Author: Clare Blanchard
Genre: Murder Mystery
Format: Paperback 202 pages
Release Date: 10 July 2018
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
My Rating: ****
Today it is my great pleasure to join the blog tour for Clare Blanchard’s new murder mystery ‘The Tainted Vintage’. My thanks to the publisher Fahrenheit Press for the advance copy for review and to Emma Welton at Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me to join the tour. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
About the Book
This book revolves around two very different police detectives, Jana Dvorska and Ivan Dambersky, set in the small village of Vinice in Eastern Europe. The mayor, Daniel Slanksy, was throwing a party at his home when later in the evening he is found dead in his wine cellar. Our two main protagonists are thrown together to investigate the case and it quickly becomes apparent the mayor did not die of natural causes.
The two officers are told in no uncertain terms to leave the case alone, but reluctant to let matters lie they continue to investigate in an unofficial capacity. This proves more difficult the deeper they investigate as the mayor’s close knit family are reluctant to divulge information and are keen to keep matters hush-hush.
The further the detectives delve into the case the more secrets they uncover, however, secrets are often secrets for a reason and not everyone is happy with their continued investigation which places the detectives lives at risk.
You can order your copy of ‘The Tainted Vintage’ directly from the Publisher at:
I personally found the book slightly slow to take off but the last third more than made up for it with the various twists and turns and a surprise realisation that had me quickly reading through to the end excited to find out what happens.
The book covers various topics, including; drugs, abuse, anti-semitism, complicated family relationships, secrecy, child abuse and corrupt businessmen. These all created multiple possible motives and suspects for who could have murdered the mayor.
Due to the multiple different suspects that are placed on the table I can honestly say I didn’t fully figure out who did what and why until the end when all is revealed. In my opinion this is what truly makes a murder mystery book good when the author can keep you guessing until the end like this.
The main protagonist, Dvorska, is an isolated individual who finds it hard to form relationships and prefers instead to retreat to the solitude of her cabin in the woods. She is an admirable character though, with a dogged determination to seek the truth even though everyone around her seems content to place the mayor’s death as ‘natural causes’.
The only reason this book wasn’t a five star for me was because I personally would have liked the author to explore the complexities of the main character Dvorska in more detail. It comes to light nearer the end of the book the reasons why she is so isolated but I didn’t feel this was examined as much as it could have been. In my opinion it was almost rushed over quickly as an afterthought towards the end of the book.
Having said that, I really did enjoy this book on the whole and it would make a perfect easy read for anyone wanting to curl up infront of the fire on a cold Autumn/Winter night.
This is the first book I have read from this author and I enjoyed her writing style. She describes places and people with great detail which allowed me as a reader to capture the essence of what should have been a quaint little village set in Eastern Europe… had it not been for the murder and other criminal goings on!
About the Author
Clare writes crime noir mysteries set mainly in the wine country of Central Europe, where her two detectives, Dvorska and Dambersky, are based. But they wander around quite a bit as well. They turn up in the UK, and Spain. She just can’t seem to pin them down. What’s the point of having characters if they can’t surprise you?
Her crime stories have a strong historical thread running through them.
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