An easy-to-ready, cozy mystery that I liked but didn’t love. From Goodreads: ” Debut mystery chock-full of big Texas attitude. Savannah television personality Elaina Garcia has the opportunity of a lifetime as a news anchor in Florida, but her plans are disrupted when she learns about the death of her estranged sister, Tessa, who ran a Texas winery with her ex-husband. Back in her hometown of Vineyard, Texas, Lainey comes face to face with her dead sister. The problem is that Tessa is not in the coffin. Dealing with the wisecracking ghost of her sibling, Lainey and her three surviving sisters set out to fulfill Tessa’s wish from beyond the grave–to find out who killed her. But hidden among the vines of the dead sister’s multi-million dollar wine-making business lurks a killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.”
Elaina is talented and smart. She is also beautiful – here’s one of my issues with this book. I really, really, really don’t like it when a drop-dead beautiful woman acts like she has no idea that she is gorgeous. It just isn’t reality. Beautiful women know that they are physically beautiful. It drives me a little nuts when a female character acts like she has no idea that her face is perfect and body is amazing. Heard it Through the Grapevine probably lost one star because of this.
Tessa, her deceased sister, was also beautiful but at least she OWNED IT. She knew she was hot stuff and used it to her advantage. I’m not sure I would like her in real life but I appreciated her snarkiness and sense of humor (as a ghost.)
I enjoyed the relationship between Lainey and her sisters. Many of the scenes were a realistic portrayal of the relationship between siblings – specifically sisters. Dan, Lainey’s boyfriend, seemed like a good enough guy but was pretty boring.
SPOILER ALERT — Another star was lost because of the Colton Winslow storyline. Here you go – Lainey had a huge crush on Colton growing up. Tessa, her boyfriend, Colton and his girlfriend would hang out and go on double dates. Lainey watched from the sidelines and gushed about Colton in her journal. Tessa knew about this crush after reading Lainey’s journal. The couples eventually broke up as teenaged couples usually do.
Seriously, if you keep reading, I will spoil a major plot point. Tessa spent a night with Colton and a few weeks later told him she was pregnant. Being the all-around perfect guy that he is, he married her. This, as you can imagine, caused a rift between Tessa and Lainey (who moves away and never speaks to Tessa again.)
I could have lived with it up to this point. Tessa did a horrible thing to her sister. Here’s what I didn’t buy into (and, again, SPOILER) – Tessa never slept with Colton. They were both drunk and fell asleep that night. Colton thought they did the deed but Tessa knew they didn’t. She got pregnant by someone else but knew that Colton would “do the right thing” and take care of her and her child. I could have still, sort of, stuck with it to this point. But we find out that she and Colton never even slept together after they were married. Seriously?!? Here’s this gorgeous woman and this gorgeous guy who are married for years and they never have sex? Not buying it.
Even worse – they eventually get divorced (can’t imagine why, can you?) Why in the heck wouldn’t Tessa go and tell her sister the truth then? It really makes absolutely no sense.
Overall, this is a good cozy mystery and I would read more from this author. 3/5 Stars.
Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.