Review & Giveaway: You Can Only Die Once by Shelley Costa

(Miracolo Mysteries)

New Series
Cozy Mystery
Pocket Books (May 28, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476709352
E-Book File Size: 890 KB


From Back Cover

At Miracolo Northern Italian restaurant, one can savor brilliantly seasoned veal saltimbocca, or luscious risotto alla milanese, but no cannoli. Never cannoli. Maria Pia Angelotta, the spirited seventy-six-year-old owner of the Philadelphia-area eatery that’s been in her family for four generations, has butted heads with her head chef over the cannoli ban more than once. And when the head chef is your own granddaughter, things can get a little heated.

Fortunately, Eve Angelotta knows how to handle what her nonna dishes out. But when Maria Pia’s boyfriend is found dead in Miracolo’s kitchen, bludgeoned by a marble mortar, the question arises: Can a woman this fiery and stubborn over cream-filled pastry be capable of murder?

The police seem to think so, and they put the elder Angelotta behind bars, while Eve, sexy neighborhood attorney Joe Beck, and the entire Miracolo family— parenti di sangue and otherwise—try every trick in the cookbook to unravel a tangle of lies and expose a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
What a tasty debut!!  Eve and her Nonna don’t agree with what’s on and not on the menu but she knows her grandmother didn’t kill anyone. Eve pulls her friends and family together to do whatever they have to so she is cleared of the crime and back at the restaurant where she belongs. Even if it means breaking and entering!

When you pick up this book be prepared to laugh and laugh a lot. This is a true group of quirky characters and I was surprised at their depth for this being the first book in the series. This is a big Italian family so there are many characters to keep straight but as the story progresses they each come into their own and are very easily pictured in the reader’s mind. Don’t be scared off by the hard to pronounce or long Italian names, soon you will feel right at home at Miracolo’s.

The story unfolds slowly with delectable dialogue, a few bites of tongue in cheek moments,  some crumbs of sarcasm, and references of some great operas.  Then it picks up steam as the clues start to come together. There is also a little romantic tension we all love too.  All together a yummy cozy mystery.  I can hardly wait for my next reservation at this wonderful Italian eatery.

just you and a friend


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Find out more about Shelley Costa on her webpage here.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

16 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway: You Can Only Die Once by Shelley Costa

  1. Oh, Italian – mmm. For a long time, I didn’t know what cannoli was. And since I don’t usually do dessert, I never had a chance to taste one. Then, at a dinner party (think it was some kind of meeting dinner), cannoli was served. As I remember, it was good. But I still don’t think I’d order it – simply because I don’t do pastry often. 🙂
    I also don’t think I’d order ‘murder’ for my meal either. But I love to read about murder, and the antics that our heroine and her friends and family must go through to solve it. I will have to check out this series!

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