Monday 30 October 2023

Murder Uncorked (Cece Barton Mystery Book # 1) by Maddie Day

Raise a glass to Cece Barton, a widowed single mom and recent L.A. transplant to California wine country, who suddenly finds herself at the center of a murder investigation in this sparkling new mystery series from Agatha Award–winning and national bestselling author Maddie Day.

As the manager of Vino y Vida Wine Bar in Colinas, Cecelia “Cece” Barton’s first Alexander Valley harvest is a whirlwind of activity. Her twin sister, Allie Halstead, who owns a nearby Victorian bed & breakfast, is accustomed to the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season. But Cece barely has a moment to enjoy her new home in between worrying about her estranged college-age daughter, juggling her responsibilities at the bar, and navigating the sticky politics of the local wine association. Just when it seems things can’t grow any more intense, Colinas is rocked by a murder within the wine community . . . and Cece is identified as a possible suspect!

With her reputation and her livelihood on the line—and the Sonoma County deputy sheriff breathing down her neck—Cece has no choice but to open up her own murder investigation. Tensions are already high in the valley, as a massive wildfire creeps toward Colinas, threatening homes, vineyards, and the vital tourist trade. And now, with a murderer on the loose, and Cece’s sleuthing exposing the valley’s bitterest old rivalries and secret new alliances, Colinas feels ready to pop! But with Allie’s help, Cece is determined to catch the killer and clear her name before everything she’s worked so hard for goes up in flames . .  (Summary via Goodreads)

Murder Uncorked is the first book in Maddie Day's new series, the Cece Barton Mystery series.  However readers can learn how main character, CeCe Barton, was instrumental in solving a murder where her twin sister was the main suspect in the novella Murderous Mittens.  Murderous Mittens is the third novella in the holiday book Christmas Mittens Murders. The stories in that book all occur around the Christmas holiday and have mittens as a main denoninator.  Cece is visiting her twin sister and family in Colinas and with the help of a new friend solves the case.  This also leads CeCe to moving to Colinas and taking a job as a manager of a wine bar.

Now onto Murder Uncorked.....It is perfectly okay if you head right to reading this book and not the novella as Day brings you up to speed immediately.  

Main character CeCe is enjoying her new life in Colinas.  She has her adorable little cottage next to elderly Richard who she enjoys coffee or wine with, she is close to her sister and her twin boys, she has a nice job managing the Vino y Vida wine bar, she is making new friends and getting to know the area.

Unfortunately while working one night she overhears two gentlemen arguing at the bar.  She knows the one, Vincent Sardo, as they have been emailing each other regarding an event Vincent would like the wine bar to host and supply free wine for.  CeCe doesn't think the wine bar should supply the wine for free seeing as the organization is the Vineyard Valley Association.

When Allie, CeCe's twin sister, calls and tells her that Vincent Sardo was found dead in his apartment, her mind goes into overdrive .... and then the detective in charge of the case comes knocking on her door wanting to know about their relationship and wants copies of all of their correspondence, she again feels the need to solve the case .... this time to clear her name.

This case is not going to be easy to solve as it seems everyone that CeCe comes in contact with seems to have a reason to dislike Vincent and may have wanted his dead....including his wife, friends and the strange hot guy staying at the B & B that Allie owns.

I can already tell you that this is going to be a long running series for readers to get hooked on !!  Day knows how to hone into her craft and capture readers attention instantly and keep it engaged until the end of the story.  And she will always keep readers wanting more and more.....

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