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The Critic    by Peter May order for
by Peter May
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

What a great new book from prolific author Peter May. The Critic is his twelfth novel, the second featuring Enzo Macleod, former forensics expert and Scottish exile. The setting is wine country in France, where the world's number one wine critic is found murdered drowned and preserved in a vat of wine leaving behind cryptic notes as to the evaluations he would have given local wines. Evaluations that, worldwide, would have made or broken a vineyard.

There is no dearth of suspects most everyone hated the man's air of superiority and his disdain of the common man. And they despised the hold he had over the hardworking men who tended the vines. Macleod has set his sights on solving this cold case the murdered man had been missing for five years. Then another local man is found dead, also preserved in wine, and the intensity of the investigation picks up.

If anyone would like a concise course in the history of wine making as well as the actual machinations necessary to produce a fine wine, this is the book to read. A class on savoring that fine liquid would complete your studies and that is also provided. Fascinating stuff.

However, don't forget the mystery thrown in as well as having a peek at Macleod's personal life and the attendant vagaries that accompany human feelings. Suspenseful? Oh, yes. Thrilling? Some of that too. Great characters? For sure. A really good plot? Without saying. Action? Plenty. A good book? You betcha. Don't miss it.

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