Tuesday, December 31, 2019


If you follow this blog or if you know me in real time, you know that I'm a list maker. And, since today is National Champagne Day, I'm posting an updated list of mysteries in which Champagne plays a prominent role. I know that Champagne appears many times in Dashiell Hammett's Thin Man books. Nick and Nora drink a lot of champagne in the movies, too. So here's a short list of 'Champagne' books to toast (and read) on New Year's Eve. Check out my New Year's Crime Fiction and Movie list, too. Champagne is featured in some of them, although not necessarily as the main focus. Please comment with any additional titles.


Champagne Widows by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen
Murder & Champagne by Ashok Banker
The Vineyards of Champagne by Juliet Blackwell
The Charlemagne Connection by R.M. Cartmel
Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie
Tug of War by Barbara Cleverly
The Champagne Conspiracy by Ellen Crosby
Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson
Murder Can Crash Your Party by Selma Eichler
Champagne Fuhrern by Kare Hallden (in Swedish)
The Winemaker's Wife by Kristin Harmel
Champagne: The Farewell by Janet Hubbard
Secret Lies and Champagne Highs by Jeanette Hubbard
The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones
Champagne Blues by Ivan and Nat Lyons
Dry Bones by Peter May
Champagne and a Gardener by B.J. Morison
Design for Dying by Renee Patrick
Champagne for Buzzards by Phyllis Smallman
Murder by Champagne by Keith Spicer
Champagne and Cocaine by Richard Vetere
Champagne for One by Rex Stout

And here's a true mystery related story about Champagne, especially for history mystery folks. This was reported in The Daily Mail (UK) July 2010. Talk about a vintage that holds its own!

Divers have discovered what is thought to be the world's oldest drinkable champagne in a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea.
  They have already tested out the contents of one bottle and claim it tastes 'fantastic' despite dating back to the late 18th century.
   Diving instructor Christian Ekstrom said the bottles are believed to be from the 1780s and likely were part of a cargo destined for Russia.
   'We brought up the bottle to be able to establish how old the wreck was. We didn't know it would be champagne. We thought it was wine or something,' he said.
   Ekstrom said the divers were overjoyed when they popped the cork on their boat after hauling the bubbly from a depth of 200 feet (60 meters).
   'It tasted fantastic. It was a very sweet champagne, with a tobacco taste and oak,' Ekstrom said.
   The divers discovered the shipwreck near the Aland Islands, between Sweden and Finland. About 30 bottles are believed to be aboard the sunken vessel.
Read More Here.

And, then, of course, there's always Sabering Champagne, as opposed to savoring Champagne. Sabering is opening the champagne bottle with a saber. A talent a mystery reader and writer might have or at the very least figure in a plot---sabering gone wrong!


Anonymous said...

Champagne for One is the first Nero Wolfe mystery I ever read; I was probably eight years old. My whole family got books from the bookmobile, and when I'd finished mine I read my mother's. I've been a big fan of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin ever since. Bonnie!

CluesSister said...

In Mike Orenduff's Pot Thief mysteries Hubie Schuze always drinks Gruet - great New Mexico bubbly - unless he is drinking Margaritas.