BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bea Reviews Basil Instinct by Shelley Costa

Publisher: Pocket Books Mystery
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
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

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.

Bea's Thoughts:

 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

16 comments:

  1. It can be trying when characters take actions that don't make sense. Sorry to hear it didn't pan out for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was quite trying at times. Oh well.

      Delete
  2. That's too bad this mystery doesn't hold up too well. I don't like endings which seem to come out of nowhere. Makes for a frustrating read. The Trouble with Harry was funny, but when done too long in a book could be irritating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it would have worked better if the author hadn't drawn it out. And that ending, gah.

      Delete
  3. I must start this series. Clever titles and covers that make me drool...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think I'll pass on this series. I like the food element and the humor but the convoluted story and the stupid actions by the characters don't appeal to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I don't think you'd enjoy them.

      Delete
  5. Okay a secret society revolving around food? That's interesting- and I like the title of this one too. Too bad it didn't I don't like it when characters are frustrating like that. There are so many cozy choices out there If the charatcers are not doing smart things I have a hard time putting up with it, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The secret society had potential and I kind of liked it but the way the author handled it was disappointing. There are better cozies out there.

      Delete
  6. First glance I thought this was a recipe book! That bowl of pasta looks delish too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL no, Jax reviews the cookbooks on here. :D The cover is appetizing, isn't it?

      Delete
  7. I enjoy humorous mysteries, but it sounds like there were just too many other problems in this book, from situations that strained your credulity to plotting, pacing, and continuity issues. Too bad! But thanks for the heads-up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did have a lot of issues and they overwhelmed the story.

      Delete
  8. It's too bad about the story, because I love the cover and would have probably grabbed it based on it. Phooey. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cover is a real eye-grabber. I was disappointed the book didn't love up to it or to the title.

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let's talk!