Rife with puns and turns of phrase, the latest Winemaker Detective book highlights the banter between Benjamin and Virgile, allowing us a deeper look into their personalities and partnership. Several times the characters almost break the fourth wall – you expect them to turn and wink at the reader at any moment! It is a book that is very aware of itself, even going so far as to self-reference its own title! You can tell the authors were having a lot of fun writing this one.
In addition to the self-aware aspect of the writing, the style from chapter to chapter matches Benjamin’s mood and circumstances, keeping the reader immersed, and feeling the events with him.
As always, the story is experienced most through the senses, with the flavor and smell descriptions even more vibrant than before. Indeed, I recommend more than ever having something to eat before reading, as your stomach will yearn for the delicious dishes, and your palate will crave the riotous flavors of the wine, throughout all the meals featured. This work however, also provides a great visual stimulation for the reader as well. The detailed description of the astronomical clock and the cathedral were so beautiful and moving, that I looked them up after reading, putting them on my bucket list to visit someday.
I love the way the authors take the time, through Benjamin’s hobby of giving Virgile a little history lesson here and there, to explain side details to the reader. It adds a great layer of communication between author and reader, beyond the story. For example, the lesson on toasting history was very neat, as it puts many other works in a new light, allowing me to deepen my reading of them.
The conclusion wraps up all the loose ends, and the culprit and motive are hidden until the reveal, keeping the reader turning the page in anticipation.
A satisfying read!
I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley