Verdict: 5 Stars
As far as the genre known as “cozy mysteries” goes–dead guy, yes, psychopathic serial killer, no–there are a host of authors out there crafting really fun story lines and developing settings and characters that speak to a broad audience of whodunnit fans. These books typically run in a series so that fans can get a real feel for the backstory involved in the plot, and because fans of these titles enjoy finding out new aspects to their beloved characters’ lives.
Shelley Costa, author of the brilliant You Cannoli Die Once (Pocket Books, 2013) has done it again with the next book in the Miracolo series, Basil Instinct. This title once again follows Eve Angelotta, head chef of her family’s four-generation Italian restaurant, along with her cousin sidekicks, as they have to sort out a mystery while whipping up a to-die-for eggplant parmesan.
In Cannoli, Eve’s grandmother, Maria Pia, was accused of murdering her octogenarian boyfriend with the kitchen mortar and it was up to them to clear her good name. Now, Maria Pia has been invited to join a secret society of great female culinary experts, one that has a seedy reputation for its almost Mafia-like intensity where cooking is concerned.
Murder and antics ensue for Eve, Landon, and the rest of the familiar cast of characters, but what really will grab readers’ attention is Costa’s undeniable comedic style. These may not be people you know, but you will certainly wish your circle of friends was this colorful and amusing. Family dynamics, relationships, love interests, and murder combine artfully in this cooking-themed series, and…never mind, I’ll spare you the recipe analogy.
Basil Instinct will be available on May 27th.