The Critic: Book summary and reviews of The Critic by Peter May

The Critic

The Second of the Enzo Files

by Peter May

The Critic
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2007
    300 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

Gil Petty, the world's number one wine critic, went missing during a tasting tour of the little-known wine region of Gaillac. Three years ago, his body was discovered strung up on a cross in the vineyards of southwest France.

Dressed in the ceremonial crimson robes of the Brotherhood of the Order of the Divine Bottle, the semi-decayed body had been preserved in red wine before being planted like a scarecrow among the heavily-laden vines. Petty's murderer was never found.

Scots exile and former forensics expert, Enzo Macleod reopens this well-chilled cold case to discover that the genteel world of winemakers hides a business driven by greed, envy, and desperation. In the idyllic vineyards, Enzo finds no shortage of possible killers: local winemakers, The Brotherhood of the Divine Bottle - an ancient society dedicated to promoting Gaillac wine, and Petty's daughter, Michelle. Will this elusive killer strike again?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Oenophiles and fans of CBS's Cold Case will relish May's slightly far-fetched second outing to feature France-based Scottish sleuth Enzo Macleod (after 2006's Extraordinary People)." - Publishers Weekly.

"Another oenophile's tip sheet with the bonus of a finely crafted and surprising mystery." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Reader Reviews

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Anne

The Critic by Peter May
Before I began this one, I went to my local library to find Extraordinary People, the first in the Enzo Macleod series by Peter May, and I'm glad I did -- otherwise some of the relationships between Enzo and his various "women" would have been confusing to me. And there are plenty of women!

There's also a good deal of oenology to keep up with, but as I enjoy an occasional glass myself, The Critic just added to my [admittedly small] store of knowledge about French wines and wine-making. This is a good mystery set in a part of France I don't know at all, although I teach French [and I am appalled at the spelling errors May's "editors" allowed him to get away with in his first book; for someone who actually lives in France, he has a limited grasp on the language, or so it seems] and have travelled there extensively. I'd love to see this part of the country and, having very much enjoyed this book [and I'm looking forward to more of the series], will put this area on my itinerary.

Not really suited for a book club, but mystery lovers should enjoy it.

Steve & Linda

For Love of The Critic
If you love wine or just wish you knew more about the art of wine making with a great mystery thrown in; this book is for you! The heady smell of grapes hanging heavy on their vines permeates this regional novel.

Join Enzo Macleod as he drinks and solves his way through this clever mystery. This is a smartly-written, fast-paced page turner. Don't miss it!

Linda

The Critic
It took me about 15 pages to get hooked into the story but from there, I never looked back. It was so very easy to embrace all the characters particularly the lead, Enzo MacLeod, who was enchanting in brusque kind of way. I liked that the author was able to weave in a story about Enzo’s sidekick, Nicole, without detracting from the main mystery. Peter May puts in enough twists and blind alleys to keep the reader fully engaged and writes with a great deal of wit and humor. If you’re a wine lover, you will enjoy this book on an even more intimate level. This was my first Peter May book. I took so much pleasure from it, I immediately secured the first in the series, “Extraordinary People” and look forward to all future endeavors.

Emily

The Critic
The Critic by Peter May is the second mystery featuring Enzo Mcleod, Scottish forensic investigator and professor. Entertaining and also informative, the story line is fast-paced and packed with action. The characters are a good assortment of diverse personalities. Along the way, the readers picks up a treasurey of knowledge about the production of wine and the world-wide rivalries which are part of the industry - rivalries, in the experience of Enzo, lead to murder more than once. Another feature which will please many readers is the puzzle-solving element and breaking of a code. Pour yourself a glass of wine and
enjoy a good read as you follow Enzo in a French vineyard.

Eileen

A good mystery
Enzo McLeod goes to Gallic wine country to solve a cold case of a wine critic. He meets with resistance from the local gendarmes and the wine growers. The story is full of twists and plot turns. The explanations of wine making and wine tasting enrich the mystery.
I think this book is a good read for mystery lovers.

Lindley

Francophiles and winophiles will love it.
Peter May sets The Critic among the vineyards of Southwestern France. He has a sharp eye for local color and obviously appreciates things French, as well as the interesting intersection of modern business and ancient craft which is today's world of wine. May's solid who-done-it should keep even teetotalers turning the pages.

...11 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Peter May Author Biography

Photo: Domi Photographe

Peter May won the Scottish Young Journalist of the Year Award at the age of 21, and had his first novel published at 26. He then left journalism and became one of Scotland's most successful and prolific television dramatists. By the age of 30 he had created two major TV series, The Standard and Squadron, for the British television network, the BBC. He went on to gather more than 1000 TV credits in fifteen years, creating and writing major drama serials for both BBC and ITV in the UK: including the ground-breaking Gaelic serial Machair, which he also produced.

Returning now to novels, the six novels in his outstanding China Thrillers series have won critical acclaim. To research the series, Peter May makes annual trips to China. With an extraordinary network of contacts, he ...

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