Book Review Tainted Tokay by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen

April 6, 2016

Book Review Tainted Tokay by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen
Review by Dawn Thomas
181 Pages
Publisher: Le French Book
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, French Detective, Wines, Vineyards
This is the eleventh book in the Wine Detective series. In this installment, Benjamin Cooker has promised his wife, Elisabeth, a vacation. His editor, Claude, has offered to pay for a trip to Hungary as his guests. Alexandrine, Cooker’s lab assistant is brutally attacked. She calls Virgile, Benjamin’s assistant and asks for his help. Virgile tells Cooker to go on the trip and he will take care of the business and the lab.
Claude has a young companion, Consuela Chavez. She is exotic and Benjamin is intrigued by her. Elisabeth is not happy about the attention Benjamin is showing Consuela. Her past is murky and no one can pin point her nationality.
A man, Zoltán, approaches them and offers his services as a tour guide. Elisabeth believes he looks trust worthy and agrees to hire him. On an excursion, someone steals Claude’s wallet and passport. They must go to the French Embassy to get new travel documents.
Alexandrine continues to heal but is extremely cautious. The police do not believe her attack was the result of a simple burglary. They believe she knows more about the attack than she is saying. Virgile invites her to stay at his apartment so she does not have to be alone. She confides in VIrgile and tells him about her childhood, which has ties to the attack. Virgile pleads with her to go to the police with the information.
On an excursion to a cave, Elisabeth is overcome and must leave for fresh air. Zoltán’s cousin, Pavel, escorts her out. Later, she realizes her wallet and passport are gone. They confront Zoltán and ask him about Pavel. When he cannot or will not answer them, they take the car keys and drive back to the inn where they are staying. When they arrive they find Consuela being attended to by paramedics and police officers. When Claude tries to explain that Consuela is with him, they ask him for his travel documents. The police officers look at Claude’s travel papers, declare them as forged and take him to the police station.
The antics in this story are funnier than in some of the previous books. There is one mishap after another. I did not know how much more they could take. This book is a short read and I finished it in less than a day. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and this book has not let me down.

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