Cover Image: Mulled to Death

Mulled to Death

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Member Reviews

This has become one of my favorite cozy series. I adore the Colorado setting and learning about wine. The protagonist is relatable, and I had a lot of fun with the love triangle. The mystery was well paced and well written.
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Reading Mulled to Death brought back wonderful memories of my younger days when I used to ski, mostly in New England. The descriptions of the Silver Creek ski resort in Colorado were so beautiful and vivid. There were also a lot of descriptions of food (one of the main characters is a chef, so that’s not too surprising). The main character, Parker Valentine, is a winemaker and the author weaves in a lot of wine-related knowledge along the way. As far as the story goes, I thought Parker’s involvement was a bit far-fetched; she really should have left it to the local sheriff, but then it wouldn’t be a typical cozy mystery. Also, I got bored with the endless repetition of how handsome her boyfriend Reid is. It was a reasonably good story but I probably won’t be picking up any further books in this series.

Mulled To Death is the third book in the Colorado Wine Mystery series but the first one I’ve read. I think it was just fine to read without having read the other two books, although I’m sure the backstories of the main characters would have had even more depth.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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First off, this wine cozy includes recipes which I am looking forward to making the mulled wine, snacks, and cupcakes. They will be a perfect pairing while reading during the 12 Days of Cozies. Great plot with plenty of misdirection and suspects. I especially liked the side story of the sneak thief. Parker is a great character, a passionate vintner who relates almost everything through wine and the process of making wine, which was both entertaining and educational.  Some very nice interactions between Parker and Reid as well as Parker and Liam. No need to have read the other books to understand who the players are, but you will find that you enjoy this one enough to go back to the series starter. A nice bit of girl power without being overdone between BauerPower and Aunt Laura’s Galentine celebrations.
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What an awesome book!!!! I did not read the others in this series but had no problem picking this right up. The characters are flawed but lovable. The plot was interesting and drew me in. It kept me guessing all the way to the end! The writing was concise and easy to read. I really enjoyed this book and want to read more from this writer. This was a cannot miss book.
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What can I say? I love this series so much and the latest installment is just as intriguing and delightful as the previous two, which I also adored. There are certain books that you can pick up knowing you are in for a treat and that is how I feel about Lansing's style and writing. I know I'm going to be engaged, surprised, and come away feeling really good. After following Parker's adventures for the past three books, I feel like I know her and the supportive cast if characters around her. I was delighted to learn that there will be a BOOK FOUR coming next fall and I can't wait for more! All the stars!
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“Here’s the thing about female friendships: They can be some of the most fulfilling relationships in your life, full of wisdom, laughter, and support. And chocolate and wine, naturally. But that trust, once broken, is hard to earn back.”

When Parker Valentine decides to take a weekend away with her boyfriend Reid, a ski trip sounds perfect. She can both have a lovely getaway and try to sell her fabulous mulled wine to the resort. But when she witnesses the untimely death of Olympic champion skier and resort owner Annmarie, her weekend turns out to be a bit more than she bargained for. Can she make it through the weekend with her heart, and life, intact? 

This was the coziest of murder mysteries and is book three in the Colorado Wine Mystery series. I have not read the first two but had no issues getting pulled right into the story. I have skied since I was a kid and, for all that I read, I haven’t read a book set in a ski resort since Shiver earlier this year. Parker was a hoot, inserting herself into active investigations and firmly believing that she, and she alone, can avenge Annmarie. Minus the murder and arson, this book makes me want to slip back into my skis and get out on the slopes! If you love skiing, wine, and food (and who doesn’t love wine and food?) you will really enjoy this one. 

Thank you to Netgalley, Berkley Publishing, and the author for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The Colorado Wine Mysteries by Kate Lansing keep getting better. Grab a glass of your favorite wine (I prefer a crisp Sauvignon Blanc… although since this is a Valentine themed book, you may prefer a juicy, red Dornfelder…) and get to reading!

In this series what really shines for me is how well Lansing incorporates wine making and history into the story. Some cozies use the food or hobby as more of a gimmick to get readers to pick up their book, but you can tell Lansing really enjoys her subject matter.

Along with the fabulous wine and delicious food accompaniments (thanks to Parker’s love interest) we also get an insider’s view into Colorado’s cities and countryside. My husband and I love to vacation in Colorado, but if I had never been there before, Lansing’s books would definitely make me want to plan a trip.

Besides all the above mentioned wonderfulness, the reader also gets to enjoy well developed and complex characters… no one dimensional people here. And in Mulled to Death there were a couple of incidents that read more like a thriller than a cozy, which was a fun change of pace and really had my heart racing.

The Colorado Wine Mysteries is a cozy series I highly recommend!
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In the third book in the Colorado Wine Mysteries, vintner Parker Valentine and her boyfriend Reid, leave Boulder for a ski getaway over Valentine’s weekend. Their destination: Silver Creek Lodge, a resort owned by Olympic medalist Annemarie. And If Parker can convince the resort’s wine director to offer Vino Valentine’s mulled wine, all the better.

When Parker sees Annemarie start a run on a notoriously difficult trail, she pauses to watch an Olympian in action. However, Annemarie never emerges from behind a copse of trees. Equally curious and concerned, Parker navigates between trails to find a group gathered around Annemarie’s lifeless body, a death later determined to be homicide. 

Shortly thereafter, Parker and Reid, enjoying the hot tub, are locked on the roof and the electricity goes out. That might be an accident but further scrapes indicate she is being targeted. Unless she finds the killer first, she may be the next victim.

Moving locations gives Parker new foils and helps make her involvement in another murder case believable. She also questions how she finds herself entangled in so many investigations.

Liam, Parker’s brother, and Sage, her best friend, who recently started dated, are along for the fun, and seeing them in the glow of new love Is fun, while Parker and Reid’s relationship develops nicely as Parker confides in Reid about her past.

We don’t have Parker’s cat Zin in this novel, but Madeline is the Silver Creek Lodge resident cat and a very fun and sassy character.

As in the previous books, wine-making takes a central role and provides a number of parallels to the action as well as more casual metaphors. Some of these, I think, are more natural to the narrative than others.

While the book can be read as a stand-alone in terms of the mystery, some of the characters and relationships may not be as clear to those joining the series with this entry.

With the characters bundled up to ski or warming up in the lodge, MULLED TO DEATH is an especially cozy cozy mystery with many viable suspects and a satisfying conclusion. Plus, the book includes recipes, one being for mulled wine, of course!
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The weekend is off to a rough start. Parker Valentine has an appointment scheduled to pitch her Snowy Day Syrah wine with mulling spices to the wine director at Silver Creek Lodge, but traffic has her delayed. It’s also Valentine’s Day weekend, and Parker struggles with the holiday due to memories of her aunt. She hasn’t told her boyfriend, Reid, all the details so she’s also on edge about the romantic weekend getaway they are on. Unfortunately, shortly after their arrival, the owner and former Olympic medalist, Annmarie Bauer, is found dead on one of the resort’s ski trails. Parker wants to stay out of it and Reid, her brother, and her best friend are all urging her to just enjoy the weekend, but Parker senses something is amiss… especially when the dangerous mishaps start.

MULLED TO DEATH is the third book in the Colorado Wine Mystery series and can easily be read as a standalone. Readers new to the series should note that references to the prior book’s murder investigation are made as well as spoilers about the identify of the killer in the first book. The mystery itself stands on its own merits and Kate Lansing provides sufficient back history on the characters and their various relationships to one another to thoroughly enjoy MULLED TO DEATH.

I love Parker and her desire to make her dreams come true. I’ll admit I was a little frustrated at her for not communicating better with Reid, but that’s also part of the growth of any relationship and I love how Kate Lansing handles it. I also love the glimpses we are getting into Parker and Reid’s lives before they met and became a couple as we see their characters grow and develop with each new installment in the series.
And Liam! I can’t help but mention Parker’s younger brother. I have a soft spot for him and his struggle to find his direction in life. He’s finally settling in, and Parker helps him overcome a huge obstacle he’s had about success. I can’t wait to see more of Liam in the future!

MULLED TO DEATH is a phenomenal murder mystery, along with a great education in the tasting and brewing of wine! I am by no means a wine aficionado (dessert wines are my only true “loves” when it comes to wine”) but Kate Lansing is educating me and encouraging me to broaden my palate. The characters, the mysteries, and especially the food and wine all work together to make MULLED TO DEATH and the Colorado Wine Mystery series a hit!

*review is in the editing queue at Fresh Fiction*
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Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele

Mulled to Death, the third book in the Colorado Wine Mystery Series, takes readers away from its established Boulder setting to a luxurious ski resort where murder and misadventure threaten to ruin Valentine’s Day Weekend.  Author Kate Lansing delivers an action packed, intriguing cozy tale.

Winemaker Parker and her chef boyfriend Reid, along with her brother and best friend, get away for the weekend at the Silver Creek Ski Resort.  Its pristine snowy setting is beautiful, but Parker is having a hard time since the Valentine holiday makes her miss her deceased aunt even more than unusual.  At least she has the opportunity to pitch her mulled wine to the wine director of the resort Akira while she is there.  Things look promising until the resort’s owner, Olympic champion Annamarie Bauer dies in an apparent skiing accident.  But, Parker thinks it was more than a mere accident and investigates.  She must be on the right track because the “accidents” she is having are getting more and more dangerous.

I enjoy the premise of this series, and there is just the right amount of wine tidbits sprinkled throughout to make the winemaking theme compelling but not so many that a non-drinker would lose interest.  Parker is an interesting protagonist, observant and a good problem solver but quite relatable with insecurities that most of us experience as we go about life.  Reid, Liam, and Sage are all fun to hang out with, and their relationships with Parker are the heart of the book.

The variety of characters central to the murder mystery is entertaining, even the often unpleasant one like resort manager Paisley.  Reid worked at the resort at one time, and his familiarity with several of the employees helps readers get to know the new characters quickly.  I hope that Akira appears in future books in the series.  Even though Annamarie dies early in the story, readers learn a lot about her from Parker’s chats with her suspects.  There are plenty of clues sprinkled throughout the story, but I did not figure out the killer’s identity before the very Hercule Poirot style reveal.

As always with this series, my only quibble is that it is written in present tense.  It is not my favorite, but I seemed to acclimate better here than in previous books in the series.  Mulled to Death is a fun, engaging read sure to please any cozy mystery fan.
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Mulled to Death is book three in Kate Lansing's Colorado Wine Mystery series. It features Parker Valentine, who owns a premier winery in Boulder. Parker is taking a break and holidaying in the Colorado mountains on a skiing trip with her boyfriend Reid, her brother Liam and bezzie Sage. It will be a busman's holiday for Parker as she is promoting her Snowy Day Syrah mulled wine. But when Annmarie Bauer, the resort's owner has an accident on the ski slopes and dies, Parker begins her own investigation...

I found this a great read even though I haven't yet read the first books in the series. Parker is quick and resourceful and I found her to be a good protagonist, even if she's a little bit impetuous. The mystery was well done, packed as it was with action, turns, concealments and lashings of drama. I was confounded by the killer until the end which was a stonker! An intriguing tale with some fabulous characterisation.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Berkley via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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In the third book in Kate Lansing;s Colorado Wine Mystery series, Mulled to Death, Olympic Gold Medal winner Annmarie Bauer is murdered. Amateur sleuth and owner of Vino Valentine Parker Valentine is determined to find out who killed Annmarie. This puts Parker in danger which doesn't stop her from sleuthing. I liked how this storyline incorporated information about wine too. This was an interesting read and I plan to catch up on the earlier books in the series.
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3.5 Reviews

Parker Valentine owns a premier winery in Boulder, Colorado. She is excited to combine business with pleasure when she visits a nearby ski resort with her boyfriend, brother, and best friend over Valentine’s Day weekend. She is able to make a pitch for the resort to add one of her wines to their menu and is thrilled when the owner, a former Olympic skier, agrees to the deal.  However, the celebration is premature because the next morning, Parker finds the lifeless body of the owner out on the ski slopes. Parker at first simply shares something she witnessed with a member of local law enforcement, but soon puts the fun part of her trip aside to investigate Annmarie’s tragic death.

This is the third book in the Colorado Wine Mystery series. I’ve only read one of the prior books, but had no problem getting to know the characters. The main characters are all fairly likable, but I couldn’t fully connect with them. Parker comes across as self-centered much of the time. She  explains her aversion to celebrating Valentine’s Day, which is putting a damper on the weekend, but it seems overly dramatic. I am glad she eventually acknowledges this and tries to overcome it. I know this happens a lot in cozy mysteries, but in this book it seems especially contrived that Parker would become so involved in the murder investigation of someone she had only met once. Her confrontation of all the suspects at the end is a little hard to believe, but does get results.

Although her motivation for going all in seems weak, the book is entertaining. Parker is a capable amateur sleuth, using her knowledge of people to read witnesses and suspects. She also does a good job of sharing what she learns with Jenny, the sheriff officially investigating the case. I really enjoy the information about wines and winemaking included in the story, which keeps the book true to the premise of the series. I began craving some of the mulled wine that Parker kept describing, so fortunately there are directions on how to prepare your own at the end. I’m not a skier, but the author also does a good job of helping the reader visualize the setting of the resort and the ski runs. The mystery itself is interesting and I was convinced I knew the identity of the killer, but I was wrong. I was pleased to be surprised, and the solution is logical once everything is explained. Overall, this is a fast-paced cozy that is coming out just in time for the beginning of fall and cooler weather.

~ Christine
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  In spite of having mixed feelings about Valentines, Parker is off to a ski resort for an exciting weekend mixing business with pleasure.  If she can interest the wine manager with her mulled wine, it will mean a big break for her winery.  But even getting there presents a challenge thanks to the roads and the weather.  It is but a harbinger of what is to come.

Albeit a bit later than she planned, both the manager and the owner, a former Olympian, are both impressed and plan to put in an order.  But rather than relaxing, the weekend turns deadly when the expert skier is murdered on her own run.  Parker found the body and was a witness to what happened just prior.  She is forthcoming with whatever information she can provide but the killer must think she knows more than she realizes.  After a possible attempt on her life, Parker is more determined to ferret out the villain and is busy asking questions and sharing knowledge with the local cops.  This is where cozies can fall off the rails with me.

Intelligent heroines being reckless and dumb ruin the story, no matter how good the other parts are.  It is a fine balance between suspense and stupidity.  Parker might have crossed that line when she continues investigating after a second, very obvious attempt on her life is made.  But she manages the feat.  With just the right amount of daring and sensible caution, she forges ahead and uncovers the murderer.  There are some twists and turns that keep things moving.  Not sure if this is the book to read during a blizzard but it is great for now.  

The characters are strong and compelling and there is an absolutely charming hotel cat, Mathilda, who steals the show and lots of other things.
Five purrs and two paws up.
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Another great addition to the series. I really enjoyed the fresh setting and all of the side characters. I was happy to see more of Parker's brother and her best friend as they are great characters. I also really enjoyed seeing more development of Parker and Reid's relationship, though her insistence on solving the mystery and not spending time with him was frustrating. The mystery was well done but not quite as good as the first two books. I think anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries will like this, especially people who enjoy wine and unique recipes.
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I am still not sold on this series.  For me, there is too much atmosphere description which is not necessary since the reader can fill it in for themselves.  The plotting is slow, and Parker Valentine, the owner of a wine label and tasting room in Boulder, Colorado, is way too obsessed with her boyfriend and comes across like a teenager instead of the adult she is supposed to be.  Unfortunately, I find her friend Sage more interesting than her.  

Kate Lansing needs to bring more dimension to Parker, tone down the crushing on the boyfriend, and maybe spend less time describing the room and more time creating suspense.
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Vintner Parker Valentine is looking forward to a working vacation with her boyfriend Reid, her brother Liam and her best friend Sage, the latter two of whom are dating too. The foursome are headed to the Silver Creek Lodge where Parker plans to pitch her Snowy Day Syrah and accompanying mulling spices to the ski resort’s wine director. Since her meeting coincides with Valentine Day’s weekend, the four friends have decided to make a couples getaway of it, even though Parker herself has a lot of reservations about the holiday, mostly to do with the untimely passing of her beloved Aunt Laura.

Fortunately, Parker and Reid have promised each other no gifts this first Valentine’s they’re spending together, even though Parker hasn’t really told him why she’s so lukewarm on the idea. With the important business meeting occupying her thoughts -- not to mention all the skiing and snowboarding the rest of the group is intent on doing -- there isn’t much time for an emotional heart-to-heart either. Plus, the appearance of the resort’s famous owner, glamorous former Olympic athlete Annmarie Bauer, is more than enough to dominate all conversation, for which Parker is secretly glad.

She’s very much not glad, however, when Annmarie dies while skiing down the most difficult of the lodge’s runs. Parker was on a neighboring course when the tragedy happened and isn’t sure whether she saw something suspicious in the lead up to Annmarie’s accident. Sheriff Jenny Scott doesn’t think Annmarie’s death was accidental at all though, so is happy to entertain Parker’s concerns. As a rash of thefts and a series of other weird and dangerous incidents begin to plague the resort, Parker wonders whether she did indeed see something she shouldn’t have, and whether a killer is ready to eliminate the only witness to what truly happened on the slopes that day.

This was another fun, millennial-focused installment of the Colorado Wine mystery series. Mulled To Death touched deftly on many headline-inspired issues in the course of laying out its tricky mystery which, along with Parker and Liam’s sniping sibling relationship, grounded the story in reality (though I freely admit to being on Liam’s side when it comes to weekend work and work-life balance.)

There were three recipes included here, for a delicious snack, a tasty soup and decadent cupcakes. I was quite torn but ultimately decided on the soup:

QUOTE
Cozy Chicken Soup with Thyme Dumplings
(Serves 4 to 6)

1 whole (2 split) chicken breast, bone in and skin on
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 yellow onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and medium-diced
4 stalks celery, medium-diced
2 leeks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 cups chicken stock
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat chicken breast with olive oil and place on sheet pan. Sprinkle with fresh-ground black pepper and salt and bake for 45 minutes. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone, discarding the skin. Dice into 1-inch pieces.

In large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the onion, carrots, celery, leeks, and ½ teaspoon of pepper and a pinch of salt. Sauté together, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock, chicken, and parsley, and simmer for 30 minutes.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, thyme, and pinch of salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs the size of peas. Stir in milk. Drop teaspoon-sized spoonfuls (the dumplings expand a surprising amount!) into the soup. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

To serve, ladle broth, chicken, veggies, and dumplings in bowls and enjoy!
END QUOTE

The preparation of the chicken for this soup is outstanding, leaving it perfectly tender and juicy, melding almost perfectly with the delectable vegetables. I actually poured some of the roasted chicken juices into the soup to give it further body (and also because I couldn’t stand the thought of just pouring all that tasty liquid down the drain. I definitely snacked on the roasted chicken skin as well!) The only thing I’d change about this recipe is perhaps increasing the salt level of the thyme dumplings. They’re delightfully herbaceous, but could use a little more than just a pinch of the salt to really bring out the flavor, in my opinion.

Next week, we continue our run of savories with a delicious pasta as we go back to the beginning of a series by one of my favorite culinary cozy authors. Do join me!
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Book 3 in the Colorado Wine Mystery series takes us on a snowy adventure. Parker is pitching her mulled wine to a new possible customer at a nearby ski resort. Reid, Sage and Liam decide to tag along  and turn this trip into a fun Valentine’s getaway. I loved this change of scenery and all of the descriptions made me very nostalgic. While I’ve never been skiing in Colorado, we use to always go on Winter getaways to various resorts across New Mexico. I could easily imagine the anticipation of studying the trail map, selecting your run, hearing the clip of your boot into the equipment, the crunch of fresh snow and the excitement of going on the chair lift. 

After witnessing a fatal incident on the slopes, Parker can’t help but get involve in yet another case. This mystery was so good. It kept me guessing and being highly suspicious of all of the resort’s employees. The culprit tried to scare Parker off several times with some pretty suspenseful moments. I enjoyed all of the extra actions!! There’s a cute side story about items being swiped from guest’s rooms too. I definitely smiled when that was resolved. 

This book provided some great character growth for Parker. She not only overcame some grief, but progressed her relationship with Reid. They seriously are a cute couple. Fingers crossed we hear about book 4 soon. Maybe it will be a story about the rockstar Liam just booked!! 

Several recipes are included.
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Mulled to Death by Kate Lansing is the 3rd book in the Colorado Wine Mystery series. Parker Valentine is a Colorado wine maker who is trying to spend a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Reid, at a beautiful ski resort. After a quick business meeting with the owner of the resort—famous Olympian, Annmarie Bauer—Parker and Reid hit the slopes. But on her way down the mountain, Parker hears something suspicious and heads off to investigate, only to find Annmarie’s dead body. Even though it was made to look like a ski accident, it becomes obvious that this was no accident. Parker quickly finds herself immersed in the investigation and in danger. With so many suspects, who has the most to gain by Annmarie’s death? 

This is the first of these cozy mysteries that I’ve read and I would definitely be interested in checking out the first two book! Super cute characters—I really enjoyed Parker and her friends. Easy read with beautiful scenery and fun food and wine descriptions. I would recommend this to fans of cozy mysteries!
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4 Stars

Mulled to Death is an entertaining and adventurous edition to the Colorado Wine Mystery Series.

Parker is mixing a bit of business and pleasure with Valentine's weekend getaway. Nestled away in the mountains of a beautiful Alpine ski resort Parker and her boyfriend Reid have plans of a romantic time in between hitting the slopes and Parker pitching her wine to the Director of the resort. On what should be a fun day of hitting the slopes Parker comes across the resort owner's body dead on a ski trail. What should’ve been a fun and romantic weekend is thrown into chaos. Not only does Parker find a dead body but little things keep happening that have her looking a bit over her shoulder.

Mulled to Death was fantastic. Each book in the series gets better and better. Parker takes sleuthing to a whole other level. She wants to get to the bottom of it and she goes full tilt. Even if sometimes it’s not the best choice. She’s very passionate about finding out who and why. I love seeing Parker‘s romantic side come out a bit more. As a romance lover I love seeing a bit of romance with my cozy mysteries. As for the mystery part this one is twists and turns and has the reader doing some thinking. I also love how the author is able to incorporate things about wine in just about every aspect of the book that does not involve winemaking. The description of the spices for the mulled wine makes me want to try and make a batch myself.

Kate Lansing’s Mulled to Death is what you want in a cozy mystery.
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