Monday, April 9, 2018

Pairing a Deception

With only a week before her Advanced Sommelier exam, Katie Stillwell and her boyfriend police detective John Dean head for a weekend wine festival in the Santa Barbara region of northern California. In Pairing a Deception by Nadine Nettman, Katie hopes to enjoy the wines from the weekend, maybe study a little for the exam and enjoy her first weekend away with Dean, but quirky events disrupt her plans.

Wine festivals bring out all types of people: those who love wine, those who are afraid of wine and those who can't tell a red from a white! This group is no different. Two characters Walt and Ben, great lovers of wine who wisely decide to leave their car at home. Then there's Master Sommelier and festival emcee Hudson Wiley, who gives off the vibe of someone up to something. Next is the young, petulant woman Jocelyn Rivers, who causes a stir when she spills several glasses of wine on herself and people surrounding her in one of the sessions. 

Katie had hoped for a more relaxing weekend, but it seems not to be especially when she finds the body of a woman outside Hudson Wiley's room. It is Jocelyn Rivers, or the woman who claims to be Jocelyn Rivers. As it turns out that is not her real name.

Dean encourages Katie to let the police investigate, but she is drawn into the murder when Hudson Wiley disappears sending the festival organizer into a turmoil.

I always enjoy the chapter headings in this series. They include the name and location of a wine and a line describing what a person will taste when trying them. I can sometimes tell what fruit flavor is in the wine, but there is no way I could tell you location of the vineyard, year it was bottled and anything as exotic as the sommeliers do. Katie's palate is exceptional and I am assuming the author Nadine Nettman can give her a run for her money.

Does Katie pass the Advanced Sommelier exam? We will have to wait until the next book. I'm rooting for her to make it all the way to Master Sommelier as there are so few women in the field.

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