IT CANNOLI BE MURDER by Catherine Bruns
The Second Italian Chef Mystery
While Tessa Esposito is anxiously preparing to open her new restaurant, her cousin, Gabby, is worried about the survival of her bookstore. In hopes of saving her store Gabby has arranged for Preston Rigotta, a bestselling author, to come to Once Upon a Book for a book signing. Even with the surprise of an old high school nemesis being Preston's publicist and the fact that Preston turns out to be an overbearing jerk and his wife a snooty would be celebrity chef, the evening seems to be a success.The books are selling like hotcakes and everyone is devouring Tessa's cannoli. Unfortunately, the evening ends on a sour note when Daphne, the publicist, pushes Gabby too far. As bad as the evening ends, things get worse in the morning when Tessa discovers Daphne's dead body in the bookstore. With Tessa and Gabby as top suspects, Tessa realizes she's about to be involved in a murder investigation...again.
Dreams are in danger of being crushed while despicable characters rise up in the second Italian Chef Mystery. The "bestselling author" and his "better than you" wife are sadly realistic. And Daphne is the perfect victim we love to hate. The juxtaposition of Tessa realizing her dream of opening her own restaurant with Gabby's fear of losing her dream bookstore is poignant. And the fact that both could lose their dreams due to an old high school enemy is so frustrating.
I really enjoy the realistic touches in the book. From the problems that arise when starting a business to the fact that Gino and Lou can't investigate the murder, to the vivid characterizations presented, all combine to make the book more real and thus have readers more invested. I also like the fact that Tessa is not ready for romance, but two admirers are standing in the wings.
Catherine Bruns delivers another delectable page-turner in IT CANNOLI BE MURDER. I wouldn't say no to some cannoli while I wait for my reservation to Anything's Pastable and wonder what's in store for Tessa.