Pinot Red or Dead? (The Wine Trail Mysteries #3) by J.C. Eaton @KensingtonBooks #bookreview #mystery

Title: Pinot Red or Dead?

Author: J.C. Eaton

Publisher: Lyrical Underground

Publication Date: March 26, 2019

Page Count: 226

My rating:   4 stars

About the book:

There’s a lot of noir surrounding this rare pinot.
As the vineyards in Seneca Lake, New York, prepare for the seasonal “Deck the Halls Around the Lake” festivities, someone is determined to keep pinot noir off the wine list. Hijacked trucks and sabotaged ingredients have made it a hard-to-acquire vintage for the six local wineries—including Norrie Ellington’s Two Witches Winery.

The case of the stolen and spoiled wines gets stranger when Arnold Mowen, owner of the company distributing the wine, is found dead, the apparent victim of a hunting accident. As Norrie tries to find the connections between the pinot’s problems and Arnold’s death, she uncovers a conspiracy among many locals whose hatred for the wine distributor was bottled up for far too long . . .


Pinot Red or Dead? by J.C. Eaton is the third book of the cozy The Wine Trail Mysteries series. While there is some character development that carries over from book to book each book in the series has it’s own murder mystery to solve so they can be read as a standalone if choosing to do so.

This series began with Norrie Ellington having been asked to return home to upstate New York by her sister to oversee the family business, Two Witches Winery. Norrie’s sister and her brother in law had been given a grant to study a species of insect in Costa Rica for a next year and while Norrie had made her life in New York City she would be able to continue her job as a successful screenwriter anywhere.

Who knew however that returning home to the winery would bring Norrie  face to face with so many murders in their normally quiet area though. Now after solving a couple of previous cases Norrie immediately begins investigating when things begin happening with the pinot at Two Witches Winery and the surrounding vineyards.

The husband and wife writing team that make up J.C. Eaton have quickly become one of my favorite cozy authors. The Wine Trail Mysteries is one of two ongoing series from this duo and one that I get excited with each installment as I know it will be a fun read. These are full of humorous moments with plenty of suspects and twists and turns to the mystery to keep  the pages turning quickly.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

J.C. Eaton is the wife and husband writing team of Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp who reside in Arizona.

Ann I. Goldfarb
New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington). In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at: and

James E. Clapp
When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is his first novel. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching. Visit the website at

BOOKED 4 MURDER, the first novel in the Sophie Kimball Mystery Series, took first place in the 2018 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the Cozy Mystery Category.


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