Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Book Review: Mulled to Death by Kate Lansing (Colorado Wine Mysteries #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, fun story
Cons: Pacing a little uneven
The Bottom Line:
Romance, getaway
Interrupted by murder
Series fans will love



Parker’s Valentine’s Getaway Hits a Murderous Snag

The problem with being an amateur sleuth is you never really get a vacation.  Parker Valentine learns that lesson when she tries to get away for Valentine’s Day in Mulled to Death.  We are the winners because this is another fun book.

Parker is heading to a ski resort with her boyfriend Reid and her brother Liam and her best friend Sage.  Since Liam and Sage have been dating a few months, getting away for Valentine’s Day is great for both couples.  Parker is planning to mix a little work with pleasure since she is going to try to sell the resort on her mulled wine.

Parker is surprised and a little star struck when the resort’s owner, Annmarie Bauer, joins the meeting to pitch her wine.  Annmarie is a triple gold medal winning skier, and Parker and Liam were both fans back when she was skiing competitively.  However, the next morning, Annmarie is dead in a freak skiing accident.  Only Parker isn’t sure it was an accident.  When some strange accidents happen to her, she decides the only way she will be safe is to figure out for sure what happened to Annmarie.  Can she do it?

When a series leaves the familiar behind, it can be good or bad.  In this case, I feel like it worked.  Of course, it helped that I feel Parker, Reid, Liam, and Sage are the core characters of this series.  While it would have been nice to see a few others, like Parker’s parents, these four characters are more than capable of carrying the story.  And we get some great character development and developments in their relationships along the way.

I did feel the plot could have been a little stronger.  It took a while for me to understand why Parker was putting herself in the middle of the investigation, and the book emphasized events over investigation early on.  Now this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the book, just that the plot could have been stronger.  The climax does wrap things up nicely for us.

This series is written in first person, present tense.  I was ready for it this time, so it didn’t take me any time at all to adjust.

As long as we are talking about the writing, I really appreciate how the author weaves the elements of wine making into the story as metaphors for what Parker is feeling.  As a non-wine drinker, that’s a great way to work the theme in without slowing down the story or boring me.

But if you are a wine drinker, you’ll be especially interested in the wine pairings at the end of the book that go with the three recipes inspired by the delicious food mentioned over the course of the story.

If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, I recommend you do that before reading this book.  There are some hints about what happened in them that might give away some of the twists.

Mulled to Death is a good addition to this cozy mystery series.  If you enjoy wine, you’ll definitely want to pick it up.  Even if, like me, you don’t drink, you’ll find the characters quickly draw you in to the story.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

4 comments:

  1. I loved book one; haven't had a chance for book two yet. But I definitely want to catch up on this series! Thank you for your review.

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  2. I need to get the first book in this series. Amateur sleuths never really do get a break! I think if I ever saw Jessica Fletcher or someone like her at a vacation spot I would catch the next plane somewhere else!

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  3. I have not read any from this author, yet. Big plus is that all three of this series will be available when I am ready to read them. Now on my TBR mountain.

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  4. I haven't read a cosy for the longest time.

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