Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am delighted to feature Public Anchovy #1 by Mindy Quigley today!
Public Anchovy #1 will be released on December 26,
but you can pre-order it now here.
Public Anchovy #1 (Deep Dish Mysteries)
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 26, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250792479
ISBN-13 : 978-1250792471
Kindle ASIN : B0C1X7M6ZS
Public Anchovy #1 is the third book in Mindy Quigley’s delectable Deep Dish Mystery series, set in a Wisconsin pizzeria.
While Geneva Bay’s upper crust gets ready to party down at a Prohibition-themed fundraiser, pizza chef Delilah O’Leary is focused on seeing her struggling restaurant through the winter slow season. The temperature outside is plummeting, but Delilah’s love life might finally be heating up, as hunky police detective Calvin Capone seems poised to (finally) make a move.
But Delilah’s hopes of perfecting a new “free-from” pizza recipe for a charity bash are dashed when a dead body crashes the party. Soon, Capone, Delilah, and her entire staff are trapped in an isolated mansion and embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse.
To catch an increasingly-desperate killer, Delilah will have to top all of her previous crime-solving accomplishments, and a few pizzas, too.
Winter in Wisconsin can be very pretty but it’s cold so Delilah has to add catering to her repertoire to keep her restaurant in the black. She and her staff have been hired to cater a Prohibition-themed fundraiser for the library at Bluff Point, one of Geneva Bay, Wisconsin’s “most opulent private residences”. At the last minute, one of the guests has requested a “free-from” pizza without gluten, dairy, or nightshade plants causing Delilah to send her staff ahead to the venue while she went home to gather everything she needed to fulfill the request. She unknowingly brings back a surprise guest.
Before the food is served and after a little entertainment, Edgar Clemmons, former chair of the library board, tumbles down the stairs to his death. Some of the guests leave as the snow continues to fall but before Delilah, her crew, and several other guests can leave they learn that they are trapped until plows can clear up higher-priority roads and highways. It also means EMS can’t get there to remove Edgar’s body.
Was Edgar’s death an accident or was he murdered? Are Delilah, Capone, her staff, and others in the company of a killer? When the apparent murder weapon is found in an unusual place and the head librarian is killed Capone and Delilah get in high gear to isolate the killer before anyone else dies.
I was so happy to return to Geneva Bay and the great characters Ms. Quigley has created. At the start of the story, Delilah was lamenting mostly in her own head about her relationship with Calvin Capone going nowhere because he never called. Well spending time trapped in a mansion with the killer on the loose sure changed that. Capone’s mother was introduced and played a larger role than I had expected. Aunt Biz is dealing with a huge change in her life and not handling it well. Sonya finds herself fainting at one point and in danger at another but she is still there for Delilah as she tries to piece all the clues together. Each of Delilah’s staff has their own talents and interesting backstories. We continue to learn more about them in this book. Ms. Quigley’s characters are multidimensional and continue to grow as the series continues.
The setting at Bluff Point was fantastic. It had so many unique rooms, alcoves, stairways, an observation tower, and a dumb waiter. It was right on the water too with a dock and a good size boat. It was a character all on its own. The author did an excellent job describing everything. I easily visualized all the places and happenings.
The mystery was very well-plotted with a plethora of twists and turns. Edgar Clemmons had a mission when he arrived at the party and that got him killed. The fundraiser was for the library so it was apropos that some books provided some major drama and clues. I enjoyed the way Delilah and Capone worked together, not only to solve the murders but to keep everyone safe. Yes, Delilah went a little rogue a couple of times but I would have been disappointed if she hadn’t. Her A-ha moment was priceless. But it was an unexpected person that set the showdown in motion and what a showdown it was!
I love that this series is set in my home state and while Geneva Bay is fictional I have a very good idea of the city it is based on. There is even a mansion there similar to Bluff Point. Ms. Quigley draws from Wisconsin history, especially regarding the Capones, Calvin’s relatives. I find myself looking for little references that give me a warm feeling of home. I also love Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and appreciate the recipes included in the book. This time they include an Italian Beef Crostini and Delilah’s Free-from-Pizza Deep Dish Pizza recipe for those looking for vegan, or gluten-free or dairy-free pizza but not one I will be trying. I need my meat and cheese, no anchovies, please.
Public Anchovy #1 was A Perfect Escape for me. Engaging characters, a terrific mystery, and a very intriguing setting kept me entertained until the final word. I can’t wait until Ms. Quigley serves up another huge slice of the next Deep Dish Mystery.
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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.”