The Grand Cru Heist has me a bit befuddled. Wine features prominently in this book. And there is also a mystery, although not a very deep one. I suspect readers will read the book more for the wine than for the mystery. And they will be amply rewarded.
Benjamin Cooker is a well known wine critic. He has a vineyard in Burgundy and grows wine too. He is brutally mugged on a Paris street and almost succumbs to his injuries. He soon becomes restless in his convalescence. Cooker’s biggest grief is that his life’s work has been stolen. Almost all the notes and impressions of wines he has tasted in his lifetime were made in a small book that is stolen along with his car when he is mugged. Cooker decides he needs a change of scene and goes away to spend some time in another winery in the Tours region.
Cooker is the only guest in the hotel and is thoroughly pampered. He develops a camaraderie with the waiter. One morning there is another guest who’s a wine broker and has a beautiful European girl on his arm. The next day brings the shocking news of the girl’s murder and the waiter has disappeared. To add to the mystery, Cooker’s friend reports that some of his best wine has been stolen.
Cooker summons his assistant Virgile to drive him home. And he is also interested in solving the mystery.
Some of the things in the book might not make sense if you don’t know much about wine, especially French wine. But it could still be enjoyable if you like reading about wine and food. The mystery when it is revealed is not really shocking.
With The Grand Cru Heist, it is the journey rather than the destination that will engage you. This is a good read if you are enamored of the different wines of France, or just France in general. For me, the book was different enough to keep me interested, and there was no time to get bored.
Overall, it is worth reading a book in this series to see you how you like it.