Book Review: Murder in the Wine Country by Janet Finsilver

Posted May 20, 2020 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, Janet Finsilver, mystery/suspense / 1 Comment

A Kelly Jackson Mystery #6

GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Underground
RELEASE DATE: April 28, 2020
PAGES: 178

Weeding out killers wasn’t part of the job description

Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is excited to participate in an event to raise awareness for the plight of struggling veterans in their Northern California coastal community. Local wineries are sponsoring tastings, and to prepare for a culinary competition, professional chefs will forage for wild edible greens. Kelly plans to come along, despite a warning to beware of poachers, who have been stealing the highly valued succulent Dudleya farinosa. The senior sleuths who call themselves the Silver Sentinels join forces with environmental activists known as the Succulent Saviors to thwart the poaching operation. When a consultant for the sale of a local winery is murdered, the poachers are suspected—but so is a wine merchant, Kelly’s friend Phil. As Kelly and the Silver Sentinels attempt to root out the real killer, what she digs up might just put her permanently underground . . .


Other Books In This Series



“Plant poaching? Who knew?”

Murder in the Wine Country is the first book I’ve read by Janet Finsilver – and, therefore, the first book I’ve read in the Kelly Jackson mysteries. While there was a little bit of a learning curve as far as learning who everyone was & how they were connected, overall I think it works perfectly well as a standalone.

Kelly is a very likable heroine, the kind of amateur sleuth who wisely calls the police when needed… though she certainly also has moments where she jumps in to save the day at risk of her own life. She’s also the kind of character who genuinely seems to care about other people, and even as a fairly recent transplant to the area she has a wide circle of friends. These friends – from romantic interest Scott (any mystery purists needn’t worry – it’s a very very light romance thread) to local law enforcement, wine people (makers & tasters), Helen & Tommy (and of course doggy Fred), and the Silver Sentinels. The latter – a group of senior citizen amateur sleuths – is a delight to follow. Their dedication to crime solving and their intuitive natures, as well as their unique personalities, keep a smile on your face anytime they are on the page.

The mystery in Murder in the Wine Country is actually multi-layered. There’s a murder (as the title suggests) but also plant poaching in the area, wine theft, and a couple of missing people. Kelly & the Sentinels certainly have their jobs cut out for them as they race to clear a friend & solve the crimes before anyone else gets hurt! I enjoyed the progression of the clues & the reveal of the culprit(s) – it all was presented with a steady pace and clever plotting that easily holds your attention & keeps you engaged in the outcome.

Bottom Line: Murder in the Wine Country by Janet Finsilver is a smooth, easy read with charming characters and a picturesque setting. From exotic plant poaching to murder and everything in between, the mysteries in this cozy keep Kelly & the Sentinels busy and readers on their toes too. A delightful installment for fans of this genre and of the series!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

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Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Five books followed with her most recent release on April 28, 2020, of book six,  MURDER IN THE WINE COUNTRY.

Janet Finsilver and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys cooking, and a recent attempt to reduce the number of cookbooks in the cupboard wasn’t very successful. She’s an avid reader—of course!

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