When this book was touring with Great Escapes last year I just couldn’t squeeze it into my schedule. I added it here because the next book, The Wedding Soup Murder was released this month and I will be reviewing it tomorrow!!!
Murder and Marinara:
An Italian Kitchen Mystery
First Book in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (October 1, 2013)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
E-Book File Size: 2177 KB
Hit whodunit writer Victoria Rienzi is getting back to her roots by working at her family’s Italian restaurant. But now in between plating pasta and pouring vino, she’ll have to find the secret ingredient in a murder….
When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil and simmering marinara sauce at the family restaurant, the Casa Lido. But her nonna’s recipes aren’t the only things getting stirred up in this Italian kitchen.
Their small town is up in arms over plans to film a new reality TV show, and when Victoria serves the show’s pushy producer his last meal, the Casa Lido staff finds itself embroiled in a murder investigation. Victoria wants to find the real killer, but there are as many suspects as tomatoes in her nonna’s garden. Now she’ll have to heat up her sleuthing skills quickly…before someone else gets a plateful of murder.
Rosie Genova writes what she knows, she is a Jersey Girl, an author, and she loves good food! Wonder if these characters are based on her family…
Victoria did the unexpected when she left the family business behind, moved to New York and became a very successful mystery author. Now she is back to do a little research to write a non-fiction book about her heritage but she is barely unpacked before she is wrapped up in a murder investigation. Everyone thinks because she writes mysteries she can solve this one. The man died in her family’s restaurant so she feels obligated to do what she can but putting herself in danger was never on the menu.
Victoria is a strong protagonist and with her sister-in-law (SIL) as her sidekick what could go wrong….
The entire family dynamic is what makes me love this story. Her Nonna is quite a woman and she is not letting Victoria off easy when she returns. Victoria wants to learn to cook the family recipes and she finds herself planting tomatoes and working as a waitress. Her parents are involved with the restaurant but leave all the decisions to Nonna. Victoria’s brother, Danny, does not work at the restaurant either, but he is a police officer and Nonna finds that a reputable profession unlike that of being an author. I think she hates her family being separated more than anything.
In addition to the family there is sous chef Tim who just happens to be Victoria’s old boyfriend and is an honorary family member. Victoria thinks her Nonna loves him more than her own grandchildren. 🙂 And there is Cal, a carpenter doing work at Casa Lido. He is not from Jersey and he is very secretive about his past but there is nothing secret about his feelings for Victoria.
Genova takes this characters and places them on the beautiful Jersey shore and stirs them all together in a very tasty story. The mystery is complex and keeps the reader engaged with each twist and turn. But I can’t forget the food. I swear I could smell the marinara sauce emanating from the pages and I was so hungry by the time I finished. Thankfully she includes recipes!
About The Author
A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her new series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her appreciation for good food, her pride in her heritage, and her love of classic mysteries from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, was named a 2013 Best Cozy by Suspense Magazine and is a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She still lives in her home state with her husband and the youngest of her three Jersey boys.
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