Longtime Pacific Northwest wine writer and industry veteran Judy Nedry has published her third murder mystery, and it is a lot of fun to read, especially for those who love Oregon wine country.
Nedry’s The Man Who Wasn’t There is her third Emma Golden mystery, and it takes place in the heart of Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley. Nedry has been involved in the Oregon wine industry for more than 35 years, so she knows every back road through the Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains and Yamhill-Carlton regions. It shows in her writing.
Golden once again is the hero of this tale. She is a flawed personality, a former wine writer who battles the demons of alcoholism and a former husband who is a winery owner. In The Man Who Wasn’t There, Golden lives in Portland and has little interest in reliving her past, so she seems determined to avoid Yamhill County and its hundreds of wineries if at all possible.
But she goes to an event that is part of the annual International Pinot Noir Celebration, where she enjoys salmon while also reconnecting with old friends as well as witnessing a fair bit of drama between some of the characters from her past.
During the event, one of the stalwarts of the industry – a living legend – is stabbed to death in a way that draws Golden directly into the mystery. But no matter how much she refuses to get involved, the more she is pulled into being a sleuth and helping to solve the murder.
It’s a story of intrigue with an exciting and surprising finish. This is a delicious mystery perfect for anyone who enjoys Northwest wines.
Behind ‘Man Who Wasn’t There’
Nedry, a Northwest native, studied journalism at the University of Oregon and worked at various publications before she and then-husband Harry Peterson-Nedry bought land near Newberg, Ore., and launched Chehalem.
She went on to launch Northwest Palate, a Portland-based wine-and-food magazine that lasted from 1987 until it published its final issue in 2012.
She also wrote two nonfiction books about Northwest wine – Oregon Wine Country and Washington Wine Country – before creating Emma Golden in 2009 with An Unholy Alliance. She followed that up with The Difficult Sister in 2013 and The Man Who Wasn’t There in late 2015.
If you love Northwest wine, then this latest Nedry mystery belongs on your shelf.