Are you a lover of France, French wines, and mysteries? if your answer is yes, this series could be for you.
In this second book of the series, we are introduced to Benjamin Cooker, winemaker and wine writer extraordinaire, his assistant Virgile Lanssien, and Cooker’s friend, Hubert de Bouard de Laforest, winemaker of Grand Cru.
Cooker is set upon by a gang of thieves, his classic Mercedes 280SL is stolen along with his wallet and his notebook with all his notes and memories of the wines he had tasted.
Cooker has been advised to rest and recuperate and decides that a hotel in the Touraine region will suit him rather more than going home to his chateau in the Medoc.
At the Chateau de La Tortiniere he connects with the young concierge Gaetan who apart from appreciating young, beautiful women, is also a lover of good French wine. He also meets a certain Mr Morton, owner of a splendid classic Morgan Plus8. These two men find they have much in common. Cooker writes about wine and is a winemaker, Morton claims to work for a wine brokerage in London and both men have a tendency for good Havana cigars.
The friendship is short-lived as Morton makes a sudden departure from the hotel in search of his young, beautiful travel companion.
In a short time, there are two murders to solve as well as the continuing theft of Grand Cru from a variety of wine outlets. Cooker quickly becomes involved in the murders. But more, he is involved in finding the thieves of the wine. So think a French Hercule Poirot winemaker.
As an added bonus we are given great descriptions of art, architecture, landscape and history of the region together with the wine drunk with the food eaten.
This is a short, easily read book but one that I found a delight to read. The two authors, unknown to me, are obviously well versed in French wines and know the Bordeaux region well.
I started the series with this the second book. I shall now go to the first and look forward to reading more 0f the adventures of Benjamin Cooker..