Friday, September 5, 2014

Your Italian Restaurant - Guest Post & Giveaway

“Your Italian Restaurant”
By Rosie Genova

My series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is set in a fictional Jersey shore town, specifically in a family-owned restaurant called the Casa Lido (“beach house” in Italian). The restaurant has a history that dates back to the 1940s, and has been in Victoria’s family for 70 years. It’s a small, red-checked-tablecloth-and-chianti kind of place to which faithful customers come back season after season. There’s an antique bar (but no television, as dictated by Victoria’s formidable grandmother) and an outdoor garden that provides vegetables and herbs for the restaurant’s dishes. It’s the kind of place that feels like home. In fact, the cover of my first book, Murder and Marinara, beautifully captures the restaurant as I have imagined it.

The Casa Lido was inspired by the kind of local family place that Billy Joel once dubbed “your Italian restaurant.” In my family, our Italian restaurant is called Lorenzo’s. It’s a bring-your-own, homey kind of place with huge portions, friendly servers, and a loyal customer base. As my sons are fond of reminding me, we go to Lorenzo’s for just about every family milestone—births, deaths, graduations, birthdays, engagements, and just about everything in between. We know the waitresses by name, but they don’t have to know ours, as everyone is either “hon” or “baby”!

As a college student, I worked in another such restaurant in my home town: an iconic place called Ange and Min’s. I fondly remember sitting down to so-called “family meals” for the staff, in which we were served family style and occasionally got to taste the specials. Many of these experiences inform the world of the Casa Lido, particularly in the hustle and bustle of busy weekend nights, the attention to culinary detail, and most importantly, the family atmosphere in which customers are made to feel like one of the gang.

I’ve tried to recreate “your Italian restaurant” with the Casa Lido, and if you decide to visit, you’ll get a warm welcome and a great meal (and perhaps solve a murder along the way!)



The Wedding Soup Murder by Rosie Genova
The Second Italian Kitchen Mystery

Victoria Rienzi is still on the Jersey Shore learning the family's restaurant business as research for her new book. Unfortunately, Vic's research feels more like punishment as her Nonna has her forming a thousand tiny meatballs, or polpetti, for the Italian Wedding Soup the restaurant is making for a special wedding. In addition, she has to go on site to help prepare the soup and special cookies for the reception with her ex boyfriend, Tim, the sous chef. Add some volatile chefs and staff at the fancy country club and we have a recipe for murder!

This second book in the Italian Kitchen Mystery series explores secrets. Multiple secrets are revealed to us as the book progresses; some good, some a possible reason for murder. Does what lies in the past determine what happens now? Do secrets, whether long hidden or recent, make things better or worse?

I'm happy to be back on the boardwalk. In addition to a solid mystery, Rosie Genova has given us another fun look into the Rienzi family and their relationships with each other as well as their restaurant, the Casa Lido. I'm curious as to what will develop between Vic and Cal, as well as between Vic and Tim. And I love seeing penance as 100,000 polpetti!

Italian Recipes included.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congrats, Rosie!

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  2. Oooh, would love to read this. rlepree(at)musfiber(dot)com

  3. Definitely have to add this to my TBR pile!

  4. I love how you imagine Casa Lido. For my family, even though the restaurant is much newer than the Rienzis', that restaurant is Esposito's in Cedar Grove, NJ. Growing up in a very Italian community, Espo's was a sort of common bond for everyone. It's the place that made the pizza for school "pizza lunches," the place that you ordered from at your friend's house on Fridays, the place you went to celebrate not only birthdays and graduations but also chorus concerts and the first days of school, and the last place people ate before returning to college. I can see why Casa Lido beckons Vic home if it's like Espo's.

    Rosie, love your books. I can't wait for #3 already!!

  5. I love the description of Casa Lido it sounds like a place that I would love to go to.

  6. Thank you Kathy & Rose for the introduction and review of this book. I haven't read #1 in this series...I best be getting busy. Thanks for a chance to win.
    Sandy in So. Cali

    1. Yes, Sandy, you'd best get to reading Murder and Marinara!

  7. I've not read this series yet but would love to.
    Becky Prazak

  8. This is a new series for me, sounds good

  9. a must-read for me!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

  10. Sounds like a good new series.

    dotkel50 at comcast dot net

  11. I love Italian Wedding Soup so I'll have to read this book.

    1. I love Italian Wedding Soup too, but I'd hate to have to make it myself!

  12. Thank you for the chance to win this awesome prize package!