Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Tour: Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Requiem in Yquem by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen

Jean-Pierre ALAUX and Noël BALEN

on Tour September 11-22 with REQUIEM-IN-YQUEM cover

Requiem in Yquem

(mystery) Release date: September 12, 2017 at Le French Book 215 pages ISBN: 9781943998104 Website | Goodreads


The intricate taste of greed and remorse. The “addictive” Winemaker Detective series returns with a French mystery set in Sauternes, home of one of the world’s finest dessert wines, Yquem, known to some as liquid gold. In the mist-covered hills of Sauternes, where the wine is luscious and the landscape beguiling, the brutal murder of an elderly couple intrigues the wine expert Benjamin Cooker and awakens memories for his dashing assistant Virgile Lanssien. Drawn into the investigation, the two journey through the storied Sauternes countryside, where the Château d’Yquem has reigned for centuries. Will the murder go unexplained and the killer remain free? The Winemaker Detective’s discernment and incessant curiosity pushes investigators to look deeper, while Virgile rekindles memories of his days at school and questions the meaning of his life. In another satisfying wine novel with a French flair, authors Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen give readers a perfectly intoxicating combination French wine, gourmet meals, and mystery in the gloriously described Sauternes wine region with all the scenery, scents, and sounds of France. This light, fun mystery combines amateur sleuths, food, and wine in a wonderfully French mystery novel that doubles as a travel guide. It is a new kind read on the international mystery and crime scene: a pitch-perfect, wine-infused, French-style cozy mystery.


“What’s your name?” the young woman asked spontaneously, as if crossing in the same pitiful boat granted them some sort of intimacy.
“Virgile, and yours?”
“Virgile? What a funny name! I’m Camille,” she answered. Virgile was struck by the natural color of her lips.
Fishing cabins on stilts, which announced the end of the crossing, were already visible on the shore. But instead of gliding into the Lamarque dock, the ferry slammed into it, jolting them. Camille grabbed Virgile’s wrist. Once everything stopped moving and the Médocain was moored, Virgile pulled away and gave her hand a soft squeeze. The student seemed sorry to let him go.
Virgile started walking toward his car. “I can drop you off at Saint-Estèphe,” he said, knowing full well that this would make him late for lunch, but he couldn’t help himself. “I happen to know the cellar master at Calon-Ségur.”
Camille appeared disturbed to hear this. “No, don’t bother. Drop me off on the road to Bordeaux.”
“You’re not going to Calon?”
“No, I’m not going to…” She sighed. “Okay, I lied. I’m not a student. I don’t live in Marseille, and my name isn’t Camille. I liked your smile, that’s all. So you can leave me alone now. I’ll take care of myself.”
“But, Camille, listen…”
Virgile didn’t know what to make of the situation. Already the stranger had her backpack slung over her shoulder and was heading for the road to Lamarque. Virgile rushed to his car and drove off the ferry. He sped up to reach her, and when he did, he lowered the window.
“Really, just forget we ever met.” she said. “Have a nice life.”
Her lower lip was quivering. Virgile wasn’t sure of the color of her eyes anymore. Disappointed, he left the beautiful and strange young woman on the highway.
The sky suddenly turned dark, and the wind began whipping the leaves on the plane trees. A few seconds later, the clouds unleashed a heavy rain. Virgile turned on his windshield wipers. In the rearview mirror, the intriguing passenger from the ferry was no more than a frail figure. Finally, she disappeared under the downpour.


©David Nakache
Alaux-Balen  Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, the authors of the Winemaker Detective series are epicures. Jean-Pierre Alaux is a magazine, radio and TV journalist when he is not writing novels in southwestern France. | He is the grandson of a winemaker and exhibits a real passion for wine and winemaking. For him, there is no greater common denominator than wine. He gets a sparkle in his eye when he talks about the Winemaker Detective mystery series, which he coauthors with Noël Balen. Noël lives in Paris, where he shares his time between writing, making records, and lecturing on music. He plays bass, is a music critic, and has authored a number of books about musicians in addition to his prolific novel and short-story writing.
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Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Masters Degree in French Literature from the University of Colorado where she wrote Camus and the Americas: A Thematic Analysis of Three Works Based on His Journaux de Voyage. Her career includes more than twenty years of translating and teaching French and Italian at Berlitz and at University of Colorado Boulder. She has worked in scientific, legal and literary translation; her literary translations include Operatic Arias; Singers Edition, and Reality and the Untheorizable by Clément Rosset, along with a number of titles in the Winemaker Detective series. She also served as the interpreter for the government cabinet of Rwanda and translated for Dian Fossey’s Digit Fund. In addition to her passion for French, she has studied Italian at Colorado University, in Rome and in Siena. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband.



Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]
Global giveaway open to all 2 winners



Requiem in Yquem banner Requiem in



Yquem is the thirteenth installment from the Winemaker Detective series. It is my first introduction to the Winemaker Detective series, as well as, to the writings of Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen. This book is not very long at just a little over 200 pages long. But do not let that fool you, because it is packed full of suspense and mystery. I was hooked from page one and I did not want to put the book down until I read all the way to the last page. The "who done it" was not obvious to me and I was completely surprised at how it all played out in the end.

I found the book to be a delightful and compelling read. I can not wait to get my hands on more of these stories and look forward to reading more of the Winemaker Detective series.

I recommend this book for those who love good, suspense-filled mysteries.

4 1/2 stars.

I received this book from France Book Tours. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

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1 comment:

  1. thanks for your wonderful review. So glad you discovered this series, so time for you to catch up now with all the previous ones, they are all so good, and you get to travel from one French wine region to the next! Can life be more perfect? lol