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Murder by Champagne

Keith Spicer

3 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1481985612 / ISBN 13: 9781481985611
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Murder by Champagne

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2013

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1.

About this title


MURDER, SPIES AND SUPERSTITION IN THE CHAMPAGNE CAVES... Hubert Repentigny, ruthless owner of a top French champagne house, lies bleeding to death in his underground caves. Baffled by the secretive world of those who make and market champagne, the Reims region Police Judiciaire face a tangle of deadly rivalries, illicit passions and industrial espionage.
   All of this lands on the plate of Commissaire Denise Caron, the Police Judiciaire's opera-loving young chief investigator. Drawing on her knowledge of medieval legends, and leaning on her team of scientific experts (and her carpenter-lover, Stéphane) she drives her pursuit through twists and turns to a heart-stopping finale.
    Complicating Caron's murder investigation is an overlapping Chinese espionage plot. The goal: to destabilize, then take over, France's champagne industry. To achieve this, a brilliant, beautiful female spy, Ma Chuntau, shares her favors with both Hubert Repentigny and the President of the French Republic, Roland Guérin.
   Decrypted messages to spy headquarters in Beijing spell out the game, and reveal how complicities within French champagne houses put France's interests in imminent danger. Defying tradition, Caron works closely with the French DCRI spy-catchers to reveal how the espionage and murder investigations are intricately linked.
    To explore the link, Caron sends her team of investigators - including highly-trained forensic experts - into the inner sancta of the champagne industry. They visit top barons and their secretive families, fiercely independent grape- growers and master champagne designers in their labs.
  . Meanwhile, cynical media, especially the mocking daily newspaper L'Union, hammer away at Caron's gender, youthfulness and alleged lack of ideas..This tension haunts Caron until the end.
    Finally, using brilliant deduction, scientific evidence and a long-shot historical hunch, Caron leads a dramatic chase through the caves to unmask the culprit. Her enemies have to eat their hats. 
   A tongue-in-cheek epilogue documents how China's strategy of gradually taking over France's wine and champagne industries is not mere fiction. 
    What remains for the reader, beside the fun of the hunt and Caron's big surprises? A quick education in champagne and the colorful people who make and sell it. Readers may also remember many extravagant characters - from roguish victim Hubert and his quietly hysterical wife Sophie-Charlotte to the silver-haired devil of a chef de cave Sébastien Painteaux to a hard-as-nails spy Ma Chuntau.
   Not to mention the wizened old priest Validimir Farfelan who, in his confessional, just cannot believe Sophie-Charlotte's sexual fantasies of her imagined fifth-century lover, Saint-Remi.

From the Author:

     This easy-to-read fiction should please all who love champagne, well-researched cop stories, outrageous Chinese espionage plots, France, the French, and ingenious state-of-the-art investigations.
     It should also delight readers who suspect that smart women would likely do a better job than men of running the world. All this explained with as much irony and humor as possible.

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