OT: Maturana Tinta Grape Variety

Last week I visited the wineries of Baron de Ley (Denominación Rioja) in Mendavia (Navarra) and learned of the existence of a grape variety that was considered extinct in La Rioja, the Maturana Tinta. You can find additional information HERE and HERE. Unfortunately I could not try it because the small crop was already exhausted at the winery. I hope to try it soon, stay tuned.

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2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet W is for Wilson, Robert Wilson

The Crime Fiction Alphabet arrives this week to letter “w”, and my W is for Wilson. Robert Wilson (born 1957) is a British crime-writer currently resident in Portugal. He is the son of an RAF fighter pilot, and has a degree in English from Oxford. Wilson is the author of the Bruce Medway series, set in and around Benin, West Africa, and the Javier Falcon series, set largely in Seville, Spain.

He is also the author of the espionage novel The Company of Strangers and A Small Death In Lisbon, which consists of a historically split narrative, and won the CWA Gold Dagger in 1999.

He was shortlisted for the same award again in 2003 for The Blind Man of Seville, the first in the Javier Falcon series. The second novel in the series, The Silent and the Damned, 2004 (published as The Vanished Hands in the U.S.), won the 2006 Gumshoe Award for Best European Crime Novel, presented by Mystery Ink. And it was followed by The Hidden Assassins, 2006 and The Ignorance of Blood, 2009.

It’s Semana Santa in Seville, the Easter week of passion and processions. A leading restaurateur is found bound, gagged and dead in front of his TV. The self-inflicted wounds tell of the man’s struggle to avoid the unendurable images he’s been forced to watch. When confronted by this horrific scene the normally dispassionate homicide detective Javier Falcon is inexplicably afraid. What could be so terrible? The investigation into the victim’s turbulent life sends Falcon trawling through his own past and the ferociously candid journals of his late father, a world-famous artist. Painful revelations churn up Falcon’s unreliable memory and more killings push him to the edge of terrifying truth. And he realizes that this is not just a hunt for the all-seeing killer who knows his victims’ secret lives but also the search for Falcon’s missing heart. From the Gold Dagger award-winning author of A Small Death in Lisbon, a novel that combines the tension of a psychological thriller with the emotional intensity of a literary tour de force.

Mario Vega is seven years old and his life is about to change forever. Across the street in an exclusive suburb of Seville his father lies dead on the kitchen floor and his mother has been suffocated under her own pillow. It appears to be a suicide pact, but Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón has his doubts when he finds an enigmatic note crushed in the dead man’s hand. In the brutal summer heat Falcón starts to dismantle the obscure life of Rafael Vega only to receive threats from the Russian mafia who have begun operating in the city. His investigation into Vega’s neighbours uncovers a creative American couple with a destructive past and the misery of a famous actor whose only son is in prison for an appalling crime. Within days two further suicides follow – one of them a senior policeman – and a forest fire rages through the hills above Seville obliterating all in its path. Falcón must now sweat out the truth, which will reveal that everything is connected and there is one more secret in the black heart of Vega’s life.

The gripping new psychological thriller featuring Javier Falcon, the tortured detective from The Silent and the Damned and The Blind Man of Seville. Summer is always particularly hard on Sevillian homicide detective Javier Falcon. As the streets heat up so do people’s tempers and the crime rate soars. But this year, things are about to get even hotter. A routine investigation into a fire turns up something far more sinister: remnants of bomb-making equipment. Suddenly, Falcon finds himself at the centre of a full-scale terrorist alert. As panic sweeps the city, emptying its bars and restaurants and sparking false alarms and evacuations, Falcon’s family connections in Morocco quickly make him a central figure in the investigation, allowing him to use his relationships to establish a vital source of information. A bizarre picture begins to emerge, linking apparently Islamist terror acts to a shadowy and well-connected Catholic organization bent on revenge. However, the stakes are about to start getting dramatically higher. High-profile arrests, a series of explosions and a suspect publicly gunned down in the street rock the city to its core. Reports of arms deals and stolen radioactive material begin to circulate as a fifteen man cell lands in Seville. But it is only when the cell goes missing that Falcon makes the most terrifying discovery of all!

The final psychological thriller featuring Javier Falcon, the tortured detective from The Hidden Assassins and The Blind Man of Seville. A spectacular car crash in the sweltering Seville summer accidentally brings to light a suitcase filled with millions in cash — and the prospect of a serious mafia presence on Inspector Jefe Javier Falcon’s beat. As a turf war erupts, Falcon finds himself and those closest to him personally targeted by the lethal forces suddenly unleashed. In the face of attack, Falcon decides to retaliate with a ruthlessness that surprises him as much as his adversaries. But there is a terrible price to pay! The final, stunning chapter in the critically acclaimed Javier Falcon series.

Information courtesy of Wikipedia and Fantastic fiction. You can find additional information at Robert Wilson official website.

The 2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet is a Community Meme hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. By Friday of each week participants try to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week. Click HERE to visit other suggestions from fellow participants.

Gene Kerrigan wins the CWA Gold Dagger 2012

I learned, belatedly, that Gene Karrigan won the CWA Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year for his novel The Rage. You can find additional information HERE. My review of The Rage is HERE. Congratulations.