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Ellen Crosby pours up another corking mystery with The Angels' Share, an intriguing blend of secret societies, Prohibition bootleg wine, and potentially scandalous documents hidden by the Founding Fathers, all of which yield a vintage murder. When Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party for friends and neighbors at Hawthorne Castle, an honest-to-goodness cast Ellen Crosby pours up another corking mystery with The Angels' Share, an intriguing blend of secret societies, Prohibition bootleg wine, and potentially scandalous documents hidden by the Founding Fathers, all of which yield a vintage murder. When Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party for friends and neighbors at Hawthorne Castle, an honest-to-goodness castle owned by the Avery family, the last great newspaper dynasty in America and owner of the Washington Tribune, she doesn’t expect the festive occasion to end in death. During the party, Prescott Avery, the 95-year old family patriarch, invites Lucie to his fabulous wine cellar where he offers to pay any price for a cache of 200-year-old Madeira that her great-great-uncle, a Prohibition bootlegger, discovered hidden in the US Capitol in the 1920s. Lucie knows nothing about the valuable wine, believing her late father, a notorious gambler and spendthrift, probably sold or drank it. By the end of the party Lucie and her fiancé, winemaker Quinn Santori, discover Prescott’s body lying in his wine cellar. Is one of the guests a murderer? As Lucie searches for the lost Madeira, which she believes links Prescott’s death to a cryptic letter her father owned, she learns about Prescott’s affiliation with the Freemasons. More investigating hints at a mysterious vault supposedly containing documents hidden by the Founding Fathers and a possible tie to William Shakespeare. If Lucie finds the long-lost documents, the explosive revelations could change history. But will she uncover a three hundred-year-old secret before a determined killer finds her?


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Ellen Crosby pours up another corking mystery with The Angels' Share, an intriguing blend of secret societies, Prohibition bootleg wine, and potentially scandalous documents hidden by the Founding Fathers, all of which yield a vintage murder. When Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party for friends and neighbors at Hawthorne Castle, an honest-to-goodness cast Ellen Crosby pours up another corking mystery with The Angels' Share, an intriguing blend of secret societies, Prohibition bootleg wine, and potentially scandalous documents hidden by the Founding Fathers, all of which yield a vintage murder. When Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party for friends and neighbors at Hawthorne Castle, an honest-to-goodness castle owned by the Avery family, the last great newspaper dynasty in America and owner of the Washington Tribune, she doesn’t expect the festive occasion to end in death. During the party, Prescott Avery, the 95-year old family patriarch, invites Lucie to his fabulous wine cellar where he offers to pay any price for a cache of 200-year-old Madeira that her great-great-uncle, a Prohibition bootlegger, discovered hidden in the US Capitol in the 1920s. Lucie knows nothing about the valuable wine, believing her late father, a notorious gambler and spendthrift, probably sold or drank it. By the end of the party Lucie and her fiancé, winemaker Quinn Santori, discover Prescott’s body lying in his wine cellar. Is one of the guests a murderer? As Lucie searches for the lost Madeira, which she believes links Prescott’s death to a cryptic letter her father owned, she learns about Prescott’s affiliation with the Freemasons. More investigating hints at a mysterious vault supposedly containing documents hidden by the Founding Fathers and a possible tie to William Shakespeare. If Lucie finds the long-lost documents, the explosive revelations could change history. But will she uncover a three hundred-year-old secret before a determined killer finds her?

30 review for The Angels' Share

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    Ellen Crosby is truly one of those authors I always enjoy. Though the wine Country Mysteries is a series about murder and wine, it is almost like a history lesson (in a great way) that you don't want to end. These books combine all the things I love about reading and other pastimes, and someday I will need to visit the area. My cousin moved there a few years ago, so I need to get a trip together. That's a story for another day... today, we're gonna chat about the latest book in this series, The Ellen Crosby is truly one of those authors I always enjoy. Though the wine Country Mysteries is a series about murder and wine, it is almost like a history lesson (in a great way) that you don't want to end. These books combine all the things I love about reading and other pastimes, and someday I will need to visit the area. My cousin moved there a few years ago, so I need to get a trip together. That's a story for another day... today, we're gonna chat about the latest book in this series, The Angels' Share. For those who don't know, the Angels' share is the missing spirits that disappear out of a barrel of whiskey (and other alcohols) from the time you finish preparing it to the moment you open it up to taste. Sometimes you lose a tiny amount, others you're at a loss for how much has evaporated... thus, the angels took a share again. In this 10th book, a highly sought after and expensive amount of Madeira wine has apparently gone missing. Lucie didn't even know about it until a 95-year-old distant family member tells her he must have a bottle at any price. Did her father drink it? Sell it? Destroy it? What's more confusing is why the distant family member must have it. Then, Lucie learns the truth. He has an unknown copy of a document, is searching for a lost historical treasure, and knew a secret about the birth of America. How does it all come together? In his murder of course... I read this book in three hours without a break. I always do with a Crosby. Sometimes she takes a five to ten page jaunt away from the murder to tell us the history of a wine or a famous person from centuries ago... but it always ties into the murder, and I love following the path. I think her writing is simple and strong, yet has strength and beauty. I learn a few new words but I never see any fluff. The plot of the mystery is quite strong, and there are multiple suspects, but it was easy to figure out the guilty party. It didn't matter much, as I found the entire story highly intriguing. The descriptions of buildings and the Masons was so vivid, I felt like I was in Jamestown at the original American settlement. Lucie's life moves forward. We have a fantastic map and family tree to sort everyone out. We meet some of our favorite supporting characters. And we have a few new friends who stop by. I cannot believe it'll be another year before the next one falls into my lap. I understand why though... as Crosby researches an incredible amount to ensure the story feels as realistic and solid as possible. If you love history, quests for missing documents, can close one eye at a few impossible items (which the author clearly tells us in the intro that she made up a few things)... you will undoubtedly love this series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gail C.

    THE ANGEL’S SHARE by Ellen Crosby is the tenth in the Wine Country Mystery series. The story stands on its own and can be read without having read the previous books in the series. However, the reader may feel a little lost trying to sort out the secondary characters and their relationship to Lucie, the central character in the book. If you plan on reading the series, it is probably advisable to read them in order so that you can understand as relationships develop. This book is long on historic THE ANGEL’S SHARE by Ellen Crosby is the tenth in the Wine Country Mystery series. The story stands on its own and can be read without having read the previous books in the series. However, the reader may feel a little lost trying to sort out the secondary characters and their relationship to Lucie, the central character in the book. If you plan on reading the series, it is probably advisable to read them in order so that you can understand as relationships develop. This book is long on historic information regarding the founding fathers without feeling like a history book. There is enough information for a reader’s interest to become piqued and for them to decide to do further reading on their own. There were some facts and interesting actions that are historically accurate which were new to me, which is always a bonus when reading a book. There was also a fair amount of “Christmas” feel to the book. This came from both the discussion of decorations for the winery Lucie owns and the town celebration she attends toward the end of the book. If you are looking for something that might ease you into the holiday spirit, this book might do the trick. There is enough here to whet your appetite without being so overwhelming you feel engulfed. Where the book is lacking is in the mystery itself; or rather the solving of the mystery. The murder is a variation of a “locked room” murder and suspects abound. Where the book comes up short is in the lack of clues and red herrings that will allow the reader to feel as if they are working to solve the murder as they read the book. Instead, there is plenty of information about the area, the people in the book, etc. but no solid evidence beyond one fact early in the novel. In the end, the solution is simply presented when Lucie and the murderer confront one another. The book is well written with good character development, excellent descriptions of place and interesting information that has been thoroughly researched. All of these factors combine to provide an enjoyable read, just not the best mystery in my experience. It’s certainly worth reading, particularly if you want to get a taste for the season and add some interesting historical facts to your knowledge base. My thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced digital read copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Another excellent installment in the Wine Country series. Set in Virginia horse-country during the holiday season, this book bring together a great puzzle of a uber-wealthy deceased patriarch and his family's interwoven tensions and betrayals, twists of early American and Shakespearean historical fiction, and the continuing relationship of Lucie and Quinn. I never knew that "the angel's share" means that portion of alcohol which is lost to evaporation when the liquid is aged in oak barrels. This Another excellent installment in the Wine Country series. Set in Virginia horse-country during the holiday season, this book bring together a great puzzle of a uber-wealthy deceased patriarch and his family's interwoven tensions and betrayals, twists of early American and Shakespearean historical fiction, and the continuing relationship of Lucie and Quinn. I never knew that "the angel's share" means that portion of alcohol which is lost to evaporation when the liquid is aged in oak barrels. This is definitely one of my favorite series and I look forward to what is next for the vineyard and Lucie and Quinn's future! Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an ARC. My review is voluntary.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I loved this book! The combination of Virginia wineries, countryside and history got me involved in the story right from the start! And this book was even more interesting than some of the author's previous books in the series. Ellen Crosby brings the colonial past front and center into the plot right from the start! She hooked me in the first chapter. Her writing and characters are spot-on for my reading palette! If you have not read any in this series, I suggest you start at the beginning becau I loved this book! The combination of Virginia wineries, countryside and history got me involved in the story right from the start! And this book was even more interesting than some of the author's previous books in the series. Ellen Crosby brings the colonial past front and center into the plot right from the start! She hooked me in the first chapter. Her writing and characters are spot-on for my reading palette! If you have not read any in this series, I suggest you start at the beginning because the characters to build with each book. But it can be read as a standalone. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press-Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and review this book by one of my favorite authors!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sue Em

    4 1/2 stars rounding up Set in the wine country of Virginia,, this series combines a current mystery with historical ones. This one delves into missing documents, a Jeffersonian hand written Declaration of Independence and the authorship of Shakespearean plays. Fascinating and enthralling, I had to ding it a 1/2 star as the current mystery is not as well developed as in previous volumes. This is the 10th in the series and it functions fine as a standalone, but for true enjoyment, I would recommen 4 1/2 stars rounding up Set in the wine country of Virginia,, this series combines a current mystery with historical ones. This one delves into missing documents, a Jeffersonian hand written Declaration of Independence and the authorship of Shakespearean plays. Fascinating and enthralling, I had to ding it a 1/2 star as the current mystery is not as well developed as in previous volumes. This is the 10th in the series and it functions fine as a standalone, but for true enjoyment, I would recommend adding the rest to your TBR. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    When you read a series, over time it becomes less about the interest in the mystery and more about catching up with the characters and where their lives are taking them. This is one of my favorite mystery series because I lived in Northern Virginia for a while, so the locations are familiar. The murder mystery was not difficult to solve, but the historical mystery relating to Washington, Madison, and Jefferson was much more interesting as was the tie-in to Shakespeare. I'll be visiting VA next m When you read a series, over time it becomes less about the interest in the mystery and more about catching up with the characters and where their lives are taking them. This is one of my favorite mystery series because I lived in Northern Virginia for a while, so the locations are familiar. The murder mystery was not difficult to solve, but the historical mystery relating to Washington, Madison, and Jefferson was much more interesting as was the tie-in to Shakespeare. I'll be visiting VA next month, and am adding the Folger Museum to my list of things to do while I'm there. "When Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party for friends and neighbors at Hawthorne Castle, an honest-to-goodness castle owned by the Avery family, the last great newspaper dynasty in America and owner of the Washington Tribune, she doesn’t expect the festive occasion to end in death. During the party, Prescott Avery, the 95-year old family patriarch, invites Lucie to his fabulous wine cellar where he offers to pay any price for a cache of 200-year-old Madeira that her great-great-uncle, a Prohibition bootlegger, discovered hidden in the US Capitol in the 1920s. Lucie knows nothing about the valuable wine, believing her late father, a notorious gambler and spendthrift, probably sold or drank it. By the end of the party Lucie and her fiancé, winemaker Quinn Santori, discover Prescott’s body lying in his wine cellar. Is one of the guests a murderer?vvAs Lucie searches for the lost Madeira, which she believes links Prescott’s death to a cryptic letter her father owned, she learns about Prescott’s affiliation with the Freemasons. More investigating hints at a mysterious vault supposedly containing documents hidden by the Founding Fathers and a possible tie to William Shakespeare. If Lucie finds the long-lost documents, the explosive revelations could change history. But will she uncover a three hundred-year-old secret before a determined killer finds her?"

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda Smatzny

    In this book, the main character, Lucie Montgomery, has a secret meeting with an old man shortly before he is killed. He tells Lucie some things that she didn't know about her father which sends her in search of answers. There is history involved about Jamestown and Shakespeare. I received this book for free through the Goodreads First Read program. The book was a quick easy read. In this book, the main character, Lucie Montgomery, has a secret meeting with an old man shortly before he is killed. He tells Lucie some things that she didn't know about her father which sends her in search of answers. There is history involved about Jamestown and Shakespeare. I received this book for free through the Goodreads First Read program. The book was a quick easy read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I'm officially caught up on this series but this is the first time I've listened to an audio version. I loved listening to it & it was beautifully read but for some reason Lucie's voice via the narrator was not how she sounded in my head when I was reading 😂 That has absolutely no bearing on a book or a series which I have thoroughly enjoyed and always look forward to the next one &, spoiler alert... There's a wedding coming up ️❤ Fun series! I'm officially caught up on this series but this is the first time I've listened to an audio version. I loved listening to it & it was beautifully read but for some reason Lucie's voice via the narrator was not how she sounded in my head when I was reading 😂 That has absolutely no bearing on a book or a series which I have thoroughly enjoyed and always look forward to the next one &, spoiler alert... There's a wedding coming up ️❤ Fun series!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    I love these books, absolutely love them. I had the murderer pegged early on, but the history and the story were so interesting. History, Shakespeare, the founding fathers, wine, what more could you ask for?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    I’ve read them all and liked them all, but it might be better not to read two in a row because there are too many things that are explained every time...such as why Lucie uses a cane, who are the romeos, Thelma’s background, etc. Most of this is necessary for those who might pick up one of the series as a stand-alone, but pretty redundant for the rest of us...especially if read close together. This book gives a lot of very interesting history, and for those of us who are curious, we can do a bit I’ve read them all and liked them all, but it might be better not to read two in a row because there are too many things that are explained every time...such as why Lucie uses a cane, who are the romeos, Thelma’s background, etc. Most of this is necessary for those who might pick up one of the series as a stand-alone, but pretty redundant for the rest of us...especially if read close together. This book gives a lot of very interesting history, and for those of us who are curious, we can do a bit of research and learn even more. I like her characters a lot but I dropped a star on this episode because I thought that the central plot of the story, after the murder, just didn’t do much for me and the resolution, if there was one, was anticlimactic. I will most certainly read the next one. I live in the area of her stories so the movie playing in my head of the story is pretty realistic.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Homerun2

    3.75 stars A great addition to the Wine Country Series. Winemaker Lucie Montgomery and fiancee Quinn Santori are at a holiday party near their rural Virginia home at a mansion owned by the wealthy and influential Avery family. Patriarch Prescott Avery mysteriously asks Lucie for a private conversation and takes her to the wine cellar to discuss some very valuable bottles of Madeira that he thinks Lucie's family has stashed but she has no idea what he is talking about. A short while later when she 3.75 stars A great addition to the Wine Country Series. Winemaker Lucie Montgomery and fiancee Quinn Santori are at a holiday party near their rural Virginia home at a mansion owned by the wealthy and influential Avery family. Patriarch Prescott Avery mysteriously asks Lucie for a private conversation and takes her to the wine cellar to discuss some very valuable bottles of Madeira that he thinks Lucie's family has stashed but she has no idea what he is talking about. A short while later when she returns to retrieve her forgotten cell phone, she finds Avery dead. He also has told her a huge secret and hinted at more unveilings to follow. The plot is elaborate but interesting with a lot of actual and speculative history items thrown in: the problems of Jamestown Colony, the authorship of Shakespeare's plays, the shipwreck that may have inspired The Tempest, and missing documents from the Founding Fathers. Lucie and Quinn start doing research and hunting for the immensely valued cases of Madeira while the police take a hard look at the Avery family members who had a motive to kill their father/grandfather/stepfather. Since he had been preparing to sell the family newspaper against everyone's wishes, they all have motive. Lots of interesting historical tidbits mixed into this one. This series feels stronger without the romantic angst of the earlier books and the vineyard setting adds sparkle. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I continue to enjoy this very solid series, which features two of my favorite things: wine and Virginia. This entry is notable for its historic tidbits about Madeira, colonial Freemasons, the origins of Shakespeare's plays (particularly The Tempest), and Prohibition, as well as the descriptions of Christmas at the vineyard and in Middleburg. (It actually gave me some inspiration for my mom's pending early December visit to Virginia!) I loved all this stuff. I loved that she popped Slater Run Vin I continue to enjoy this very solid series, which features two of my favorite things: wine and Virginia. This entry is notable for its historic tidbits about Madeira, colonial Freemasons, the origins of Shakespeare's plays (particularly The Tempest), and Prohibition, as well as the descriptions of Christmas at the vineyard and in Middleburg. (It actually gave me some inspiration for my mom's pending early December visit to Virginia!) I loved all this stuff. I loved that she popped Slater Run Vineyards into the dialog, as it's a Virginia winery I particularly enjoyed. I just didn't love the actual mystery part of the mystery, which is why I didn't rate it higher. I guess it's to be expected for a story that takes place around the holidays, but there was just too much family drama for me! Still, I always enjoy reading these and I hope this series continues for a good long time. The fine print: received ARC from NetGalley.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    It was an engrossing and entertaining read, well written and well plotted. It's the first instalment in read in this series but I had no issues with the characters or the plot. I appreciated the well thought and likeable cast of characters, the solid mystery that kept me guessing and the setting. I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series. Recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine. It was an engrossing and entertaining read, well written and well plotted. It's the first instalment in read in this series but I had no issues with the characters or the plot. I appreciated the well thought and likeable cast of characters, the solid mystery that kept me guessing and the setting. I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series. Recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Lucie attends a party at Prescott castle and has drinks with host Avery. He tells her a story about hidden treasures, the Free Masons, and some very expensive valuable wine owned by her family. 30 min later he’s dead. Now Lucie is on a treasure hunt, set in Virginia with so many historical sites to explore. This is book 10 in Wine Country series and is easily a stand alone read. I don’t know how I missed the previous 9. I received a copy of this arc in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Reviewed for Library Journal, November 2019 issue. Full Review found there. VERDICT: This well-plotted addition to these award-winning mysteries (after Harvest of Secrets) will appeal to fans of the series and historical puzzles, as seen in the film National Treasure.—

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    The opening pages of this "wine country mystery" introduced a complicated plot involving hard-to-get-my-head-around historical documents, two-hundred year old Madeira wine, and the murder of ninety-five year old patriarch of a newspaper dynasty, Prescott Avery, during a post-Thanksgiving celebration. What is protagonist Lucie Montgomery's role in all this? Avery wanted to buy the wine from Lucie for a toast at an upcoming event when he planned to make a big announcement. Her father, Leland, alle The opening pages of this "wine country mystery" introduced a complicated plot involving hard-to-get-my-head-around historical documents, two-hundred year old Madeira wine, and the murder of ninety-five year old patriarch of a newspaper dynasty, Prescott Avery, during a post-Thanksgiving celebration. What is protagonist Lucie Montgomery's role in all this? Avery wanted to buy the wine from Lucie for a toast at an upcoming event when he planned to make a big announcement. Her father, Leland, allegedly had hidden cases of the valuable wine many years before. Readers of the series will remember the angst he caused his family throughout their lives and especially for Lucie following his death five years ago. The possibility of Leland's involvement in this surfaces all the old emotions and fears of discovering more earth-shattering secrets about Leland as well as Lucy's suspicions that her father probably drank or sold the wine. Every member of the Avery family is a suspect, and the investigation rolls out, revealing family discord and intrigue. Far more interesting is Lucy's investigation about what Prescott had shared with her before his murder, which takes her to her father's secret safe-deposit box, the most recent archeological findings at Jamestown, the mysterious Bruton Vault in Colonial Williamsburg, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Yes, William Shakespeare and "The Tempest" are connected to the plot. An aspect of this series that deserves mentioning is the history author Ellen Crosby skillfully weaves within the plot, testing the reader's knowledge of American history, separating fact from the author's imagination. When Lucie and her fiancé, Quinn, meet with wine expert Josie Wilde at the Jamestown excavation site, the information Josie shares about the early settlers was compelling, providing me with much I didn't know and reminding me our history might have been very different. The age-old question of Shakespeare's authenticity is also part of the plot, which takes Lucie to the Folger Library in DC, and provides the reader with a tutorial on First Folios and much more. Being reminded that Shakespeare would have known members of the Virginia Company and thus, the wreck of the "Sea Venture," which was the inspiration for "The Tempest," kept me daydreaming. One of the most appealing aspect of this series is the information about wine making in Virginia, a practice that dates back to Thomas Jefferson. Lucy's family has operated a winery for generations; the issues with a part of the vineyard during this dormant season and the challenges of salvaging the vines Lucie's parents planted are incorporated in the plot, reinforcing the commitment needed to this enterprise. "The angels' share," part of vineyard lore, has a delightful meaning and may serve as a metaphor for all that Prescott Avery sought.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    #10 in the Wine Country mystery series. I found this 2019 series entry by author Ellen Crosby to be a mixed bag. Taking place between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the vineyard is idle which removes my greatest source of interest. The murder takes place at a party of the moneyed class, which bores me stiff. To have some vineyard relevance, Lucy and Quinn meet with a vineyard consultant to discuss a disease among the merlot vines. Her prior background in geology ties into some historical documents #10 in the Wine Country mystery series. I found this 2019 series entry by author Ellen Crosby to be a mixed bag. Taking place between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the vineyard is idle which removes my greatest source of interest. The murder takes place at a party of the moneyed class, which bores me stiff. To have some vineyard relevance, Lucy and Quinn meet with a vineyard consultant to discuss a disease among the merlot vines. Her prior background in geology ties into some historical documents Lucy is searching for and leads to interesting visits to Jamestowne and the site of the fabled Bruton Vault. A visit to the Folger Library ties in Shakespeare's The Tempest with the 1609 wreck of the Sea Venture on Bermuda and the eventual relief of the Jamestowne Settlement. Some Masonic lore is sprinkled in. An entertaining read especially if you are interested in Virginia history of the 17th and 18th centuries. Wine Country mystery - When Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party for friends and neighbors at Hawthorne Castle, an honest-to-goodness castle owned by the Avery family, the last great newspaper dynasty in America and owner of the Washington Tribune, she doesn’t expect the festive occasion to end in death. During the party, Prescott Avery, the 95-year old family patriarch, invites Lucie to his fabulous wine cellar where he offers to pay any price for a cache of 200-year-old Madeira that her great-great-uncle, a Prohibition bootlegger, discovered hidden in the US Capitol in the 1920s. Lucie knows nothing about the valuable wine, believing her late father, a notorious gambler and spendthrift, probably sold or drank it. By the end of the party Lucie and her fiancé, winemaker Quinn Santori, discover Prescott’s body lying in his wine cellar. Is one of the guests a murderer? As Lucie searches for the lost Madeira, which she believes links Prescott’s death to a cryptic letter her father owned, she learns about Prescott’s affiliation with the Freemasons. More investigating hints at a mysterious vault supposedly containing documents hidden by the Founding Fathers and a possible tie to William Shakespeare. If Lucie finds the long-lost documents, the explosive revelations could change history.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stanley McShane

    This series has given me a burning desire to beat a hasty exit from Indiana to experience that special area around Jamestown. Mercy, the history! Interest was hooked immediately and, although a series, can work well as a standalone. So easy to become engaged with the characters, the locale, and the description of the wine, specifically Madeira. Protagonist Lucie Montgomery and fiancé Quinn Santori go back to the plush wine cellar in Hawthorne Castle to retrieve the cell phone she left after a pri This series has given me a burning desire to beat a hasty exit from Indiana to experience that special area around Jamestown. Mercy, the history! Interest was hooked immediately and, although a series, can work well as a standalone. So easy to become engaged with the characters, the locale, and the description of the wine, specifically Madeira. Protagonist Lucie Montgomery and fiancé Quinn Santori go back to the plush wine cellar in Hawthorne Castle to retrieve the cell phone she left after a private discussion with Prescott Avery. There they discover the 95-year old patriarch has been murdered. His death following their private discussion quickly sends her on a quest for three-hundred-year-old Madeira, possibly hidden in her own winery. The Madeira though is only the top layer of the complex well-drawn plot, which delves into the history of the area and the local Freemasons including their connection with the Founding Fathers. Lucie will have to correctly interpret the materials left in her father's secret safety deposit box. I love the way the author ties local history and ancient mythology to her stories, and indeed, this entry to the series had a great deal more to do with the history mystery than that of the winery getting ready for Christmas. It is an immersive book you don't want to put down and delivers the implied promise of the cover. I'm looking forward to visiting again soon and heartily recommend this entry in the well-developed series to anyone who enjoys a high-speed romp into one of our country's most beautiful and history laden areas. I received this uncorrected digital galley from the publisher (thank you, Minotaur!!) and NetGalley and appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Read my full review at https://rosepointpublishing.com/2019/...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cat Jenkins

    Another cozy mystery with way too much description of Christmas ornaments, trees, decorations, wreaths, traditions, etc., etc. etc. Actually, I think I would have liked this much more if I'd begun reading with the first book in the series and worked my way up to it. As it was, even though the author thoughtfully provided an extensive genealogical graph and dropped tiny reminders of who each character must have been in earlier installments, it was too confusing and rendered the characters flat. Yo Another cozy mystery with way too much description of Christmas ornaments, trees, decorations, wreaths, traditions, etc., etc. etc. Actually, I think I would have liked this much more if I'd begun reading with the first book in the series and worked my way up to it. As it was, even though the author thoughtfully provided an extensive genealogical graph and dropped tiny reminders of who each character must have been in earlier installments, it was too confusing and rendered the characters flat. You can't build each one from scratch in a book that is apparently tenth in line. And again, how odd and frustrating it is when libraries carry only one late member of a series and not the whole batch. I got bogged down, too in the endless descriptions, or rather directions, of which road intersects with which in each town and what buildings are visible and/or lining the street. It didn't add to the atmosphere, serving instead to slow the action down. It's nice to be familiar with your geography, but not always a good idea to be so detailed. The other thing was the way everything got tied up with a nice, neat bow in the last couple of pages. Seemed rushed, as though the writer just wanted to get it over with already. There was just too much that felt half fleshed out. I think I'm done with the cozies for a bit...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party at the Avery's castle. Prescott Avery, the 95 year old family patriarch, invites her into the wine cellars for a discussion. He wants to buy some historic Madeira that her family is rumored to own at any price. Lucie has never heard of it and suspects her father either drank it or sold it. Prescott reveals that the history of it is particularly important to him and the Masons. Lucie later discovers her phone is missing and returns to the cell Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party at the Avery's castle. Prescott Avery, the 95 year old family patriarch, invites her into the wine cellars for a discussion. He wants to buy some historic Madeira that her family is rumored to own at any price. Lucie has never heard of it and suspects her father either drank it or sold it. Prescott reveals that the history of it is particularly important to him and the Masons. Lucie later discovers her phone is missing and returns to the cellar. She finds Prescott dead. Who could have killed him in such a short time? As Lucie investigates the focus turns to what Prescott might have discovered and away from who killed him. I give this mystery 4 out of 5 stars. It's part of a series but can be read as a standalone. While there is more than one mystery, the bulk of the book is spent on the historical mysteries. There's nothing wrong with that, but I kept wondering when we would learn more about Avery's death. Otherwise it is a well written, holiday themed historical mystery. It's great for readers who enjoy history and the Virginia Wine Country. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This did not affect my opinion. All opinions herein are my own and freely given.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Grace Koshida

    When Lucie Montgomery attends the annual after-Thanksgiving party at Hawthorne Castle, she is invited by Prescott Avery, the 95-year old family patriarch, to his fabulous wine cellar where he offers to pay any price for the 200-year-old Madeira that her family has refused to sell. But Lucie knows nothing about the priceless Madeira and is convinced her late father Leland, a notorious gambler and spendthrift, probably sold or drank it. Prescott also shows Lucie his secret room, his affiliation wi When Lucie Montgomery attends the annual after-Thanksgiving party at Hawthorne Castle, she is invited by Prescott Avery, the 95-year old family patriarch, to his fabulous wine cellar where he offers to pay any price for the 200-year-old Madeira that her family has refused to sell. But Lucie knows nothing about the priceless Madeira and is convinced her late father Leland, a notorious gambler and spendthrift, probably sold or drank it. Prescott also shows Lucie his secret room, his affiliation with the Freemasons and hints about a valuable artifact linked to the Founding Fathers. Soon afterward, Lucie and her fiancé, winemaker Quinn Santori, find Prescott’s body lying in his wine cellar. As Lucie searches for the lost Madeira, she finds rumours about a mysterious vault with documents hidden by the Founding Fathers and a possible tie to William Shakespeare and Sir Francis Bacon. This was an intriguing mystery but had less to do with the wine making side of Lucie's business than usual. I received an eARC from Netgalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    The story was riveting and held me in its grip so badly, I confess to having lost sleep. I love the books in this series, but this one just blew me away. The details, and research that went into this was amazing. I felt almost like it was a good historical fiction in addition to a good cozy. The main characters in the book are strong, and many of the secondary ones very well done. Motivations of the characters are well thought out. I would have liked a little bit more in regards to the person wh The story was riveting and held me in its grip so badly, I confess to having lost sleep. I love the books in this series, but this one just blew me away. The details, and research that went into this was amazing. I felt almost like it was a good historical fiction in addition to a good cozy. The main characters in the book are strong, and many of the secondary ones very well done. Motivations of the characters are well thought out. I would have liked a little bit more in regards to the person who finally was disclosed as being the murderer, but the person did not come out of left field, so it was acceptable to the plot. Although some of the historical plot points are made up by the author, the basis of the events and much of the other historical information is based on true history. I now want to explore Jamestown and other parts of Virginia. If you have not read any of the others in this series, it is not necessary, but I would encourage you to do so as it will give you more about the main characters, and will bring even more enjoyment to this story. BUT, you can read it as a stand alone. Looking forward to the next one in this series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca D

    Thank you to @minotaur_books for my gifted copy of The Angels’ Share in exchange for my honest review. The book is National Treasure meets a murder mystery. I was immediately hooked and did not want to put this one down. I loved that there were two interesting mysteries that needed to be solved with the murder playing a larger part of the novel. Lucie is attending a post Thanksgiving party when Prescott Avery invites her down to his cellar to discuss purchasing Madeira that once belonged to James Thank you to @minotaur_books for my gifted copy of The Angels’ Share in exchange for my honest review. The book is National Treasure meets a murder mystery. I was immediately hooked and did not want to put this one down. I loved that there were two interesting mysteries that needed to be solved with the murder playing a larger part of the novel. Lucie is attending a post Thanksgiving party when Prescott Avery invites her down to his cellar to discuss purchasing Madeira that once belonged to James Madison from her family. This just after he has acquired a copy of the Declaration of Independence hand written by Thomas Jefferson to James Madison. He would like to use it to toast the copy with his Masonic brotherhood. One big problem though Lucie has no idea if this Madeira even exists. Just moments later after Lucie was left she return to find Prescott dead. Who did it? Where is this mystery 200 plus year old wine? This novel is part of the Wine country series but I have not read any of the previous books. That being said I was able to pick this one up and dive in with no trouble. I can’t wait to read others in this series. The Angels’ Share is out 11/5.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Ellen Crosby’s wine country series isn’t just a murder mystery, but a lesson in history. Located in Loudoun County, Virginia, the Montgomery Estate Vineyard is situated in the perfect setting to bring American History to the forefront and place the wine industry smack dab in the middle. The Thanksgiving to Christmas season took a different turn for Lucie Montgomery when her neighbor billionaire and philanthropist Preston Avery is murdered after revealing a secret to Lucie which has now put her in Ellen Crosby’s wine country series isn’t just a murder mystery, but a lesson in history. Located in Loudoun County, Virginia, the Montgomery Estate Vineyard is situated in the perfect setting to bring American History to the forefront and place the wine industry smack dab in the middle. The Thanksgiving to Christmas season took a different turn for Lucie Montgomery when her neighbor billionaire and philanthropist Preston Avery is murdered after revealing a secret to Lucie which has now put her in the crosshairs of an unscrupulous killer determined to lay claim to documents and a priceless Madeira that hold historic value. Combining an elusive cast of characters from Jamestown to the founding fathers, to Shakespeare, to the Mason’s, the Declaration of Independence, and a First Folio, Ellen Crosby has managed to merge the right amount of truth with an author’s imagination resulting in an enthralling murder mystery. About the Title: The Angels’ Share is the amount of distilled spirits lost to evaporation from the barrel or cask during the aging process.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gaby

    This is the first Lucie Montgomery book that I've read and I plan to read the 9 that came before it! The book is set in a small wealthy Virginia town full of the first vineyards of America and families that have held their farms/land since before the US was a nation. The Montgomery family and the Averys (billionaire relatives by affinity) and many of their longtime neighbors have had their homes and estates in this town for over 300 years. Honestly, I'm just counting the years until we've paid of This is the first Lucie Montgomery book that I've read and I plan to read the 9 that came before it! The book is set in a small wealthy Virginia town full of the first vineyards of America and families that have held their farms/land since before the US was a nation. The Montgomery family and the Averys (billionaire relatives by affinity) and many of their longtime neighbors have had their homes and estates in this town for over 300 years. Honestly, I'm just counting the years until we've paid off our mortgage, so this sort of longtime ownership of huge fertile tracts of land is exotic and fascinating to me. The mystery in this case involves a murder but also the rumored existence of papers taken from the White House hundreds of years ago. There is a tie to the freemasons and to President Madison and a hidden treasure. The characters are easy to like and the mystery is fascinating. Overall, a delight of a read with the bonus that it makes you want to explore small towns in Virginia.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paula Ratcliffe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In this book Lucie and Quinn get invited to an annual Christmas party to start off the holiday season. When Lucie gets in a private discussion with Prescott Avery she doesn't count on finding him dead minutes later! The family of course is quick to cover it up, and the play The Tempest becomes an overall issue with this family. Also an old copy of the Declaration of Independence becomes a hotbed of gossip. Lucie has a hard time when the family tries to cover it up and become determined to find o In this book Lucie and Quinn get invited to an annual Christmas party to start off the holiday season. When Lucie gets in a private discussion with Prescott Avery she doesn't count on finding him dead minutes later! The family of course is quick to cover it up, and the play The Tempest becomes an overall issue with this family. Also an old copy of the Declaration of Independence becomes a hotbed of gossip. Lucie has a hard time when the family tries to cover it up and become determined to find out what Lucie knows. Was it something that related to his death? There are no shortage of possible suspects and of course the fabulous wine is flowing will Lucie be corked if she gets to close? I love this series it's deep in history of the area along with a good old fashioned murder of some sort and Leland Lucie's dad seems to be at the center of what is going on! This series is addictive and can be read as either a series or standalone novels. I really enjoy this series and can't wait to see what is next for the adventurous sleuth!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nessa

    I absolutely adored this book in the Wine Country series. Lucie Montgomery has a vineyard in Virginia and tons of history to go with it. She is invited to a soiree for an acquaintance who wants to bend her ear on a top secret proposition, elusive inventory of an ages wine from back around the time that America became a country. Unfortunately, a murder puts a damper in the wine cellar. Lucie and Quinn are in the midst of solving another murder. This book was so interesting: the hearsay and stories I absolutely adored this book in the Wine Country series. Lucie Montgomery has a vineyard in Virginia and tons of history to go with it. She is invited to a soiree for an acquaintance who wants to bend her ear on a top secret proposition, elusive inventory of an ages wine from back around the time that America became a country. Unfortunately, a murder puts a damper in the wine cellar. Lucie and Quinn are in the midst of solving another murder. This book was so interesting: the hearsay and stories about Jamestown, VA and the first colonists, theories about the Freemasons' secret society, and stories told all the way to the Capitol. I found the tour guides and discussion very interesting, as I was not aware about some of the aspects of history. Granted the author took some fictional license to a few details, it still inspires me to look up more information of this part of American history. Very I retesting to learn about Madeira wines also. Love this series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    S Mille

    Fun book with history, although rather lacking as a standard cozy mystery. I picked this book because of the title: Angels' Share, the elegant way to describe the loss of alcohol during the aging process due to evaporation, only to immediately fall in love with the characters, the wine, the setting. As a standard who-dunnit book, it was lacking - it's entirely secondary to the other mysteries - tracking down a possibly long lost mystery dealing with the early days of the United States and a lost Fun book with history, although rather lacking as a standard cozy mystery. I picked this book because of the title: Angels' Share, the elegant way to describe the loss of alcohol during the aging process due to evaporation, only to immediately fall in love with the characters, the wine, the setting. As a standard who-dunnit book, it was lacking - it's entirely secondary to the other mysteries - tracking down a possibly long lost mystery dealing with the early days of the United States and a lost cache of Maderia hidden by an ancestor years ago that may or may not exist any more. This was the 10th book in the series; the previous 9 have been added to my TBR pile. Highly recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lori Bonkoski

    This series always amazes me with its wonderful writing and thoughtful plots! Lucie & Quinn are at a post-Thanksgiving party when the owner of the mansion invites Lucie to his wine cellar. After revealing some interesting things and the fact that there is some two year old Madeira that Lucie's uncle discovered at the Capitol and moved somewhere to her vineyard, Lucie can't believe it to be true. Then, when she and Quinn return to the cellar, they discover the owner's body and the mystery of who This series always amazes me with its wonderful writing and thoughtful plots! Lucie & Quinn are at a post-Thanksgiving party when the owner of the mansion invites Lucie to his wine cellar. After revealing some interesting things and the fact that there is some two year old Madeira that Lucie's uncle discovered at the Capitol and moved somewhere to her vineyard, Lucie can't believe it to be true. Then, when she and Quinn return to the cellar, they discover the owner's body and the mystery of who is responsible is the focus, along with trying to find the Madeira. A wonderful story, filled with history, intrigue and things that make you wonder about how our country was built. I loved this book and I recommend this series highly!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    The search for 300-year-old Madeira leads Lucie Montgomery on a research journey to Washington, DC’s Folger Shakespeare Library, colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. When Billionaire Prescott Avery offers to purchase her great uncle’s Madeira, Lucie has no idea what he is talking about. After he swears her to secrecy he shows her a newly discovered handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence and sends her on her way with a hint about a safe deposit box. Unfortunately Avery is found dead The search for 300-year-old Madeira leads Lucie Montgomery on a research journey to Washington, DC’s Folger Shakespeare Library, colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. When Billionaire Prescott Avery offers to purchase her great uncle’s Madeira, Lucie has no idea what he is talking about. After he swears her to secrecy he shows her a newly discovered handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence and sends her on her way with a hint about a safe deposit box. Unfortunately Avery is found dead a few hours later. Lucie works hard to find the clue Avery mentioned. A terrific story with more intrigue by the minute.

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