Death Al Dente
by Leslie Budewitz
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: August 6, 2013
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Murphy’s Mercantile, known as the Merc, has been a staple in Jewel Bay for over a hundred years. To celebrate their recent makeover as a gourmet food market, Erin has organized a town festival, Festa di Pasta, featuring the culinary goods of Jewel Bay’s finest—including her mother Fresca’s delicious Italian specialties.
But Erin’s sweet success is soured when the shop’s former manager, Claudette, is found dead behind the Merc on the Festa’s opening night. With rival chef James Angelo stirring up rumors that Fresca’s sauce recipes were stolen from Claudette, Erin’s mother is under close scrutiny. Now Erin will have to hunt down some new suspects, or both her family and her store might wind up in hot water...
Death Al Dente is a cozy mystery. Erin was generally a nice person, and the characters had realistic reactions to the various situations. However, Erin wasn't very clever.
We had obvious clues about who wanted to buy what shop, but she was blinded by her assumptions. She didn't connect those clues together until she was practically told what was going on in plain language. I also was certain about whodunit before I'd read halfway through the book. Since no one claimed that Erin was clever, I was okay with her not catching on to things quickly.
Erin's vision for the store and the details about running it were interesting. Readers who like romance will enjoy the two hunky guys who are interested in Erin, one of whom provides a vital clue to the mystery. I liked that the detective was a female and an old friend of Erin's, but one who had mysteriously stopped being her friend.
There was a very minor amount of explicit bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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