Charlotte Bessette and her cousin Matthew are partners in The Fromagerie Bessette or The Cheese Shop as it known to the locals. Charlotte handles the cheese shop and Matthew a former sommelier, runs the wine annex. They have been hired to cater a fundraiser for their friend Meredith at an abandoned winery that Meredith hopes to turn into a college campus. Not everyone in town is happy about this as the winery has been the source of some wild stories including hidden treasure and buried bodies.
The fundraiser is going well, people enjoying yummy fondue and wine and next on the agenda is a scavenger hunt that will send people running throughout the winery looking for certain objects. It is a lot of fun until something that wasn't on the list is found in the wine cellar, a dead body. The body is identified quickly as one of the artists that had come to paint the winery. He is also the boyfriend of Meredith's niece, Quinn. She quickly becomes the prime suspect as they had been witnessed have a little tiff during the party.
Soon they are many amateur sleuths including Charlotte trying to free Quinn and find the real killer. As Charlotte gets closer to the truth the killer turns up the heat and Charlotte may find herself fermenting in the wine cellar.
This story is a mystery within a mystery and almost every character seems to have a secret. I started this book and couldn't put it down and while some of the mysteries were solved and many of the secrets saw the light of day, they are still more that when the book ended I was almost "bleu". The author dropped a few crumbs of fine French bread by revealing a snippet of the next book in the series Clobbered by Camembert but I was left hungry for some more fine morsels like a slice Humboldt Fog or a Porcupine or just one more secret uncovered.
This story are superbly written, I know why her work was recognized with an Agatha Award. She sets each scene perfectly and develops each character at a perfect pace, even though I want to know more about Jordan and Jacky right now! Avery delivers a tasty treat that engages all our senses, you can almost taste the cheeses. She includes recipes too so we will be able to taste the daily specials from The Cheese Shop. I had "escaped" to Providence, Ohio, for a short time and can't wait to make return trip very soon.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.