Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cozy Mystery Review ~ RIPE FOR MURDER by Carlene O'Neil

Ripe for Murder (A Cypress Cove Mystery, #2)
by: Carlene O’Neil
Series: A Cypress Cove Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Source: Publisher ~ Penguin: Berkley Prime Crime

From the author of One Foot in the Grape—a new full-bodied Cypress Cove mystery that is certain to delight, even if one wine lover is about to expire…

Penny Lively loves running her family’s winery, but to keep business growing, she needs to find a way to attract more guests. When she’s approached to invest in a new train line through wine country, Penny and her intoxicating winery manager, Connor, hightail it to a lavish resort to hear the details. Unfortunately, her neighbor’s daughter, Chantal, is also there, swirling up trouble by flirting with the married investors—and with Connor too.

When one of the investors’ wives is murdered, Chantal, who was seen fighting with the woman, is the prime suspect. Chantal may be a sour grape, but she’s no killer. So Penny, who’s become a sleuthing connoisseur, starts sniffing out the real suspect—and discovers that her fellow potential investors have been savoring more than their share of deadly secrets...

Penny Lively, the winery owner sleuth is back in Ripe for Murder.  The second book in Carlene O’Neil’s Cypress Cove Mystery series is a standalone read.  Prepare yourself to set back and discover the ins and outs of wine tasting and solve a murder or two.

Joyeux Winery (Penny and her Winery Manager Connor) and Martinelli Vineyards (owner Antonia and her daughter Chantal) have been invited to head to Napa and meet with representatives of a train tour company to invest in the line running through Monterey County and their properties.  While the other potential investors prove to be real characters, things seem to be going smoothly.  In classic Chantal form, she starts to flirt with anyone who has an XY chromosome.  Of course, her activities make Penny see redder than the Pinot noir she produces.  Chantal’s actions ultimately lead to an altercation with the wife of one of the investors.  When Penny discovers the body of the wife, it’s a slam dunk case for the police who are making Chantal their prime suspect.

While Penny has never been a friend or fan of Chantal, she can’t let her go down for a murder she knows she didn’t commit.  So with the help of Antonia, the two team up to catch a killer.  I have to admit that I can't imagine risking my life to prove someone I didn't like and who didn't like me didn't commit murder.  Especially, when they seemed to not be concerned with being accused and doesn’t change anything they do or even try to clear their own name.

Ripe for Murder is the tale of what happens when money, greed, jealousy, and opportunity converge.  While the story was enjoyable and the mystery kept me guessing, I’m disappointed the romance I’ve been waiting for hasn't come to fruition. Penny is a strong-willed, hard-headed woman.  She really likes Connor but something is holding her back.  It doesn’t seem to be a secret to anyone else how Connor feels about Penny, yet she seems to be blind to his actions.  I think Connor is just waiting for Penny to acknowledge how she feels about him.  The waiting for this romance is killing me!!  Here’s to finding out what other adventures Penny finds herself in, and that she and Connor finally discover how sweet it is to share a bottle of wine together.

**Received a copy from Penguin Berkley Prime Crime for an honest and unbiased opinion.**

Rating: 4

Purchase Ripe for Murder from:

The Cypress Cove Mystery Series:
(Clicking on the book cover will take you to Amazon.)

One Foot in the Grape ~ Review

Places to find Carlene O’Neil:



  1. I am looking forward to this, it sounds good! And interesting comment about Penny/Connor...wonder if there is something holding her back?

    1. Have you read the first book? After you read Ripe for Murder, email me and tell me what you think about it.


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