Party Wine

A Sofi & Cenzo Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
367 Pages
Reviewed on 06/17/2023
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Author Biography

When my Italian cousins married, they came on a honeymoon to the States. I couldn't talk to them though. We sat there with a dictionary and tried to communicate! I knew I needed to learn Italian. My cousins invited me to visit them whenever I wanted to--and over the past decades, I have! And finally I've set a mystery in the heart of Piemonte.

This region has a special feature. People construct party houses to hug the mountain and maintain wine at a perfect sixty degrees. While the cellars are culturally fascinating--they're also a great place for a murder! I had a lot of fun re-imagining my cousins' area, one which I've come to know so well over the years. In Party Wine I'm able to share that lovely small town-ness with, yikes, its own style of murder.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Demetria Head for Readers' Favorite

Party Wine by D. R. Ransdell is a brilliant murder mystery that flawlessly combines suspense, intricate plotting, and a cast of complex characters to deliver an enthralling reading experience. Ransdell does it again, with storytelling prowess like none other. It’s evident from the first chapter, where the stage is set as Sofi prepares for an event in the Piedmontese village near Monteleone. We’re taken inside a village painted with rows of party houses and, of course, Sofi’s palmetto and where everyone loves wine except Sofi. The story quickly unfolds when Sofi stumbles upon Ivano’s lifeless body lying on the floor of her cellar with blood on his shirt. This compelling narrative sends us on a captivating whodunit ride as it unravels the enigma page by page.

The pacing of Party Wine is nothing short of impeccable as D. R. Ransdell masterfully balances moments of high intensity with more introspective interludes, allowing readers to catch a breath and reflect on the unfolding events. Ransdell creates an immersive environment where readers feel the tension and piece together the enigmatic puzzle, which is truly remarkable. The seamless blend of action, suspense, and character-driven introspection keeps the story moving at a moderately brisk pace while providing ample opportunity for readers to connect with the narrative, and more importantly, with Sofi on a deeper level. The author successfully plants seeds of doubt, twists the plot in unexpected directions, and introduces a plethora of intriguing suspects, ensuring that readers are kept guessing until the very end.