chef Nell Valenti has moved to Tuscany to help establish a
cooking school in an aging villa. Things start to go wrong
almost right away and problems escalate after a filmmaker
sent to showcase the school is murdered. Even worse—he
is Nell’s ex-boyfriend! Nell decides to find out who
the killer is to save her own future.
It was nice to read a mystery set in Italy. I don’t
think there are many of them in the cozy mystery genre. The
author described the setting and the people in detail and
really set the tone quite well.
To be honest, the book just didn’t suit my tastes. I
can’t put my finger on one particular reason, but there
were a lot of Italian phrases used without translation and
that was bothersome. The murder didn’t grab my attention
because I didn’t care enough about any of the characters
involved. Other than being set in Italy I couldn’t find
anything unique to the story either.
The author has written as Shelley Costa and appears to have
been quite successful having been nominated for both Edgar
and Agatha awards. Perhaps she just has to find her rhythm
and footing in this new series.
I never give up on a series if I don’t like one book,
particularly when it is the first in a new series. I’d
like to see many cozy readers try it, and I’d love for
the author to surprise me with a stupendous second book in