It was the title that got me, with its spindly lettering. Then the grape leaves mysteriously hiding the heroine. It’s grape season. A mystery in a winery sounds just like the sort of thing to read in July. Even more perfect, it came in time for me to pack it into my suitcase for my “vacation” – ahem – book signing tour.
Brink’s writing is heavier than I anticipated, the mystery less cozy and a little more John Grisham minus the courtroom meets Alice Hoffman. A few times while on my road trip, I had to put it down. The characters had more going on in their lives than my vacation was going to allow. Of course, I found myself picking it right back up again later.
The truth is, Brink won me over with the word “wafted” on page 22. I’m a sucker for that word. It’s one of my favorites, and I’ve blogged about this oddity of mine before. “The sound of a child singing wafted through the open window…” and immediately I thought of my own child, back home, not a part of this trip, and I missed her. Brink has a way of doing that to you. You sit down to read a mystery and find yourself thinking about all the people in your life, past and present.
“I know we were just kids, but a bond like that doesn’t disappear. […] It might fade with time, but it doesn’t disappear.” – pg. 89
No, it really doesn’t, does it? There are so many childhood friends that I don’t keep in touch with anymore, not really. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think of them fairly often and wonder how they are, hope that they are well. So many of them affected the way I view the world, and they probably don’t even know it. We’re all in our thirties now, we don’t talk about any of it, we’ve all outgrown each other. It doesn’t make the love go away. It makes it different, but not gone.
There’s a romantic twist in Entangled as well, the kind I like: not too over the top or explicit, a romance between friends, caused by the intrusion of the past into the present.
All this intrusion is what makes Entangled special. It’s not just women’s fiction. It’s not just a mystery. It’s a mystery featuring people with real problems. In all my cozy mystery reading, that’s not often the kind of story I get.
I’ll be picking grapes tomorrow. Maybe even having some wine later in the season. For sure, I’ll be reading Crushed (book two in the Fredrickson Winery Saga) in the future. There’s too many secrets at Fredrickson not to go back.