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Death, Dismay and Rosé

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Member Reviews

Death, Dismay and Rosé

by J. C. Eaton

Norrie is a screenwriter and part owner of Two Witches Winery on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. She is counting the days until her sister returns from Costa Rica to take over the winery again and she can return to her lawyer boyfriend Bradley and her urban life.

Unfortunately, Norrie finds herself, yet again, in the middle of a murder she needs to solve to get a friend released from jail. The situation is not simple, however. Although Norrie is not superstitious, one of her staff members and lots of tourists are. Now Norrie has to deal with a local, two hundred year old curse that supposedly takes effect when a full moon and the summer solstice occur on the same night. The results could be deadly.

Neighboring winery owners Don and Theo and entomologist Godfrey are Norrie’s friends and are dragged reluctantly into her investigations which are not always legal and are sometimes dangerous. The clock is ticking as time draws near for the solstice to occur and for the local police to give up on their murder investigation. Will Norrie be able to solve the crime before another death occurs, Alex is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, some thieves get away with a stolen Porsche engine, or Norrie and Godfrey are arrested? So much is riding on her investigation. Fortunately, Norrie is both spunky and determined.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Beyond the Page Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #6 in the Wine Trail Mystery Series, but OK as a standalone

Publication:   September 29, 2020—Beyond the Page Publishing

Memorable Lines:

It’s never good when someone says they hope something doesn’t upset you, because inevitably, it will upset you. I held my breath and waited for her to continue.

“Do you have any idea what kind of danger you’re putting yourself in? And I don’t mean the skunk. The mess you’re getting into won’t be solved by a can of tomato juice and a hose!”

Funny how food can make people forget whatever else is on their minds, because for a brief respite, I found myself immersed in a whole other world…
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Norrie was a city gal who had unwittingly knitted herself into the fabric of the wine community. So entwined was she that the local police thought of her as a murder magnet. The mysterious death of Wexter the cantankerous was no exception, although it was shrouded in hocus pocus. Noirre’s curiosity knew no bounds, she refused to let such mumbo jumbo get in the way of her finding the real killer before her friend got sent to prison for a crime he did not commit.
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Norrie Ellington is managing her family's winery while her sister and her sister's husband are off on an entomology expedition.  She expects them home soon, and just wants to get back to her life in Manhattan, where she's a screenwriter -- which she's currently doing from their home.

Looking for information on an old family legend about deaths that occur when the summer solstice has a full moon -- the last one being in 1948 -- she overhears a conversation between another winery owner and the head of the historical society, Vance Wexler, and it's not a good one, either.  But when a group of entomologists are nearby, and being disturbed by a group of historical society people who are searching for arrowheads, things get testy.  So testy that when someone is murdered, a friend of Norrie's is suspected of murder.

When the local police don't seem to be taking any interest in information Norrie has brought them, she figures the only thing she can do is look around on her own.  Enlisting the help of two men who own another winery, she clandestinely starts a search of her own, finding out more about the dead man than she wanted to know.  Now all she has to do is find a killer without raising the suspicions of the local police.  Easy, right?...

This is the sixth book in the series and just as good as the first.  I enjoyed reading it mostly because Norrie can hold her own among others.  She doesn't get flustered, and she manages to run the winery, do her job, and still find time to investigate a murder.  She doesn't let her two businesses slide which is nice to see.

The plot is an interesting one, actually centering around a curse that two women suspected of being witches placed on the area when they died, and it seems that whenever there's a full moon on the summer solstice a death by suffocation will occur.  Even though Norrie 'pooh-poohs' the idea herself, she starts to become a believer and will do anything to break the curse so her winery will be safe.

But when that leads to the discovery of a murder that seems to be much more than it actually is, she finds herself in a race against time to find the object that is causing the problems.  She enlists the help of Theo and Don, a couple who own another winery and have helped her before, to find answers without letting anyone know what they're doing.

If anything, this book had plenty of action to it, and when one thing led to another, it seemed to bring a dead end, only to start up again somewhere else.  Needless to say, it kept me reading right through the end, which is a good thing.

When the ending comes and the killer is discovered, the motive is as old as time itself.  While it all comes about in the end, I would have liked to have some clue to the murderer, but it was not to be.  Still and all, I will read the next in the series.  Recommended.
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Death, Dismay and Rosé although the sixth in The Wine Trail Mysteries series by J. C. Eaton is easily followed by a reader new to series.  The descriptions of the setting, a winery in the Fingerlakes region of New York, invoke a true sense of the area and made me want to schedule a trip complete with wine tasting tours. 

I found the mystery well crafted with a sufficient number of red herrings to keep my interest.  As others have noted, Norrie’s actions stretched the imagination of what a rational person might do in a similar situation. However, isn’t that why we read fiction?  All in all a solid mystery. ( I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy and all opinions are my own.)
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Norrie is still in the Finger Lake region of New York taking care of The Two Witches Winery while her sister is away. This year a full moon occurs on the Summer Solstice that is said to trigger a curse of the original two witches/sisters. Norrie doesn't believe in curses but a man is murdered. This leads to my love/ hate relationship with Norrie. I want to enjoy her but I dislike the dangerous situations she chooses to put herself into. Other than that, this is a well written cozy mystery in a great setting.
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With a full moon and summer solstice and a full moon occurring, Norrie is reminded of the curse that someone will die by suffocation.  She plans to chalk it up to a silly superstition until it comes true.  When a friend is arrested for the murder, Norrie starts her own investigation. As far as cozy mystery heroines go, Norrie is a bit on the silly side.  Some of the plot points cross the line between believable and way out there.  For this particular series it works though.  Norrie pulls off the silly, reckless, amateur sleuth act perfectly. I always enjoy my visits to Three Witches Winery.
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Death, DIsmay, and Rose had potential, but for me, it sort of fell flat. 
I think this may have been part of a series, and perhaps others who have read the series enjoyed it more. 
There were passages that were fairly well- written, where there was suspense, and you wondered how things were going to play out. 
I was very disappointed in the way the author treated food and drink throughout the book. 
For a book ostensibly centered around a winery, there was none of the poetry of wine and wine tasting, or the fun "cellar" experience of being a wine-maker. 
In addition, I was just downright annoyed with the food, every other page the protagonist is telling us what she got for lunch, but doesn't actually DESCRIBE it. 
For example, I got a tuna on rye for lunch 
but not, my tuna on rye was just what I needed, the toast was lightly browned, tart, and crunchy under the flaky, tuna, swimming in rich mayonnaise and counterpointed by the crunch of pickles and onion. 
Either describe it well or forget about it. So you had a sandwich - who cares?
The only meal that got even halfway decent treatment was the wine-maker dinner.
I also found some of the action a bit of a stretch, I think the main character would have been locked up long before the end for her meddling in police business.. 
All in all, I cannot recommend this book- your time is better spent elsewhere. 
Thanks to NetGalley for a free ARC, my opinions are my own.
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Death, Dismay and Rosé is the 6th book in the Wine Trail Mystery series and this was my 1st dip into the series. Although it was book six, I had no difficulties keeping up with characters and events and it worked for me as an individual story. It was a very entertaining read with stacks of humour and I readily found myself chuckling away.

Winery manager Norrie Ellington was a marvellous protagonist whom I found to be compassionate and smart. Set in Penn Yan in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Norrie is looking after the Two Witches Winery for a year while her sister and brother in law are in Costa Rica. Her time is almost up and she's counting down the days until she can return to Manhattan, but on her watch, a dead body turns up. As the summer solstice and a full moon fall on the same night, a curse by two witches who used to inhabit the land that is now the Winery says that someone will die by suffocation. Local historian Vance Wexler had been making enemies all over the place and it seems that the curse has come true.

The book was well-crafted, swift-paced and thoroughly entertaining. The mystery was very engaging and I was kept guessing until the end of this lively tale. I’m not sure why I have waited so long to try this series, but I am delighted I now have! There are quite a few instalments to catch up on and I can’t wait to revisit Penn Yan again. Very highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Beyond the Page Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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The Fingerlake district of NY is set for a rare occurrence - the full moon and the summer solstice will occur the same night which brings the old legend of the curse of the Two Witches to the forefront. Norrie Ellington, the owner of the Two Witches winery, is fully aware of the curse but is startled when the local Historical Society President is found dead under the conditions stated in the curse. Norrie has got to find out the true cause and culprit or things may get very bad for her friends and her winery.

I really enjoy this series for multiple reasons - the characters are very entertaining, the wine references and light educational notes, and a well-written mystery!
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Norrie is a character who skates precariously close to the edge of being foolhardy and reckless.  Even her friends, some of whom aid and abet her, comment not infrequently that she needs to be more self aware.  Yet, I have enjoyed the series thus far and continue to do so.  I just hope that she does not slide over the edge into Darwin Award territory.

She is still “babysitting” the family vineyard while her sister and her husband are off in search of rare bugs.  Her promised stay is almost up but before she can return to her life in Manhattan, she must deal with a curse that pops up when the summer solstice coincides with a full moon.  Wouldn’t you know it,  It is going to occur on her watch and the same night she has a big winemaker’s dinner.  That would be sufficient for anyone but when a friend is accused of suffocating an odious man, she feel obligated to look for the killer.  

The local cop, with whom she battles each story, thinks he has his man.  That compels Norrie to dig deeper into the many people who may have had a grudge against him.  Turns out there is a long line.  But there are some other factors that cannot be ignored, including the remote possibility that the curse is real.  And we know by now that when Norrie gets started, she does not always think things through.

There are lots of twists and turns and more than one mystery going on.  It keeps the reader guessing before doubling back to the person he or she might have considered at the beginning.  It makes for a fun read.  Four purrs and two paws up.
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This is the 6th book in the delightful "Wine Trail Mystery Series" by cozy author J.C. Eaton. This is a series that is always fun to return to with great charcters and always a fun sleuth to keep every reader guessing. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity.   My review opinions are my own. 

In this next in series we return to winery manager Norrie Ellington who is skeptical of a solstice event for the full moon and the superstitions that go along with the event that someone will die by suffocation. When a local historian does die by suffocation Norrie is shocked to find out that her friend is suspect number one. As Norrie picks up the investigation she finds the victim did indeed have enemies and many who would have wanted her dead. 
 
I enjoyed this next in series for the excellent well crafted sleuth, the enjoyable supporting charcters and the lovely setting of the winery. This is series not to be missed that every cozy reader will enjoy.
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Two things rarely happen on the same night, a full moon and the summer solstice. Norrie Ellington believes that when they ultimately fall on the same night, there will be a murder. Maybe it was all just nonsense until.. the president of the local historical society turns up dead and there is no lack of suspects..The police however, have their suspicions about one of Norrie’s friends but Norrie really believes there not only is a curse but it took the life of someone. Norrie must dig deeper to find out what or who performed a murder in her town and could she be next. This is a very cozy murder mystery that actually teaches the reader about wine and bugs as well as moving at a great pace with our protagonist as she hunts a killer. A very nice quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you to netgalley as well as the author/publisher for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I'm think I'm getting a bit jaded with these cosy mysteries and heroine amateur detectives who always put themselves and friends at risk, act against any police advice but still expect the police to come to their rescue. when needed. They do, of course, come to the rescue that is. This was definitely one of those stories with the heroine, Norrie, doing a spot of burglary/breaking and entering and so on to help her friend Alex clear themselves of suspicion of murder against a background of the daily grind of running a winery for her family who have gone off somewhere. I did finish but with no great enthusiasm I'm afraid. Thanks to NetGalley and Beyond the Page Publishing for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Another good addition to this excellent series. A solid mystery and a highly entertaining story that kept me hooked.
Good character and plot development, a mystery that kept me guessing.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Norrie Ellington is literally counting the days until her winery overseeing job is complete and her sister and etymologist brother-in-law return. Ah, but that means there is still time for at least one more mystery and this time it involves the two witches which the winery is named for. The two witches who created a two part curse. Any publicity is good publicity right? Not if it means that the odious from the historical society is dead and Norrie's new etymologist friend is Grizzly Gary's number one suspect. Thanks to this series you will learn about wine and bugs, not that they are a good pairing but it does make for interesting reading. Remember to beware the partridge eye while armchair sleuthing. I have noticed that Norrie seems to be getting more and more brave with regards to her fact finding missions and manages to get Don, Theo, Stephanie, and Godfrey involved in one way or another. I am surprised that she hasn't considered using one of her experiences as a screenplay and save herself some work and time. This series is so good with character developement that I am not ready for Norrie to go back to the big city and leave the wine trail, her winey family and friends, or her handsome attorney behind.
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4.5 stars

This is the sixth book in the Wine Trail mysteries by J.C. Eaton.

The local historian is found dead but there is no lack of suspects wanting to do the deed. The man took his historic opinions to everyone who wanted to add a pool to their land or add a few inches to their porch. He denied all these requests claiming they had to maintain the historic presence of their property.

Norrie's brother-in-law is labeled suspect number one after the body of the historian was found near his insect training ground for students. Norrie accidentally makes the police aware of her brother-in-laws closeness to where the body was found.

The curse on the two witches land was a pretty entertaining secondary storyline. I even wondered why this series wasn't titled two witches. There are lots of twists and turns as Norrie feels like she must find the real bad guy to clear her brother-in-law. Characterization was great. The victim was probably the best described character. Too bad he's dead. He is one of those people you love to hate.

Loving this series for sure. Definitely a series I want to continue with.

If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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This was a cute, fun cozy mystery with great characters and a interesting plot.  The story took a many pronged approach to the mystery which was quite refreshing and made the story even more intriguing.  The setting was perfection for anyone that loves wine and the zaniness surrounding the main characters added in some extra chuckles.  This is a great series and one I plan to follow.
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I enjoy this series and was excited to read this one. It is well written, has good character development, and the mysteries are interesting.  This had a few subplots before we find out if there is a curse or not and did V.W. die because of it.

The twists, turns, and misdirections had a great flare to the story.  I read this in one sitting.  Too bad I’ll have to wait awhile for the next one.

I was given an advanced reader’s copy from Netgalley. I am not required to leave a positive review.
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Norrie is becoming a little crazy and her reasons to investigate a little farfetched. I think she needs some time in jail to help her calm down. Good mystery and fun ending, but Norrie's antics are a little over the top.
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I feel as if Norrie took a big step backwards in her character development.  Rather than the sharp, competent character we have come to expect she was downright silly and ditsy.  The whole premise with the mystery was to motivated by saving her 'friend' Alex from murder charges.  She didn't even meet Alex until the murder had been committed.  All of the angst just didn't work.  I'm committed to the series and the authors, but enough of her 'get out of town' mentality and a little more maturity would be appreciated.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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