Friday, September 15, 2017


Publisher:     Berkley
Published:     September 2, 2014
ISBN:        978-0451415158
Genre:      Cozy Mystery
Format:     Print  
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina



Victoria (“Vic”) Renzi returned to the Jersey Shore and her family restaurant, Café Lido, to learn the fine art of cooking good—really good—Italian food. A few months ago she ended up in the middle of a murder investigation after which she said “Never again.”  And while she hasn’t been allowed to actually cook anything, she is front and center for learning all she can about the business.  That includes helping prepare, deliver and serve Café Lido’s famed Wedding Soup to a family friends’ wedding.  Chef egos being what they are, it doesn’t take long for several of them to mix it up—and not in the sense of mixing cooking ingredients.   In the middle of all this Vic overhears an argument…well several…between the club president and several members of the wedding party, guests and chefs.  The next morning word reaches the Renzi family that said club president has been found dead—murdered.  Despite her determination to stay out of it Vic is drawn into investigating who killed club president Elizabeth Merriman.  Drawn into finding the killer Vic uncovers unknown family ties, and not just in her own family.  As those threads unwind Vic soon finds herself face-to-face with the killer.  Can she keep him…or her…from killing again?

 At first I had a little problem being drawn into the story.  Since I don’t cook the cooking aspect was interesting, but not absorbing.  The unresolved relationship between Vic and her ex-boyfriend, Tim, came up a little too often and didn’t add to the mystery.  The lead in to what will be the ever present and so not enjoyed love triangle, took up some pages that didn’t really add to the story but probably helped the word count. 

However, once Vic started digging into who killed Elizabeth the story took off.  Genova intertwines threads of Vic’s family, Elizabeth’s past and her own characters from her own mystery series, into the story.  Each individual story stands on its own but woven together makes for a really good read.

I appreciated how Genova told the killer’s story—not that it was justified, but the history behind it.  She didn’t just deal with a prior death brought about by a debilitating illness, but how that death affected another family.  And not just the emotions, but how that disability caused the same illness in other family members.  The ending is emotional and was truly well done.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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