A friend’s murder. An unconnected cast of suspects, including the victim’s missing adult daughter. As if that wasn’t enough, Brynn Bancroft’s winery has been broken into. Can she deal with her co-owner ex and help the police find her friend’s murder so she can finally overcome her own troubled past and enjoy family life with her teenage ward?
Unfortunately for Brynn, the CEO’s wife figured out that the two were involved and asked Brynn to leave the company, which she agreed to do.
In the meantime, her husband, Liam—not unfamiliar with extramarital affairs himself but also understanding that Brynn grew up in an abusive household- grew tired of waiting for Brynn to commit to their relationship and asked for a divorce. At the same time, he solicited her assistance in developing his new winery in Sonoma County, Calif.
Much like Jillian--who does appear in the Brynn Bancroft mysteries--Brynn, too, attracts mystery and murders as she grows to enjoy life at her ex-husband’s Hilltop Sunset Winery.
Hubbie's Book Review
Welcome to another helping of murder and mystery involving Brynn Bancroft and her teenage Ward. The authors excellent writing and imaginative plot makes for a good read. The storyline is a simple one and with the creation of mysterious characters, without revealing their motives, keeps the reader enrapt and it's a real page turner.
The moral of this story is how well do you know your family and closest friends and to what degree can you trust them .
Based around the vineyards that Brynn owns and is trying to develop, problems begin with the theft of their wine and the murder of an artist. Our heroine finds herself embroiled in several different problems, who is the mystery painter and why were they killed? Whose sending threatening messages to the winery? All these questions are brought together by very creative writing.
Anyone who enjoys a murder mystery which makes them think all the way through will enjoy this novel.
Hilltop Sunset: A Brynn Bancroft Mystery
A mystery set in wine country pitting financial exec Brynn Bancroft against a determined stalker, a troubled love interest, and career clashes.
Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.
Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to prefer supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-changing events.
Her most recent novel, Landscape for Murder, follows Hilltop Sunset which was the first of a new series featuring protagonist Brynn Bancroft, a financial guru in transition to winemaker from corporate executive. Brynn Bancroft is a minor character in Strand's novels On Message, Open Meetings, and Fair Disclosure--three mysteries solved by Jillian Hillcrest, a publicist whose boss was Chief Financial Officer Brynn Bancroft.
Much like her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, Joyce Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California's Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing by-lined articles, press releases, white papers, and brochures to publicize her companies and their products.
Strand has been a mystery fan since she read her first Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy stories as a teenager. She admits that in between reading Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming, Erle Stanley Gardner, and John McDonald in her youth, she also checked out Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Faulkner, and Dostoyevsky, but her love of the “puzzle” always drew her back to the latest fictional detective. Today she favors John Grisham, Louise Penney, Linwood Barclay, Michael Connelly, and Stieg Larsson. She has always enjoyed the challenge of following clues to solve the puzzle of a mystery before it is revealed.
Joyce lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and seeks out and attends as many Broadway musicals and other stage plays as possible.
She received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.
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