Swindle Town by Molly Greene
Sassy, spunky private eye Gen Delacourt is back in a new mystery from Molly Greene that finds the amateur detective up to her ears in secrets, lies - and wine.
Molly Greene's Gen Delacourt mysteries have been among my favorites since the series began several years ago. Over the course of four novels readers have followed Gen on her adventures in San Francisco as she works to uncover truths, catch bad guys, and keep herself alive in the process. In her fifth outing, Swindle Town, Gen is hired to track a series of disappearing empty wine bottles that ultimately leads her into the employment - or maybe the clutches - of a secret high-society wine club where membership fees are in the thousands and a good vintage may be worth killing over. Working the case becomes complicated for Gen when she uncovers connections that hit close to home for her boyfriend, SFPD detective Mack Hackett. Charged with keeping her investigation a secret, she'll have to put her all into unraveling a mysterious series of threats on the wine club's owner before things escalate and one of her many, many suspects decides to make their final move.
Swindle Town is a fabulous addition to a dependably entertaining series, brimming with all the wit, intrigue, and adventure readers have come to expect from Gen Delacourt and company. With her growing knack for spinning a grand mystery, author Molly Greene keeps the reader guessing until the novel’s conclusion. The intricacies of California’s wine culture create a fascinating backdrop for Gen’s latest case. It’s a show in which the private eye, fond as she is of life’s simpler pleasures, feels utterly miscast, but her resourcefulness pulls her through and she learns about the pastime of thousand-dollar vintages alongside the reader. Greene’s research of wine collecting contributes to the uniquely interesting undercurrent that drives Gen’s unpredictable plight. On her journey toward identifying a dangerous blackmailer, Gen comes face-to-face with wealthy would-be connoisseurs and all manner of characters, cluing her in on the wild and crazy world of the secretive rich. And as she skirts along the fragility of her new friendships, surprising revelations abound that will test her trust.
Greene has always filled her novels with memorable supporting characters, particularly Gen’s swoon-worthy love interest, Mack Hackett; in Swindle Town, there are familiar faces and new appearances alike. Cambria Butler, Gen’s good friend and the subject of Book #2, The Last Fairytale, uses her resources to help Gen on the case, while Mack's childhood friend Shiloh James comes on the scene for the first time (and, hopefully, not the last). With every new character she creates, Greene always manages to add another colorful layer to the enchanting world of her novels. Combined with her expert twisty-turny sense for mystery and the lighting-like chemistry she creates between Gen and Mack, Greene delivers yet another delightful novel with Swindle Town.
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