Till Death Do Us Port By Kate Lansing: Review/Giveaway

Apr 15, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Food Fun, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow & Kate Lansing

This week we have a review of the latest Colorado Wine Mystery by Kate Lansing along with a fun guest post about the drama of wine from Kate. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Till Death Do Us Port: A Colorado Wine Mystery by Kate Lansing
Review by Cynthia Chow

Boulder, Colorado is having another busy wedding season, and Vino Valentine wine shop owner Parker Valentine is hoping to step into the marriage industry with her specialty wine labels. So, Parker is more than happy to provide the wines for her cousin’s upcoming wedding, even though wedding planner Prynne Pearsall seems to be prioritizing her own goals over the wishes of the bride. The ceremony for the extremely passive Emma and her fiancé becomes more chaotic when it includes an aunt’s cat as a ring bearer and the bridesmaid and groomsman seem ready for an outright brawl. It’s Prynne whom Parker finds murdered under the wedding cake, though, with the recently fired caterer looming over.

While Parker initially agrees with her rock-climbing friend, Detective Eli Fuller, that she will for once stay out of his murder investigation, encouragement from her mother has Parker changing course. Due to some very incriminating evidence, her aunt Grace has become a main suspect, and until the whole murder-thing is cleared up, it doesn’t look as though Emma will be able to finish walking down the aisle. With the help of her fantastically nerdy bestie Sage and Parker’s brother Liam, Parker will attempt to sift through disgruntled business partners, track down angry former brides, counsel heartbroken bridesmaids, and still continue to serve her delicious Chardonnays and Ports.

Readers should be able to jump right into this fourth of the series as it focuses on Parker and her close family as they investigate the wedding party of outsiders. Prynne had no shortage of enemies through her disagreeable temperament, and a surfeit of evidence keeps popping up that takes them in different investigative directions. Parker’s boyfriend Reid being out of town as he scouts locations for a new restaurant means that she is feeling the pressure of being single while immersed in a wedding economy. That Reid could end up working in an entirely different part of the country has Parker questioning her own future, especially when her best employee is about to take the next step in becoming a sought-after sommelier.

Information dropped three-quarters into the mystery changes the course of the investigation, but throughout readers are led on a merry chase of emails and conflicting evidence. The strongest element of this series is Parker herself, who proves to be so genuinely likable and completely practical in her amateur investigations. Her relationships with her parents, one a Colorado University’s head of Computer Sciences department and the other a chemical engineer, is explored further and explains much of Parker’s personality. The city of Boulder also takes center stage in its uniqueness as an urban city of cuisine and culture surrounded by gorgeous mountains. The chaos of weddings and the emotional participants rarely fail to entertain, and here they are combined with equally delightful descriptions of a variety of wines and accompanying cuisines. The inclusion of recipes with suggested wine pairings make this the perfect escape for those looking for mysteries filled with food, family, and relationship drama.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

The Drama of Wine
By Kate Lansing

Despite being renowned for its relaxing properties, there’s a drama to wine that’s conducive to storytelling. Drama I’ve liberally tapped into for my Colorado Wine mystery series (see: my borderline obsession with metaphors).

The making of the hallowed beverage is fraught with pitfalls, starting with the growing of the grapes. Droughts, pests, and fungi can spell doom for entire fields, and sometimes even the most luscious-looking fruit can lack flavor. If the grapes do achieve just the right sugar concentration, there’s still the exact science of winemaking to contend with because so much as a couple drops of chemicals like sulfur dioxide can change the makeup of a four-hundred-gallon batch of wine.

Kate Lansing

Then, after the harvest, strenuous punch-downs, bottling, and aging, never really knowing how the final product is going to turn out, there’s the actual tasting. The swirling, sniffing, and studying, noting aromas, colors, and viscosity. It’s a ritual that builds anticipation and amplifies tension.

And this is to say nothing of the Latin phrase: In vino veritas, “in wine there is truth.” The brutal honesty that more easily rolls off the tongue while under the influence which can lead to all sorts of trouble.

So, the next time you’re enjoying a glass of your favorite vino, take a moment to think about the sheer amount of work—the risk and investment—that went into it. That first sip will be all the more delicious.

About Till Death Do Us Port:
When a wedding turns into a crime scene, young vintner Parker Valentine investigates the full-bodied problem in this captivating Colorado-set cozy mystery.? ?It’s June in Boulder, Colorado, and wedding season is in full swing. Parker Valentine is excited to attend the wedding of her cousin, Emma, where in addition to celebrating the happy couple, she’ll also be providing wine for the reception. But, when the fussy wedding planner is found dead midway through the ceremony, Parker knows that to get the weekend back on track, she’ll need to unveil a murderer.? ?Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of high tension and hot tempers during a wedding, so Parker has a long list of potential suspects. Even worse, her entire family has fixated on the state of Parker’s relationship with her boyfriend, Reid. If Parker can manage to impress her relatives with her wine skills and dodge unwanted pointed personal questions, solving a murder will be the icing on the cake.

Available at: Penguin Random House, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org.

To enter to win a copy of Till Death Do Us Port, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “port,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 22, 2023. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address so we know where to send the book if you win–we will not use it for any other purposes. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Kate Lansing is an award-winning mystery novelist. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, daughter, and two mischievous kitties. You can find Kate on her website, FB, IG, and Twitter.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I like a glass of port now and then! Count me in!

  2. I enjoyed her previous novels. Thanks for the chance to win this one.

  3. Till Death Do Us Part sounds really interesting! I would love to win a copy please! Thank you for the chance!

  4. I don’t know much about wine but it know it’s a finicky and time consuming process. I enjoy learning something from the mysteries I read and appreciate the amount of time the authors spend to keep everything realistic and accurate. Sounds like another good book!

  5. Sounds like a great addition to the series. Looking forward to reading the book.

  6. It sounds like a fun read! A cup of great vino and a cozy mystery blend well together! Thank you for the recommendation and the chance to win!

  7. We have a winner!

    • I am looking forward to reading my new book! Thank you so much for the giveaway!


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