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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 3 star ratings
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    Deadly Drink

    Winery mystery - TASTY! If only it was possible to Skype a glass. Taylor has recently moved back to Albuquerque to be near her Aunt Jemma. Syrah wine is sampled at Jemma's winery which has been in business for many years. I would have liked more background on the winery and it's workers. To accompany her aunt's business and make her own way; Taylor offers "Off the Beaten Path" tours that pair perfectly with the Syrah. Conducting her first group tour that results in a murder, Taylor finds herself arrested. Against the advise of her lawyer and the sheriff, Taylor snoops for clues leading to another murder. Cast of characters to investigate and the hint of romance that Parra with probably pursue at a later telling. A cute puppy is included and held for ransom; kind of hard to believe. "A copy of this book was supplied by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
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    First book in A Wine Country Mystery series!

    A Case of Syrah, Syrah by Nancy J. Parra is the first in A Wine Country Mystery series. Taylor O’Brian has returned to Sonoma, California and is living in pool house at her Aunt Jemma’s place called Sookie’s Vineyard. Taylor has decided to start Taylor’s Off the Beaten Pat Wine Country Tours. Her first tour is for Laura Scott and her employees for a team building day. Taylor is setting out lunch for the group and it is mentioned that Laura is missing. A search ensues, and Taylor finds Laura near a stream down a cliff. Despite being warned by the 911 operator to not go down the cliff, Taylor scrabbles down along with Laura’s husband, Dan to check on Laura. Laura Scott is dead with Taylor’s missing corkscrew in her neck. Sheriff Ron Hennessey is in charge of the investigation and quickly narrows his sights on Taylor. Patrick Aimes, Taylor’s attorney, warns her to not talk to anyone regarding the case and keep a low profile. However, Taylor’s new business venture is in jeopardy along with Aunt Jemma’s winery. Aunt Jemma states that they need to find the culprit on their own. Taylor starts nosing around, but then the investigation gets derailed when an arrest warrant is issued. Someone is setting up Taylor to take the fall for Laura’s murder. Out on bail, Taylor continues her quest for the killer. Then Taylor finds another victim and her puppy, Millie is kidnapped. Will the killer be caught before Taylor gets prosecuted? A Case of Syrah, Syrah is easy to read, has a lovely setting of Sonoma (California) and an adorable cover. I did find the pace a little slow in the beginning. There is an abundance of speculation and inept questioning by Taylor (she ends up angering people). The author did not take the time to properly develop the characters (or tell us much about the town). I found Taylor a hard character to like. She is irresponsible, impulsive, does not think things through, and ignores counsel from others (I found her annoying and a danger to others). I do not know why she bothered to retain an attorney if she was going to continually ignore his advice (seems a waste of money). Taylor got into one ridiculous situation after another throughout the book. While she does have these traits, Taylor is otherwise very bland (lackluster). Part of the problem is readers are not told what Taylor is feeling. I am giving A Case of Syrah, Syrah 3 out of 5 stars. There are two mysteries in the story. The murder and an identity theft problem. Master cozy mystery sleuths will find solving this one effortless, while others will be surprised when the solution is revealed. There are two possible love interests for Taylor who are (of course) handsome (let us hope this does not mean a love triangle in future books). There will be a twist to Taylor’s tours in the future that I found intriguing. A Case of Syrah, Syrah will appeal to cozy mystery readers who prefer light, humorous cozy mysteries.
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