Bitter Roots

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 5 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2022

Talking about this book? Use #BitterRoots #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


The brutal murder of a beautiful vineyard expert and a devastating storm force Virginia winemaker Lucie Montgomery to confront painful changes on the eve of her wedding.

In just over a week vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery and winemaker Quinn Santori will be married in a ceremony overlooking what should be acres of lush flowering grapevines. Instead they are confronted by an ugly swathe of slowly dying vines and a nursery owner who denies responsibility for selling the diseased plants. With neighboring vineyards facing the same problem, accusations fly and the ugly stand-off between supplier and growers looks set to escalate into open warfare.

When Eve Kerr, a stunning blonde who works at the nursery, is found dead a few days later, everyone wonders if someone in the winemaking community went too far. What especially troubles Lucie is why Eve secretly arranged to meet Quinn on the day she was murdered - and whether Lucie's soon-to-be husband knows something he's not telling her.

Then a catastrophic storm blows through, destroying everything in its path. With no power, no phones, and no wedding venue, Lucie needs to find out who killed Eve and what her death had to do with Quinn.

The brutal murder of a beautiful vineyard expert and a devastating storm force Virginia winemaker Lucie Montgomery to confront painful changes on the eve of her wedding.

In just over a week vineyard...

A Note From the Publisher

We will consider requests from established bloggers, Acquisition and Collection Development Public Librarians and booksellers in the UK and USA. For Goodreads and Amazon reviewers, we will take into consideration your NetGalley Feedback history.

We will consider requests from established bloggers, Acquisition and Collection Development Public Librarians and booksellers in the UK and USA. For Goodreads and Amazon reviewers, we will take into...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780727891020
PRICE US$28.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 19 members

Featured Reviews

Ellen Crosby writes the most wonderful -- and twisty -- mysteries featuring her duo of Lucie Montgomery and Quinn Santori. Rich in U.S. history, as well as wine, she pushes these two nearly to their limit a few days before their wedding. With Lucie's incredible grandfather visiting (and he's just one of the best supporting characters around), Quinn and Lucie work to uncover who is responsible for the death of Eve Kerr whose life intertwines with many of their friends. After a devastating storm hits the area, they have no power or phones, but still manage to pull together to try to salvage not only their wedding but trying to figure out who killed Eve and why. I look forward to every single book written by Ms. Crosby - her descriptions and knowledge of history make these fascinating reads!

Was this review helpful?

Perfectly Penned Prose…
The twelfth, no less, in the Wine Country Mystery series and events are conspiring to ruin the forthcoming nuptials of Virginia winemaker Lucie and husband to be, Quinn. Quite apart from a torrential storm, a brutal murder casts a long shadow. With perfectly penned prose and a clear knowledge of the subject matter the author delivers another evocative and hugely enjoyable mystery.

Was this review helpful?

I wasn't aware that this was part of a series but not having read the other books it didn't hamper my enjoyment of this one. A really enjoyable mystery with a lovely setting.

Was this review helpful?

I have read all the Virginia Wine Country mysteries and I think Bitter Roots is my favorite. Lucie's vines are dying and she and Quinn are trying to prove whether or not the nursery knew the vines were diseased when they were sold. As other vineyards develop the same problem a women working with the nursery is found murdered. Lucie fears the reason behind the murder might spell disaster for her upcoming wedding and set out the discover the murderer.
The mystery always keeps me guessing until the end when I'm shocked at the murderer. However, the characters are by far the heartbeat of the story. They are so real and seeing their development through the series has been like developing deep friendships with them. The writing is so good that the reader may find themselves liking even the villain, at least through most of the book.
While descriptive in a way that makes you feel like you are in Virginia's horse country and have learned a great deal about vineyards and wine making, Ms. Crosby's writing style never lags and the pages keep turning. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and recommend Bitter Roots to all mystery lovers. If you haven't read the rest of the series you will still enjoy this book but afterward, you will want to read more of this series.

Was this review helpful?

As their wedding day approaches Lucie and Quinn are dealing with a bigger issue. Grapevines they and their neighbors purchased three years ago from a local nursery are not thriving but dying. As the nursery owner and the university professor who cultivated the graft continue to claim it is climate change that is the cause, no one believes this except the nursery owner. He has even hired a high-powered attorney to intimidate the vineyard owners. When someone dies connected to the nursery owner and the professor, everyone is suspect especially Quinn, who secretly arranged to meet Eve on the day she is murdered. Another excellent entry into this sumptuous winemaking series.

Was this review helpful?

Bitter Roots is the 12th book in Ellen Crosby's Wine Country Mysteries, a brilliantly crafted amateur sleuth investigation series based in Virginia's wine country. Since the beginning of this series, the author's gorgeous descriptions of the rural mountain setting and fascinating wine-making processes have enamored me. Whether I'm sipping a glass of wine that matches the variety being focused on in each book or picturing the stunning architecture and sweeping views of the vineyards, I relish every page. This installment was no different... perhaps one of the highlights.

An expected derecho. A group of angry, frustrated winemakers. A powerful but potentially dirty nursery who might've known about the fungus impacting the vines they blended and sold. Secret alliances between newcomers and underdogs. A wedding we've been excited about for a few years. So much comes together in this superb story where emotions are running high and expectations keep getting re-set. Poor Lucie has struggled enough in the last decade, and my heart broke when she learned how much money she'd lose over the failed vines they'd pressed their hopes on for three years. The author brilliantly compared the tender care she put into their nurturing to that of a parent who does everything for their child, only to have it ripped away.

This is one series where I don't rush to read the newest book... merely because once I do, I know I'll have to wait an entire year for the next one. This collection combines so many things I love in one place, and I truly find the characters multi-dimensional; they do things I disagree with yet they still encourage my empathy. I root for them to win, and when they lose, I want to reach into the pages and soothe their pain. The unexpected windstorm amped up the suspense, and when all was said and done, I expected a tragic death... thankfully, my guess on the victim was wrong. But Crosby takes chances in her books, and I'm always on the edge of my seat wondering when she might throw us that nasty curveball once again.

Definitely a recommended series. Not a light one... not too heavy, but filled with political, historical, and cultural significance. I've got to find a way to get on this writer's beta team!

Was this review helpful?

What should be a joyous time- Lucie and Quinn are getting married- turns awful in so many ways when their grape vines begin to die from a fungus and worse, a deracho blows through. Wait- then Eve is murdered. Some in the community blame her for the failure of the grapes but who murdered her? Lucie, already an ace amateur sleuth, steps up her game here. It helps, I think, to have read at least a few of the earlier books in order to have a good feel for these characters. I like the series for them as well as for the setting. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

Was this review helpful?

I've been reading this series from the beginning and was honored to read an advanced copy of this latest edition! I've enjoyed watching the characters develop and grow throughout this series. It's always good to catch up with them, it feels like visiting old friends. These books are well researched, well written, and beautifully descriptive. Despite having worked (very part time) within the wine industry for about 10 years now, I feel as though I learn something new with each book. As vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery and winemaker Quinn Santori struggle to get to the root of what's causing their Cab Franc lot to die off, they encounter much hostility from the nursery the vines were purchased from. And when nursery employee Eve is found murdered after missing a clandestine meeting with Quinn, everyone becomes a suspect. Even Quinn. As Lucie and Quinn's wedding day approaches (finally!), so does an unexpected derecho. Chaos and devastation follow, their wedding garden is in ruins, an old secret comes to light, and a murderer is still on the loose. Can Lucie overcome the bitterness of discovering a long-held secret? Can the mystery of Eve's death be solved? Can the mystery of what's killing their vines be resolved? And will the wedding still take place? Like a fine glass of wine, these books are meant to be savored! Pour a glass, open your book, and enjoy. Cheers 🍷

Was this review helpful?

With one week before their wedding, vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery and winemaker Quinn Santori should be attending to the final details. Instead they are dealing with a field of dying vines. While a vineyard consultant has diagnosed a disease that was present in the vines when they were purchased, the nursery that sold them insists it is due to climate change. Other vineyards in the area that purchased vines from that nursery are having the same problem and battle lines are being drawn. With the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop, Ellen Crosby’s Bitter Roots takes you to a small town in Virginia where everyone is a neighbor and news travels fast.

Eve Kerr was working with the nursery and sold the questionable vines to Lucie and the other vineyards. While the nursery owner was adamant that it was not his fault, she appeared to be willing to work with the vineyard owners. Then Lucie and her friend Kit find Eve’s body in a nearby river. Quinn was supposed to meet with her the night before, but she never showed up. It left several of his hours unaccounted for. Quinn had known Eve in California. Lucie questions just how close he was to her but there is a trust between Lucie and Quinn that has grown over time and she knows that he had nothing to do with her death. When a devastating storm hits the area all of their plans for a beautiful wedding are destroyed. The situation puts the murder investigation on hold as all of the area’s resources are needed to handle the emergency and Crosby shows how a community will come together when tragedy strikes.

Ellen Crosby’s Wine Country Mystery series has shown the growth of Lucie’s family’s vineyard and her relationship with Quinn. She not only showcases the problems faced by a working vineyard, but also addresses the issue of the disposition of monuments honoring the Confederacy and whether they have a place in today’s world. Crosby’s characters are easy to love and make Bitter Roots a delight to read. I would like to thank NetGalley and Severn House for providing this book for my review.

Was this review helpful?

A compelling, gripping, and highly entertaining mystery that I read as fast as I could. It's been some times since last I read a book in this series and I was glad to catch up with the characters.
The solid mystery is full of twists and kept me guessing.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

Was this review helpful?

The characters in this series have become old friends by now, and I thoroughly enjoyed this
installment. Thanks for the opportunity to preview the title!

Was this review helpful?

Great page turner in a great setting! I hadn't read the previous book, but it didn't impact my enjoyment. Really enjoyed this one. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book!

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: