THE CHAMPAGNE CONSPIRACY by Ellen Crosby
Ms. Crosby has crafted a complex, old-fashioned mystery, languorous in pace and beautifully written. With a myriad of characters, each given a history and backstory, this languid style of writing serves the story well. Inanimate objects, furniture, wine, even an antique clock, possess personalities and pasts in this novel.
Lucie Montgomery, owner of a Virginia winery, is an unlikely protagonist. This reserved young woman is physically challenged, some might say handicapped, but nothing deters her from the resolve to get to the bottom of a one hundred year old mystery. The reader is treated to a modern day, small vineyard’s story interwoven with secrets of historical characters, past politics, lust, and greed. Just how many of the ‘facts’ are based in reality and how many are made up, is for the reader to discover. That the real and make believe are blended so artfully speaks well of the author’s talents.
Here is a dark mystery that intensifies with each succeeding page. Secrets are buried so deep and for so long a time that wrenching them free from the past catapults the living into blackmail, despair and even murder. Yet here is a story of love familial and romantic, love which triumphs in the end. The Champagne Conspiracy is well worth the read.
Review by Heather Haven