Six months after her husband's death, Tessa Esposito is hoping to drum up reservations for her restaurant's grand opening. And since a signing with bestselling author, Preston Rigotta, is sure to draw a crowd, Tessa agrees to cater her cousin's bookstore event--whipping up some of her famous Italian desserts. But the event soon takes a sour turn when Preston's publicist, an old high school rival, arrives and begins to whisk up their old grudges.
That night, a fight breaks out in front of the crowd, and it becomes clear there's bad blood in Harvest Park. And when the publicist is found dead on the bookstore floor the next morning, a stray cannolo at her side, Tessa knows who will be framed as the prime suspect.
To clear both her cousin's and her own name, Tessa must investigate the murder. But Preston's publicist has many secrets to hide, and in the end, the truth is bittersweet...
The second book in the Italian Chef Cozy Mystery series! (Summary via Goodreads)
If you read the first book in the Italian Chef Mystery series, Penne Dreadful, by Catherine Bruns you were introduced to a very intense and slightly abnormal cozy mystery......the murder of main character Tessa Esposito's husband Dylan had already happened and she was trying to move forward with her life until she found out it wasn't an accident. That was most likely the first cozy mystery that you read where you weren't a "witness" to the crime and you were dealing with the after effects. And I'm sure you will agree that it was a nail biting, on the edge of your seat story. Well welcome back !!! It Cannoli Be Murder is the second book in this series and you will again be on the edge of your seat, turning the pages as fast as your eyes can read the words and your fingers can turn the pages.
Tessa is working on the final preparations for opening up her restaurant, Anything Pastable, which she is over the moon excited about. And while she is getting ready her cousin, Gabby is hosting a book signing for a popular local author at her book store, Once Upon a Book and Tessa is making the desserts for the event. During the event they run into Gabby's bully during high school, Daphne, who is working as the author's publicist. They also meet the author's mean wife and quiet daughter.
The morning after the book signing Tessa realizes she left her cell phone at the bookstore but when she gets to the bookstore not only does she find her phone but there are cannoli's on the floor and they are not the ones that she made....she follows the dropped cannoli's into the store and finds Daphne's body by the mystery section !!!
The list of suspects is long and sadly Tessa and Gabby are on the top of the list. And to make matters worse, neither Gino, Gabby's brother or Lou, Gabby's boyfriend, both of which are on the police force can do anything involved with the case as it would be a conflict of interest. Of course Tessa and Gabby are not going to sit around while their reputations and businesses are ruined. They decide to look into things themselves. Unfortunately someone does not want them to figure things out......
I am a huge fan of Catherine Bruns and her books....her Cookies & Chance Mystery series is my favorite and it's starting to look like the Italian Chef Mystery series is going to be my second. I picked up It Cannoli Be Murder in the morning and was finished with it by 3 in the afternoon. And I will say this....I was in complete shock when the case was solved and I also had a hard time reading the last chapter through my tears......Bruns knows how to grab at your emotions and have you invested in the story and the people. By the time you get to the end of one of her books, you feel like a part of the family, the community and you feel everything !!! That to me is an amazing talent and I am glad to be a part of the experience !!!!
Review by Missi M.