Book Review of The Angels’ Share by Ellen Crosby

Some mystery series’, as some television shows, lose the interest of readers/viewers over the years. Plot concepts become less compelling, more unrealistic. Not so with Ellen Crosby’s Wine Country Mysteries.

The Angels’ Share, the tenth in the series is the most captivating of them all, in my opinion. A lesson in history, food for thought regarding some intriguing controversies, in addition to a compelling murder mystery.

A local mega-wealthy nonagenarian art and artifact collector is murdered shortly after conversing with Lucie Montgomery, Virginia winery owner and main character. The conversation occurred privately, at an annual event at his expansive estate.

Was the culprit a member of the aging man’s family? A Washington Tribune associate upset with his plans to sell the paper? Someone from the community with an unknown motive? Lucie, as usual, must solve the mystery, as she and her family, fiancee’ and winemaker, Quinn, brother Eli and his family, and the winery staff prepare for the holiday season.

The dead man was a Freemason, who planned to share a history shattering revelation at an upcoming meeting. During his conversation with Lucie he made a request she was unable to fulfill, due to lack of knowledge of the location of a historic item reportedly owned by Lucie’s ancestors.

The most fascinating part of the story is Lucie’s pursuit of the truth regarding the question of whether Shakespeare or Francis Bacon was responsible for the writings attributed to Shakespeare.

Her quest for hidden papers which might reveal the truth about the mystery lead her to a lockbox, at the local bank, and a search of local historical sites. She also engaged in conversation with researchers at Historic Jamestowne and at the Folger library, where many original copies of Shakespearian plays are located.

The Dust Bunny Project, and the fact that Shakespearean classic, The Tempest may be based on the wreck of The Sea Venture, a ship on its way to Jamestowne, are fascinating. As the future advances, we gain more tools for learning about the past.

I do hope Shakespeare really did write “Shakespeare”, not Francis Bacon. The name “Shakespeare” sounds much more literary. I do believe in revealing the truth if it’s proven beyond doubt, but it’s sad so many cherished beliefs have been blown to bits in recent times.

History buffs, mystery lovers, wine aficianados, will find something to love in this story. The relationship between Quinn and Lucie continues to develop, delighting fans of romance, also. Can’t wait for the next book.

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