Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: A Toast to Murder - 6th in the Wine Lovers Mystery series
Author: Michele Scott
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: April 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, California Wine Country
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Michele's Website/Blog: www.michelescott.com
A really good mystery!!! There are others in this series but, the stories are different so you can read them out of turn. Unfortunately, the characters are the same so if you like to read numerically, I'd suggest a stop at Amazon to see which came first.
In this book, there is about to be a wedding at the Malveaux Winery. Nikki Sands and Derek Malveaux are to be married in a couple of days and Nikki has received an old photo of Derek and his former wife, Meredith on their wedding day. A note beneath the picture reads Moros Apate Thanatos. The words are Greek but Nikki knows no Greek and hasnít time to look it up as she has a wedding in her future and much to do. Along with her best friend Alyssa, her soon to be brother-in-law Simon, his partner Marco and their adopted baby daughter, Violet, Nikki has enough to worry about. Derek's college buddies and their wives are about to arrive to attend the ceremony and, believe me this is a group straight from some Hades that hasen't been found yet. Nikki can't believe that Derek could even be acquainted with this gang and he is beginning to see something in her point of view. To top it all off, when Nikki is walking down the aisle in her beautiful wedding apparel on the arm of her friend Simon, someone takes a shot at her and hits Simon instead. So, of course, the wedding is off for the moment. The next day one of Derek's frat brothers is found dead inside an empty wine vat. It seems that the fumes inside a closed vat will kill a human in seconds if they are exposed to it. (Let that be a lesson to you). And, don't forget the ominous Greek words. They keep turning up on various pictures and letters to both Nikki and Derek.
It's sometimes difficult to keep up with this story as there are many characters. Derek and Simon are brothers that have different mothers. Derek is older and their father had married again after Derek's mother passed away and Simon was born to the new mother. Simon's mother acts like a psychopath and shows up for the wedding even though she was not invited. Also, other characters come and go at an alarming rate of speed but, I have to say that the writing is excellent and if you pay attention and don't let your mind wander, you'll like this book as much as I did. Maybe it would go down better with a glass of wine.
I'll talk to you soon,
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