My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Cissy (Cecilia) Rayburn, in 1996, is a happily married (for the second time, and for the past twenty-two years) wife, her husband retired, and she working at home, the former “summer place” in Virginia, where they now live year-round and operate a vineyard, her husband Jack’s new “retirement passion.” Life is good, slow-paced, and full of contentment-until the unexpected arrival of MIA hunter “Colonel” Obadiah Winslow, waving a photograph he claims proves Cissy’s first husband might still be alive, and missing, not killed in action thirty years earlier. Colonel Winslow spews much bluff and bluster, endearing him to conspiracy theorists, but few, if any, are the “missing” soldiers he has actually found and returned. So his approach to Cissy is soon forgotten; until she and her dog Pollyanna find Winslow dead in the vineyard, wearing her husband’s missing secateurs.
A delightfully intriguing novel with an exciting premise, and a perfectly set-up introduction: what’s not to love? I was fascinated from page one, and never lost my interest. Ms. Harmon writes well and delectably, introducing characters and situations (and memories) with which I “fell in love” immediately. On the surface, this mystery is a “cozy,” but below the surface are more levels than one might expect, and justifiably so-rendering even more delight to the lucky reader.
A page-turner for sure, “Died on the Vine” will endear itself to mystery readers and more, and certainly makes me want to find more novels from this author.
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