For those acquainted with the series of books by pseudonymous author, Peter Stafford-Bow, there is no disappointment in the latest instalment of Felix Hart’s wine soaked expedition, ‘Eastern Promise’.
The story has discernible roots in the real life stories of wine fraud, including the embargoed The Billionaires Vinegar, and documentary, Sour Grapes. When I mentioned this to the author he responded, ‘Of course, the Hardy Rodenstock and Rudy Kurniawan scandals were front of mind when I was writing the novel, and the first chapter was inspired by a smaller scale scam that took place a few years ago.’
|Keith Coventry paintings
Alan Wheately Gallery, St James's, London SW1
Eastern Promise also evokes elements of 1970’s action movies where evil doers entice adventurers into criminal ventures, however, instead of sharp shooting or martial arts, it is the gargantuan quantities of the finest fermented grape juice on earth that greases the wheels of Hart’s escape.
This comedic jaunt through a post-pandemic ridden London, Hong Kong and elsewhere, is all the pep one needs to liven up the summer - select your reading wines with care and indulge!
|Banksy - Bombhugger
Tanya Baxter Art Advisory, London