OF MASQUES AND MURDER by Maureen Klovers
The Fourth Rita Calabrese Culinary Mystery
With Lent fast approaching Rita Calabrese has begrudgingly agreed to give up meddling, or in her words, problem solving, instead of her usual fioretto, chocolate. Before she can finish wrapping her mind around that promise her sister says she's being blackmailed and needs Rita's help to find out who's behind it. When the search for a blackmailer turns into murder, Rita has no choice but to use her problem solving skills. Hopefully, the killer won't find her before Father De La Pasqua can grant her absolution!
OF MASQUES AND MURDER is a complex, multilayered mystery. While I had a few "A ha!" moments regarding means, I was never certain whose motive drove them to actually kill. It's more than the mystery that makes this book a standout. The wonderful characters who inhabit and visit Acorn Hollow are what make OF MASQUES AND MURDER so special. From the mysterious Widow Schmalzgruben to the newspaper editor Sam, each of these people, and others, bring a unique spirit and effervescence to the story. I absolutely love Rita Calabrese. This indomitable Italian matriarch has determination, grit, and a zest for life. She may meddle, or problem solve, but she attempts to fix things from a position of love.
In addition to delightful characters and delectable food, the fourth Rita Calabreses Culinary Mystery is filled with humor. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions, especially as Rita tried to worm her way out of her Lenten vow. I was giggling at the eye rolling from Gina, as well as her mother, Rita's non meddling attempts at matchmaking, and the antics of Calvino.
Like a good braciole, OF MASQUES AND MURDER is a sumptuous mystery bathed in humor and wrapped in the love of a slightly nutty family.