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Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
I love books with characters that are real, flawed and relatable, and a setting that is, of course, colorful. Roses, Wine & Murder: In the City of Steeples by Rose Young didn’t disappoint me. I must say that I found more than what I bargained for — characters I can’t just brush aside, a plot I couldn’t stop following, and a conflict that grabbed my interest from the very first page. The story combines aspects from different genres — thriller, historical, mystery, and crime fiction — and pulls the reader into an intriguing world where a murder investigation takes place, with wine dinners and many other things in between.
Expert gardener Roxanne Samson has just become one of the primary suspects when a dead man is found in her city garden. Georgi Algarve, who manages the Vinho Verde wine bar, is her friend, and both of them know they are in trouble. Anxious to solve the murder, they undertake an investigation that could have more devastating results than they imagine. Readers are introduced to a no-nonsense man, a skilled New London detective, Dan Morrison, a man who is bent on finding the killer. But the more he digs, the more obscure the path he walks becomes. With an impending Presidential Speech scheduled for the Coast Guard Academy and multiple suspects on the list, can he solve a case that has escalated so quickly?
The precision and economy of prose are among the elements that stand out prominently in this narrative. From the very beginning, the reader is thrust into a world of conflict and wonders who wins at the end. I enjoyed the way Rose Young sustains the reader’s curiosity and how the characters take on a life of their own. Roses, Wine & Murder: In the City of Steeples has a beautiful setting, a gripping plot, and readers can’t resist the wonderful pacing. It’s one of the most entertaining books I have read in this genre this year.