Book Review: Decanting a Murder

Decanting a Murder Book Cover Decanting a Murder
Nadine Nettmann
Midnight Ink
May 8, 2016

Katie Stillwell focuses on two things in her life: work and practicing for her Sommelier Certification with her blind tasting group. The exam was supposed to be the hardest part of her week, but that was before a body was found at an exclusive Napa Valley winery party. When all the evidence points to Katie's best friend, the outspoken and independent Tessa, Katie drops everything to clear Tessa's name. Using her deductive wine skills, she tries to track down the real killer. But when repeated attempts are made on her life, Katie discovers that everyone's secrets must be uncorked--including her own.

my Review

Really more of a 0.5, but I’ll be nice.
I have a lot of issues with this book, but if you are craving a simple “cozy” murder mystery, this will do. My biggest peeve is the main character (well, ok, all the characters).

She feels very much a Mary Sue character type, it’s even stated in the plot how perfect she is (or, pretends to be). She’s not really perfect, but compared to her “best friend” Tessa, she’s freak’n Mother Teresa. Now, not all Mary Sues are bad. But this one…is just…what? Boring? Simple? Meh? I don’t know. But I found myself kinda wishing she’d be murdered and we’d have a new lead.

Speaking of wishing someone dead: Tessa. The best friend. Ugh. Even before the murder happened, I was seriously wishing Tessa would be bludgeoned by a bottle. I have a feeling she was suppose to be a free, “modern” woman. Really, she was just a train-wreck (seriously, drunks shouldn’t work at wineries, though I’m sure they do). She was just generally very unappealing and I can’t understand why Katie would be friends with her other than pity.

Next up: Dean, the detective/love interest. Ok, ok. I get it. It makes for an easy story to have the detective let a citizen hang out with them during investigations, but it always just feels lazy to me. Dear Detective Dean should SO be fired for all he let Katie run this case. It really got to the point of being ridiculous. Letting her in and out of the cells to chat with the suspect, taking her to witness interviews…come on. I know this is a book and there should be a suspension of disbelief…but COME ON.

*But*, during the times when the characters didn’t annoying me so much that I was audibly groaning at my tablet, it was an ok read. The setting of Napa Valley was original and nicely described. The story was a pretty straight-forward cozy mystery, but it isn’t bad. There were enough happenings to keep the interest and I thought the pacing was nice. I’d definitely check out another Nettmann book (I just hope that next time the characters are a wee bit better).

**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** Professional Reader


  1. Joaninnj Bertsch says:

    Hi, Thanks for the book review, I like this type of book, but I had sticker shock at the nearly $8 price for an kindle ebook! Joan

    • Heather
      Heather says:

      Yeah, if you are interested, I’d check out used paperbacks. But honestly, there are much better cozy mysteries out there.
      (btw, you are my first ever comment. Thanks!)

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