Sunday, June 2, 2013

You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa

book cover
You Cannoli Die Once
by Shelley Costa

ISBN-13: 9781476709352
Mass Market Paperback:
336 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
Released: May 28, 2013

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
At Miracolo Northern Italian restaurant, one can savor brilliantly seasoned veal saltimbocca, or luscious risotto alla milanese, but no cannoli. Maria Pia Angelotta, the spirited seventy-six-year-old owner of the Philadelphia-area eatery, has butted heads with her granddaughter, the head chef, over the cannoli ban more than once.

Fortunately, Eve Angelotta knows how to handle what her nonna dishes out. But when Maria Pia’s boyfriend is found dead in Miracolo’s kitchen, bludgeoned by a marble mortar, the question arises: Is her nonna capable of murder?

The police seem to think so, and they put the elder Angelotta behind bars. Eve, the entire Miracolo family, and sexy neighborhood attorney Joe Beck try every trick in the cookbook to unravel a tangle of lies and expose a killer.

My Review:
You Cannoli Die Once is a cozy mystery. The characters had unique, unusual personalities without being strange. Their reactions to various events were believable but humorous, and the story was very funny.

I liked that the characters were comfortable with people different than them. Eve and her grandmother didn't always get along, but Eve's level of revenge was to cook cannoli. One of the employees got snotty and left for a singing gig elsewhere, but Eve's group forgave the offense and welcomed her back later. Things like that. I liked them.

Eve's sleuthing mainly involved talking with people and noticing what they're up to. When she broke the law, she was in realistic danger of being punished by the law which added to the tension. But the jail was described unrealistically: people brought personal clothing, etc., to the person arrested for murder to use in jail and chatted with her through the bars while the police officer snoozed nearby.

The mystery was a clue-based puzzle, and whodunit was guessable. One part was fairly easy to guess (and Eve also caught on pretty quickly). The other part was less so. I didn't correctly guess the murderer, but it made sense.

There were no sex scenes. There was some explicit bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable, humorous mystery.

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.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.


Carole said...

What a clever title! Cheers

Debbie said...


I agree. Sometimes it's a lovely cover or intriguing book description, and sometimes it's the title that catches my attention and urges me to give the book a chance. :)