I was sent a copy of Judy Nedry’s “An Unholy Alliance” and got hooked on it after only a few pages. It’s a fast-paced mystery set in the beautiful wine country of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Joe and I had a great tour of this wine country when we attended the Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland a couple of years ago. On a pre-conference tour, and then again as part of the Conference, we were driven to many of the wineries in the area and were able to taste their delicious Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines. We were impressed with the countryside, the wineries, the winemakers and the owners who we met. Reading this book brought me back to those visits and reminded me why I’d like to return.
In “An Unholy Alliance,” Emma Golden, divorced and in her mid-fifties, lives in Portland and is hired to write a book about the Oregon wineries. Emma, a recovering alcoholic, once lived in the wine country with her then-husband, Dwight McCourt.
Emma’s friend Melody calls her and asks her to look after their wine country BnB, the Westerly Inn, while Melody and her husband go on a much-needed vacation. Emma is reluctant to return to the area, but finally agrees to do so.
Once at the Inn, Emma begins her part-time duties as Innkeeper, while taking the opportunity to visit with as many winery owners and winemakers as possible to get material for her book. One of the first people she runs into is her ex-husband, Dwight McCourt. Dwight has expanded the winery that he and Emma had started together. They begin talking about the “ruthless and dishonest” Ted Maxell, an outsider who brought in big money to establish his winery, Cougar Crossing. No one seems to like Maxell, but it’s a shock when he’s murdered at his own dinner party. Emma was a guest at the party and together with another guest, Rob the reporter, she begins her quest to figure out who murdered Maxell. Emma has a very curious nature and also compares notes with Angel, a member of the staff at the Westerly, whose daughter is engaged to Maxell’s son.
Judy Nedry’s second book in this mystery series, “The Difficult Sister,” is set in a town near the Coast in Southern Oregon. This book isn’t about the wine country, but the town isn’t too far from the many Southern Oregon wineries we visited on our drive up to the Wine Bloggers Conference.
To learn more about this mystery series and read an excerpt from “An Unholy Alliance,” visit www.judynedry.com. You can also read the author’s blogs and purchase a book if you like. There is a third book in the works, and I look forward to reading it and seeing what other danger Emma can get herself into.