Tag Archives: counterfeit wine

Janet Hubbard: Bordeaux: The Bitter Finish

I never thought I would get into a series without starting at the beginning.

But I somehow read the blurbs for both books and didn’t think there would be a connection, save from the main character Max getting into another mystery crime.

Seems I was a bit wrong on that count but it doesn’t matter, as all the important things can be understood from this book in reference to what happened the previous year (in the previous book).

It’s a nice crime story centered around counterfeiting wine with a little romance thrown in. I really enjoy drinking wine but I admit, now it seems I am a total ignoramus when it comes to it (and I thought how I knew a little to get me by). bordeaux

That said, chances of me ever having the knowledge the French characters in this book, who are wine aficionados, have, is basically zero. 🙂 Also, I don’t have the means to drink that kind of wine.

As a side note, what I thought was perfectly reasonably priced wine I enjoy, seems to be the cheapest, lowest quality stuff. 😦 At least when it comes to French wine.

And not only do I have no knowledge of wine industry, I also lack some serious information on the importance and complexity of cheeses. Turns out I am rather ignorant of much of what I enjoy in my everyday life. 😀 Talk about being put down in your place. 😉

Anyway, if you want a nice, educating read about wine you will probably never be able to afford, this is the book for you.

Ok, that was mean. 😉

But really, I make it sound bad when I actually  learned a lot and had fun in the process. The characters and the story could do with some more consolidation but in general, it’s a window into a world that was, until now, unknown to me.

And when the next installment is out, I’ll be reading it. It ended in such a way as to suggest a sequel.

“NYPD detective Max Maguire returns to France as bodyguard to a famous American wine critic. Max’s mother is French—so Max is not only bilingual but blessed, or cursed, with disapproving (and devious) French relatives. Max is not just escorting the critic, she’s also keeping an eye on a very expensive bottle of wine whose authenticity is in dispute, a  pawn in cut-throat wine wars involving critics, wine collectors, and auction houses. Checked into their Paris hotel, it’s not long before Max discovers her client dead in her room and the bottle stolen from the hotel’s safe. So she has no choice but to team up with examining magistrate Olivier Chaumont, the man she had fallen in love with the year before while solving a murder in Champagne. Olivier’s sidekick, Commissaire Abdel Zeroual joins in. Max has no police role in France but she stays  a step ahead of the French investigators using tactics learned back in New York, while Olivier weaves in and out of Bordeaux society where he is certain the murderer lurks. Is this something local, or is there really a counterfeit wine operation in play? Moving back and forth from Bordeaux to Manhattan among vintners, restaurateurs, auctioneers, collectors, the rich, as well as among less privileged players, everyone is propelled towards a shocking climax.”

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