I love it when I find a new cozy mystery series! It’s even better when I actually end up loving the book. That is certainly the case with Penne Dreadful by Catherine Bruns. Penne Dreadful is the first book in An Italian Chef Mystery series. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC. This post contains affiliate links.
Coming July 30, 2019
The close-knit community of Harvest Park, NY, has everything Tessa Esposito needs to move on after her husband’s recent death: friends at her side, family to lean on, pizza dough to spin…and maybe a murder or two to keep her occupied.
When she learns that her husband’s death was no accident, she takes a job at Slice, the pizzeria where her husband was last seen alive. She soon discovers that anchovies aren’t the only things that stink about the family-owned business. With suspects everywhere, her husband’s many secrets may just land Tessa in hot water.
Praise for Catherine Bruns
“Penne Dreadful was an intriguing mystery with more twists than corkscrew pasta. With each new chapter came jaw dropping revelations that made this story so much more than it originally seemed.” —Lisa Ks Book Reviews
“[An] exciting page-turner with a clever mystery, outlandish family dynamics, and once again ‘Lucy and Ethel’ antics.” —Kings River Life Magazine for Burned to a Crisp
“Catherine Bruns has whipped up another delicious treat with this delightful cozy. If you like your mysteries to taste sweet, this one is a good choice.” —Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick, for Crumbled to Pieces
My review of Penne Dreadful
I’m always hesitant to pick up a book written by a new to me author especially when it comes to cozy mystery books. My first experience with reading cozy mysteries was when I started reading The Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun. So, I expected every book that labeled itself as a cozy mystery to be similar in terms of content: very little swearing, no sex…in other words, clean. I’ve not found that to be the case with all of the cozies I’ve read since. However, I’m happy to tell you that Penne Dreadful is a clean cozy mystery book. I say a book is clean if I can pass it on to my 73 year old mom, and I’ll be doing that with this one!
The book begins with Tessa Esposito cooking for her cousin Gino, who happens to be a police officer. Tessa is a recent widow. And, though they’re trying to be subtle about it, her family are taking turns checking up on her. Though it officailly Gino’s turn, he’s got a different reason to visit Tessa. The accident that killed her husband Dylan was no accident. His car was tampered with making his death a murder.
Of course, this being a cozy mystery, you know that Tessa is not going to sit idily by after finding out this shocking news. Throughout the remainder of the book, we are introduced to well-developed characters including Tessa, Gino, Gino’s sister (Tessa’s BFF cousin and cohort), Justin (Dylan’s best friend) and a multitude of others who aren’t just fluff. Penne Dreadful comes alive through the descriptive settings and exciting plot. It’s not weighed down by a bunch of needless dialog either. I love the Harvest Park, NY community where everyone seems to know everyone (and their business). The mystery in Penne Dreadful is exciting and complex. Figuring out “who-dun-it” isn’t easy! You won’t want to put this book down!
About the author
Catherine is the USA Today bestselling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and several spoiled pets. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York real estate and the Carrie Jorgenson (Aloha Lagoon) culinary mysteries. Penne Dreadful, the first book in her Italian Chef Mysteries, debuts in July 2019.