Review & Giveaway: Montmartre Mysteries by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen

Montmartre Mysteries cover

•Release date: September 3, 2015
at Le French Book
•146 pages
•ISBN: 978-1939474476

Website | Goodreads


Wine expert Benjamin Cooker travels to the French capital, where his is called to help care for some vineyards in Montmartre, a neighborhood full of memories for him. He stops in on an old friend. Arthur Solacroup left the Foreign Legion to open a wine shop good enough to be in the Cooker Guide. But an attempted murder brings the past back into the present. But which past? The winemaker detective and his assistant Virgile want to know more, and their investigation leads them from the sands of Djibouti to the vineyards of Côte du Rhône.

A potent mystery is delivered, a slow unbraiding reveals an affecting motive along with an equally morose ending.

Cooker returns igniting your senses as he conducts business from Paris. Food, wine, art, historical sites deliver a rich atmosphere. As always Cooker includes his wife, Elisabeth only adding to his three-dimensionality. Cooker and Virgile ferret clues and suspects and as always engage in witty banter providing plenty of laughs and smiles. Solving the shooting of Cooker’s acquaintance is intriguing, mystifying creating a page turner, curiosity fully engaged. A trail of vague clues spilled, lending to the mystery element.

The intimacy the authors have created between Cooker and the audience gives another layer to these fabulous sophisticated mysteries. By exposing Cooker personally, including his family, idiosyncrasies, you feel part of the story, you’re solving the mystery as well as soaking in the lush descriptions. I look forward to this delicious series immensely – more than a reading adventure, it’s a reading experience.

Another wonderful installment Alaux and Balen crafted. Never disappointing, always an especial delight to explore.



Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen,
wine lover and music lover respectively,
came up with the idea for the Winemaker Detective series
while sharing a meal,
with a bottle of Chateau Gaudou 1996,
a red wine from Cahors
with smooth tannins and a balanced nose.


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. She has translated several titles in this series.
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11 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway: Montmartre Mysteries by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen

  1. Pingback: France Book Tours stops for August 31 – September 6 | France Book Tours

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

  3. thanks for your lovely review. By the way, not sure how Noël turned into NoÎl with the html I sent you, weird, it should have given it exactly as is. On a PC, to get that accent, just use the key ALT key and at the same time type the numbers 137 ON THE NUMERICAL PAD on the right of your keyboard


  4. I have not been to Montmatre, but when I go, I plan to visit and enjoy all there is to about it. I think there is a lot to enjoy, so that would be a fun place to visit.


  5. Pingback: Montmartre Mysteries: tour quotations | France Book Tours

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