Review of Party Wine

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Gabby Balli
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Latest Review: Party Wine by D.R. Ransdell

Review of Party Wine

Post by Gabby Balli »

[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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For readers who enjoy tales of mystery and murder with a dash of romance, Party Wine is sure to fill any adult reader’s curiosity to the brim and over. As we the audience delve into the world of the picturesque balmetti enveloping the mountainsides of rural Italy, we are soon met with the realization that between the flowing vines and joyous atmosphere, there is a terrible tragedy unfolding within the high rocky walls of it’s inhabitants.

The lens through which we view not only the beauty of the atmosphere, but the danger, is our protagonist Sofi Francese, a young American woman from the east coast who’s been entrusted by her Italian rooted family to oversee the family balmetto in Monteleone for it’s subsequent repairs and renovations in lieu of the family tradition of wine making. It is on this property that Sofi encounters what will later shape her outlook and emotions towards not only the family heirloom, but the village in which it dwells, when to her utter shock and disarray she discovers her own cousin-in-law, proud mayor to the tiny old-country village, Ivano Visconti deceased in the balmetto’s wine cellar mere hours before a party thrown by Sofi herself, is set to be teeming with guests turned murder suspects from their very village. It is after this discovery Sofi hurries to recruit help from the town’s small police department where she is greeted by the only available policeman, captain Vicenzo Bot, “Cenzo,” a not entirely horrible sight to gaze upon, but who’s contemptuous manor breeds discontentment within Sofi. It is in their pairing, that the two must relinquish their apprehensions about one another and instead join together to untangle the perplexity of the potential murder case.

As we are taken along for the expedition of finding answers to not only why and how Ivano came to his demise on that balmetto cellar floor, we uncover the townspeople’s coveted secrets, sorted affairs with one another, and unadulterated devotion to the spirit of their home country, wine. Submersed in a mosaic of rich culture, robust characters, and intricate interpersonal relationships, we learn about the history of the people of Monteleone and how one person in particular, the mayor of their small town, can in one palm bring them all together and in another tear them right apart. While Sofi and Cenzo desperately try to navigate covertly interrogating potential suspects (party goers) through friendly chatter, we see how their association to one other bends and winds like the vines draping the balmetti.

Awarding it four out of five stars, Party Wine leaves no stone unturned and no wine glass empty as it effortlessly glides this tantalizing tale to a halt just shy of a summer’s end.

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Party Wine
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