Dead in the Dregs

Dead in the Dregs

A Babe Stern Mystery

By Peter Lewis

Counterpoint, Hardcover, 9781582436104, 320pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2010


Prominent wine critic Richard Wilson makes a living elevating and destroying winemakers’ reputations with the stroke of his pen. When he disappears after a tasting at Napa Valley’s Norton Winery, his sister Janie looks to her ex-husband Babe Stern for help. But when Wilson’s body is found floating in a vat at Norton, Stern’s search turns into a hunt for the killer.
Working with the Napa Valley police, Stern quickly finds a string of suspects, all with one thing in common: their desire to get revenge for the reviews that shattered their wines and livelihoods. But as the police work to quickly clear the case, those same suspects have a string of alibis and the trail begins to fade.
Stern digs further into the circumstances of Wilson’s death and finds himself following his only lead, to Burgundy, France. In cellars and tasting rooms from Beaune to Nuits-Saint-Georges, Stern tracks the troubled son of a family of vignerons, one of the few people in the winery the night Wilson died. But the wine families of the Côte d’Or are secretive and entangled, and the further Stern goes to discover the truth, the more he becomes the ultimate target. In a stunning debut mystery packed with revenge and murder, Stern’s only choice is to find the truth.