From: Book’em Mysteries, Pasadena, CA, 10/13/2012
It’s April 1st, and Crime Analyst Caitlyn Tilson Pepper receives a phone call that she has inherited a vineyard and two Shakespearian theaters in Northern California. Naturally, given the date, she is skeptical but is ultimately convinced to come to California to see her property. Recently divorced, she works with the Columbus, Ohio, police department. She takes a leave of absence and flies to the bay area.
An aunt, of whom she has never heard, has died. The two women share a name, Tilson, and her aunt Tasha seems to have been quite a character. Cait becomes a target when she arrives and all types of mayhem ensue — fires, gunshots and unneighborly visitors. She investigates her aunt’s death and discovers some family secrets. Ultimately, the decision to stay and claim her inheritance or return to her life and job in Ohio rests on the people she learns to trust and the family she discovers. The scenery of the Livermore, California, landscape is beautifully woven into the story as Cait slowly realizes what a fabulous gift she has inherited.
There are a number of potential suspects available for Cait to investigate: Stanton Lane, the lawyer; Royal Tanner, the stage manager; Ilia Kubiak, the photographer and Marcus Singer, her assistant. Each has a reason for wanting to work at the theater and she discovers which ones are trustworthy and which are not. A lot of interesting themes run through this intriguing book: Shakespeare, growing grapes, police crime analysis, family secrets. I look forward to exploring these topics more in Price’s future novels. RECOMMENDED.
Library Journal Review 8/1/12
This title publishes AUG 2012
“If your readers long for a gentle romantic suspense title, then Price’s debut might fit the bill.. . . a beautifully described setting, an intriguing series premise, and an appealing heroine who can hold her own.”
TWISTED VINES by Carole Price (9781432826024)
Five Star Mystery
When an unknown aunt names Ohio crime analyst Cait Pepper as sole beneficiary in her will, the promise of inheriting a mansion, vineyard, and outdoor theater brings a dubious Cait out to northern California. All is not peaceful on the estate: the aunt’s death is suspicious, arson fires have damaged the outdoor theater, and the locals aren’t exactly thrilled to meet Cait. Her only ally seems to be Royal Tanner, the theater’s stage manager, who is really a Navy SEAL watching over the place. As Cait learns more about her own mysterious family, the drama heightens. Consider your Shakespeare plots while reading.
VERDICT: If your readers long for a gentle romantic suspense title, then Price’s debut might fit the bill. Guilty of too much nonessential information and abrupt transitions, Price nonetheless offers a beautifully described setting, an intriguing series premise, and an appealing heroine who can hold her own.
Review Issue Date: July 15, 2012
An unexpected inheritance gives recently widowed Ohio crime analyst Caitlyn Tilson Pepper loads of chances to exercise her investigative talents.
When Cait receives a phone call from a California lawyer telling her that she’s inherited a vineyard and two Shakespearean theaters, she thinks it’s an April Fools’ joke. Finally convinced, Cait makes the trip and discovers that Tasha Tilson Bening was her aunt, her father’s unknown-to-her twin. Since her parents are both dead, it’s up to Cait to make sense of the family secrets on her own. She meets Navy SEAL Royal Tanner, who’s been watching the place on Tasha’s behalf ever since a series of unsettling incidents occurred, and Tasha’s secretary, Marcus Singer, whose criminal record and unforthcoming demeanor make for an uneasy relationship with his new boss. After learning that her aunt’s death may have been murder rather than the heart attack attorney Stanton Lane had mentioned, Cait must decide whether she wants to remain on the valuable and fascinating property or return to Ohio. As Cait digs deeper into her family’s past, she uncovers some shocking news that will change her life. But the troubling past may not be the only factor to place her in mortal danger if she continues with her plans to take over the reins of her aunt’s enterprises.
Suspense and romance, though not much mystery, meet in Price’s debut, first in a planned series.
Twisted Vines: A Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mystery
Carole Price. Five Star, $25.95 (330p) ISBN 978-1-4328-2602-4
Regional theater fans will welcome Price’s engaging first mystery featuring Ohio crime analyst Caitlyn Tilson Pepper. When Cait receives word from a lawyer that she’s inherited from her father’s twin sister (a relative she didn’t even know existed) a vineyard and two Shakespearean theaters in northern California, she at first can’t believe it. But the chance that she is indeed this unknown aunt’s rightful heir is enough to prompt her to fly to California, where she soon finds herself, with the aid of Royal “RT” Tanner, a Navy SEAL and stage manager of the theaters, looking into her aunt’s mysterious death as well as other suspicious recent deaths. Despite attempts on her life, Cait decides to give up her job and relocate to California in order to ferret out the truth. The ending will catch most readers by surprise. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/01/2012
Permalink: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4328-2602-4 (978-1-4328-2602-4)
Here’s what my crime partners and other kind folks are saying about my first mystery novel TWISTED VINES. Please be sure to click on their names and browse their websites. They are all talented mystery writers and true inspirations.
“Curl up with a glass of wine and a copy of Carole Price’s new mystery, TWISTED VINES. It’s as rich and hearty as a good merlot — and loaded with suspense, mystery, and romance!”
Penny Warner, HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY mystery series
“TWISTED VINES features an engaging ex-cop sleuth, a twisty mystery, a Shakespearean theater in the vineyard, and a nice dash of romance … something for everyone!”
Ann Parker, SILVER RUSH mystery series
“Set among the lush vineyards of a California estate, TWISTED VINES is a rich blend of sophistication and danger. The soothing ambience of the Shakespearean theaters creates a sharp contrast to a series of unexpected deaths and the harrowing close calls of the book’s strong leading character. A robust start to what I hope is a long series.”
Staci McLaughlin, GOING ORGANIC CAN KILL YOU