The Oak Valley Vineyard has been in Emmy Oak's family for generations. So when the small Sonoma winery is suddenly in financial trouble and in danger of being gobbled up by the corporate giants, Emmy moves home to try to save her legacy with her modern culinary know-how. First step—she throws a party showcasing her latest vintage and signature tasty treats to a group of wine country's most elite enthusiasts. Only when one of her VIP guests sips a glass of poisoned wine and dies in her cellar, Emmy's name is on everyone lips for all the wrong reasons.
The victim was the young, boy-toy husband of one of Silicon Valley's most successful female CEOs... and his playboy ways and suspicious spending habits have almost no one mourning his death. Enter Detective Christopher Grant, recent SFPD transplant, who is assigned to the case and immediately homes in on Oak Valley. But Emmy is determined to clear her winery's name—even if Grant's dark eyes, sexy smile, and mysterious past threaten to distract her. After calling in the big guns to help her—a.k.a. her jewelry designer best friend and copious amounts of cookie dough ice cream—Emmy finds herself digging through a slew of suspects to uncover crimes, grudges, and secret affairs that could put a soap opera to shame. Can Emmy find out just which of the upper crust poisoned the victim's vintage...or will Emmy's next sip be her last? (Summary via Goodreads)
I could not put A Sip Before Dying by Gemma Halliday down. Once I started reading it, I was hooked !! The chapters were so short and captivating that there was no saying "one more chapter....". A reader can breeze through this story in no time. The only bad thing is that the reader can breeze through this story in no time.
You cannot help but fall in love with the main character, Emmy and her best friend, Ava. Emmy is running her family's vineyard (hopefully not into the ground) and Ava owns her own little boutique. While Emmy is trying to keep her family business afloat, Ava is right there to help in any way that she can.
Emmy decides to host a party for an elite clientele hoping to get her business in the red.....unfortunately when the husband of a powerful business woman is found dead in the wine cellar, things aren't looking too good for Emmy. And when she finds out that the local detective is looking at an old high school friend of Emmy's as the top suspect, Emmy knows that she has to do something to prove her innocence.
While Emmy and Ava try to prove Jenny's innocence, they uncover more than they wanted about the deceased. This leads them down some dark roads. No matter what Detective Grant tells Emmy, she knows that she should listen to him but its going to take more than a sexy detective to stop her from helpiing a friend. Even when Emmy is attacked, that fuels her fire more......
I loved the friendships in A Sip Before Dying and the storyline. Halliday set the stage nicely and introduces the reader to a great scene and characters. You feel right at home with Emmy and Ava. I was sorry to finish the story but look forward to more in this series. The Wine & Dine Mystery series is a definite to read and keep an eye out for more to follow.
Review by Missi S.