The Shining Mischief Author:Barbara Levy Set in France's wine making region of Champagne in the mid- 20th Century. — The Berthier family- Maurice, Louis, Aristide, and Marie-Anne- are preparing their ancient chateau for a wedding befitting their long and honorable heritage. Aristide is about to marry Elizabeth Deering, a beautiful American girl half his age, although his young niece... more », Marie-Anne strongly doubts the bride's ability to withstand the rigors of life in the province and the vicissitudes of wine-making as a livelihood.
It has not, in fact, been a good year for the Berthier family. Bad weather and a poor harvest have been a constant concern, particularly to Marie-Anne, who is more devoted than any of the Berthiers to the vineyards and the reputation of the estate. There are rumors of a strike in the fields, American byers have been returning shipments, and now George Deering, Elizabeth's brother and the American importer of Berthier wines, is caught at Orly Airport with a half million dollars in smuggled currency. The discovery of the package, which was to have been delivered to a Berthier employee, is the first ina series of strange and frightening events that threaten the Berthier enterprises and the family itself.
Marie-Anne sets out to discover the cause of this sudden rash of problems, only to find herself entangled in an intrigue as thick and convoluted as the Berthier vines themselves. A dangerous liaison with George Deering, the discovery of a packing crate filled with gold, and the mysterious death of a trusted worker lead Marie-Anne into a desperate game of cat and mouse which culminates in a hunt through the maze of wine cellars beneath the Berthier chateau.« less