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Why set a mystery in Champagne?

Several people have asked me recently, "Why did you set your mystery in Champagne?"  To my knowledge, there isn't another mystery set in that area. I went to my friend Astrid's wedding there (the very same Astrid who is writing Savouries), and thought, "This is the perfect setting for a mystery."  I had written a mystery CD ROM in the past called, "Who Killed Taylor French?", and thought, why not a book?  The morning after the wedding, Astrid and I sat out by the River Marne watching the boats pass by, and I asked her what she thought of the idea a mystery?   She was enthusiastic and we decided we'd try to write it together. We did a first draft, but time passed, and we both began new jobs and CHAMPAGNE was put on hold.  She eventually opted out.  I pulled out our early effort together, and thought it quite good,  and began the revision process. 

The term 'the farewell' comes from a Nicholas Faith book: "A perfect champagne has one taste in the mouth and leaves another at the back of the throat after it has been swallowed; the latter, known as the farewell, is often more of a glow than a definite taste."

The people I met in Champagne were quite formal, and likeable. But since that first visit, I have discovered a teacher in England, Valou Calder,  who is from there, and I was in touch with several winemakers who are not from the more famous companies, and who make lovely wines. 

In my next blog, I plan to write about the process of making champagne.

Please write questions to me, and I will do my best to answer them--about the region, about champagne, or anything else that comes to mind.