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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 6 star ratings
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    I LIKED IT

    I received a free copy of PENNE DREADFUL (An Italian Chef Mystery Book 1) by Catherine Bruns from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Tessa Esposito is just coming out of her shock caused by her husband Dylan’s tragic and unexpected death; she’s been cooking her way to coping. Just as she’s ready to re-engage with the world, her cousin Gino, a police detective, drops a figurative bomb. Dylan was murdered. Gino mentions the homicide could be related to Dylan’s activities with a local restaurant called “The Slice” and asks Tessa to apply for a job there to help him out with the investigation. Tess vows to herself that she will find Dylan’s killer if it’s the last thing she does, and it very well may be. I knew I liked this book and recommended it to a friend before I hit chapter three! The rest of the book did not disappoint. I recommend it to fans of cozy mysteries, food, and big, all-up-in-your-business families. #PenneDreadful #NetGalley
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    A Life of Lies

    Everything she thought she knew wasn't true, but what was? Cooking. But was her sauce really worth killing for? Very emotional heroine balanced by excitable cousin and lots of suspects as she struggles to make sense of her life--and to keep it. Some fascinating twists and turns.
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    Fantastic New Cozy Mystery Series!

    Penne Dreadful by Catherine Bruns is the first in the Italian Chef Mysteries and the first cozy I’ve read by her. Although I’ve been eyeing up the Cookies and Chance Mysteries for awhile now…. one day! The first thing I noticed when I opened the paperback was the line spacing on the page, which was double the usual paperback. This made me extremely happy! Just recently, I’ve noticed if I read a paperback I have to have very good light and it helps to sit by the window during the daytime. The words are just so tiny to my getting older eyes. But that was not the case with Penne Dreadful because of the extra spacing. That is just an extra bonus, but it inspires me to buy more books by Poisoned Pen Press. Bruns did a wonderful job with character development for the first book in a new series. There were a lot of characters, but at no time did I get confused, which has happened in the past when a book has a ton of characters or the character’s names that all seem to start with the same first letter. I really enjoyed the relationship Tessa had with her cousins and look forward to visiting with them in the next book. And of course, the kitty, Luigi is adorable. And Bruns descriptions for the restaurant, Tessa’s house, and the neighborhood was done very well. The perfect amount to make me feel like I could visualize the scene, but not so much that I became bored and started skimming. Besides the murder there were other crimes to solve, including fraud and blackmail. This was highly enjoyable having so many things to figure out. I had the general idea of who the bad guys were, but didn’t see it all coming, and was really surprised by one of the characters turning out to be a decent person. I will be reading more of the Italian Chef Mysteries, and highly recommend Penne Dreadful.
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    Penne Dreadful good read.

    Story was long but needed to set backdrop. Enjoyed Tessa and supporting characters. Husbands death was a few weeks before and Tessa is starting something with his best friend Justin. Not cool with this.
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