Seattle attorney Annie Macpherson is stunned to receive a desperate phone message from her old high school friend, Taylor North. They haven't spoken in seventeen years, ever since the bitter fight involving Taylor's violent boyfriend--and eventual husband--Steven Vick. So, with trepidation and a touch of dread, Annie rushes to Yakima Valley, where Taylor owns a winery, and discovers a curious truth.
In the last six months--after Taylor threw Steven off the land and out of her life--threatening events have begun to plague the North Faire Winery. Bottles and corks vanish, spray paint spoils the ripe grapes, salt is sifted into the wine. But the worst is yet to come when a bludgeoned body is found--and Taylor is the prime suspect.
The third book in the Annie MacPherson Mystery Series, which began with Sea of Troubles.
Seattle attorney Annie MacPherson comes to the aid of a high school friend harassed by her abusive spouse in Smith's third mystery (following Practice to Deceive). After Taylor North, a vineyard owner in Washington State's Yakima Valley, throws her estranged husband, Steve Vick, out of the house, her business is beset by a series of petty thefts. Everyone suspects Steve, who, with his well-known temper, hasn't taken his ejection calmly. Annie arrives to help Taylor with her divorce proceedings in time to attend a Wine Gala at which Steve makes a melodramatic entrance and becomes verbally abusive. Persuaded to leave, he is found dead later that evening, with Taylor at his side, cradling a wine bottle that appears to be the murder weapon. When Taylor takes an overdose of pills and is rushed to the hospital in critical condition, Annie resolves to find out if Taylor killed Steve as the evidence suggests. While Smith's descriptions of wine tasting and the Washington State wine industry are titillating, Annie solves the puzzle too easily, imparting a flat aftertaste to this uneven tale. Author tour.