Cognac Conspiracies banner

Authors Jean-Pierre ALAUX and Noël BALEN

are featured for the 5th time on France Book Tours!
After Treachery in Bordeaux,
Grand Cru Heist,
Nightmare in Burgundy,
Deadly Tasting,
meet again the famous wine maker detective with this 5th volume!


Jean-Pierre ALAUX and Noël BALEN

on  Tour

February 1-20, 2015


Cognac Conspiracies cover

Cognac Conspiracies

(cozy wine mystery)

 Release date: February 18, 2015
at Le French Book

140  pages

ISBN: 978-1939474322

Website | Goodreads



The heirs to one of the oldest Cognac estates in France face a hostile takeover by foreign investors. Renowned wine expert Benjamin Cooker is called in to audit the books. In what he thought was a sleepy provincial town, he is stonewalled, crosses paths with his first love, and stands up to high-level state officials keen on controlling the buyout. Meanwhile, irresistible Virgile mingles with the local population until a drowning changes the stakes. [provided by the publisher]


An episode in a long successful French mysteries series
that is a hit television series now in its fourth season
and attracting an audience of over 4 million.
The series is a huge success in France, Belgium and Switzerland.




©David Nakache


The authors of the Winemaker Detective series, are Epicures.
Jean-Pierre Alaux is a magazine, radio and TV journalist
when he is not writing novels in southwestern France.
He is the grandson of a winemaker
and exhibits a real passion for wine and wine making.
For him, there is no greater common denominator than wine.
He gets a sparkle in his eye when he talks about the Winemaker Detective,
which he coauthors with Noël Balen.
Noël lives in Paris, where he shares his time between writing,
making records, and lecturing on music.
He plays bass, is a music critic and has authored a number of books
about musicians in addition to his novel and short-story writing.


Translator Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Masters Degree in French Literature from the University of Colorado where she wrote Camus and the Americas: A Thematic Analysis of Three Works Based on His Journaux de Voyage.  Her career includes more than twenty years of translating and teaching French and Italian at Berlitz and at Colorado University Boulder.  She has worked in scientific, legal and literary translation; her literary translations include Operatic Arias; Singers Edition, and Reality and the Untheorizable by Clément Rosset.  She also served as the interpreter for the government cabinet of Rwanda and translated for Dian Fossey’s Digit Fund. In addition to her passion for French, she has studied Italian at Colorado University, in Rome and in Siena.  She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband.
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I Am, Indeed

I’ve read several of these mysteries and am always impressed by both the wine-related information and the solidly described French countryside, history and traditions that surround the wine business.
The food and wine descriptions, and Cooker’s knowledge of both are beautifully integrated within the story. These are lovely little afternoon treks through France, giving readers plenty of information, imagery and entertainment.

The Discerning Reader

The descriptions of Cognac, the making of this fine liquor piqued my interest. The lush environs of Samson’s Mill even the details of the Lavoisier property captured my attention.


I absolutely love the Winemaker Detective Series.
Alaux and Balen entice and entertain the reader with edible delicacies, superb cigars, and vintage wines, offered with a backdrop of some of France’s most beautiful vineyards and countrysides.

Hook of a Book

Anyone could have “who-done-it” and we feel suspicious of them all. There is an air of intrigue, deceit, and suspense that makes you anxious to the turn the pages.
I know I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of this series!

Griperang’s Bookmarks

One of the things I enjoyed reading in this book is the history of Cognac and the making of it. I thought the characters were interesting and like getting to know them. The story kept me going and I was not able to solve the mystery until the end which for me makes a good mystery.

Words And Peace

I enjoyed the plot, or rater the plots, and how they end up interconnecting.
And of course, like in the other books of the series, what’s really neat is the description of the region and information on the wine.
Shady characters and great wine join for a new adventure in company of wine expert detective Benjamin. Reconnecting with your past may lead you to unexpected mysteries and dramas.

It’s a Mad Mad World

I liked the writing style and the main characters in the book.
In the end will I say that I liked the book. It was a nice cozy mystery book and I would very much read more in the series.

Deal Sharing Aunt

I really liked this book. It was short, but definitely kept me hooked!

Svetlana’s Reads and Views

If you’re looking for an escapist read, it can be a good stand-alone book