Cognac Conspiracies.

Author:Daninhirsch, Hilary
Position:Book review

Jean-Pierre Alaux, Noel Balen, and Sally Pane (translator); COGNAC CONSPIRACIES; Le French Book (Fiction: Mystery) 12.95 ISBN: 9781939474322

Byline: Hilary Daninhirsch

Flanked by a quirky cast of characters, this intriguing novel features two amateur detectives who set out to solve the murder of a winemaker.

When the heir to one of France's long-established Cognac wineries drowns, a question arises: was it an accident or a homicide? Cognac Conspiracies is the fifth installment in the Winemaker Detective series, originally written in French and based on a successful television series in France. The books feature Benjamin Cooker, a wine expert, and his assistant, the vivacious Virgile.

In this part of the ongoing story, Benjamin and Virgile travel to the Charente region to audit the books of the Lavoisier Winery. The winery had been in the Lavoisier family for decades; as the parents are deceased, the winery has passed into the hands of the now-adult children, Marie-France, Pierre, and Claude-Henri. Inexplicably, Claude-Henri moved to Canada and sold his share to an Asian businessman, who seems interested in becoming a majority shareholder, possibly via a hostile takeover. But no one is more hostile than Marie-France, who refuses to cooperate with Benjamin.

During his stay in the beautiful French countryside, Benjamin runs into his old girlfriend, Sheila, who tends...

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