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***
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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.