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Harvest of Secrets

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The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery's first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer. It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery's family cemetery, and the disc The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery's first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer. It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery's family cemetery, and the discovery of the bones coincides with the arrival of handsome, wealthy aristocrat Jean-Claude de Marignac. He's come to be the head winemaker at neighboring La Vigne Cellars, but he's no stranger to Lucie--he was her first crush twenty years ago when she spent a summer in France. Not long after his arrival, Jean-Claude is found dead, and while there is no shortage of suspects who are angry or jealous of his ego and overbearing ways, suspicion falls on Miguel Otero, an immigrant worker at La Vigne, who recently quarreled with Jean-Claude. When Miguel disappears, Lucie receives an ultimatum from her own employees: prove Miguel's innocence or none of the immigrant community will work for her during the harvest. As Lucie hunts for Jean-Claude's killer and continues to search for the identity of the skeleton abandoned in the cemetery, she is blindsided by a decades-old secret that shatters everything she thought she knew about her family. Now facing a wrenching emotional choice, Lucie must decide whether it's finally time to tell the truth and hurt those she loves the most, or keep silent and let past secrets remain dead and buried.


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The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery's first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer. It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery's family cemetery, and the disc The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery's first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer. It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery's family cemetery, and the discovery of the bones coincides with the arrival of handsome, wealthy aristocrat Jean-Claude de Marignac. He's come to be the head winemaker at neighboring La Vigne Cellars, but he's no stranger to Lucie--he was her first crush twenty years ago when she spent a summer in France. Not long after his arrival, Jean-Claude is found dead, and while there is no shortage of suspects who are angry or jealous of his ego and overbearing ways, suspicion falls on Miguel Otero, an immigrant worker at La Vigne, who recently quarreled with Jean-Claude. When Miguel disappears, Lucie receives an ultimatum from her own employees: prove Miguel's innocence or none of the immigrant community will work for her during the harvest. As Lucie hunts for Jean-Claude's killer and continues to search for the identity of the skeleton abandoned in the cemetery, she is blindsided by a decades-old secret that shatters everything she thought she knew about her family. Now facing a wrenching emotional choice, Lucie must decide whether it's finally time to tell the truth and hurt those she loves the most, or keep silent and let past secrets remain dead and buried.

30 review for Harvest of Secrets

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This the ninth installment of the Wine Country mysteries, set in "horse country" rural Virginia, about 45 minutes from Washington, D.C. Lucie Montgomery's workers find an old skull on her family's vineyard and she wants to investigate whether the remains belong to one of her ancestors. On the adjacent vineyard owned by a former Secretary of State and his long-time partner, Robyn, a prominent French winemaker, the son of a wealthy French baron from Bordeaux, has come into their employ. But he car This the ninth installment of the Wine Country mysteries, set in "horse country" rural Virginia, about 45 minutes from Washington, D.C. Lucie Montgomery's workers find an old skull on her family's vineyard and she wants to investigate whether the remains belong to one of her ancestors. On the adjacent vineyard owned by a former Secretary of State and his long-time partner, Robyn, a prominent French winemaker, the son of a wealthy French baron from Bordeaux, has come into their employ. But he carries a lot of baggage from his past and it entwines all around him, including Lucie. I really enjoyed this book. I've read the prior books in the series but slowly over a period of years. It can be read as a standalone but it has been nice to see the progression of the storyline, and the development of Lucie's character and her relationship with Quinn. I also like the detailed historical elements the author includes. Parts of the story reflect current events without getting into any type of political diatribe. There are several layers of mystery in this story, all keeping my attention to the very end. Highly recommend! Thanks to NetGalley for an advance digital copy of this book. My review is voluntary

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Daniel

    This may be the best one yet! This series just keeps getting better!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Georgette

    Another solid installment in the Wine Country mystery series. Didn't guess the perp, either.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stanley McShane

    This book captured my interest immediately and never let go. While it is Book 9 of the series, it functioned well as a standalone. No problem sensing protagonist Lucie Montgomery. A skull is uncovered near the family cemetery by her immigrant workers and Lucie feels a kindred spirit, discovered to have been a young woman. She can't help but delve deeper into the mystery possibly involving family. Having opened Pandora's box, however, she'll be diverted into the history of her family's Civil War e This book captured my interest immediately and never let go. While it is Book 9 of the series, it functioned well as a standalone. No problem sensing protagonist Lucie Montgomery. A skull is uncovered near the family cemetery by her immigrant workers and Lucie feels a kindred spirit, discovered to have been a young woman. She can't help but delve deeper into the mystery possibly involving family. Having opened Pandora's box, however, she'll be diverted into the history of her family's Civil War effort as well as the Underground Railroad, which opens further research. A wealthy aristocrat from France--an old crush from her summer there with family--has become head winemaker at La Vigne Cellars--their neighbor. He loves the ladies--probably WAY too much. Montgomery Estate Vineyards is looking forward to harvest, even with a hurricane approaching. Worse yet, Jean-Claude is murdered and evidence points to one of her own workers. Miguel, worried about his immigration status, splits, and begins to look very suspicious. Second book in a row I've read that has been multi-layered with detailed histories involved in the well-plotted mystery. This one weaves fascinating information regarding the surrounding area of civil war battlefields and the political climate and turmoil of the period. Always a lot going on, the storyline never slows and keeps the reader flipping pages, each one leaving another lesson or plot point in one of the layers. Support characters are well fleshed and dialogue is easy and natural, with an occasional gentle poke at that famous southern drawl. New premise location for me, unique historical details, and easy but fast-paced plot never lets the tension slide, slow, or slack. I'm looking forward to visiting again soon and heartily recommend this entry in the well-developed series to anyone who enjoys a high-speed romp into one of our country's most beautiful and history laden areas. I received this uncorrected digital galley from the publisher (thank you, Minotaur!!) and NetGalley and appreciate the opportunity to read and review. See my full review as well as many others at https://rosepointpublishing.com

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    I have a confession to make. I actually sent my copy of Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby to a friend who is a big fan. That means I don't have my copy in front of me to refer to. It feels as if the review is missing something when I don't have the book in hand. Lucie Montgomery's workers at her Virginia vineyard may be right. It might be unlucky to find a skull. After a shed was destroyed during a storm, two of the men went to clear it. That's when they find a skull buried outside the family c I have a confession to make. I actually sent my copy of Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby to a friend who is a big fan. That means I don't have my copy in front of me to refer to. It feels as if the review is missing something when I don't have the book in hand. Lucie Montgomery's workers at her Virginia vineyard may be right. It might be unlucky to find a skull. After a shed was destroyed during a storm, two of the men went to clear it. That's when they find a skull buried outside the family cemetery. They claim it's bad luck, and someone will die. Lucie discounts it, but then events start to snowball. When the rest of the skeleton is found, the forensic anthropologist identifies it as a woman who was murdered. Lucie becomes emotionally involved as she tries to uncover the woman's story, knowing she must have been a relative. At the same time, her DNA results come back, revealing a living relative. Now, Lucie really has worries because she never told the family she had sent in for her DNA results, and she's concerned about family secrets. Then, there's that skull. Lucie's workers had been worried. A neighboring winemaker stirs up trouble before he is killed. As a hurricane bears down on the region, Lucie's workers pressure her to find the actual killer. She has to investigate while keeping secrets she should share with loved ones. The story was enjoyable, and I wish I had known more. It's a character-driven mystery with an introspective amateur sleuth who struggles with her past and her insecurities. Although I hadn't read any of the previous Wine Country mysteries, I didn't have a problem catching up with Lucie and the background of the stories. Even so, I still suggest other readers start at the beginning of the series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    As I started reading this 9th in the series, I thought maybe it was time to be done. But as the book moved on and the backstory mystery fleshed out, I was drawn in my the history. Could be the fact that I had lived in Northern Virginia for a time, so Middleburg and Leesburg were places I had been too. An interesting new family member makes me think the series will continue on. "It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull i As I started reading this 9th in the series, I thought maybe it was time to be done. But as the book moved on and the backstory mystery fleshed out, I was drawn in my the history. Could be the fact that I had lived in Northern Virginia for a time, so Middleburg and Leesburg were places I had been too. An interesting new family member makes me think the series will continue on. "It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery's family cemetery, and the discovery of the bones coincides with the arrival of handsome, wealthy aristocrat Jean-Claude de Marignac. He's come to be the head winemaker at neighboring La Vigne Cellars, but he's no stranger to Lucie--he was her first crush twenty years ago when she spent a summer in France. Not long after his arrival, Jean-Claude is found dead, and while there is no shortage of suspects who are angry or jealous of his ego and overbearing ways, suspicion falls on Miguel Otero, an immigrant worker at La Vigne, who recently quarreled with Jean-Claude. When Miguel disappears, Lucie receives an ultimatum from her own employees: prove Miguel's innocence or none of the immigrant community will work for her during the harvest. As Lucie hunts for Jean-Claude's killer and continues to search for the identity of the skeleton abandoned in the cemetery, she is blindsided by a decades-old secret that shatters everything she thought she knew about her family. Now facing a wrenching emotional choice, Lucie must decide whether it's finally time to tell the truth and hurt those she loves the most, or keep silent and let past secrets remain dead and buried."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    The Wine Country Mysteries series is not your usual who-done-it; it is also a history lesson of Loudoun County, Virginia, with a mystery thrown into keep your attention. As the vineyard is preparing for an incoming hurricane, the workers at Montgomery Estate Vineyards unearth a skull that has been buried under a shed outside of the family cemetery. Detailed forensics reveals that the skull, and the rest of the bones, have been there for more than a century, but what is interesting is the quilt t The Wine Country Mysteries series is not your usual who-done-it; it is also a history lesson of Loudoun County, Virginia, with a mystery thrown into keep your attention. As the vineyard is preparing for an incoming hurricane, the workers at Montgomery Estate Vineyards unearth a skull that has been buried under a shed outside of the family cemetery. Detailed forensics reveals that the skull, and the rest of the bones, have been there for more than a century, but what is interesting is the quilt that the woman was buried in. A quilt with historic value and story that goes back to the Underground Railroad. Lucie Montgomery has a sudden conviction that this woman is a family member, but proving it also digs up interesting family drama when a DNA test through the genome project reveals that Lucie’s father had a secret that was kept from the family. Add into that, Jean-Claude de Merignac, the wayward son of a well-regarded French family arrives and while working at a neighboring La Vigne vineyard, is killed and there is no shortlist for those that could be responsible. The multiple stories in this book will keep readers engrossed. There is no straightforward path to the end, yet enough trails to twist your mind around and possible reasons, all wrapped up in an interesting history lesson, with a potential new character that could add even more backstory to the Montgomery family and their enduring presence is the wine country of Atoka, Virginia.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sue Em

    Lucie Montgomery finds the body of a French winemaker, her childhood crush,in this latest excellent entry in the Virginia wine country series. As she becomes involved in trying to prove the innocence of her friends, a skeleton is discovered on her property. One of the strengths of this series is the author's ability to delve into history making the past and present interesting and relevant. Highly recommended. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchang Lucie Montgomery finds the body of a French winemaker, her childhood crush,in this latest excellent entry in the Virginia wine country series. As she becomes involved in trying to prove the innocence of her friends, a skeleton is discovered on her property. One of the strengths of this series is the author's ability to delve into history making the past and present interesting and relevant. Highly recommended. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erik Moloney

    The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery's first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer. It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery's family cemetery, and the discovery of the bones coincides with the arrival of handsome, wealthy aristocrat Jean-Claude de Marignac. He's come to be the he The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery's first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer. It's harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard--the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery's family cemetery, and the discovery of the bones coincides with the arrival of handsome, wealthy aristocrat Jean-Claude de Marignac. He's come to be the head winemaker at neighboring La Vigne Cellars, but he's no stranger to Lucie--he was her first crush twenty years ago when she spent a summer in France. Not long after his arrival, Jean-Claude is found dead, and while there is no shortage of suspects who are angry or jealous of his ego and overbearing ways, suspicion falls on Miguel Otero, an immigrant worker at La Vigne, who recently quarreled with Jean-Claude. When Miguel disappears, Lucie receives an ultimatum from her own employees: prove Miguel's innocence or none of the immigrant community will work for her during the harvest. As Lucie hunts for Jean-Claude's killer and continues to search for the identity of the skeleton abandoned in the cemetery, she is blindsided by a decades-old secret that shatters everything she thought she knew about her family. Now facing a wrenching emotional choice, Lucie must decide whether it's finally time to tell the truth and hurt those she loves the most, or keep silent and let past secrets remain dead and buried.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Homerun2

    A stellar entry in the Wine Country Mysteries. Lucie Montgomery, along with her fiance winemaker Quinn, is running the family winery in Virginia. They are grappling with a coming hurricane AND the wine harvest when some of her vineyard workers discover a skull in a shallow grave. A little research soon reveals that the skeleton dates from more than a century ago and that the victim, who was murdered, is likely an ancestor of Lucie's. Her delving into the family history leads to some interesting in A stellar entry in the Wine Country Mysteries. Lucie Montgomery, along with her fiance winemaker Quinn, is running the family winery in Virginia. They are grappling with a coming hurricane AND the wine harvest when some of her vineyard workers discover a skull in a shallow grave. A little research soon reveals that the skeleton dates from more than a century ago and that the victim, who was murdered, is likely an ancestor of Lucie's. Her delving into the family history leads to some interesting information about genealogy, quilts, and local Virginia history as well as a never revealed family secret. And that's not the only secret -- Lucie sent off a DNA sample to an ancestor web site and is not prepared for the results of her test. Meanwhile, a French winemaker who Lucie had a crush on in her teens is now working at a local vineyard. He has a reputation for arrogance and womanizing and when his body is found with a fatal stab wound, the list of suspects is long. Unfortunately, that list includes friends and employees of Lucie's and she knows they are innocent. This is a very nicely written narrative with a couple of compelling side plots. This is a worthwhile series and this is one of the best entries, although it could work as a standalone. Thanks to Net Galley and to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pat Dupuy

    This is the latest of the series featuring Lucie Montgomery, friends, and family. Lucie owns Montgomery Estate Vineyard in Virginia. Two bodies crop up: one is the wealthy French aristocrat who is the new winemaker in the area; the second is a female, Civil War era, who might be related to Lucie. Both are murder victims. Lucie investigates the first to protect loved ones from suspicion and/or arrest. She investigates the second to discover the truth that was hidden by her family generations ago. This is the latest of the series featuring Lucie Montgomery, friends, and family. Lucie owns Montgomery Estate Vineyard in Virginia. Two bodies crop up: one is the wealthy French aristocrat who is the new winemaker in the area; the second is a female, Civil War era, who might be related to Lucie. Both are murder victims. Lucie investigates the first to protect loved ones from suspicion and/or arrest. She investigates the second to discover the truth that was hidden by her family generations ago. The author does a fabulous job mixing murder, viticulture, wine making, and history.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda Smatzny

    The main character, Lucie Montgomery, gets involved with finding out about family secrets. She sends off her DNA and discovers a never known about half brother. A skeleton is found when a tree is damaged in a storm and Lucie is sure it is a relative but not sure who. And yes a huge hurricane is headed for Virginia. There is also a murder. Lots going on which Lucie feels she must be involved with. The book was a quick easy read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    I loved this story. It contained so many side stories that were interesting. The family genealogy, the Underground Railroad, and the family relationships now deepening with other characters, both new and old in this series. Great read. I enjoyed this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Townsend

    The central mystery of the story is rather boring and non-engaging. The other mysteries in the book are much more interesting and it would have been a much more interesting read if the author had focused on them.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I really enjoyed this book but I figured out the bad guy before the end. I always read looking for hints. Since I live near this area and have been to some of the wineries, I always appreciate the research of the author's.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I have enjoyed reading this series! A mystery, history lesson, and wine-making info all in one! And now that I’ve read all of the books, including this digital ARC from Edelweiss (thanks!), I’m going to miss reading about these characters!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie N

    In this ninth of the series, a skull is discovered near the Montgomery family cemetery and the new winemaker at neighboring La Vigne Cellars is found dead, setting off two investigations, one current and one into Lucie's family's past.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sidney Weber

    Well constructed story This book was moderately intricate without being overly dramatic or relying on extraordinary capabilities or coincidences. It unfolded at about the right place.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nefty123

    Ellen brings history, locale and murder together in a way no one else can. Well done.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Linnea

    Besides a great story, it deals with the migrant workers and the grape industry.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Gabel

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dolores

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

  26. 4 out of 5

    Deb Latta

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carol Kay

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Meyers

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