The Winemaker's Secret: A Starlight Cove Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Someone is out to destroy the family vineyard - and expose its secrets - in this atmospheric novel from Cynthia Ellingsen, Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper.
Abby Harrington’s family has dedicated their lives to cultivating the family vineyard and collecting vintage wines. But it takes only one night for the priceless collection to vanish, stolen during Abby’s grandparents’ sixtieth anniversary celebration. Then a devastating plane crash leaves her grandfather clinging to life in intensive care.
Desperate to take action, Abby sets out to discover who stole the precious wine - and why. The clues lead her to dark truths about her family she is not prepared to face. Soon Abby begins receiving threatening messages and doubting those closest to her. Making things even more complicated, the attractive doctor who saved her grandfather’s life offers her a shoulder to lean on just as the man she once loved returns to the vineyard.
The more truths Abby is forced to confront, the more her world spins off its axis. Can she unravel the secrets of the past in time to save the vineyard’s future - and her own?
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 37 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 01, 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #32,689 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#511 in Cozy Mysteries (Audible Books & Originals)
#849 in Family Life Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,039 in Women Sleuth Mysteries
Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2019
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Top reviews from the United States
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Novels that give you an insight where they are located, take you right there while you're reading. Also how family handle illness, close to death experiences. Make for an interesting read. A little bit of history, and mystery. Loved it and will for sure read more of Ms Ellingsens. books. Thank you for enjoying read.
She is a stutterer who still cannot visit hospitals after a long childhood illness. Even after her beloved grandfather (Pappy) has a plane crash, she still cannot bring herself to go and see him while he is in a coma. But a series of events challenge her, and she is forced to muster up her courage and show who she really is deep down inside.
Someone has stolen some of the family’s special wine, money is missing from the books and she finds a remnant from her grandmother’s past that opens multiple searches and reveals. She bravely investigates her finds and talks with her Granny and confronts the person who is behind the mysterious threats and thefts while her life hangs in the balance. Abby closes the door on an old love affair, opens the door for the new and rebuilds bonds with her brother, Dean. I did not want it to end!
There was heartache,anger,insecurities and mystery. Abby had so many issues. Always wanting more,but something held her back. But through her own doubts and insecuries,and love,she became brave,very slowly. Through the love for her family,and the hold of family,she learned how to be brave.
It was a really good story,I loved the Michigan connection. I know the area,the rest was just bliss.
I don't think you will be disappointed,I wasnt. Enjoy and read.🍷🍷
The characters are genuine, the anticipation of what happens next, and family relationships and all of the complications and ties keep you reading for the next page.
Top reviews from other countries
This is a wonderful story and I found myself totally engrossed in the plot very quickly. The setting created by Ellingsen is idyllic and inviting; it is so easy to imagine the rolling hills of the winery. Helped by the sunshine setting, I could picture myself belonging to the team at Starlight Cove and, when I had finished this novel, wished that the story had continued further.
Family love and loyalty is key to this novel as Abby begins to learn the truth behind her family’s wine business. After her grandad is hospitalised by a freak accident, Abby begins to discover that the family winery is being subjected to thievery and deception. As the clues mounts up, so do the possible suspects. I could not help but consider several perpetrators, including Abby’s brother, Dean. However, being a cosy mystery, there was no “deep” conspiracy theory and everything came right at the end.
I really liked Abby’s character. She has so many inner demons to overcome that her strength and dedication is admirable. Gradually readers learn about her past - both her relationships and how she came to have such a fear of hospitals. The way her relationship with Dean evolves over the story epitomises the theme of family and I thought the role of Braden was cute, even if the name just didn’t appeal to me.
I don’t read cosy mysteries very often but this one really hit the spot. It was a fantastic, warming read and I can’t wait to return to Starlight Cove and catch up on the rest of the series.
The story about a family business and the nuances of running a vineyard encompassing several generations is well told. Abby's early illness and her ongoing fear of hospitals, her insecurities, her crying at the drop of a hat was, for me, annoying. There was a lack of balance in drawing out the various characters and there were so instances where observations were made and not followed through. The issue about Abby's grandmother and her escape from Nazi Germany was fascinating and here it would have been timely to reveal precisely how she did that.
The reason for giving it only three stars is that there were far too many problems with the use of language. For instance, "Oma's waiting ON the bottles" should read "Oma's waiting FOR the bottles"; how does one 'crank' a steering wheel?' how can coffee be black and oily?; "stirred creamer into his coffee" - why not cream or milk?' 'keyed open the door" ? KEYED? why not just "opened the door"; "the closet door was cracked" - does this mean it was damaged?; mis-spellings too - can you find them? "fresh cheese out of the fridge" - FRESH cheese? There are many more which annoys and spoils a good narrative.
With so many on the author's team, I worry that they're simply not experienced editors or copy editors to help the author be the best she can. Of course one could say language is evolving but when writing in a global environment, American english is falling far short.
The characters? It would be nice to know a little of what they look like; Abby, I'm afraid, I found a little too twee and girly to be accepted as a would-be business woman. Apart from Dean, and towards the end, Greta, the rest of the family hardly seemed to exist as we are told nothing about them.
The plot was interesting if predictable, the 'baddy' being obvious from the start.
Then there is the sheer amount of wine consumed. Abby must surely already be an alcoholic with cirrhosis of the liver! And presumably there are no drink/driving laws in Michigan???
In what was probably an attempt to make the main character relatable/realistic, she had a number of flaws. But for most of the book she had more weaknesses than strengths, which didn't make her very likable, in my opinion.
I liked the setting and the secondary characters, though. And the fact that things happened.
A personal bugbear: it does use the phrase "a few years back", rather than "a few years ago", which grates... but it does only say it once.
The book finishes what it starts, like all good stories should. Which does mean the ending isn't as satisfying as the main body of the read. But overall it was enjoyable. I was glad the book hada lot of plot.