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The Riesling Retribution

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Colorful characters, fascinating history, and winemaking detail blend with luminous prose in Ellen Crosby's new tale of suspense set in Virginia's lush wine country. When a tornado rips through Montgomery Estate Vineyard and unearths a grave in an abandoned field, police inform Lucie Montgomery that the odds are good someone in her family is responsible - possibly for murde Colorful characters, fascinating history, and winemaking detail blend with luminous prose in Ellen Crosby's new tale of suspense set in Virginia's lush wine country. When a tornado rips through Montgomery Estate Vineyard and unearths a grave in an abandoned field, police inform Lucie Montgomery that the odds are good someone in her family is responsible - possibly for murder. But she has more to worry about than buried secrets.A clash between her charming new farm manager and her winemaker, Quinn Santori, tests her complicated romantic and professional feelings for Quinn, fueling the winery's combustible atmosphere. Meanwhile eerie ghost stories make her think twice about allowing Civil War reenactors to use a field near the grave site—until the spirits of her own family's past converge for a most unexpected outcome.


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Colorful characters, fascinating history, and winemaking detail blend with luminous prose in Ellen Crosby's new tale of suspense set in Virginia's lush wine country. When a tornado rips through Montgomery Estate Vineyard and unearths a grave in an abandoned field, police inform Lucie Montgomery that the odds are good someone in her family is responsible - possibly for murde Colorful characters, fascinating history, and winemaking detail blend with luminous prose in Ellen Crosby's new tale of suspense set in Virginia's lush wine country. When a tornado rips through Montgomery Estate Vineyard and unearths a grave in an abandoned field, police inform Lucie Montgomery that the odds are good someone in her family is responsible - possibly for murder. But she has more to worry about than buried secrets.A clash between her charming new farm manager and her winemaker, Quinn Santori, tests her complicated romantic and professional feelings for Quinn, fueling the winery's combustible atmosphere. Meanwhile eerie ghost stories make her think twice about allowing Civil War reenactors to use a field near the grave site—until the spirits of her own family's past converge for a most unexpected outcome.

30 review for The Riesling Retribution

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    What more can a guy ask for? Mystery, check. Wine, check. History lesson, check. I've come to really enjoy reading the 'Wine Country Mysteries' series by Ellen Crosby. The Rieseling Retribution is the fourth book I've read out of almost ten at this point. I'm determined to catch up in the first half of 2019 before the next one is published mid-year. While I'd classify this as a cozy mystery series on some levels, it isn't a light and cute one. It's more heavy on the drama with a slow-build up. Th What more can a guy ask for? Mystery, check. Wine, check. History lesson, check. I've come to really enjoy reading the 'Wine Country Mysteries' series by Ellen Crosby. The Rieseling Retribution is the fourth book I've read out of almost ten at this point. I'm determined to catch up in the first half of 2019 before the next one is published mid-year. While I'd classify this as a cozy mystery series on some levels, it isn't a light and cute one. It's more heavy on the drama with a slow-build up. There are intimate scenes but nothing with huge amounts of detail. The murders are often a little more visually described, but never gory. It's usually an education series whether we're learning about the wine-making process or the Civil War. They take place in Virginia, and the setting is key to the story. In this one, Lucie is caught up in a tornado that's sweeping through one of her vineyards. She barely survives the storm only to learn a huge percentage of her crop is destroyed. They will not be profitable this year, but what's even worse, a human skull turns up from the windstorm. It's almost 30 years old, just from before she was born, and on her father's property. Based on what the local police can put together, her father killed the man in order to have an affair with his wife. A Civil War reenactment explains a major battle in Virginia. Lucie and Quinn have an unexpected connection. We learn about Eli, Lucie's brother, who's having marital issues. And someone is causing more trouble around the vineyard with unskilled workers. There is a lot going on, but it all moves the story forward and puts us in a strong place for the next book. Unfortunately, even with all the wonderful backdrop and content, there was something off in the structure and transitions in the story. There were too many arcs that didn't gel well together. The murder started off strong but fizzled. Lucie's relationships were also wishy-washy. I feel like it needed one more content round of editing to tie some loose threads together and give us a couple of power punches to the gut. It would've been a solid 4, but I had to drop at least a half a star for several misses. It ends up at a 3.5; I'll be kind and round up given how much I like this series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Judy Iliff

    As I've said with the previous books, I really enjoy this series. I found it interesting this time that I read this book right after I read Union Quilters. While the setting for Quilters was during the Civil War, Retribution centers around a reenactment of one of the battles of the Civil War. Lucie Montgomery, owner of the Montgomery Estate Vineyard, barely escapes being killed by a tornado that rips through part of the vineyard. After crawling out from under a bridge, she discovers a skull that As I've said with the previous books, I really enjoy this series. I found it interesting this time that I read this book right after I read Union Quilters. While the setting for Quilters was during the Civil War, Retribution centers around a reenactment of one of the battles of the Civil War. Lucie Montgomery, owner of the Montgomery Estate Vineyard, barely escapes being killed by a tornado that rips through part of the vineyard. After crawling out from under a bridge, she discovers a skull that was obviously unearthed by the tornado. If the unidentified skeleton were her only problem, life would be OK; but, of course, it's not. There is a conflict between Quinn and Chance, the new farm manager; someone is apparently stealing credit cards; her brother and SIL are having money troubles; and someone in her family may be accused of murdering the person whose skeleton Lucie found. This is definitely one of those series that you have to read in the order in which the books were written or you won't have a clue about the characters. I'm glad Jaci discovered this series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sherron

    Reads like a gasping, gossipy, small town soap opera.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    A limp soap opera that includes a 30-years-past murder. Whodunnit? Who cares? Good job on setting. Winery and Civil War re-enactment details done well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Standard mystery, in a sense, but I really enjoy these books. While I have no interest in starting a winery, there is enough information in these books about the trials, tribulations and "science" that goes into wine making, without going overboard, to interest me, along with the mystery. Enjoy the characters. They are not cookie cutter characters and complex enough to be interesting. Can't wait for the next edition. (Hope there is one - I haven't checked.) Standard mystery, in a sense, but I really enjoy these books. While I have no interest in starting a winery, there is enough information in these books about the trials, tribulations and "science" that goes into wine making, without going overboard, to interest me, along with the mystery. Enjoy the characters. They are not cookie cutter characters and complex enough to be interesting. Can't wait for the next edition. (Hope there is one - I haven't checked.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Oh I really didn't like how it ended. I knocked a star off it for the ending that was left hanging. I am glad to see her and Quinn finally start something. She needs someone on her side since her friends and family are useless. Oh I really didn't like how it ended. I knocked a star off it for the ending that was left hanging. I am glad to see her and Quinn finally start something. She needs someone on her side since her friends and family are useless.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Well, this was a pleasant little mystery - not too demanding, not too fluffy. It has some interesting characters and some that are fairly two-dimensional. I enjoyed the detail about the wine business and the bits about the historical reenactment of a Civil War battle. I thought there was a bit too much exposition of backstory. If you've already read the previous books in the series, it's unnecessary; if you haven't, it's unnecessary. Well, this was a pleasant little mystery - not too demanding, not too fluffy. It has some interesting characters and some that are fairly two-dimensional. I enjoyed the detail about the wine business and the bits about the historical reenactment of a Civil War battle. I thought there was a bit too much exposition of backstory. If you've already read the previous books in the series, it's unnecessary; if you haven't, it's unnecessary.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    This was an okay read, I haven't read this sort of mystery novel in a while, so it is a different reading experience. For me this was very anti-climatic, every time the author hinted something major was going to occur it was some little thing. Interesting wine and vineyard information, but that didn't save the story for me. This was an okay read, I haven't read this sort of mystery novel in a while, so it is a different reading experience. For me this was very anti-climatic, every time the author hinted something major was going to occur it was some little thing. Interesting wine and vineyard information, but that didn't save the story for me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I truly enjoyed this book and this series. I had lived in the area of Virginia where the story takes place and can easily visualize many of the scenes. I love the characters and the way the story moves. It is light reading, but I look forward to reading her next book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Continuing the Wine Country series...I'm just gonna say it: Quinn and Lucie FINALLY got together. I have been waiting for this! I hope it sticks, it seems like it might actually work. Still loving this series! Continuing the Wine Country series...I'm just gonna say it: Quinn and Lucie FINALLY got together. I have been waiting for this! I hope it sticks, it seems like it might actually work. Still loving this series!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lenore

    Ellen Crosby incorporates Virginia's Civil War history into this intriguing wine country mystery. Nice beach (or rainy day) read. Ellen Crosby incorporates Virginia's Civil War history into this intriguing wine country mystery. Nice beach (or rainy day) read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    This was a decent read overall, but definitely kind of a middle book in this series. The mystery is so-so, but the author gives us new information on Lucie's family and the community. This was a decent read overall, but definitely kind of a middle book in this series. The mystery is so-so, but the author gives us new information on Lucie's family and the community.

  13. 4 out of 5

    jammaster_mom

    A very nice amateur detective mystery series! This series is about Lucie who is the owner/operator of a winery in Virginia outside of Washington D.C. The stories in the series weave together what is happening in the present with the history and stories of characters who lived in the past. In the small town of Atoka no one really forgets and sometimes that can be helpful or harmful to those living today. This book centers around the Riesling harvest with the new winery manager. Chance is very charm A very nice amateur detective mystery series! This series is about Lucie who is the owner/operator of a winery in Virginia outside of Washington D.C. The stories in the series weave together what is happening in the present with the history and stories of characters who lived in the past. In the small town of Atoka no one really forgets and sometimes that can be helpful or harmful to those living today. This book centers around the Riesling harvest with the new winery manager. Chance is very charming but doesn't get along with Quinn the vintner. A series of relatively harmless but frustrating mistakes have taken place since Chance arrived. Is it coincidence or something more deliberate? Luce finds herself trying to defend her dead father from acts committed before she was born. Can she prove he didn't do what he is accused of? This leads to a rift with her and her reporter best friend Kit. I like this series. The book are relatively short and I enjoy diving into them. I find the final solution to be complex enough to hold my interest throughout and get me to look forward to the next installment. I am very happy with what happens in the relationship between Quinn and Lucie in this book. I am sad for Eli but also happy at the same time for the new direction he may be going in for future books. Overall this is a great cozy mystery series and well worth a read....maybe with a good glass of wine:)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stef Rozitis

    I am annoyed because I wrote an extremely detailed and carefully thought out review and bloody internet ate it!!! (should have used word I suppose) To recap more briefly. I hated the stereotypes and gendered interactions in this book. Especially the boof-head behaviour of the males (and the stereotypical ways the females were flawed) I loved- the setting, the problematisation of "illegal" labour and the compassionate view of the human dignity (also economic necessity of small business owners) with I am annoyed because I wrote an extremely detailed and carefully thought out review and bloody internet ate it!!! (should have used word I suppose) To recap more briefly. I hated the stereotypes and gendered interactions in this book. Especially the boof-head behaviour of the males (and the stereotypical ways the females were flawed) I loved- the setting, the problematisation of "illegal" labour and the compassionate view of the human dignity (also economic necessity of small business owners) with the preoccupation with a "fair" wage. YES. I liked- the disabled protagonist. The way she rescued herself at the final showdown and the palusible backstory which allowed this. Some of the banter between her and the generally unlikeable romantic lead. I was not thrilled by- the fragmented plot, the lack of strength or holding together of one narrative strand (one mystery), the predictability of all the twists (bar one which I really did like a lot) I think the people (who allegedly exist) who found 50 shades of grey "romantic" would really enjoy this book, for the rest of us it is far from the best but also far from the worst read available in its genre. It integrated its wine-making knowledge in a very readable way and avoids the clumsy info-dump. I wont be rushing out to read them all though.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Wheeler

    I just love the way Ellen Crosby introduces history into this wine series, and the Riesling Retribution is no exception. A sub plot about a Civil War re-enactment happening near to her vineyard - with the participants camping out on her land - adds an intriguing extra to this tale of long hidden family secrets. The battle of Ball's Bluff happened three months after the Union Army lost the major fight at Bull Run, the first great land battle of the conflict. As Crosby tells us in Notes, there is I just love the way Ellen Crosby introduces history into this wine series, and the Riesling Retribution is no exception. A sub plot about a Civil War re-enactment happening near to her vineyard - with the participants camping out on her land - adds an intriguing extra to this tale of long hidden family secrets. The battle of Ball's Bluff happened three months after the Union Army lost the major fight at Bull Run, the first great land battle of the conflict. As Crosby tells us in Notes, there is a 223 acre Ball's Bluff park near a shopping mall in Leesburg, Virginia, (with the third smallest military cemetery in the US), which you can visit and which some still swear is haunted. I just love the idea of going on a "history trail" following the thread of these stories - I guess some people probably already are doing that. Lucie is still battling to make her vineyard truly profitable, while having to deal with finding a body buried amongst the vines. The story is slickly plotted, and lots of interesting wine information is included. I'm definitely hooked on the series and want to know what happens both to Lucie and Montgomery Estate Vineyard next.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lorelei

    The writer tells a good story and I enjoy the research on such places as the Balls Bluff battle. It does make we want to go visit the area. However, her character Lucie, who owns a winery seems more interested in family matters and murder than the problems going on in the winery. I highly doubt if a vineyard had this many problems going on the owner would act so nonchalant about it. But of course, it is a work of fiction and I do so enjoy anything that has to do with wine :) If you enjoy an easy The writer tells a good story and I enjoy the research on such places as the Balls Bluff battle. It does make we want to go visit the area. However, her character Lucie, who owns a winery seems more interested in family matters and murder than the problems going on in the winery. I highly doubt if a vineyard had this many problems going on the owner would act so nonchalant about it. But of course, it is a work of fiction and I do so enjoy anything that has to do with wine :) If you enjoy an easy to read murder mystery then this series is for you. It's a go to series when I'm not looking for anything to complex.

  17. 5 out of 5

    D.S.

    The mysteries in this series are strong--intriguing, but solvable. Unfortunately, most of the characters have a lot of shortcomings, including the protagonist, Lucy. Her constant inner thoughts on her friend Kit's diet and weight are like fingernails on a chalkboard. These repeated observations don't advance the plot or develop character in any meaningful ways. For avid wine drinkers, all of the details about the industry may be interesting. For the casual wine drinker, they become a bit much. The mysteries in this series are strong--intriguing, but solvable. Unfortunately, most of the characters have a lot of shortcomings, including the protagonist, Lucy. Her constant inner thoughts on her friend Kit's diet and weight are like fingernails on a chalkboard. These repeated observations don't advance the plot or develop character in any meaningful ways. For avid wine drinkers, all of the details about the industry may be interesting. For the casual wine drinker, they become a bit much.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily Higgins

    A tornado tore through Lucie Montgomery's vineyard destroying valuable vines and unearthing a skeleton in an unused part of her property. The police suspect that a member of her family committed the murder 20 to 30 years ago. Misplaced equipment and other unusual incidents are happening around the vineyard. Lucie is determined to solve both mysteries. A tornado tore through Lucie Montgomery's vineyard destroying valuable vines and unearthing a skeleton in an unused part of her property. The police suspect that a member of her family committed the murder 20 to 30 years ago. Misplaced equipment and other unusual incidents are happening around the vineyard. Lucie is determined to solve both mysteries.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy Drongowski

    Fourth book in the series. Getting to solving the crime took a little too long for me. As were similar to books 2 and three, lots of detail about Lucy's life that I didn't seem relevant. It's turning more into a love story than a mystery. I think this will beThe last book for me. Fourth book in the series. Getting to solving the crime took a little too long for me. As were similar to books 2 and three, lots of detail about Lucy's life that I didn't seem relevant. It's turning more into a love story than a mystery. I think this will beThe last book for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diann Cassens

    The fourth win this series and the fourth I have read. A rushed ending and not as satisfying, but I will read the next one. Likable, flawed characters and interesting background about the area and winemaking.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This is number 4 in the audiobook series. Lucy finds a dead body unearthed on the vinyard during a hurricane and tries to prove her father was not responsible while mediating between Chase, the new manager and Quinn.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    So far, my least favorite behavior from Lucie, but the Civil War history kept me going. I live in this area and I have never visited the battlefield/park that was mentioned here - I think I see a weekend outing in the future.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany E-P

    The info about Ball’s Bluff was fascinating. The bigger battles of the Civil War get a lot of attention, but there were so many smaller skirmishes that were important. Quinn and Lucie finally got together. And the history of Leland and Chantal and their marriage was interesting too.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Rock solid mystery. Great characters. There always this little grey cloud that hangs over the stories so sometimes depressing, but the main characters are fantastic and the mysteries are very well plotted. Very much looking forward to the next book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    This is one in a series of easy to real mysteries. They are continuing so I am now looking forward to the next one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    Absolutely love this!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    SJM

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Four, not five, stars because of an unresolved issue at the end. Crosby is still writing the series, so maybe she can readdress and close the issue, as a secondary storyline, in a future book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

    Good story. Good characters, strong plot. Hold your attention.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Very good, glad to get back to this series and these characters. Mystery was a little obvious, but still a strong story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Fun, quick read.

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