The Tainted Vintage

Genre: Mystery

For Fans Of

Val McDermid, Anthony Horowitz, Jane Harper, Michelle Francis, Gregg Dunnett

Book Summary

A mayor is found dead in his wine cellar on his 57th birthday. It's such a hot potato, not even the local police chief wants to investigate. The two detectives sent along don't exactly like each other. As they uncover the dark secrets behind Daniel Slansky's murder, will they even live to tell the tale?


The mayor of a small town is found dead in the wine cellar under his house in the wine-growing town of Vinice. Who wanted him dead, and why are the local establishment in such a hurry to cover it up? Blanchard brings an unusual slant on the noir crime genre here. Her writing is set in the wine-growing region of Central Europe. The plot of The Tainted Vintage has a truly dark theme, but with Blanchard it's all about the human drama and the thrill of the denouement, rather than strewn body parts. The plot is driven by strong characters, including her two lead detectives, Jana Dvorska and Ivan Dambersky, who seem ill-matched and at loggerheads at first, but overcome their reservations about each other in order to solve a devilishly dark and complicated crime, with tentacles going back three generations. Expect a strong sense of place too, and some interesting insights into the political history and culture of Moravia, where the story is set. You'll want to go and see for yourself! The wine alone will be worth it.


Want to read a great mystery? Not your dad's shoot-um-up, hard charging type nor your mom's cute, cosy kind but a real mystery.
There is the mayor, a victim who died from a heart attack, or not. The investigators, Ivan Dambersky and Jana Dvorska, who look into the death to determine if murder was committed, or not.
So it goes until the unthinkable happens. Honestly, I got a physical jolt, I was so shocked.
This is a well written, believable, fast-paced mystery that will grab your interest from the very beginning and leave you wanting more at the end.

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Clare Blanchard's Books

About the Author

I write crime noir and historical mysteries set mainly in Central and Southern Europe - often in the wine-growing region I live in.
Moral ambiguity is said to be the essence of noir. Expect a serious puzzle to unravel, as well as a body count! And the past of the places is just as important as the past of the characters.

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