Roses, Wine & Murder is an intriguing murder mystery with charming characters that infuse a dazzling sense of location, landscape gardening and idyllic vineyards. A mystery based in New London, Connecticut, where the main protagonist and local gardening expert, Rozanne Samson, discovers a dead body in one of the city gardens she landscapes. The dead body is the Vinho Verde Wine Bar owner, and both Roxanne and her friend and manager of the Bar, Georgi Algarve, are drawn into a mystery full of twists and cleverly laid surprises. They agree to work together after they are both attacked and seemingly connected to the murder, something the victim was involved in or something that they may now have in their possession.
While initially sceptical on a fluffy combination of Roses and Wine, the plot quickly dispels that notion. It brilliantly sets the atmosphere for a dangerous murder mystery with a wonderful backdrop. The investigation is a fascinating hunt for a killer who baffles the police and stays one step ahead at every turn. The partnership between Roxanne and Georgi as they take on their own investigation is engrossing, and the drama they deliver is full of humour, suspense, and danger. Roxanne needs her knowledge of poisonous flowers to help investigate and treat us to some exciting details. The knowledge and insights into wine were interesting, and their journey through the beautiful vineyards adds another dimension to the story that warms us up to the impact this novel delivers.
The momentum is maintained at a great pace throughout the novel. While I often feel a cosy mystery lacks a level of authenticity in a murderous plot, this one worked great, and I believe Rose Young has found her groove that works superbly and is one to watch for her next release.
I listened to the audiobook as a recommendation from Maryne Young and her colleague and narrator, Eric Altheide, was amazing at the range of accents and tones as he switched between the characters and sexes. It is challenging for a male to imitate a female pitch convincingly, and the result can often feel very effeminate, and perhaps that was one area I found questionable.
I would recommend this debut from Rose Young to all murder mystery fans, but this will be perfect for those that favour the Cosy Mystery genre. I want to thank Rose Young for a free copy of her audiobook in return for an honest review.