Review of Party Wine

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Sharon Dowdell
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Latest Review: Party Wine by D.R. Ransdell

Review of Party Wine

Post by Sharon Dowdell »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Party Wine" by D.R. Ransdell.]
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4 out of 5 stars
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Party Wine by D.R. Ransdell; I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery! Reading and watching mysteries are passions of mine. I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting stories. I found Party Wine to be very intriguing and descriptive, but I feel that the writer introduces too many characters to the plot in the beginning, thereby confusing the reader. This doesn't take anything away from this delightful mystery.

The story opens with Sofi returning from shopping, she comes upon the mayor's body in her wine cellar, he also happens to be her cousin Grazia's husband. She is devastated when she realizes that he has been murdered! She enlists the Sheriff Cenzo's help to find the perpetrator. They find that there are quite a few suspects. Sofi meets Enzo, a distant relative of questionable character, He has his eye on her property. There are a lot of people who really want the property and Sofi must find out why. It's becoming a real puzzle.

Meantime, Sofi has to attend several parties to get a feel of the residents of this laid-back community, and to narrow down the list of suspects. I much enjoyed the descriptions of the Italian countryside. I could picture myself being there, enjoying the wonderful food and wine parties at the variety of party houses. It feels like all problems can be solved over a plate of delicious pasta and a bottle of wine.

Sofi and Cenzo, the sleuths of the mystery, make an exciting pair, their budding romance and humorous adventures reminded me of the Thin Man movies. There are many clues throughout the story that point to some of the other characters, even though all roads seemed to point to Grazia as the culprit, I found myself hoping that she was not involved, she is self-centered, but likeable.

Sofi is disappointed when she realizes that Grazia's marriage wasn't as perfect as she first thought. She is now torn between returning home or staying to comply with her parents' wishes. Pursuing her romance with the handsome policeman is an inviting prospect, but should she? Cenzo is dealing with the aftermath of his divorce and being separated from his children, but he is clearly interested in a relationship with Sofi. I think that they are a perfect match. I would like them to go on more adventures. The unfortunate mayor was well liked, despite his faults. The stories of his romantic interludes and possible corruption added spice to the story. Who would want him out of the way? Sofi and Cenzo must work to uncover a mountain of evidence.

The sprinkling of Italian words and phrases was an interesting learning experience. "Party Wine" is a thoroughly engrossing and delightful excursion into the Italian culture. It is a really wonderful and well written mystery. 4 out 5 stars, because it was a bit confusing in the beginning. Possibly introducing the characters more slowly throughout the story would lessen the confusion. The book is exceptionally well edited, I failed to find any typos or grammatical errors. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a different take on the murder mystery genre.

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Party Wine
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