Book review: Flambé in Armagnac by Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noël Balen

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* ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *
Publication date: August 6, 2015.
In the heart of Gascony, a fire ravages the warehouse of one of Armagnac s top estates, killing the master distiller. Wine expert Benjamin Cooker is called in to estimate the value of the losses. But Cooker and his assistant Virgile want to know more. Did the old alembic explode? Was it really an accident? Why is the estate owner Baron de Castayrac penniless? How legal are his dealings?”
I recently started the new meme „International Crime“, starting with French crime authors this month. I really think that there is no better start for this meme than a book about wine, mystery and a French castle.
I met Benjamin and his assistant Virgile previously in „Mayhem in Margaux“ and joined them solving the mystery of the car accident. This time they are back with another brand of wine and mystery to solve. There has been a fire in a castle where the best wine Armagnac is produced and the master distiller is dead. Benjamin Cooker is called to estimate the losses and find out more about the fire. Was is an accident or was it all about the insurance? Was the death of master distiller an accident or an attempted murder? Benjamin Cooker has to leave his wife alone on New Year and with his assistant Virgile drive on thin ice to the Chateau Blanzac to find out. But the Chateau doesn’t reveal its secrets that easy. The winemaker duo has to use the detective skills to solve the mystery behind the sweetness of the Armagnac.
The character that I absolutely adore here is Virgile, Benjamin’s assistant. He is smart, young, clumsy, everything. He is very educated about wine, but he is also a great detective himself. With every other mystery his observation skills are more and more expressed. He is also Virgo, like me, and I can see many of my Virgo habits in his character. It is very easy for me to connect with him as a character.
I also love the writing style of the authors. There are many expressions and old sayings that are used in my country and it is easy for me to understand the whole story. I fell in love with the characters and the plot and I felt like almost tasting the Armagnac.
So, wine lovers, and book lovers also, if you love a perfect break in the shadows of your garden or under the sun on the beach, get a glass of the tasteful Armagnac, and enjoy this cozy mystery perfect for relaxation. Even your gray cells will enjoy!

My opinion: 4,5 / 5.

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