Andrea “Andy” Buckland has come home. After nearly poisoning a live audience on what was supposed to be her big break as a tv chef, she’s returned to her hometown and to the family restaurant, Bowtie Angel. As she tries to sort out her life and come to terms with her ex-boyfriend now engaged with her mortal enemy, she stumbles upon the dead body of tv chef, Chef Zoltan Farnsworth. Chef Zoltan waa unfortunately one of those that she nearly poisoned in Atlanta and it looks like the police are seeing Andy as a “person of interest”. In order to clear her name Andy starts to investigate with the help of sexy newcomer, Malcolm Jones, half-brother to her enemy, Lizzie.
I’ve read two of Jennifer Hart’s other books (Skeletons in the Closet and Final Notice) and have enjoyed her combination of mystery, humor and romance immensely. In her newest novel, she shows why she is one of the best new cozy mystery authors. She introduces readers to the Buckland family, an Italian family that loves to cook pasta so much that they run a Italian restaurant. This family puts the “fun” in dysfunctional and they are a laugh a minute. I particularly loved Andy’s Great Aunt Cecily, whose answer to everything is “we make the pasta”! Add in a murder to the mix and the result will be a cozy mystery that you will be remembering fondly long after you turn the last page.
As with most cozy mysteries there is a subtle romantic element. In between solving the murder, Andy has her hands full with the sexy Malcolm Jones, a photographer with a interesting history and complete with a sexy New Zealander accent. The only catch is Malcolm is the half-brother of Lizzy, who Andy has been in not-so-friendly competition since their school days together.
Murder Al Dente was a fabulous debut in this new series. It hit all the right notes with me, and the pasta recipes are “to die for”. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen and see if I can “make the pasta just like Great Aunt Cecily and Andy! If you’re looking for a new series to read this summer, I highly recommend this one. Murder Al Dente was a delectable mystery and I can’t wait to return to another adventure with the Bucklands to see what they are up to next.
Check out Jennifer L Hart's books on Amazon.