grapes-of-deathElise Beckett is a horticulturist, working on drought-resistant grapes that will give her family’s Texas vineyard an advantage over the competition. She’s dividing her time between her Hill Country hometown and the bright lights of Dallas, where her boyfriend Stuart Jenkins holds court .

Stuart has big plans, including a job offer that will take Elise away from her family and friends — but which would also give her a chance to focus on pure research. She’s thinking it over at the Dew Drop In with her girlfriends. She’s also thinking over just how good her brother’s best friend Jackson looks in a pair of tight jeans.

That ought to be enough for one Texas girl to think about, but there’s more: the mayor’s daughter’s wedding taking place at the vineyard, industrial espionage, family feuds… and then the bodies start turning up.

There’s romance and mystery in this novel, but the characters are realistic and three dimensional, the setting is believable, and the story goes beyond the formulas of either genre. A great book to enjoy on the porch with a glass of lemonade. The ending sets up the next installment, too, so I’m looking forward to reading more adventures of Elise and her friends and family.