4 out of 5 stars
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Penny Lively loves running her family’s winery, but to keep business growing, she needs to find a way to attract more guests. When she’s approached to invest in a new train line through wine country, Penny and her intoxicating winery manager, Connor, hightail it to a lavish resort to hear the details. Unfortunately, her neighbor’s daughter, Chantal, is also there, swirling up trouble by flirting with the married investors—and with Connor too.
When one of the investors’ wives is murdered, Chantal, who was seen fighting with the woman, is the prime suspect. Chantal may be a sour grape, but she’s no killer. So Penny, who’s become a sleuthing connoisseur, starts sniffing out the real suspect—and discovers that her fellow potential investors have been savoring more than their share of deadly secrets…
Ripe for Murder by Carlene O’Neil is the second book in the Cypress Cove Mystery series. I really enjoyed this book. I found the characters realistic and likable, though a few seemed a bit over the top as far as the exaggeration of their personalities. The plot was well done and the level of suspense was just right. I had no idea who was responsible for the murders until it was revealed in the end.
While many of the characters were realistic, Tara and Chantal are a little too over the top for me. I know that they were supposed to be in order for the reader to really not like them, but the exaggerations in their characters seemed a little too much for my taste. However, it balanced out since the other characters were so realistic and believable. Connor and Penny definitely have some chemistry between them and I’m looking forward to reading more in the series to see if either of them act on it.
The descriptions of the settings were adequate; not overly detailed but described enough so that you’d have some idea in your head of what it would look like and where they were. A tad more detail wouldn’t have hurt, but the lack thereof didn’t detract from the story line.
All in all it was definitely an enjoyable book and not only do I look forward to more books in the series, I’d also gladly recommend this book to anyone enjoying cozy mysteries set with food/drink and/or vineyards.
(I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review. My review was not in anyway influenced by this. All of my conclusions and opinions are my own.)