I loved the idea of having two of my favourite things combined in one book (or set of books): wine and crime fiction. R.M.Cartmel is a former GP, now turned crime writer, who has written his first two novels in the setting of the vineyards of Burgundy. The Richebourg Affair is the first part of a trilogy set in the wine village of Nuits-Saint Georges with the detective being Inspector Truchaud of the French police. Inspector Truchaud is based in Paris, but family circumstances see him back in Burgundy and he does his detecting in a semi official capacity. The second book has recently been released and it’s called The Charlemagne Connection. It’s a separate mystery in its own right, but there are lots of connections to the earlier book. This one follows the story of a missing German tourist and a decomposing body found in the woods.
As an avid reader, I read a range of novels, but I keep coming back to crime fiction. It might sound a bit bizarre, but I find it an easy, relaxing type of book to read. Generally though,I prefer the less brutal and graphic variety of the genre. I cut my teeth on Agatha Christie and Dorothy L.Sayers and whilst these novels by R.M.Cartmel are very much set in the present day, they are also very much part of that established tradition. The pace of life is a bit slower in Burgundy too, so they are a relaxing read.
I took the books with us when we went on holiday to Trecco Bay as I knew I’d have more time to read as we wouldn’t have wifi. I’d already started the first one before we went and whilst I was enjoying it, it did take me a little while to get my head round the different police forces in the book. I think the French set up is a bit more like the American police than our own. What came across from the start though was the writer’s knowledge and depth of understanding of the wine business and the wine production process. As the tale unfolded, I got drawn into the story and the characters. In fact, the second book was read in less than two days because I was enjoying it so much. As it’s a trilogy it does make sense to read the books in order and you will get a lot more out of them that way, although I think it would be possible to read them as stand alone books. I prefer to read series in order anyway as you get to enjoy the character development that way.Both books are a really good read and I’m looking forward to the third part of the trilogy which is due next year.
Readers of Nine to Three Thirty have the chance to win a copy of both books. Enter via the Gleam widget below.
Competition Terms and Conditions
1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.
2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.
3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.
4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.
5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.
6. Competition closes on 9 July 2015.
Wine and Crime