Who doesn’t love a good barrel sample or futures tasting? How about when a winemaker kindly sends you a “pre-release” of his latest bottle? Well today we get a little pre-taste of Janet Hubbard’s 3rd installment in the Vengeance in the Vineyard series, which isn’t scheduled to publish until September or October of this year. Ms. Hubbard was gracious enough to send me a hard copy of her proof and — Spoiler Alert! — I think Burgundy: Twisted Roots is the best of the bunch.

About the Book: Maxine (Max) Maguire appears to have left external drama behind and can now focus on her personal life. Engaged to French detective Oliver Chaumont, whom she met in a previous book, Max decides that she’s ready to uproot herself from the US and start a new life in Burgundy. As if planning a wedding and dealing with splitting her life between America and France isn’t hard enough, Max of course runs into murder and mayhem. And because Max is who she is, she puts everything on pause to solve the puzzle.

The mystery revolves around a young girl who, herself, is a bit of a mystery throughout the winemaking countryside. She came from America somewhat sporadically, found vineyard work at one of Max’s family friends’ estates, and since then seems to disappear and reappear without rhyme or reason. The only consistency is that everyone who meets her seems to fall immediately in love with her in one way or another.

When we find out that the young girl, Lucy, came to Burgundy hoping to find her birth father the plot takes yet another turn. Old countryside rumors come back to light, family secrets exposed, and in an effort to protect young Lucy, someone dies.

So who is this girl? Who is her father? And who’s the one desperate enough to keep these secrets hidden that he or she is willing to commit murder? Don’t worry, Max is on it…

What You’ll Learn: At the root of all this drama — both Lucy’s and Max’s — is vineyards, wine, and French inheritance laws. You’ll get to learn a bit about all of it as you meet characters who own and work their own vineyard estates, read through some of the excellent wines that are so readily available to the Burgundian inhabitants, and of course go along for the crime-solving ride with Max.

Wine Pairing: Burgundy? Well, maybe. This book seems to be all about family — family, meaning the people we most enjoy spending time with and the people who make us feel at home. So the best wine pairing for Burgundy: Twisted Roots is going to be the bottle you love so much you just have to share it. (Just make sure you don’t discuss the book unless he/she/they are reading it too, in the event the wine loosens your lips and you spoil the ending.)

More Info: I received a copy of Burgundy: Twisted Roots as a pre-release, uncorrected proof. This book is not yet for sale. However, to catch up on the Vengeance in the Vines series and learn more about Janet Hubbard, please visit Janet Hubbard’s personal website.

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