A Case of Syrah, Syrah

A Case of Syrah, Syrah

Taylor O’Brian is a new businesswoman, founder of “Taylor’s Off The Beaten Path Wine Tours,” who lives on a small winery with her Aunt Jemma. She plans to take small groups around romantic Sonoma county to discover some of the county’s outdoor gardens. It’s all running as smooth as can be until Laura, the leader of the group of yoga instructors she’s leading, is found dead...

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Title:A Case of Syrah, Syrah
Author:Nancy J. Parra
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Case of Syrah, Syrah Reviews

  • Sharon

    Reviewed for Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books

    A Case of Syrah, Syrah is another hit in the cozy mysteries genre. Having only read a few books in this genre I was interested to see if I would enjoy it as much as I have previous titles. It did not disappoint.

    What you find are some very interesting characters as well as an intriguing storyline. As with all cozy mysteries, I have read in the past this one had me suspecting every character of being the murderer. It was made more difficult, for me at

    Reviewed for Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books

    A Case of Syrah, Syrah is another hit in the cozy mysteries genre. Having only read a few books in this genre I was interested to see if I would enjoy it as much as I have previous titles. It did not disappoint.

    What you find are some very interesting characters as well as an intriguing storyline. As with all cozy mysteries, I have read in the past this one had me suspecting every character of being the murderer. It was made more difficult, for me at least, as the main character Taylor was being framed for a murder she clearly did not commit.

    The author has a talent for throwing the reader off the trail of the killer, for me, it happened on more than one occasion. I thought I had worked out a few times who had committed the crime, only to find out I was wrong. The story flows well, keeping the reading interested in what is happening to the characters. The characters were well written and relatable. There are several that I had thought could be the murderer. At one stage I even thought it might have been her best friend. She had her identity stolen which had happened to other people connected to Laura, the woman that was murdered.

    To add further to the book's depth, the author has included a section on wine and food pairing, which includes recipes and cheese that pair with Syrah wine which is the wine Taylors auntie produces in the book.

    Highly recommended.

  • Carrie

    Taylor O’Brian had moved to live with her Aunt Jemma when her health came into question on her aunt's small winery. Wanting to make her own way though Taylor decided to cash in on the local scenery and bought an old VW bus much like the famous Mystery Machine and planned to start up Taylor’s Off The Beaten Path Wine Tours.

    On the day of Taylor's very first tour however things did not go as planned. Taylor had set the day up for her yoga instructor Laura and her group but as the first stop is win

    Taylor O’Brian had moved to live with her Aunt Jemma when her health came into question on her aunt's small winery. Wanting to make her own way though Taylor decided to cash in on the local scenery and bought an old VW bus much like the famous Mystery Machine and planned to start up Taylor’s Off The Beaten Path Wine Tours.

    On the day of Taylor's very first tour however things did not go as planned. Taylor had set the day up for her yoga instructor Laura and her group but as the first stop is winding down and it's time for lunch Laura is no where to be found. Taylor heads back up the path to search for Laura and before she knows it she finds the missing yoga instructor with Taylor's own corkscrew in her back. Now to clear her name Taylor vows to find out who the real killer is before she goes down for the murder herself.

    A Case of Syrah, Syrah by Nancy J. Parra is the first cozy mystery in the Wine Country Mystery series. The series is set in the lovely area of Sonoma which is known for it's many wineries. It was easy to picture Taylor and her VW bus heading out into this lovely setting only to have things go wrong.

    I have to say this is one of those books that I found myself easily digging into and enjoying from the start. I liked Taylor along with the other characters in the book as the story went along. There are hints to maybe finding Taylor a match in later books but nothing on that front so far, just a lot of questioning and following the clues with some quirky happenings here and there. With this solid first book with some nice writing I'll certainly be interested in seeing where the series goes form here.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Clare O'Beara

    I quite liked Taylor, the amateur sleuth, who runs a California wine country tour in between showing guests around her aunt's boutique vineyard. The account is nicely modern with people tweeting their trip and photos.

    The body count is implausibly high but a good point is that many different characters are well described. This is first in a series and I would read more.

    I downloaded an ARC from Net Galley and Fresh Fiction. This is an unbiased review.

  • LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    As soon as I saw this cover I knew I had to read this book. Yes, the wine, the vineyard, and the VW bus, but it was the cat the really caught my attention. Look at those eyes. I was happy to learn there is a canine in the story too.

    Taylor O’Brian’s Aunt Jemma was having “heart problems” so she asked Taylor to come to her winery to help run the place. There are other employees and Aunt Jemma is still very hands-on with the winery so Taylor doesn’t have to spend all her time the

    Dollycas’s Thoughts

    As soon as I saw this cover I knew I had to read this book. Yes, the wine, the vineyard, and the VW bus, but it was the cat the really caught my attention. Look at those eyes. I was happy to learn there is a canine in the story too.

    Taylor O’Brian’s Aunt Jemma was having “heart problems” so she asked Taylor to come to her winery to help run the place. There are other employees and Aunt Jemma is still very hands-on with the winery so Taylor doesn’t have to spend all her time there. She has decided to put her marketing knowledge to the test by opening “Taylor’s Off The Beaten Path Wine Tours”. She doesn’t get off to a good start. As the group was wrapping up the first stop they discover one of the guests was missing. A quick search finds the woman dead with Taylor’s corkscrew plunged into her neck. Taylor believes there are plenty of other suspects including the woman’s husband but he is telling everyone she is the murderer. It is not long before another dead body is found by none other than Taylor. Taylor needs to save herself, her reputation, and her business. Hopefully, she doesn’t have to do that from behind bars.

    Ms. Parra has introduced us to several characters in the first story. The all seem genuine and I hope the characters develop more fully as the series continues. Taylor really is her own worse enemy. The hot water she found herself in time and time again was because of her poor judgment. I understand the whole amateur sleuth thing but she really made some poor choices. I hope that she has learned something for the future cases. Aunt Jemma is quite a woman and while the way she brought Taylor to the winery was a little shady, she is my favorite character in the first installment. She reminds me of my own mother in many ways. We barely have scratched the surface on the other characters but am excited to get to know them better.

    The plot was truly puzzling. The murderer had to be someone on the tour, didn’t it? Taylor learned more about the group every day and a variety of motives were uncovered. I didn’t put all the pieces together until the very end. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story has them all.

    The setting was extraordinary, Sonoma, wine country, the vineyards and the gardens. I have always wanted to visit and this author gave me an excellent virtual trip.

    This series has a lot going for it with plenty of potential. The area is full of wineries to visit no matter what direction Taylor takes her business. As the characters continue to evolve this series will have no bounds. I have enjoyed everything this author has written and I am looking forward to my next trip to Sonoma.

  • Linda Langford at Chatting About Cozies

    This debut cozy mystery takes place in the wine country of Sonoma, California. The protagonist moves to be closer to her aunt who owns a vineyard. Starting a tour business, the very first trip ends in someone being murdered. Many of the characters are likable, and the pets are cute and add to the story. I found a few inconsistencies to the plot, and hope the protagonist and the series as a whole grows stronger in book two.

  • Maranda

    Winery mystery - TASTY! If only it was possible to Skype a glass. Taylor has recently moved back to Albuquerque to be near her Aunt Jemma. Syrah wine is sampled at Jemma's winery which has been in business for many years. I would have liked more background on the winery and it's workers. To accompany her aunt's business and make her own way; Taylor offers "Off the Beaten Path" tours that pair perfectly with the Syrah. Conducting her first group tour that results in a murder, Taylor finds herself

    Winery mystery - TASTY! If only it was possible to Skype a glass. Taylor has recently moved back to Albuquerque to be near her Aunt Jemma. Syrah wine is sampled at Jemma's winery which has been in business for many years. I would have liked more background on the winery and it's workers. To accompany her aunt's business and make her own way; Taylor offers "Off the Beaten Path" tours that pair perfectly with the Syrah. Conducting her first group tour that results in a murder, Taylor finds herself arrested. Against the advise of her lawyer and the sheriff, Taylor snoops for clues leading to another murder. Cast of characters to investigate and the hint of romance that Parra with probably pursue at a later telling. A cute puppy is included and held for ransom; kind of hard to believe. "A copy of this book was supplied by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."

  • Betty

    A new series featuring California wine county. A fast-moving and easy to read cozy mystery. I felt the characters were not well developed and the author has not done a lot of research on the subject. The plot has been used often. There is a dog and cat but they are not really involved in the story.

    Taylor O'Brien is helping her Aunt run her winery. Taylor has her own started business of special tours of the area. In her first tour, one of the guests is murder. Taylor is framed for the death. She

    A new series featuring California wine county. A fast-moving and easy to read cozy mystery. I felt the characters were not well developed and the author has not done a lot of research on the subject. The plot has been used often. There is a dog and cat but they are not really involved in the story.

    Taylor O'Brien is helping her Aunt run her winery. Taylor has her own started business of special tours of the area. In her first tour, one of the guests is murder. Taylor is framed for the death. She is arrested and charged with me manslaughter. Against the advice of her lawyer and the sheriff, Taylor works to clear her name. As the bodies added up, it begins to look like Taylor will be convicted. I recommend this book. Recipes are included.

    Disclosure: I received a free copy from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley for an honest review. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to read and review this book. The opinions expressed are my own.

  • Peggy R

    This is the first book I have read by this author and the first in a new series. I enjoyed the premise of the book and thought it was well written. The mystery was solid and woven throughout the story. The victim was not well liked so that allowed the author to provide a number of suspects that were plausible with well thought out motives. My problem really was with the main character Taylor. She was impulsive, reckless, stubborn and wouldn't listen to any advice. This caused more problems than

    This is the first book I have read by this author and the first in a new series. I enjoyed the premise of the book and thought it was well written. The mystery was solid and woven throughout the story. The victim was not well liked so that allowed the author to provide a number of suspects that were plausible with well thought out motives. My problem really was with the main character Taylor. She was impulsive, reckless, stubborn and wouldn't listen to any advice. This caused more problems than help and left me feeling really annoyed with her. As a result I found I didn't really connect with her and that hinder some of my enjoyment with this story.

    I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley.

  • Kelly

    **I voluntarily read this ARC**

    I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I loved the mystery, I just couldn't handle Taylor. I found her to be annoying and a bit obnoxious. I did love how delightfully quirky some of the minor characters were.

  • Juli

    Taylor O'Brien and her Aunt Jemma live in Sonoma, CA. Aunt Jemma owns a small winery. Her home is located nearby, along with a pool and a building for wine tastings, weddings, etc. Taylor lives in the pool house. She moved back to Sonoma six months before after her Aunt had a heart attack. She loves the winery and helping her aunt run her business, but she's getting a bit restless. So, she buys a van and starts planning her own Wine Country Tours as a side business. "Off the Beaten Path'' tours

    Taylor O'Brien and her Aunt Jemma live in Sonoma, CA. Aunt Jemma owns a small winery. Her home is located nearby, along with a pool and a building for wine tastings, weddings, etc. Taylor lives in the pool house. She moved back to Sonoma six months before after her Aunt had a heart attack. She loves the winery and helping her aunt run her business, but she's getting a bit restless. So, she buys a van and starts planning her own Wine Country Tours as a side business. "Off the Beaten Path'' tours will take people to some lesser known, but fabulous, small wineries in the area. Her first tour is booked by a group of local yoga instructors. The first tour might just be the last, however. One of the instructors is found murdered during the tour. Even worse -- the murder weapon is Taylor's corkscrew. Who bumped off Laura Scott? None of the others who were on the tour seem too broken up about her death. In fact, Laura's husband remarries just days after the murder. Then another body turns up.... Can Taylor discover the identity of the killer before anyone else dies? Or before the murderer comes after her!

    The background theme of California wines and wineries was interesting,and gave a nice depth to this book. I don't know a lot about wine so the little facts about wine sprinkled throughout the book were interesting to me. The mystery moved along at a nice pace with some great twists and action at the end. I didn't figure out the murderer ahead of time....it was an exciting surprise. And the case led to some interesting developments for Taylor's tour business. I would have liked a bit more character development, and at times some of the characters and situations seemed a bit trope-y (pretty but snooty yoga instructors for example). But, all in all, this is a nice start to a new cozy series. I am interested in seeing how the characters and locations continue to develop in the second book.

    Nancy J. Parra also writes as Nell Hampton and Nancy Coco. For more information on the author and her books, check out her website:

    **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

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