Nero Wolfe Award Finalist for 2018
"Oenophiles and aspiring vintners will enjoy the wine lore in this well-wrought tale of love and betrayal." —Publishers Weekly
Cal Claxton's old farmhouse sits high in Oregon's Red Hills, home of scores of wineries and some of the most coveted acreage for growing the pinot noir grape in the world. Former Los Angeles prosecutor Cal settled in this haven to reboot his life as a widower, growing a small practice that includes some pro bono work in nearby Portland. Life is good, filled with food, wine, and friends. But this beautiful area is not the idyllic haven it appears to be.
When Cal's neighbor, Jim Kavanaugh, the owner and gifted vintner of an up-and-coming winery, is accused of murdering his wife, his freedom—and the grape harvest—is suddenly in jeopardy along with his reputation, and his business begins to slide. No gentleman farmer, this puts the rugged winemaker's property, his only financial asset, in play. When a blackmail plot is hatched against the owner of adjacent land, it begins to look like a brutal game of real-life Monopoly is underway.
Cal agrees to defend Jim, a good friend, which pulls him reluctantly into the blackmail plot. Emotions are running high over Lori Kavanaugh's bloody death. There is no shortage of suspects. There may be more than the one game in play. And defending Jim might well make Cal the next target of a vicious, cunning killer.
Formerly a research scientist and international business executive, award-winning author Warren C. Easley lives in Oregon where he writes fiction, tutors GED students, fly fishes, and skis. Easley is the author of the Cal Claxton Oregon Mysteries. He received a Kay Snow National Award for fiction in 2012 and was named the Northwest’s Up and Coming Author in 2017, both honors bestowed by Willamette Writers. His fifth book, Blood for Wine, was shortlisted for a Nero Award.
"I've been a fan of Warren Easley's Cal Claxton series since I read his first book, and they've gotten better with age, like the fine wine at the center of this complex novel of suspense. If you enjoy wine and a really good mystery, Blood for Wine
is a must read." — Phillip Margolin, New York Times bestselling author
"Warren C. Easley blends my favorite subjects—wine, food, a really cool dog and, of course, murder—into a tasty thriller set in Oregon wine country. With more twists and turns than a rain-swept coastal road, Blood for Wine
is the fifth in this series with a tantalizing backlist just waiting for me to get my hands on. It promises to be a mystery maven's haven." — Roz Shea, Bookreporter.com
"In Easley’s fine fifth mystery featuring Portland, Ore., lawyer Cal Claxton, Cal is shocked to learn that vintner Jim Kavanaugh, a friend and neighbor, is the prime (and only) suspect in the brutal murder of Jim’s estranged wife, Lori.... As Cal delves into Jim and Lori’s troubled marriage, he stumbles onto other community secrets—including a blackmail scheme—all tied to the area’s booming wine business. Meanwhile, senseless acts of violence that hit too close to home upend Cal’s personal life—but only serve to strengthen his resolve. Oenophiles and aspiring vintners will enjoy the wine lore in this well-wrought tale of love and betrayal." — Publishers Weekly