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Publisher's Summary

Disaster strikes the vineyards in Alsace. Vintners are tense and old grudges surface. The Winemaker Detective's reputation is on the line as he must find the cause before the late harvest starts.

Winter is in the air in Alsace and local customs are sowing trouble, piquing the curiosity of the famous winemaker from Bordeaux, Benjamin Cooker. While the wine expert and his assistant Virgile settle into their hotel in the old city of Colmar, distinguished vineyards are attacked. Is it revenge?

The plot thickens when estates with no apparent connection to one another suffer the same sabotage just days prior to the late harvest. All of Alsace is in turmoil, plunged in the grip of suspicion that traces its roots back to the darkest hours of the German occupation. As he crosses back and forth into Germany from the Alsace he thought he knew so well, Cooker discovers a land of superstition, rivalry, and jealousy. Between tastings of the celebrated wines, he is drawn into the lives and intrigues of the inhabitants.

©2005 Librairie Arthème Fayard; English adaptation copyright 2015 Sally Pane; First published in English in 2015By Le French Book, Inc., New York (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Will appeal to wine buffs and those who dream of visiting a French countryside that is filled with chateaux and rascally nobility, and where all the women - and most men - are superb chefs." (Publishers Weekly)
"Difficult to forget and oddly addictive...deserves a high mark for keeping the answers hidden and the pages turning." (ForeWord Reviews)
"A fine vintage with a perfectly twisted plot." (Tele-loisir)

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  • louise
  • BETHESDA, MD, United States
  • 04-14-16

vineyard villany

What did you love best about Late Harvest Havoc [Vengeances tardives en Alsace]?

This series places the reader/listener at the scene. The narrator is perfect.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The more I listened to the story the more I wanted to know what was next.

Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

Of course, Benjamin Cooker. But Virgil is a terrific counter to him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The final pay-off at the end - the resolution of some key deaths and crimes was very clever.

Any additional comments?

Very worried about Benjamin Cooker. He seems to have too many fainting spells and cold sweats. He can't keep eating those rich foods and smoking those Cuban cigars forever!