Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review - You Cannoli Die Once


You Cannoli Die Once

By: Shelley Costa
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: May 2013
ISBN: 978-1476709352
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: March 28, 2013

Eve Angelotta had enough on her mind that afternoon. Not only was she the head chef at the family owned/operated Italian restaurant Miracolo, trying to plan the evening’s specials, but she also had to deal with all the quirky personalities that frequented the place, from Dana, the singer who, honestly, couldn’t carry a tune, to Maria Pia, Eve’s extremely strong-willed, opinionated, lovable but incredibly annoying, grandmother. The last thing Eve needed was to stumble upon a murder victim in her beloved restaurant’s kitchen. Who the heck was it?

To be fair, not even Sherlock Holmes would have guessed who was lying on the floor since the old man’s head was pretty bashed in. And just why was the body sprawled out on top of one of the restaurant’s Enrico Caruso records? Fortunately, it didn’t take police long to identify the victim…unfortunately, the victim was Arlen Mather, Maria Pia’s beau. Quicker than Eve could whip up a scrumptious veal saltimbocca, Maria Pia was hauled off to jail. Would Eve and her cohorts be able to solve the mystery, spring “Nonna” from jail, and return to the good life of making fabulous Italian cuisine at Miracolo?

The first book in author Shelley Costa’s new cozy mystery series set in and around Miracolo, an Italian restaurant in a small town near Philadelphia, is a hoot. I admit to initially being attracted to this book by the title – could the story be just as enticing? Yes! Within a few pages, I knew I was in for a good read. The characters are interesting and funny, the plot engaging, and the mystery has enough twists and turns – are the rash of robberies related to the murder? - to keep you guessing. There’s also a little hint of romance lurking (will it be hunky dumpster-diving lawyer Joe Beck or Marlboro Man Mark Metcalf?), that promises to go from slightly warm to sizzle as the series progresses.

Quill says: A fantastic start to a brand new cozy series. I’m hooked and eagerly looking forward to the next dish Eve Angelotta will be serving in her restaurant.