matter the cost, to consult him about buying a vineyard. The usual characters are here again, Virgile is given more responsibility, his "womanizing" ways not as problematic this time. Benjamin almost despises taking on this client with his self importance and pompous attitude. Again, descriptive dialogue, well detailed scenery and views into the local area. One graphic sexual scene, that really felt as if it were thrown in for the heck of it. It came from out of nowhere and did not add to the story in my opinion. All in all, another fun ride with Benjamin Cooper and his assistant Virgile.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Hall

    Benjamin and Virgile are back! This time they are cleaning up the Beaujolais region. This is one of the best book series I've read in some time. If you are new to this series Benjamin is a wine expert and amateur sleuth who has a knack of solving ghastly murders and mysteries involving wine. Virgile is his assistant and is learning the trade so to speak. They get involved in all sorts of nasty goings on and this story is no exception. I understand that this book series has been made into a TV series i Benjamin and Virgile are back! This time they are cleaning up the Beaujolais region. This is one of the best book series I've read in some time. If you are new to this series Benjamin is a wine expert and amateur sleuth who has a knack of solving ghastly murders and mysteries involving wine. Virgile is his assistant and is learning the trade so to speak. They get involved in all sorts of nasty goings on and this story is no exception. I understand that this book series has been made into a TV series in France and would be interested to know if it is ever going to be shown in the UK. Very Highly recommended. I was given a digital copy by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review, which I am delighted to do.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    Another enjoyable installment with Benjamin Cooker and a lot of wine. This case begins with Cooker being hired by a hotshot executive to turn a vineyard into a success by creating a new wine. The book discusses the Beaujolais nouveau market and includes a variety of family and romantic dramas. The murder in this case has a different motivation than previous books. And Cooker is in a professional situation that makes him somewhat uncomfortable. We get to see him go toe-to-toe with a rich man whos Another enjoyable installment with Benjamin Cooker and a lot of wine. This case begins with Cooker being hired by a hotshot executive to turn a vineyard into a success by creating a new wine. The book discusses the Beaujolais nouveau market and includes a variety of family and romantic dramas. The murder in this case has a different motivation than previous books. And Cooker is in a professional situation that makes him somewhat uncomfortable. We get to see him go toe-to-toe with a rich man whose business he wants, and it's a different side that I've seen so far (not having read the first few books yet). I'm very much looking forward to reading the earlier books and the next one in the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jo Dervan

    This is the newest in the Winemaker Detective series. Benjamin Cooker, the wine detective was hired to advise Guillame Perithiard, a wealthy native of Beaujolais who wants to make a name for himself producing Beaujolais wine. So Benjamin and his assistant Virgile, help with the planting of grapes and the caves. There are many obstacles put in the way by locals who object to the new winery but finally the first vintage is ready. So Perithiard throws a large reception at the vineyard and Solene, a This is the newest in the Winemaker Detective series. Benjamin Cooker, the wine detective was hired to advise Guillame Perithiard, a wealthy native of Beaujolais who wants to make a name for himself producing Beaujolais wine. So Benjamin and his assistant Virgile, help with the planting of grapes and the caves. There are many obstacles put in the way by locals who object to the new winery but finally the first vintage is ready. So Perithiard throws a large reception at the vineyard and Solene, a realtor that he had once had an affair, turns up dead in a large vat. Benjamin and Virgile solve the mystery of who murdered Solene as well as who is responsible for sabotage of the winery. Once again, we learn about a region of France where grapes are cultivated and wine produced.

  29. 4 out of 5

    A Holland Reads

    I am so happy that I got to visit the Winemaker Detective series again. In this book you will not find a lot of bloody graphics but what you will find is great characters, a murder, suspense and a whole list of suspects. You may also learn a little about wine and the area where it comes with, as with each of these books they are titled after a wine. It is nice to enjoy the descriptions these authors use in their story as it really makes the book come alive. I also like that they are shorter and I am so happy that I got to visit the Winemaker Detective series again. In this book you will not find a lot of bloody graphics but what you will find is great characters, a murder, suspense and a whole list of suspects. You may also learn a little about wine and the area where it comes with, as with each of these books they are titled after a wine. It is nice to enjoy the descriptions these authors use in their story as it really makes the book come alive. I also like that they are shorter and quicker to read. In fact you could read this book in one sitting. This book is a part of a series but you should have no problems reading it as a stand alone. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    Part of a long series, these books are always fresh. Quite different from the others so far, "Backstabbing in Beaujolais" uses foreshadowing for the opening chapter by beginning with the finding of a body then backtracking in time and spending a good portion of the book leading up to the murder. There are quite a few suspects and some French hanky-panky but this one of the cozier cases of the series. I particularly liked the epilogue which gave a "what are they up to now" on all the non-regular Part of a long series, these books are always fresh. Quite different from the others so far, "Backstabbing in Beaujolais" uses foreshadowing for the opening chapter by beginning with the finding of a body then backtracking in time and spending a good portion of the book leading up to the murder. There are quite a few suspects and some French hanky-panky but this one of the cozier cases of the series. I particularly liked the epilogue which gave a "what are they up to now" on all the non-regular participants in the story. Not my favourite entry in the Cooker series but certainly a fun entry along the way. There are hints Margaux may be coming home and I can't wait to see if she will appear in the next book.

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