Cover Image: Mischief, Murder and Merlot

Mischief, Murder and Merlot

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Member Reviews

When a dead journalist turned up in her Halloween display cauldron, Norrie couldn't resist the temptation to investigate. With a penchant for sleuthing, she found herself deeply involved in the investigation, regardless of what the Sheriff decreed. It was an intriguing and exciting read.
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I so love this book! The storyline was interesting and the characters well thought out! The mystery was entertaining and kept me guessing! I would highly recommend this book to everyone!
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I don't know anything about wine, but I do love a good cozy.  Norrie is a screenwriter in Manhattan.  Her sister Francine manages the family's winery.  Francine wants to go with her husband to an exotic locale to study bugs.  Yep, bugs.  So Norrie is back home helping with the winery while her sister is gone.  Halloween is coming up and all the wineries in the area are celebrating Halloween with a big event.  Wine tasting and scary stores.  On top of that, Norrie learns a journalist is coming to review the regions Merlot.  When the writer turns up dead in the decorations for  Two Witches Winery, Norrie is fit-to-be-tied.  She doesn't have any faith in the local constabulary so she sets off with her friends and fellow Vintners to figure who killed the writer.

This is a fun and entertaining cozy.  The characters are quirky and at time made me laugh.  The writing style is easy-to-read and was a nice escape.
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Thank you NetGalley and Beyond the Page Publishing for accepting my request to read and review Mischief, Murder, and Merlot.  

Author:  J.C. Eaton
Published:  08/30/22
Genre:  Cooking, Food, & Wine -- Humor -- Mystery & Thrillers

Unfortunately I didn't connect with the plot, the characters or the setting.  Even the Halloween decorating chat was lost.  I read through roughly 52% and frankly was bored and just didn't care.  Nothing about the book grabbed me.  

I am giving this 2.5 stars, I'm not rounding up, I didn't finish the book.  I do believe there is a cozy market for this book.  If you like winery tidbits, bonfires, ghost stories give this a try.
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I have come to enjoy and look forward to books by J.C. Eaton. They are fun, clever, and usually have a dash of humor thrown in. Mischief, Murder, and Merlot is no different. If you are a cozy mystery fan, do yourself a favor and pick up a book by J.C. Eaton. You’ll be glad you did. This book is especially great in the fall with a nice cup of cider and a cozy place to rest. Then sit back and enjoy the Halloween mayhem as you try to solve a mystery that has a satisfying end.
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Norrie is back at it again. This time she's investigating the murder of a magazine critic who was suppose to write about this year's merlot. I thought this book was cute and fun. I enjoyed the humor here and there in the story.  All in all,  I thought it was brilliant.
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Norrie is pulled back to town to fill in at the winery as her sister must go out of town. It is coming up on Halloween and the wineries have come up with some fabulous displays for the event. There is even a writer coming because they have heard about the great Merlot this season. Then there is a body found in the cauldron on site and Norrie is sure the police need help solving it. She has help from the other wineries in her attempts to solve the murder. Will she figure it out in time to save the event? Read this, you won't be disappointed.
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Mischief, Murder and Merlot is part of the Wine Trial mysteries series, featuring Norrie Ellington and Two Witches Winery.  This is part of a series, but I had no issues with understanding the characters and their backgrounds.  

Norrie Ellington returns to Two Witches winery at the request of her sister, just in time to deal with the Hallow Wine Weekend sponsored by the Wine Trails wineries.  A critic from Wine Enthusiast magazine is in town to taste and rate this year’s Merlot, considered to be one of the best ever produced.  All the decorations are in place as the weekend starts, then the critic is found in the Two Witches Hallow Wine display, which has pieces from another winery’s display.  All of the wineries’ displays have been scrambled, which confuses the issue of who wanted the critic dead.  Norrie and fellow winery owners come together to investigate and identify the murderer.

The reveal was a surprise to me, which I consider a plus.  I will be going back to read the other books in this series.  

Thanks to NetGalley and Beyond the Page Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Norrie is back at Two Witches while her sister and brother-in-law hunt bugs around the world.  She arrives in time for Hallow Wine, a big event around Halloween.  The place is decorated and they are really excited because a famous wine writer is coming to interview their winery on its exemplary Merlot.  Things seem to be going well until there is a change to the decorations.  Someone has left an unwanted addition in their cauldron: the wine writer.

Asked to keep his identity a secret by her local cop nemesis, Grizzly Gary, Norrie tries to figure out why someone killed the victim and why they plonked him on her property.  There are a number of people who show up, including his assistant, who have good reason not to like the man.  But is that an excuse for killing him?  Then there are some suspicious folks lurking around.  Do they have a connection to the deceased or is it the assistant who conveniently disappears.   Norrie enlists her usual suspects to help her sleuth, much to the frustration on Grizzly Gary.  But when Norrie is on the trail, she is relentless.

Glad to say she stays on the right side of Darwin and there is an unusual and entertaining climax.  It is a series I do enjoy, partly for the characters and partly for the plots.  The only problem is I end up wanting to open up a bottle.  If that is the worst, I will drink to that.  Five purrs and two paws up.
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Mischief , Murder and Merlot by J.C. Eaton
This was kind of a disappointment for me but partly my own fault maybe because this is book 8 in a series and the first I have read.
The main character is kind of irrational and frequently jumps to conclusions with no actual rationale. She does things that are very dangerous which could lead to her arrest or even death when you consider the ending of the book. She gets other people to compromise their ethics and engage in illegal behavior. And when does she have time to write her screenplays I’d like to know. 
The characters were not highly developed, her boyfriend was a bit of a cipher. I felt like I knew the dog better than him.
The murder method was ridiculous but no spoilers so I won’t say why. Research it yourself if you care. 
I read this book because I really enjoy the Sophie Kimball series by this couple but this book fell flat for me.
I give it three stars because I did finish it but I won’t be reading another one from this series.
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Overall good read. 2 thumbs up. Great for Autumn season with picturesque descriptions of the setting & interesting characters that I would love to meet.

I knew this book was not the 1st in the series. The 1st 3 pages were catch up for the previous books.  I thought this was the second or 3rd book in the series, but quickly found out it's #8. I was very surprised and a little sad because I was hoping to go back and read that 1st book right away. However, my tbr list is big enough. Despite the fact that it's the 8th book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone. I may not be rushing out to buy the other 7 books. But they are on my radar. I enjoyed the mystery, the setting and the characters. very well written. Great interaction and I loved hearing names of real towns that I'm familiar with. Although the kindle version seemed a bit longer read than most coziez, the story moved quite quickly & did not dawdle on the everyday mundane. I had to drop a star and only give it 3. I'm afraid the ending was worse than some of the hallmark stories that Norrie talks about. The murderer was a surprise. Mostly. I knew they were involved but pieced it together as Norrie did. It just happened in a way that wasn't believable. Even tv mysteries try to be more correct with their police procedures. It's still worth the read and doesn't harm the over all story. I will say the ending is satisfactory. Just a bit unreal. I recommend Miscief, Murder and Merlot by the duo known as J.C. Eaton. Thank you Netgalley for the eARC version of this story  & for introducing me to a new author.
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Norrie Ellington has come back to the Two Witches winery for what she thinks is 6 weeks while her sister and husband, an entomologist, search for an elusive insect in Hawaii. The winery and other local wineries are having a Weekend Halloween festival but the decorations that each winery have are vandalized and sections are mixed. However, Two Witches ends up with a real body in their cauldron. It turns out to be the reviewer sent by Wine Enthusiast who was to report on the area Merlot.

Why was the reviewer targeted? Was he writing a bad review for a particular winery or was it something more personal?

Fun series with whacky characters and good writing.
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I enjoy both series penned by the brother and sister team of J. C. Eaton. If you want a solid mystery to unravel and a cast of characters that aren't made of cardboard plus a healthy dose of humor, check them out. This latest of the Wine Trail series has the Halloween theme, perfect to get you in the spooky mood. 
Norrie has her hands full taking care of the family winery, The Two Witches, while her sister and brother-in-law are out of town. Not only is Norrie trying to wrangle her screen play but she has to deal with the arrival of a wine critic and the upcoming Halloween festivities. That includes all of the wineries decorating with goblins and ghosties and things that go bump in the night. Don't forget those witches. Fake witches around a cauldron - check. Wait a minute! Who added the extra one and who killed him? Yep, the wine critic has imbibed his last glass of merlot. The list of suspects is long because he was a real cad. With the local police intent on keeping her nose out of the case, Norrie and her various friends set out to unmask the killer. It all makes for a very entertaining seasonal mystery.
My thanks to the publisher Beyond the Page and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Beyond the Page Publishing for the opportunity to read this ARC. #netgalley

This is a fun, cute cozy read perfect for the fall. I enjoyed the characters and held my attention to the end.
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This one kept me hooked and entertained until the last page… The characters each have these little pieces that make them such believable characters!
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Mischief, Murder and Merlot is the 8th book in the Wine Trail Mystery series and this was my 3rd dip into the series. Although it was book eight, 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 is also a screenwriter in Nolita, New York, and a marvellous protagonist whom I find 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 while her sister, Francine, and brother-in-law, Jason are away in the Philippines, Maui and Hawaii. Her parents live in Myrtle Beach and Norrie is arriving prior to a planned Halloween event weekend with Seneca Lake wineries. The papier-mâché witches are in place, along with the witches' cauldrons and there will be a costume contest, as well as spooky finger food and a storyteller. A wine journalist is coming to interview the local vineyards for an article about their Merlot. The interview takes place but then a dead body is found near the cauldron display... its Donavan Brin - the interviewer.

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 waited a while to try this series, but I am delighted I have continued with it. 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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I received this ARC via Netgalley and Beyond The Page Publishing, in return for an honest review. While the eighth book in this series, it is easily read as a standalone.  Norrie Ellington is unexpectedly back at the Two Witches Winery she co-owns with her sister because of an unexpected entomology field trip by her brother-in-law.  Unfortunately for Norrie, her extended stays always seem to coincide with a murder at one or more of the local wineries.  This time, the Halloween weekend winery celebrations set the stage for a dead body and all the wineries having their displays disrupted.  Are the two things done by the same perpetrator or is there more than meets the eyes?  A fun cozy series.  Norrie makes decisions that would probably get most people arrested for interference, but the authors wind the tales together to a satisfying end.  Lots of food and wine in every book!
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I can't believe this is book eight. How have I missed reading all the books this series?! I'm not sure, but I'm glad I didn't miss this one. It was interesting and twisty and had me going "hmmmm" several times as I tried to figure out whodunit. The main character, Norrie, is fun and funny and her brain (and her voice) goes about 90 miles an hour. LOL The rest of her sleuthing team are just as fun and engaging.

As I said, I haven't read all of the other books in this series, which I plan to do something about, but I followed along with no problems at all. I highly recommend this intriguing mystery.

Many thanks to Beyond the Page Publishing and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or favor or expectation.
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The best cozy mystery I've read in quite some time this book kept me engaged from page one all the way until they end there was always something happening or Norrie was uncovering new clues I loved it!!!! The writing style and writing itself was excellent and lots of humor and wit! I loved the setting and that it was Halloween themed plus the mystery was fun to try and solve!!!! I will highly recommend this book!!!! 

Much thanks to #netgalley and #BeyondThePagePublishing for allowing me to read and review this ARC all thoughts and opinions are my own 

I will also be posting a review of this book on the Facebook page I created and run
@DOMESTIC THRILLER READERS BOOK CLUB
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So cute and cozy!! I thought the humor was really well done and it got me in the perfect mood for spooky season. The MC was a little unlikeable at first, but I settled in. Might be because this is the first book of this series I’ve read.
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