Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Mayhem in Margaux by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen

"Mayhem in Margaux" is a pleasant, entertaining mystery story, in which France, its delectable wine,  enticing cuisine and beautiful scenery flow through every page.
The characters are not only interesting, but they also come alive on the page. The reader feels like a member of the family as we trail along with Benjamin Cooker on his quest to find out who tried to murder a wine estate manager and his daughter. It is a book that I would recommend to anyone who loves France, wine and mysteries.
If there is one slight drawback, it was the tendency of the translator to use literal translations. For instance, the translator used "dude" for "mec" and "lemon meringue pie" for "Tarte au citron". While these may be minor nuisances, they had the unfortunate effect of jolting me right back to America when I would prefer to stay in France. Somehow, the beauty and the sophistication suffered from this lack of attention to details. Nevertheless, I found this to be a highly enjoyable mystery, and I look forward to reading more works by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen.

This particular book and others in the series created by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen were used as the basis for the TV series Blood of the Vine which is available on DVD from or at Three seasons have been made, at least that is what is available in the the US as far as I'm aware and if you like the books you will definitely want to check out the DVDs.

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