ARC Review: Seven Deadly Zins by Nancy J. Parra (A Wine Country Mystery #2)


SevenDeadlyZinsCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: The second in Nancy J. Parra’s Wine Country mysteries is sure to make fans of Ellen Crosby heady with delight.

Which suspect drowned an inspector in the Zinfandel? Sonoma tour guide Taylor O’Brian uncorks another intoxicating Wine Country mystery.

Taylor O’Brian, founder of “Off the Beaten Path”, takes small groups on wine country tours of romantic Sonoma County. Friends are everything in the tour business, so Taylor is happy to guide investors to the winery owned by her friend Tim Slade. But vintage turns to vinegar when an FDA inspector is found floating face down in one of Tim’s vats of squished grapes.

Tim is arrested on suspicion of murder, and Taylor and her friends rally to prove his innocence. But it’s not an easy task, especially since the winery proprietor’s acidic sense of humor tends to reap a harvest of sour grapes. Taylor’s investigation is withering on the vine until she discovers that Tim’s girlfriend, Mandy, is having an affair with a self-help guru. But before she has a chance to confront Mandy, Taylor finds Tim standing over the body of the dead guru.

This tart turn of events sends a bottle shock through Sonoma. Might Taylor’s friend really be a Zin-ful killer? If so, could Taylor be the next victim? The tour guide and her friends come to realize that the true murderer’s scent is obscured by an unsavory bouquet of red herrings.

A complex mystery designed to delight the palate of wine and cozy mystery enthusiasts alike, Seven Deadly Zins is the second quirky installment in Nancy J. Parra’s Wine Country mysteries.

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Setting: Present day Sonoma, California

***I received an eARC copy of Seven Deadly Zins from the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, via NetGalley***

*** this post contains affiliate links ***

Review: Cute and fun, but has some predictability. Seven Deadly Zins by Nancy J. Parra is the second book in the Wine Country Mystery series which is set in Sonoma, California. I enjoyed the first book, A Case of Syrah, Syrah, which introduces us to our main character, Taylor O’Brian, and her wine country tour business, Off the Beaten Path. Taylor is back in this entry, and I like Taylor. She’s quirky and fun, a good friend and close to her aunt, but she also falls prey to the typical cozy mystery heroine tropes. She’s always poking her nose in places it doesn’t belong, doing the wrong thing and not listening to law enforcement, and tends to make silly decisions that make no sense. Towards the end of this book, she made one of the most ridiculous decisions I’ve read in a cozy mystery in a long time, but it ended up being the right thing to do!

The setting of small town Sonoma in the heart of California’s wine country is a lot of fun. I live near Sonoma, and this series feels like wine country (a more low-key version). It doesn’t feel stuffy to me, and I know many people feel that wine is snobby (and it absolutely can be), but there isn’t any of that here, which I really appreciate.

The plot of Seven Deadly Zins centers around real estate and an inspirational speaker who inspires people to change their lives. I liked the mystery here. It moved quickly and all of the various characters were easy to keep track of, and with multiple red herrings I didn’t figure out whodunit until it was revealed in the book.

I’d definitely recommend this book and series to those who enjoy cozy mysteries with a fun heroine. So far this series has been fairly light on the romance angle, but there are two suitors here: Sheriff Ron (a law enforcement love interest is a requirement it seems in cozy mysteries!) and a lawyer named Patrick. This is a fun, easy series that does have some predictability, but is a good escape.

Bottom Line: Cute and fun, but like any cozy mystery, has a dash of predictability.

LINKS ***the Amazon link is an affiliate link which means I receive a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase***

Author Website
My review of A Case of Syrah, Syrah – Book One in the Wine Country Mystery series

Does this sound like a fun mystery series? What is your favorite cozy mystery trope?


4 thoughts on “ARC Review: Seven Deadly Zins by Nancy J. Parra (A Wine Country Mystery #2)

  1. The synopsis of the book had me cracking up so hard that I totally did not know what the novel was about when I finished reading the description! What funny, punny nonsense! 😀

    It sounds like the setting of this book saves it from some of the flaws you saw, so that’s cool. I’d love for a book to be set in a city I recognize. The wine/craft beer-loving Traverse City, MI would be a great setting for a cozy mystery. Or something on Mackinac Island — the last ferry has left for the evening and there’s a murderer on the island (and also loads of fudge, taffy, and horses).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cozy mystery writers are so clever! The titles and names of business are always oh-so-cute.
      Here’s a link to one of my favorite sites – it’s called Stop You’re Killing Me, and it’s an index of all things mystery, and they’ve got a location index. Here’s their index for mysteries set in Michigan:
      And wow – one of the first ones on there is for a series by Nancy Coco (who also goes by Nancy J Parra – the author of these wine country mysteries!) – anyways, the series is set on Mackinac Island! That is too funny!!


      1. Oh, man! They’re all like “something something murder in Detroit” and “something mild in the upper peninsula.” I love it! As if the upper peninsula has nothing to define it other than it is “upper,” lol. Thanks, Ami! This list was funny to read through.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 That really is a great site – sometimes it’s hard to figure out which order mysteries go in (especially with older mysteries), and I don’t like to go “out of order” when reading mysteries, so this site has really helped me. I think this is the first time I looked at the location index before!

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s