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  • A wonderful tale of mystery.

    Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews by Kim Welcome back to Oceanside Park, New Jersey. Summer is almost over and the Rienzi family is preparing to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the family restaurant, Casa Lido. With such a big milestone, Nonna Rienzi refuses to cancel the celebration for a little thing called a hurricane. She’s adamant the storm will pass because she says so. Nonna who rules her family with an iron fist has a soft spot for town drunk, “Stinky” Pete Petrocelli. It seems Pete and his brother (Alfonso) were close to Vic’s grandfather (Francesco) and his brother (Zio Roberto), in the old country. But according to Nonna, Alfonso and Roberto took up with criminals and the Rienzi family never talked about him. In fact, she isn’t even sure what happened to Roberto. Pete shows up and disrupts the party. He’s offered food to go and is sent on his way. The hurricane hits and Pete’s body is discovered in the town’s carousel house. Police rule Pete’s death an accidental drowning, but mystery writer Victoria “Vic” Rienzi isn’t so sure. Before his death, Pete tells Vic that he has stories to tell. Vic starts to wonder if he really did know things, things that could have got him killed. Rosie Genova has written a wonderful tale of mystery with A Dish Best Served Cold. It appears Vic has truly learned her lesson from past investigations; she’s trying really hard not to get involved in another. Too bad her mother and sister-in-law, Sofia want her to look into Pete’s death. The mysterious death of Pete actually helps Vic out in a couple of ways. It allows her to look into her family’s genealogy and helps her with her historical novel, loosely based on her family. Through research and determination, Vic uncovers more than she bargained for. It seems Pete was smarter than people gave him credit for. The question for Vic is whether Pete was killed for his past or for present knowledge. As the list of suspects grows, Vic realizes that she isn’t winning any friends by asking questions. I love Rosie’s writing because not only do I get to learn about Italian dishes, but also because her writing allows me to just lose myself in the story. The whodunit scene was climactic involving several characters, ending in surprising information. A Dish Best Served Cold also marks a shift in Vic’s life. It appears she’s about to get something she’s always wanted. I’m looking forward to finding out how she handles this turn of events and I’m hoping there’s more of the Italian Kitchen Mystery Series to come. **Received a copy from Berkley in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**

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