Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Champagne Conspiracy

The Champagne Conspiracy

A Wine Country Mystery

Wine Country Mysteries (Volume 7)

Ellen Crosby

Minotaur Books

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Hardcover

Winter has come to the Montgomery Estate Vineyard in Atoka, Virginia. Lucie Montgomery and winemaker Quinn Santori have decided to make champagne, a first for the vineyard.

But then Gino Tomassi, Quinn’s uncle, turns up on their doorstep one afternoon, demanding help in solving the mystery of what happened to Zara Tomassi, the first wife of his grandfather, who died in a San Francisco hotel in 1923 under suspicious circumstances. And it seems there’s no coincidence that her death came the day after President Warren Harding passed away in that same hotel. Gino needs answers before his blackmailer takes him for all he’s worth—or exposes an explosive family secret.

Lucie searches for what happened almost a hundred years ago as she delves into Prohibition-era Washington, D.C.—a town of bootlegging and duplicity, jazz clubs and speakeasies. But then the investigation turns deadly, threatening Lucie, her relationship with Quinn, and the vineyard, as they realize someone is still out there nearly a century later who will go to any lengths to keep the truth about Zara’s death a buried secret.

EXCERPT


One


 


It all started with the dress.


I lifted it out of the old steamer trunk and it took my breath away. A gossamer concoction of sea green chiffon, hundreds of copper, silver, and pale green...

Reviews

Praise for The Champagne Conspiracy

“Crosby has constructed a neat whodunit, supported by enough wine-making lore to give it some extra body.” —The New York Times on The Merlot Murders

“An addictive whodunit.” —Publishers Weekly on The Vintage Vendetta

“A beguiling combination of wine lore, history, and mystery.” —Kirkus Reviews on The Bordeaux Betrayal

“Light and refreshing—like a glass of white wine on a summer day… an engaging mystery with likeable characters. Crosby, a former journalist, has obviously done her homework about grape growing and winemaking.” —The Associated Press on The Chardonnay Charade

“Like a fine wine, Crosby’s debut is complex and intricate… This is a terrific kickoff to what promises to be a highly satisfying new series.” —Publishers Weekly on The Merlot Murders

“Crosby imbues her work with a killer plot (and surprising conclusion), agreeable characters, polished prose and colorful detail. . . . Blended, they provide a superior yield.” —The Richmond Times-Dispatch on The Sauvignon Secret

“The meticulously researched historical background—always a hallmark in Crosby’s novels—is nicely balanced by an intriguing mystery.” —Booklist on The Vintage Vendetta

“If wine be the nectar of the gods, Ellen Crosby’s series of wine-flavored mysteries is a heady quaff for us mere mortals… The Bordeaux Betrayal is a long swallow of pure delight.” —Easton (MD) Star-Democrat

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Ellen Crosby

ELLEN CROSBY is the author of the Virginia wine country mystery series, which began with The Merlot Murders. She has also written a mystery series featuring international photojournalist Sophie Medina, and Moscow Nights, a standalone. Previously she was a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, Moscow correspondent for ABC News Radio, and an economist at the U.S. Senate. Learn more about her at www.ellencrosby.com, on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks, and on Twitter at @ellencrosby.

Ellen Crosby

Jackie Briggs

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