A Guest Post by Rosie Genova
So often when friends and family read an author’s books—particularly one written in the first person—they make the assumption that the author and the narrator/main character are one and the same. When my mom read my first book, an unpublished romantic comedy, she learned that the main character’s dad had died, and that the young woman’s mother was dating a man who owned several car dealerships. As she was reading, she turned to my father with a satisfied air and said: “Hah! She’s killed you and given me a rich boyfriend.”
Um, no, Mom. That’s not how it works.
In interviews though, I am often asked how much of my own experience informs that of my main character, Victoria Rienzi. Like Victoria, I worked in Italian restaurants. I appreciate good food. I love the Jersey shore, listen to Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra, and share her terror of boardwalk rides. But that’s about it. Here’s where my amateur sleuth and I part ways:
· I do not, under any circumstances, chase down murderers. That’s why God gave us 911.
· I am a bit—okay, quite a bit—older than Victoria.
· My father does not have a gambling problem and my mother does not have big hair. At least not now.
· I do not, alas, have two hunky guys vying for my attention. Those days are long gone, gentle readers.
· Her jokes, her real estate (a seaside cottage) and her legs are all much better than my own.
When I’m in the process of writing, however, in some ways, I become my narrator. I live inside her head, think her thoughts and feel her feelings. I get afraid when a suspect is on to her. I’m triumphant when she works out a piece of the mystery. And yes, I get a little vicarious thrill when those cute guys are fighting over me…I mean her.
But after I hit “save” and shut down that computer, the spell is broken. It’s something of a relief to go back to being Rosie, whose only puzzle to solve is the crossword and whose biggest mystery is that ever burning question: What am I going to make for dinner?
A Dish Best Served Cold by Rosie Genova
The Third Italian Kitchen Mystery
A storm is brewing on the Jersey Shore and soon Vic Rienzi finds herself
in its midst. An old family friend, who also happens to be a dissolute,
unwanted semi-nuisance, tells Vic he has stories to tell for her
mysteries, but before he is able to tell anything he is found dead. Is
he simply a victim of the hurricane, or a victim of someone who needed
his silence? While most people believe his death was merely an accident,
Vic and her sister in law start following a lead Stinky Pete gave; the
name of Vic's great uncle. Vic and SIL soon uncover a family history
with mob connections...connections that might still be alive with a
desire to remain undetected.
Everyone has secrets. What lengths would you go to to protect yours? Secrets, and the protection thereof, are at the heart of A Dish Best Served Cold. Secrets come in all types, from family secrets to secrets kept from a prospective romantic partner, and more. In this book we are also are witness to the very protective nature of family; keeping secrets to save face and the family's good name and/or attacking those who threaten to expose the secrets of those you love. And secrets can also be a motive for murder, but which ones?
Rosie Genova has delivered another delicious addition to her Italian Kitchen mystery series. I'm once again transported to the Jersey Shore where I can feel the salt breeze on my skin and smell the oregano and simmering sauces emanating from Casa Lido. Genova captures the essence of family, the good and the bad, and combines it with a complex mystery. Genova deftly melds a great ensemble cast of fully developed characters with humor in a fully realized locale and creates a fun, cozy read. Despite a hurricane and murder, I want to spend time with Vic and enjoy Nonna's Bolognese!
Italian Recipes Included
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