Tag Archives: Giveaways

Review and Giveaway: The Wharf of Chartrons by Jean-Paul Malaval

Today I am very excited to welcome France Book Tours to the Book Binder’s Daughter with a unique historical fiction book The Wharf of Chartrons.  This book is set just before, during and after World War I, and continues my commemoration of the centenary of The Great War.  I hope you read my review, look at the other stops on the tour, and enter to win your own copy of this book.

Book Synopsis:

Wharf of Chartrons coverA family linked by wine and old rivalries sets out for new territory, during the turmoil of World War I. David and Gaspard are cousins, bonded by family and their allegiance to their winemaking heritage. Parting with tradition and moving their vineyards near Bordeaux threatens to upset the family peace, but that’s only the beginning of their trouble. Short on funds, they are forced to team with a wealthy but morally corrupt engineer—though perhaps at a cost too high for the cousins.  Despite the odds, David and Gaspard succeed in making a successful wine, Clos-Marzacq.  Along the way, they each fall in love, though not always in the best of circumstances. And now, to cement their successes, the cousins need to secure a stronghold on the Wharf of Chartrons, seen as the gateway to selling in England and America

My Review:
David and Gaspard are cousins who have been raised in the winegrowing region of Chantegrele.  For generations their families have made a living off of the land by producing wines from their vineyards.  But David and Gaspard want to break free of their families and move to Bordeaux, buy a plot of land, and make their own award-winning wines.  The first part of the book deals with David and Gaspard trying to separate themselves from their disapproving families and to establish their own vineyard.  They take on a partner, Castillard, who is a ruthless captain of industry and shows Gaspard the ways of modern business deals.  This book really leaves off where Malaval’s last book, The Winegrowers of Chantegrele leaves off.  If you want more background about the Pierrebrunne and Maldelbos families, I suggest reading his first book as well.


The second part of the book, which I found more engaging, deals with David’s and Gaspard’s struggles with relationships.  David meets, falls in love with, and marries a woman rather quickly but their marriage is tumultuous.  Gaspard spends years pinning over a woman he cannot have because she is married.  At one point he does manage to seduce this woman, named Constance, but she is never completely willing to let go of her husband and Gaspards’ obsession with her becomes pathetic.


The Wharf of Chartrons also describes the effects that France’s involvement has on the winegrowing industry during World War I.  There is also a brief description of the battlefield when Constance’s husband volunteers to go to the front lines to fight for his country.  I do wish that the author spent more time detailing the effects of World War I on French families, businesses and society in general.


Overall, The Wharf of Chartrons is an emotional read about two men trying to break free of their traditional families, to carve out their own success in a corrupt business world, and to find the loves of their lives.  If you appreciate fine wine and a French setting, then THE WHARFS OF CHARTRONS is the book for you.

About The Author:

Wharf of Chartrons - MalavalJean-Paul Malaval was a journalist before turning to a career as a writer of local photography books and later fiction.  In 1982, he began what would become a long-term relationship with the publishing house Éditions Milan, in Toulouse.  To date, Jean-Paul Malaval has written ten works of historical fiction, mainly based in the region where he grew up, the Corrèze, which is near the Dordogne. Five of his ten novels have been published by Presses de la Cité.  He is loyal to his home region and has been mayor of the town of Vars-sur-Roseix in Corrèze since 1995.



This giveaway is open internationally, one print book for someone in the U.S. and on ebook for someone anywhere else in the world.   Giveaway ends 8/21. Click Here To Enter The Giveaway.Thanks so much to France Book Tours for organizing this great tour.  Don’t forget to visit the other stops on this tour. Click Here to view the full tour schedule and see the list of participating blogs.

 Wharf of Chartrons Banner


Filed under Giveaways, Historical Fiction, World War I

Review and Giveaway: The Yankee Club by Michael Murphy

I am very excited today to welcome author Michael Murphy to the blog with his mystery The Yankee Club. You can read my review, enter to win a copy of the book, and visit other stops on the blog tour.

My Review:
The Yankee ClubDo you know what a gumshoe is? I have to admit that I had never heard the word until I read Michael Murphy’s novel The Yankee Club. A gumshoe is a slang word used in the 20’s and 30’s for a detective like Jake Donovan, the main character in the novel. Actually, Jake is a former detective, turned mystery writer and when we meet him he is returning to New York City after two years of a self-imposed exile.  I love it when an author uses the correct slang and turns of phrase to put the reader in the mindset of the time period like Murphy does in this noir mystery.

Jake was admittedly running away from his former girlfriend Laura who refused his marriage proposal in favor of focusing on her career as an actress.  His first stop when he returns to New York is The Yankee Club where he reconnects with his old friends.  This novel is well-researched and  with its speakeasies, dames, tommy guns and gangsters and transports the reader to early 1930’s New York where the Great Depression and Prohibition are in full swing.

As soon as Jake steps foot off of the train in Grand Central station he regrets his decision to return to New York.  Laura, the love of his life, is engaged to a banker whom Jake does not trust and his best friend Mickey, who is also a gumshoe, is gunned down in front of his office building. Jake is determined to find his friend’s killer and the hunt to do this puts Jake’s own life at risk several times throughout the novel. Jake finds himself entangled with a group of very dangerous people and discovers that Mickey’s murder was part of a more dangerous conspiracy than he originally thought.

This novel is a fast-paced, exciting mystery but it also has a serious side. At one point in the book Jake walks through Central Park and notices the shanty towns that sprung up because of the Depression. He also encounters destitute families at the bus station and a soup kitchen. Michael Murphy adeptly interweaves the destitute circumstances of Great Depression into the backdrop of the narrative.

It was amusing to see so many famous characters from the time period make appearances in the story such as Babe Ruth, Cole Porter and Ethel Merman. But the author doesn’t just throw them into the story as some sort of literary name-dropping, he cleverly and seamlessly weaves them into the scenes at appropriate points.

For a long time I resisted reading mystery novels, but Michael Murphy’s book has completely changed my mind about how entertaining this genre can be. Do yourself a favor this summer and pick up a copy of Michael Murphy’s The Yankee Club. I enjoyed this book so much that I signed up to be part of Michael Murphy’s next book tour for his forthcoming mystery All That Glitters.



About the Author:

Author MurphyMichael Murphy is a full time author and part time urban chicken rancher in Arizona. He lives in Arizona with his wife of forty-one years and the four children they adopted this past year. In August, Random House Alibi will publish his ninth novel, a historical mystery set in the prohibition era, The Yankee Club.



Do you want to win your own copy of this book?  Giveaway ends 8/29.  Click Here To Enter

Please click on the TLC Book Tours logo to visit the other stops on The Yankee Club Book Tour:




Filed under Giveaways, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller