Brynn Bancroft’s enjoyment at running her former husband’s winery is overcast by a rash of troubling burglaries and her inability to reconnect with her ex. When she receives an urgent phone call from an old college friend requesting that she speak to an investor, she welcomes the interruption. Unfortunately, her friend’s business activities intrude on her routine. Then her ex-husband threatens her marriage hopes when he considers selling the winery. When the burglaries escalate, a sense of foreboding plagues her, hinting at trouble to come.
About Brynn Bancroft
In the meantime, her husband, Liam—not unfamiliar with extramarital affairs himself but also understanding that Brynn grew up in an abusive household- grew tired of waiting for Brynn to commit to their relationship and asked for a divorce. At the same time, he solicited her assistance in developing his new winery in Sonoma County, Calif.
As the protagonist in HILLTOP SUNSET, Brynn begins to shed her past and her behavior of protecting herself by blocking emotions. We watch her transition from a shallow uncaring person to someone who starts to understand the emotions of friendship and love.
At the same time, much like Jillian—who occasionally shows up in the Brynn Bancroft mysteries—Brynn, too, attracts mystery and murders as she grows to enjoy life at her ex-husband’s Hilltop Sunset Winery.
Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death
has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.
Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to prefer supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-changing events.
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Landscape For Murder: A Brynn Bancroft Mystery
A friend’s murder. An unconnected cast of suspects, including the victim’s missing adult daughter. As if that wasn’t enough, Brynn Bancroft’s winery has been broken into. Can she deal with her co-owner ex and help the police find her friend’s murder so she can finally overcome her own troubled past and enjoy family life with her teenage ward?
Her first historical mystery, The Judge’s Story, tells the story of a Superior Court Judge with a passion for social justice as well as the law who strives to discover the truth behind the mystery of a robbery-murder in a small California town in 1939.
All of her novels are inspired by actual events and/or real people, although they are definitely fictionalized.
Much like her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California’s Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing by-lined articles, press releases, white papers, and brochures to publicize her companies and their products.
She lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and enjoys exploring and writing about the growing wine region in the Ramona Valley near San Diego.
She received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
Having spent time in the Napa-Sonoma region of California because of relatives in the area, I am always on the lookout for books set in the same area. Strand’s depictions of the wine country are beautiful and vivid. It is almost enough to make me want to pack my bags and go back there again.
Brynn Bancroft is a heroine after my own heart. She finds herself wanting a man she has previously been married to – no, that is not the part that is after my own heart – and is blindsided by his easy acceptance of the possibility of an offer on the winery they own together and she manages. She has managed to reinvent herself from a high powered, citified CFO to a country woman who runs a vineyard and winery. It’s that reinvention that I so want to pattern my life after. I want to reinvent myself as a photographer and creative, as opposed to constantly doing other people’s work.
The mystery in this Strand book is complex. I had a hard time following that part of the book, finding myself frequently going back to re-read portions to understand. I love a more complicated mystery. It holds my attention better than some of the cookie cutter mysteries that are out there.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
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