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Synopsis

Twenty-nine-year-old NYPD detective Max Maguire flies to France to attend her friend Chloe Marceau’s wedding at a grand estate in the Valley of the Marne in Champagne, an hour and a half east of Paris. She meets the older and more urbane Olivier Chaumont, a juge d’instruction, or examining magistrate, and experiences a fairy tale evening. But when Chloe’s widowed aunt, the beautiful and successful Lea de Saint-Pern, is found murdered after the wedding dinner, Max and Olivier are shocked back into their respective professional roles. But to Max’s chagrin, Olivier is put in charge of the investigation and she is banned from an official investigative role. The value of vineyards and champagne companies is at an all-time high, and Olivier learns that there are several people attempting to gain control of Lea’s business at the time of her death. Max, with her quintessential American girl next door look (belying a gritty interior), takes a stealthier approach. Quietly using the sleuthing skills inherited from her famous detective dad, she insinuates herself into the victim’s family until their long-held secrets begin to spill out like marbles from an overturned dish. After another family member is found dead on the day of Lea’s funeral, however, Max puts her career, and her tentative relationship with Olivier, in jeopardy as her determination to find the murderer—and prove herself in the process—takes over. While sipping the finest beverage in the world and tasting food that leaves the reader salivating between interrogations and pursuits, the bi-cultural detective duo come to discover that they are unbeatable when it comes to bringing criminals to justice.

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