The death of a former presidential candidate in a fiery car crash at her Virginia vineyard has ties to a thirty year-old murder, as well as to Lucie Montgomery’s own near fatal accident ten years ago, as she searches for a killer who now may be stalking her.
When Jamison Vaughn—billionaire real estate mogul, Virginia vineyard owner, and unsuccessful U.S. presidential candidate—drives his gold SUV into a stone pillar at the entrance to Montgomery Estate Vineyard, Lucie Montgomery is certain the crash was deliberate. But everyone else in Atoka, Virginia is equally sure that Jamie must have lost control of his car on a rain-slicked country road. In spite of being saddled with massive campaign debts from the recent election, Jamie is seemingly the man with the perfect life. What possible reason could he have for committing suicide . . . or was it murder?
Before long Lucie uncovers a connection between Jamie and some of his old friends—an elite group of academics—and the brutal murder thirty years ago of a brilliant PhD student. Although a handyman is on death row for the crime, Lucie soon suspects someone else is guilty. But the investigation into the two deaths throws Lucie a curve ball when someone from her own past becomes involved, forcing her to confront old demons. Now the race to solve the mystery behind the two deaths becomes intensely personal as Lucie realizes someone wants her silenced . . . for good.
The Vineyard Victims is a nominee for the 2018 Mary Higgins Clark Award.
In Crosby's full-bodied eighth Wine Country mystery (after 2016's The Champagne Conspiracy), Virginia vintner Lucie Montgomery has to swerve on a rain-slick road to avoid a head-on collision with a speeding car driven by her neighbor Jamie Vaughn, an unsuccessful U.S. presidential candidate. When Jamie slams into a stone pillar at the entrance to her property, Lucie leaps from her vehicle and races to the wreckage. She's in time only to hear his dying words: "Tell Rick I need him to forgive me." Most people who knew Jamie figure it was an accident, but Lucie is sure that the crash was deliberate. When Jamie's nearest and dearest begin acting suspiciously, Lucie becomes determined to find Rick and deliver Jamie's message. The intrigue grows, as does the danger to herself, after Lucie learns that Rick was an old friend of Jamie's who's now on death row for the murder some 30 years earlier of a brilliant doctoral student at the University of Virginia. Crosby keeps the reader guessing until the exciting climax.