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Murder and Marinara: An Italian Kitchen Mystery

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted September 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Dollycas's Thoughts Rosie Genova writes what she knows, she is

    Dollycas's Thoughts
    Rosie Genova writes what she knows, she is a Jersey Girl, an author, and she loves good food! Wonder if these characters are based on her family…

    Victoria did the unexpected when she left the family business behind, moved to New York and became a very successful mystery author. Now she is back to do a little research to write a non-fiction book about her heritage but she is barely unpacked before she is wrapped up in a murder investigation. Everyone thinks because she writes mysteries she can solve this one. The man died in her family’s restaurant so she feels obligated to do what she can but putting herself in danger was never on the menu.

    Victoria is a strong protagonist and with her sister-in-law (SIL) as her sidekick what could go wrong….

    The entire family dynamic is what makes me love this story. Her Nonna is quite a woman and she is not letting Victoria off easy when she returns. Victoria wants to learn to cook the family recipes and she finds herself planting tomatoes and working as a waitress. Her parents are involved with the restaurant but leave all the decisions to Nonna. Victoria’s brother, Danny, does not work at the restaurant either, but he is a police officer and Nonna finds that a reputable profession unlike that of being an author. I think she hates her family being separated more than anything.

    In addition to the family there is sous chef Tim who just happens to be Victoria’s old boyfriend and is an honorary family member. Victoria thinks her Nonna loves him more than her own grandchildren. :) And there is Cal, a carpenter doing work at Casa Lido. He is not from Jersey and he is very secretive about his past but there is nothing secret about his feelings for Victoria.

    Genova takes this characters and places them on the beautiful Jersey shore and stirs them all together in a very tasty story. The mystery is complex and keeps the reader engaged with each twist and turn. But I can’t forget the food. I swear I could smell the marinara sauce emanating from the pages and I was so hungry by the time I finished. Thankfully she includes recipes!

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    A good mystery with engaging characters. I really wanted the sol

    A good mystery with engaging characters.
    I really wanted the solution to be found and have the restaurant in the clear.
    Grandmother is a classic Italian Nonna. If you've known one, you will recognize her right away.
    The shore scene is clearly pictured. I could almost smell the salt water.
    And I'd really like to eat some of that marvelous food.

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Come back to the boardwalk and the Jersey Shore before Hurricane

    Come back to the boardwalk and the Jersey Shore before Hurricane Sandy struck. Rosie Genova has captured the fun and food with a turn around on the popular Jersey Shore TV show. Her heroine, Victoria, is even a mystery book writer with a cleaver Italian Inspector for her hero. But when Victoria leaves New York to settle into the loving arms of her family who own the Casa Lido Restaurant so she can write a novel about her family history, everything explodes worse that a boiling tomato sauce on the stove! 




    One of the not so nice producers of the Jersey TV show demands lunch even though the restaurant is closed. Unfortunately for him and for the restaurant's reputation, he ends up dead in their back yard immediately after lunch. Victoria's Nonna's heavy hand of authority sends Victoria and her sister-in-law on the trail of all the would be suspects. But Victoria's police officer brother tries to keep them in the kitchen and away from sleuthing. Can the murderer be found before bad press closes down their long time family restaurant?




    I'm now hooked on this Italian fun in the sun foodie mystery. Rosie Genova brings into her stories creative intrigue that boarders on real places and people, with descriptive atmosphere that took me right to the Jersey shores! The relationships between the family members is so real, and the dialogue feels just like a family gathering. The mystery was cleaver and kept me delving for solutions till the final pages. Pre-ordering the next book immediately!

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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    I believe I may have found the perfect modern cozy mystery! When

    I believe I may have found the perfect modern cozy mystery! When I think of mysteries, I think of the way they used to be prior to gore and other garbage, I think of stories just like this one. Rosie Genova has added everything into this story to make is enchanting and extremely smart. There is some romance, incredible mystery, and a delicious humor. From the opening page of the book, I was hooked. I found very little that bothered me within the book. There is some profanity, but it didn't really bother me. I am so grateful there were no bedroom scenes!

    Each one of the characters in this book is developed well, but Victoria was my favorite (I'm not even sure why). The author has set the scene in an expert fashion, and her logic comes across in an amazing way. I never found myself lost, bored, or horrified. I halfway figured out "who done it" (My ego is always bolstered when I do this!), but I have to admit that I wasn't certain I was correct as I devoured the pages of the story!

    I look forward to the next installment of this book. Victoria has quickly become a favorite character of mine. In some ways, she reminds me of "Jessica Fletcher" ("Murder She Wrote"), but this character still has a fresh, modern outlook that keeps her from being mundane. If you delight in mysteries, this book should migrate to the top of your list!

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Quick read cozy for those who dont mind a food column

    As part of the story. It does add color and I do read them but warning the receipes had best be checked with a good standard cook book. If they mention special brands dont bother. Heat and other foods can change $brands to no name generic . Personal choice as cupcakes cookies and ice cream mystery combos and an awful chocolate one has made me leery of this mystery genre mix. Several now have their own cookbook out and one is venice foid. Mom
    i

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    Victoria Rienzi thinks she's taking a break from writing mystery

    Victoria Rienzi thinks she's taking a break from writing mystery novels and returning home to write the novel of her heart. In reality, she's returning to her heart--the family she adores that drives her crazy, and the childhood sweetheart she's never quite forgotten. But when a TV producer her family was at odds with dies at her family's restaurant, even the childhood sweetheart is a suspect. I adored the cast of characters, and may have a special place in my heart for Victoria's Nonna. Either that or I'm simply afraid of her!

    Beautifully written and fast-paced. Kept me guessing, incorrectly, until the end. Well played, Ms. Genova! You try to figure out who done it. I dare you!

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  • Posted October 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Rosie Genova brings readers the first book in her new Italian Ki

    Rosie Genova brings readers the first book in her new Italian Kitchen Mystery series, Murder and Marinara. This book is full of big Italian family charm and the sites and smells of the Jersey Shore. Genova, a Jersey girl herself, gives readers insight into how a family restaurant works, as well as, an amateur sleuths perception of murder. Readers will love the eccentric characters and the Italian flavor of this mystery. Genova's knack for setting and place is exceptional. With everything from old boyfriends to reality TV, this book entertains from the first page to the last!

    Who doesn't love a big Italian family with it all it's quirks and eccentricities? Rosie Genova's idea of the perfect Italian restaurant incorporates all of the stories and nuances that readers have come to know about Italian families. They are very passionate people, with big appetites and even bigger hearts. Casa Lido is an Italian family owned restaurant that is the epitome of home style cooking and love for food. Genova charms readers from the first glimpse of this restaurant and it's owners. . All characters that the readers won't be able to get enough of. 

    Vicki is what one might consider a black sheep in her big, bustling Italian family. She didn't stay and help run the restaurant. She moved off to New York to follow her dream of becoming an author. She made good on those dreams.  I liked the fact that though she may have run away from some things in her past, she was following her dreams.  I think readers will connect with Victoria's struggles and with her loving family. She is a great character, made all the better, by a great supporting cast.

    Victoria's relationship with her sister in law Sophie was a highlight in this book. The two of them make a fantastic team. I also liked the fact that Genova did not make the relationship dependent on how things were going with Sophie and Danny, Victoria's brother.  Nonna is also a very formidable secondary character. The strict Italian grandmother whose expectations were high, but her praise even higher.  I loved this big, happy family, as well as other supporting cast members like, Tim, the ex-boyfriend and the new carpenter. 

    The mystery itself had an interesting theme. Many of us have had the fortune or misfortune of watching reality tv. There are even some reality television shows with a similar setting to our novel. So it was not a hard sell for Genova to have this kind of show moving into the Oceanside area. I liked the fact that the residents were protesting the filming and that the authors choice of victim for this mystery. Everything seemed very fitting and very believable. I liked how the author was able to make the reader care about how the area was going to be portrayed and what it would mean to the community. There were plenty of suspects and most of them have good motive and opportunity. I was stumped until about the last five chapters and then had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen. That was certainly not too early on and felt satisfying. Genova pulled off the theme very well and the mystery was well written and planned out.

    But the star of the show in this book was easily the time and place. The setting was perfect. Genova's descriptions of the Jersey Shore, pre-super storm Sandy were enchanting and enjoyable to read. The sun and the sea and scrumptious Italian food were so well represented here, it is not beyond the scope to think that this book will entice readers to visit the area. 

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  • Posted October 8, 2013

    an intriguing mystery with authentic Italian flair Murder and

    an intriguing mystery with authentic Italian flair

    Murder and Marinara by Rosie Genova
    The First Italian Kitchen Mystery

    Did you ever want to do something different? Spread your wings a bit and do the unexpected? That’s what Victoria Rienzi wants to do in Murder and Marinara by Rosie Genova. Although she’s a successful mystery writer, Vic wants to write her dream story, a historical novel based on her family history.

    She leaves New York City and heads home to the Jersey Shore and her family’s Italian restaurant, The Casa Lido. Instead of quiet writing time and family research, she discovers her former boyfriend is the new sous chef and her family is in the middle of a protest against a rowdy reality show and its slimy producer. When said producer winds up dead in the restaurant’s garden after eating a Casa Lido meal Vic finds herself in the middle of a real life murder mystery.

    Rosie Genova has crafted an intriguing mystery with authentic Italian flair. Murder and Marinara transported me to the Jersey Shore. I could smell the cotton candy and feel the beach breeze even though I’ve never physically been to New Jersey. Victoria, Vic Rienzi is not only likable, but believable. In fact, all of the main characters have a depth to them, making them more real.

    Rosie Genova delivers an enjoyable mystery filled with authentic characters. I see the possibilities within them and I look forward to watching them grow in future books. Although this particular mystery ended I want to come back to the Jersey Shore to see what else will develop. Plus, although Nonna is quite formidable, I’d love to learn some of her recipes!

    Recipes are included in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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