Book Review: The Winemaker Detective by Jeaan-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen

The Winemaker DetectiveThe Winemaker Detective
Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen
Le French Book, December 2015
ISBN:9781939474568
Trade Paperback
Omnibus with three novellas

One could review this volume in toto or as three separate stories about the same characters, master wine-maker Benjamin Cooker and his relatively untrained assistant, Virgile Lanssien. Untrained in the arcane arts of wine-making though Virgile may be, his powers of observation are unparalleled and his knowledge of winemaking increases as the book progresses. Together, the pair are an unbeatable team of amateur detectives. This omnibus of three stories is part of a series which is enjoying popularity in France, particularly among wine aficionados and those of elevated gastronomical tastes. The series includes a popular television programme.

Each story is set in an important region of French winemaking and involves usually complicated thievery, odd chicanery and of course, murder. The stories are dense, deliberate in their pace and action, and largely consist of detailed and intriguing observations of wine making, breakfasts and dinners and keenly observed travels.

These are the rare kind of genre novels one reads for the qualities of the writing, the content and not so much for action or complex plot lines. Exceptional quality, especially since the stories are translations, satisfying solutions, and much elegant descriptive writing devoted to character and the grape.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, August 2016.
http://www.carlbrookins.com http://agora2.blogspot.com
The Case of the Purloined Painting, The Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Winemaker Detective by Jeaan-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s