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Pinot Envy Reviewed By Beth Burke of Bookpleasures.com
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Beth Burke
Reviewer Beth Burke: Beth is a college professor and freelance editor. She recently retired as a homeschooling mom when her son graduated high school. Her love of books spans half a century, during which time she has read from a wide range of genres. In her free time she creates quilts and tends to a garden.  
By Beth Burke
Published on August 3, 2013
 

Author: Edward Finstein

Publisher: Bancroft Press

ISBN: 978-1-61088-089-3



Author: Edward Finstein

Publisher: Bancroft Press

ISBN: 978-1-61088-089-3

It’s hard for me to imagine being a collector of wines. They’re only valuable if they’re not consumed, but the proof of their value is only made once they are tasted. In order to maintain your investment, you’ll never get to partake of what is in the bottle. But James McCall is just such a collector, and the owner of a mythical burgundy that is supposed to trace back to Napoleon himself.

Woody Robins understands wine, collectors like McCall, and the allure of owning a rare bottle. He teaches classes in wine appreciation, appraises wine holdings, and writes about wine. He is an unlikely sleuth, more concerned with personal fashion than solving a mystery. But he has become somewhat of an expert in fraud in wine circles through no effort of his own. He proves himself capable in Pinot Envy where he is faced with the task of recovering McCall’s bottle of burgundy. The kicker is that it was stolen in front of a camera that still showed the wine safely tucked away in its vault.

McCall’s family and staff members portray a tangle of criminals, strange alliances, and strained relations that leave Woody guessing about the thief and motive. But he’s resourceful in doing research. He also has friends and connections, and he is generous in rewarding their help, primarily with offers of interesting wine. His relationship with his girlfriend, Julia, provides a secondary plot line that seems destined to result in more installments.

Author Edward Finstein, who is known as “The Wine Doctor,” has come to writing with a vast background in oenophilia. Aside from the investigative skills, he sounds as if he could BE Woody. His gift is to write a real mystery with plenty of humor. And although his career revolves around wine, he doesn’t inundate the reader with so many wine facts that the story is just about wine—it’s more a lighthearted mystery that happens to involve wine. Those who have an interest in wine themselves will enjoy the way he unobtrusively interjects the names of wine when Woody has a chance to sample them.

 Altogether this debut is a pleasurable read and lays the groundwork for what might ensue in further adventures.


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