“Readers are going to have to hang on because they are going to be taken on a twisted ride that connects atrocities of history with horrific dealings in the present…”

“Set in the prestigious wine growing district of the Czech Republic, The Tainted Vintage delves into the realms of both the Nazi occupation and the Communist regime, giving the reader a spine chilling insight into best forgotten history…”

“The plot twists were truly surprising, and I can’t say I guessed at all, who did it or why until it was explicitly laid out in the big reveal at the end…”

“A very good crime read, perfect for fans of Forbrydelsen or Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano…”

“Absolutely brilliant. I was hooked from the very beginning. I couldn't put it down…”

In the small Czech town of Vinice the mayor has been found dead in his wine cellar.

Detectives Jana Dvorska and Ivan Dambersky are called to the scene and soon realise that despite appearances, Mayor Slansky’s death was most definitely not from natural causes.

Almost immediately, the close-knit community closes ranks to try and brush the unexplained death under the carpet with the minimum of fuss.

Dvorska & Dambersky are drawn deeper and deeper into secrets that many hoped would remain buried forever and they’re forced into pursuing an investigation where their own lives are put in danger.

The Tainted Vintage is the first book in a wonderful new series set in and around The Czech Republic, an area rich in history, literature and culture that still remains largely unexplored by contemporary crime fiction fans.

The Tainted Vintage



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Review of The Tainted Vintage by Ian Ayris,

author of the legendary John Sissons series


Ian Ayris on May 21, 2020

I loved this book. Rarely have a read a book so atmospheric, written in a voice so understated and intelligent, yet so unrelentingly real.

Yep, it starts with a body in the cellar - always a cracking opener - a body that just happens to be the local mayor, his secrets dying with him. Or so he thought. Detectives Jana Dvorska and Ivan Dambersky are on the case, and quickly discover it is not a case everyone wants to remain open for too long.

Dvorska and Dambersky are a fantastic creation. Dvorska - brilliant, tenacious, serious and intense, almost without humour or anything of interest outside of her job - Dambersky - on the outside the normal cliche of a shambolic cop past his prime, but do not be deceived by that like I was. Indeed, so deceived was I that when something occurred about a third of the way through the book, I literally had to stop reading, and whisper 'No!' into the ether. A brilliant twist that completely floored me.

One of the very best aspects of this novel is the setting. I have never read anything set in the Czech Republic. Blanchard portrays small town Czech life in such colour and realism, it almost felt as if every time I picked up the novel I was setting foot into the town square. So brilliantly done.

The Tainted Vintage will be loved by anyone who adores intelligent detective fiction written in an unpretentious style.

Can't wait for the next one :)