Series: Italian Restaurant Mystery #2
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Challenges: Cruisin' Through the Cozies | Finishing the Series
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Blurb from goodreads:
In this second cozy mystery series that started with You Cannoli Die Once, a chef and her cousins launch their own investigation when a new sous chef turns up dead in their Italian restaurant.
When Chef Eve Angelotta’s grandmother, Maria Pia, is invited to join Belfiere, a secret all-female Italian culinary society, Eve is concerned. Rumor has it that membership is lifelong—whether you like it or not. Eve and her cousin Landon try to research Belfiere, but all they come up with is a two-year-old blog entry warning against the two-hundred-year-old society that centers around meals inspired by famous female poisoners.
Soon after, Eve’s new sous chef turns up dead just inside the front door of Miracolo, Eve’s restaurant. When they discover the sous chef had connections to Belfiere, Eve and her Italian cousins start a mission to find out what happened—before Maria Pia is made an offer she can’t refuse.
Have you ever seen the movie, "The Trouble with Harry"? The first, oh, third or so of the book reminded me of the movie. Honestly, it was a little too drawn out and could have been trimmed but it was such a comedy of errors that I was laughing. All I'll say is it involves a dead body and antics worthy of the Three Stooges. However, it did stretch credulity to taffy proportions.
The characters are better established in this story but their actions at times were stupid and required suspension of disbelief, especially Eve and her cousin Landon's. I didn't understand their reaction to Belfiere, it seemed an extreme overreaction. Costa played sneaky, portraying it one way then turning around and revealing facts so it was shown in a different light. Instead of being revelatory it came across more as a bait and switch.
The mystery was a little less convoluted than in the first book but still overly twisty and the final reveal seemed to come out of nowhere. I figured out one of the mysteries but not the others; that may have been due in part to the bait and switch near the end with the killer's identity. Parts of the story were slow and I dozed off a couple of times while reading.
While I like the humor in these books and some of the characters are interesting, the plotting and credibility issues mean I won't read book three if there is one.
My review of book 1, You Cannoli Die Once