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Vintage Murder (Robbie Cutler Diplomatic Mysteries Book 1) by [Shepard, William S.]
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Vintage Murder (Robbie Cutler Diplomatic Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 327 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

Vintage Murder is set in Paris and Bordeaux, France. It takes you behind the scenes of high stakes diplomacy, and into the shadow world of ETA terrorism. The author, William Shepard, is a former career diplomat who served as Consul General in Bordeaux. He has created a new genre in thrillers, the “diplomatic mystery,” stories set in American Embassies abroad. Vintage Murder is the first in the series of four “diplomatic mysteries” which have appeared to date.

In Vintage Murder, American diplomat Robbie Cutler witnesses the murder of America’s leading wine critic at a vintage dinner at the Willard Hotel in Washington. Returning to the Consulate in Bordeaux, he is threatened by the Basque ETA, “the last active terrorist network in Western Europe.” A love story ensues, set against the scenic glories of France, as the lovely Sylvie Marceau, a journalist, helps Cutler discover that the Washington murder is linked with terrorist threats against Bordeaux’s famous vineyards. They explore the wine regions of Bordeaux, attend a reception at storied Château Margaux, and visit Lourdes, Montségur, and the prehistoric Caves at Lascaux,.

Robbie Cutler and Sylvie Marceau must stop the ETA killers, and the stakes are raised with the visit of a prominent United States Senator of Basque origin. He and Robbie Cutler are both targeted for assassination, in a thrilling conclusion that takes place in the storied wine city of St. Emilion. And you will be present at a special dinner reception at the American Embassy in Paris, as you match wits with Robbie – and the ETA.


“Bill Shepard’s first thriller combines diplomacy, terrorism and high stakes politics. He knows the Basque country thoroughly. A great read!” – Paul Laxalt, former United States Senator.

“Bill Shepard and I served as diplomats in France, he as Consul General in Bordeaux, and his knowledge of that region – the intrigues, the relationships, the people - is encyclopedic. He has adroitly used this knowledge to weave a fascinating story. If you like Bordeaux wine, read Vintage Murder. – Evan Galbraith, former United States Ambassador to France

“London has Sherlock Holmes and now Washington has its first diplomatic sleuth, Robbie Cutler. Learn about embassy life from an expert, as you enjoy Bill Shepard’s diplomatic mystery.” – F.A. “Tex” Harris, former President, American Foreign Service Association

About the Author

Shepard is a career diplomat having served as Consul at our Embassies in Singapore, Saigon, Budapest and Athens.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 780 KB
  • Print Length: 327 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 059522413X
  • Publisher: Uncle Seth Cutler Press; 2 edition (April 18 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004X7F00Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #733,103 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0a325d0) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05ec5b8) out of 5 stars Mystery, murder, and Margaux July 22 2011
By Great Faulkner's Ghost - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Take one part debonair James Bond, shake and stir with a dash of Agatha Christie, John le Carre and the wine expertise of Robert Parker (the wine critic, and perhaps the mystery writer as well), and you've got the delightful cocktail of espionage, murder, and intrigue that makes up former diplomat William Shepherd's highly enjoyable "Vintage Murder." A former trade ambassador to France and also a wine connoisseur, Shepherd moves easily between the diplomatic scenes of Paris and the vineyards of France and Europe, providing a unique insight into both cultures as well as imparting a good deal of wine knowledge at no extra charge. There's a wry sense of humor that runs through the narrative that reminds me just a bit of Graham Greene and his so-called "entertainments," which were his generally "lighter" novels, usually about espionage, and written mostly for fun and entertainment, but with a serious side. That is certainly how I would describe Vintage Murder, fun and quite entertaining, while never forgetting its first duty to be a well-crafted novel of maneuvering, murder, mystery, mayhem and of course Margaux.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05ec804) out of 5 stars A great find! Aug. 5 2011
By martísima - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Vintage Murder has it all - wine, romance, intrigue, landscape. It made me feel I was there, enjoying the scenery, which is described in detail and is extremely attractive. The same goes for the wines, and the people. Robbie is special, and his relationship with Sylvie not at all unforeseen. I wish there had been more to it than hints.

I felt close to the place, as I love France and the Bordeaux area, which is special and has so much to offer. I also love the food, and the descriptions made me want to be there. I am also very familiar, unfortunately, with ETA. (The Basque cities in Spain are great, and Bilbao deserves a trip. It was the only place where ALL the waiters, when they brought wine to our table, asked ME if I wanted to try it, not my husband!)

This book was quite a find, and I am glad I got it. The murder and its resolution are perfect, the characters believable. I still think about them all, and will read it again soon. And I hope there is a sequel, but remember that Hungarian is a very difficult language, so Robbie must stay in Bo
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05ec7c8) out of 5 stars A good old-fashioned read! July 20 2011
By Nancy L. Naigle - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
VIntage Murder has that tone and pacing of those good mysteries of the past. I really enjoyed the story. When Robbie Cutler tries to solve an American wine writer's death he becomes a target for murder himself. The story traverses France and Spain - you'll enjoy the scenery. I did! Robbie's a smooth customer and Sylvie certainly agrees. I liked the romantic thread of Robbie and Sylvie's developing relationship. A little mystery, a little romance...a good read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05ecabc) out of 5 stars It's the journey, not the destination April 6 2014
By Carlo - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the type of novel that is best appreciated in an experiential manner; if one is looking for an action-packed thriller, Len Deighton et al are available elsewhere. Robbie Cutler, as the Acting Consul General in Bordeaux (a Consulate General which sadly no longer exists), becomes enmeshed in the murder of an American wine critic, which leads him into the world of Bordeaux wineries - and beyond. The story is peppered with memorable American, French and Spanish characters, who share the stage with equally memorable places, none more so than Bordeaux itself. The author portrays French culture well and also manages to convey interesting background and history without being too pedantic. The reader will have to like both wine and France (or be open to the idea of liking them) in order to enjoy the novel, but that is not really a bad thing.

Anyone with actual Foreign Service experience will spot - one hopes - that a crucial plot device is impossible in the real world on multiple levels, but I suppose that is the author's one major nod to Hollywood-esque thriller conventions. The other aspects of Foreign Service life are well described and true to life, although one must be lucky indeed these days to be posted to a similar convivial, charming and civilized location.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05ecb1c) out of 5 stars A Robbie Cutler Mystery--Wine, Murder and Romance--a Great Combination May 11 2011
By KATHLEEN KASKA - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
William S. Shepard has written an intricately woven mystery, featuring Robbie Cutler, American Consulate to Bordeaux, and the sexy and smart journalist, Sylvie Marceau. In an attempt to solve the mysterious death of American wine writer, Douglas Pryor, Cutler becomes a target for murder by the Basque ETA terrorist organization. Cutler's adventures take us through the lush French Bordeaux wine region and the politically unstable Basque territory, which straddles the border of France and Spain.
One of my favorite lines in the book is the following description of anxious antique dealer, Monsieur Dupont, "He looked slightly frustrated, often with a few crumbs on his collar, as though he had just left a meal without finishing dessert."
Robbie Cutler, suave and sophisticated, is a protagonist whose love for wine, his Siamese cat, Minouette, and antique canes, makes him a character whose future adventures I look forward to reading.