The Champagne Conspiracy by Ellen Crosby is the 7th book in the Wine Country Mysteries series (Available November 1, 2016).
Winter has come to the Montgomery Estate Vineyard in Atoka, Virginia. Lucie Montgomery and winemaker Quinn Santori have decided to make champagne, a first for the vineyard.
But then Gino Tomassi, Quinn’s uncle, turns up on their doorstep one afternoon, demanding help in solving the mystery of what happened to Zara Tomassi, the first wife of his grandfather, who died in a San Francisco hotel in 1923 under suspicious circumstances. And it seems there’s no coincidence that her death came the day after President Warren Harding passed away in that same hotel. Gino needs answers before his blackmailer takes him for all he’s worth—or exposes an explosive family secret.
Lucie searches for what happened almost a hundred years ago as she delves into Prohibition-era Washington, D.C.—a town of bootlegging and duplicity, jazz clubs and speakeasies. But then the investigation turns deadly, threatening Lucie, her relationship with Quinn, and the vineyard, as they realize someone is still out there nearly a century later who will go to any lengths to keep the truth about Zara’s death a buried secret.
It all started with the dress.
I lifted it out of the old steamer trunk and it took my breath away. A gossamer concoction of sea green chiffon, hundreds of copper, silver, and pale green glass beads in patterns like a stained-glass creation from Tiffany, with a sexy zigzag hem of silver fringe that glittered, even by the light of the yellowed bulb that barely lit this dim corner of the attic. I had never seen it—you don’t forget a dazzling couture number like this—but it had been beautifully and lovingly preserved, as though one of my long-dead relatives expected to pluck it out of its hiding place and shimmy off to a madcap night of too much dancing and drinking and making out with some guy in the backseat of his roadster.
[Read the full excerpt from The Champagne Conspiracy...]