Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Book Review - Treachery in Bordeaux

Book - Treachery in Bordeaux
Writer -
Series - Winemaker Detective
Published By - Le French Book

First things first, I got this book from EdelWeiss, so thank you EdelWeiss and Le French Book for this opportunity. 

Well, this book is certainly not for everyone. It actually caters to the taste of a particular type of readers. So ask yourself these first, do you like a short and simplistic cozy mystery? Do you like exquisitely described scenarios and eccentricities in you characters in a novel? Do you like detailed description almost at the level of love letters to heritage, food and beverage? Most of all do you like anything to do with wine? If you do you will love this book. While I do not myself meet all these criteria's I mentioned, I did like the way of the progression of the story in a casual and somewhat artistically drawn way and this was a short read which is always a bonus for who-dun-it's in my book.

This tells the story of a renowned winemaker and critic Benjamin Cooker, who with his newly appointed assistant Virgile Lanssien sets out to find who is trying to take down the prestigious grand cru Moniales Haut-Brion. Together they search the city and the vineyards for answers, giving readers and inside view of this famous wine region, while also describing in loving detail the methodological way of dealing with wine for various purposes. The amount of passion put into these details regarding the landscape and the famous vineyard and wine and also foods and other aspects of the eccentricity of the main character was really admirable. And in the end despite the simplicity of the mystery these points are what takes this book a notch above any typical cozy mystery.

The author spends a lot of time describing various traits both likeable and not so much likeable (even to the point of being obnoxious) of Cooker throughout the short novel. Other characters are also drawn in an artistic manner with each of their specificity detailed as much as possible while paying homage to the real hero of the story, the exquisite wine of Bordeaux and its rich history. At times you might wonder if the author has forgotten about the mystery and is just delving into his passion but in the end he does pull out a satisfying conclusion to the central conflict in quite an elegant manner.

To be honest, this book does get tiring at times, specially if you do not share the same type of love for wine and other eccentricities of the protagonist. Some readers might even be repelled by so much lack of focus on the mystery early on but if you just give it a chance and try to delve deeper by trying to understand the authors way of story telling the end result is quite satisfying. The main character is suffering somewhat from a case of superiority complex which also might seem annoying to some readers but once again this book is most definitely not written for everyone.

Despite its short-coming I did enjoy the book specially due to its mystery and the lessons about history and culture of the french people. Recommended for people who loves who-dun-it's and also who loves anything to do with wine or France, but definitely not a book for everyone.

This gets 3.5 out of 5 stars.         

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