Cover Image: The French Paradox

The French Paradox

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

When I first read about the plot of The French Paradox, Ellen Crosby's 11th novel in her Wine Country Mysteries series, I knew it was a 100% 'need to read this NOW' book! With thanks to the publisher, Severn House, and to Net Galley for access to an advance copy of the book which will be published April 5, 2021.

This is such a fabulous series of books, always filled with interesting people, Virginia history, fascinating information on growing wine and drinking it, set in one of the beautiful areas of Virginia within sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains. To my delight this plot circles around Jackie Kennedy Onassis, from her early years when first in Paris to her time as a book editor, and her love of art, France, and history. What I truly love about this series of novels is the author's ability to pull me into her plot, and to make me believe all of the story from the beginning. More though, is that she does not leave one wondering at the end what is and isn't true, but rather acknowledges who her sources are and which aspects of her story are fact and which are fiction.

I believe this is one of her best novels. She absolutely had me from the 'Prologue' and I couldn't stop reading. 5 stars, well deserved.

Again, the book will be published on April 5, 2021 by Severn House. #SevernHouse #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
This is the 11th in the wildly popular Wine Country mystery series. It can be read as a stand-alone but so many series’ raves have convinced me to devour the whole set. 

In this latest, you’ll find Jackie Kennedy, a secret affair, Paris, fine wine, 18th century art, and murder — an irresistible mix, an enthralling read!

5 of 5 Stars

Thanks to the author, Canongate Books, and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.

Pub Date 06 Apr 2021
#TheFrenchParadox #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Lucie Montgomery discovers that her grandfather had a romantic fling with Jacqueline Bouvier when she was studying in Paris in the last 1940s.  Better known as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, the wife of the prince of Camelot John F Kennedy.  While Lucie discovered this when she found her Grandmother’s journal, she discovers that others know about it too. But one person in particular is looking to use the journal to rewrite and add some scandal to the last known manuscript the Jackie O was working on when she died.

While the writer’s Mother is donating paintings from a now famous artist that Jackie bought during her time in Paris, Harry decides to throw a preview at a local art gallery to announce her book before the paintings move to the museum. Right before the big launch, a dear friend of Lucie’s Mother is found dead in the family vineyard. Was his demise related to the book and paintings or to his own book and some of his own column that blasted the owner of a local nursery?

This is the first book I have read in this series, how did I miss the first 11 books in this series, and I had no gaps whatsoever.  Having lived in the Northern Virginia area for years, this book took me right back home.  I could see the roads and estates in my mind as I read it.  I will be back for the first ten books in this series.
Was this review helpful?
The French Paradox is the 11th book in the Wine Country Mysteries written by Ellen Crosby and will be published in April, 2021. I was thrilled to receive an early copy through NetGalley, as it is one of my favorite series. The author combines a love of wine, complex investigations, a beautiful Virginia setting, and a balanced historical / political tone in all her books, and this one is no exception. Imagine if Jacqueline Kenney Onassis had a lover before JFK, and she wrote about it in a few journals that someone got their hands on! Murder seems quite obvious, eh?

Lucie Montgomery runs the vineyard we've come to love. She's engaged to Quinn, and both her siblings are back home this season. Eli is mostly in the background but Mia is suspected of murder. Someone they know is found dead in the vineyard after he trashed a local gardener's methods. He also knew about Jackie O's letters, and when Lucie's Pepe returns from France, he as a secret too. In a multi-dimensional cast of powerful, rich, and angry people, which one of them killed the man who knew too much? With names like Cricket and Harry (both women) and Ash (man), there is an old-time charm set in a modern world.

Cozy mysteries have a wide range. While this falls mostly into the edges of the sub-genre, it's not your typical style. It's not light/silly/lovey like some... it's not dark either. Somewhere in the middle, it offers a reality check on life, where everyone's personalities aren't all black and white. Lucie can be tough to handle; she's direct, sometimes ornery... she expects things of others without justification, but she also knows how to love and support. The sibling bonds are extraordinarily real when it comes to fights or tender moments. And the author's knowledge of the geographical area and wine is immense. Half the time, I forget about the mystery and indulge myself in a history lesson. The tone is quite wonderful and feels atmospheric and ripe with tension.

I rate this series in my top 10 to 15 all-time... I must read the books when the come out. Often, the author embellishes history, or picks a fact and makes a lot more out of it. As readers, we should know this is intentionally historical fiction, so we shouldn't be upset. It's part of the magical world of storytelling, and while I adore Jackie O and think we shouldn't tarnish her reputation... thinking she had a secret lover is fun. I want to know who/why/where... what would happen if she was alive today and her journals were released... et al. This is the kind of book (and author) who pushes a reader to involve themselves in the story not because you want to solve the case but because you just need to be a fly on the wall as everything comes undone.

4.5 stars... a few items let open at the end, and a touch of confusion on timelines when the murder occurred. Nothing at all to worry about, possibly personal taste. But oh, now I have to wait another year, so I'll be grumpy. Truthfully, it is worth the wait. Give this one a chance please.
Was this review helpful?
A Satisfying Mystery.....
The eleventh entry in the Wine Country series combining a good dose of history with present day and a satisfying mystery. Nicely compiled, well plotted and engaging from start to finish. A worthy entry to the series.
Was this review helpful?