What is the order of the books?
Moscow Nights, 2016
The Virginia Wine Country Mysteries:
The Merlot Murders, 2006
The Chardonnay Charade, 2007
The Bordeaux Betrayal, 2008
The Riesling Retribution, 2009
The Viognier Vendetta, 2010
The Sauvignon Secret, 2011
The Champagne Conspiracy
The Sophie Medina Mysteries:
Multiple Exposure, 2015
Ghost Image, 2016
Do I have to read your books in order?
The books in the Virginia wine country series do not have to be read in order, but if you start from the beginning you’ll know more about the history of the characters and understand a few references to past events. If you’re like my husband, you need to start with book one, The Merlot Murders. If you’re like me, feel free to jump in anywhere and read backward and forward in the series.
Why does The Viognier Vendetta have two titles?
Pocket Books, the publisher for the paperback series, decided to change the title to The Vintage Vendetta when they brought The Viognier Vendetta out in paperback because of a concern that the word “Viognier” (VEE-ohn-yay) was too difficult to pronounce and was a wine most people had never heard of.
How do you decide on the cover for your books?
My publishers—Scribner, Pocket Books, and St. Martin’s/Minotaur—decide on the cover art for my books, which is designed in their art department; the cover “reveal” is always one of my favorite parts of the publishing process. However as part of my contract, I have the opportunity to review each jacket and make comments: the woman in an earlier version of Multiple Exposure was a blonde, for example, and Sophie Medina, who is half-Spanish, has dark brown hair so it was changed.
One interesting footnote: the covers for the first six Virginia wine country mystery paperbacks, which were published by Pocket Books, were designed by Wendell Minor, who has done the original artwork for books by such authors as Rad Bradbury, Mary Higgins Clark, Pat Conroy, James Michener, Garrison Keillor, Larry McMurtry, David McCullough and dozens of others. A few years ago when I was in Charlottesville for the Virginia Book Festival, I found a book he published called Art for the Written Word: Twenty-five Years of Book Cover Art in an antiquarian book store—which I bought, of course—and learned Wendell was also responsible for many iconic book jackets such as Catch-22 and To Kill A Mockingbird, among others. We are now Facebook friends and you can find him here.
Can I visit Lucie’s wine country?
There is a map of Lucie’s wine country in the front of all of the books—and many of the places I write about are real places. The Goose Creek Inn is actually based on a restaurant in Great Falls, Virginia called L’Auberge Chez François. Thelma, who owns the General Store, is based on a wonderful old ice cream parlor called “Thelma’s,” which is also in Great Falls. Unfortunately it was torn down in 2013 to make room for new construction—I happened to drive by the day the bulldozers had reduced it to a pile of rubble, which was heartbreaking.
Lucie’s vineyard is based on Swedenburg Estate Vineyard in Middleburg, VA, which is now known as Greenhill Winery and Vineyards; Rick Tagg, winemaker at Delaplane Cellars in Delaplane, VA, who became my wine advisor after Juanita Swedenburg passed away in 2007, reminds me a lot of Quinn—especially after he started wearing Hawaiian shirts!
Where can I buy Moscow Nights?
After 16 years, Moscow Nights has now been published in the US in print and as an e-book from Speaking Volumes. However the UK edition is increasingly becoming a “rare” book—you will need to look on used bookstore sites, probably in the UK or Australia. Many copies now available are former library copies and, occasionally, a new copy will be available, though I’ve heard the price can be as much as $1,000 for a hardcover in pristine condition. If you are a collector looking for one of those copies, you can contact one of the independent bookstores where I do book events as many booksellers are happy to track down hard-to-find books for their customers.
How do I sign up to get your newsletter?
You sign up here.
Do you have book club questions?
At this time, I don’t have book club questions. But there is a lot of background information about the books on my website.
Are your books available in other formats, such as audiobooks or e-books?
All my books are available as e-books and with the exception of Moscow Nights, they are also available as audio books from Blackstone Audio. THE CHAMPAGNE CONSPIRACY will be available in large print format in November, 2016.