BOOK TOUR: Deadly Tasting by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen w/ Giveaway


Deadly Tasting coverDeadly Tasting
by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen
Release date: October 17, 2014 at Le French Book
144 pages
ISBN: 978-1939474216

Website | Goodreads


A serial killer is on the loose in Bordeaux. A local chief detective calls wine expert Benjamin Cooker to the crime scene of a brutal murder. The killer has left a strange calling card: twelve wine glasses lined up in a semi-circle with the first one filled with wine. Cooker is charged with the task of identifying the fabulous grand cru and is astonished by what he learns. A second victim is found, with two glasses filled. Is the killer intentionally leaving clues about his victims and his motives? Memories are jogged about the complicated history of Bordeaux during Nazi occupation. It was a dark time: weinfuhrers ruled the wine trade, while collaborationists and paramilitary organizations spread terror throughout the region. In present-day wine country, time is running out. Will Cooker and his young assistant Virgile solve the mystery before all twelve glasses are full? [provided by the publisher]



An episode in a long successful French mysteries series
that is a hit television series now in its fourth season
and attracting an audience of over 4 million.
The series is a huge success in France, Belgium and Switzerland.


I admit I am a Francophile, needless to say I enjoyed the setting, the information on wines, the culinary descriptions, all serving the narrative well. An unlikely pairing wine/food and murders, somehow the authors successfully accomplished the unimaginable.

I had no idea what was in store with the exception of a ‘mystery’ along with gaining knowledge of wines and of France in general. The story is deceiving, especially when it hits on the blemished history of France during WWII, in particular of the Bordeaux region. Being well versed in history this insertion of history is poignant and affecting. I was quite taken back by the depth the authors carried the story. Well researched and well presented. The Bordeaux region suffered greatly at the hands of weinfuhrers, ruling the wine trade as the collaborators and aiding groups threatened the entire region. A mark in French history often unfamiliar to many.

Benjamin Cooker and Virgil make an impressive dynamic duo. Despite Cooker’s forte as a leading oenologist he plays the inducted role of amateur sleuth with ease. He’s charming and authentic causing the reader much entertainment as we traipse along in his adventures, both personal and professional as well as solving the pieces to his ‘side work.’

This being the fourth installment in a series, read with ease as a standalone. With the presentation as dramatic as it was bestowed I would read other books included in this unique series. I found the setting, characters and narrative original, a curious mystery, with plenty of intrigue set in beautiful France, the WWII historical element was exceptionally appealing to this reviewer. Reaching a wide audience – Francophiles, history buffs, mystery fans, Oenophilia’s will want to add Deadly Tasting if not the entire series to their reading shelf.


Deadly Tasting - Alaux-BalenAlaux-Balen
©David Nakache

Jean-Pierre Alaux is a magazine, radio and television journalist
when he is not writing novels in southwestern France.
He is a genuine wine and food lover
and recently won the Antonin Carême prize.
He is the grandson of a winemaker
and exhibits a real passion for wine and winemaking.
For him, there is no greater common denominator than wine.
He gets a sparkle in his eye when he talks about the Winemaker Detective series,
which he writes with Noël Balen.
It is a 22-strong series that is a hit on French television
and is now being translated into English by Le French Book.


Translator Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Masters Degree in French Literature from the University of Colorado where she wrote Camus and the Americas: A Thematic Analysis of Three Works Based on His Journaux de Voyage. Her career includes more than twenty years of translating and teaching French and Italian at Berlitz and at Colorado University Boulder. She has worked in scientific, legal and literary translation; her literary translations include Operatic Arias; Singers Edition, and Reality and the Untheorizable by Clément Rosset. She also served as the interpreter for the government cabinet of Rwanda and translated for Dian Fossey’s Digit Fund. In addition to her passion for French, she has studied Italian at Colorado University, in Rome and in Siena. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband.
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This giveaway is open internationally, four print copies for U.S. residents and five digital copies for residents of any country. Giveaway ends 10/30/14. Click Here To Enter The Giveaway. Thanks so much to France Book Tours for organizing this great tour. Don’t forget to visit the other stops on this tour. Click Here to view the full tour schedule and see the list of participating blogs.

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4 thoughts on “BOOK TOUR: Deadly Tasting by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen w/ Giveaway

  1. Pingback: France Book Tours stops for October 27-Nov 2 | France Book Tours

  2. Pingback: Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen on Tour: Deadly Tasting | France Book Tours

  3. Pingback: Tour quotations: Deadly Tasting | France Book Tours

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