Monday, June 23, 2014

Basil Instinct-Shelley Costa

Basil Instinct

Shelley Costa

Pocket, Jun 24 2014, $7.99

ISBN: 9781476709369

In Quaker Hills, Pennsylvania Miracolo Italian Restaurant owner Chef Maria Pia Angelotta turns ecstatic when she reads Belfiere’s invitation for her to become a member. None of her grandchildren heard of this foodie society that apparently is a two-century old female-only Italian culinary group. Ecstatic the septuagenarian plans immediately to obtain the membership tattoo and follow the rules especially the omerta vow of silence.

Eve and her cousins fear for Nonna; as internet research reveals almost nothing about an organization claiming a two hundred-year existence. They do learn of a warning to beware of infamous women poisoners. Soon afterward Eve trips over the corpse of sous chef Georgia Payne inside the restaurant when she opens Miracolo to teach a class. The cousins also find out that their deceased employee had ties to Belfiere, so Eve and the posse investigate before Nonna joins a society in which the only way out is death.

The second Miracolo Mystery (see You Cannoli Die Once) is an enjoyable culinary cozy as the Basil Instincts of Eve and crew are that Belfiere is a dangerous version of the Eagles’ Hotel California. The secret society steals the show from the extended Angelotta family, employees and friends as readers will wonder how dark and deadly this association is.

Harriet Klausner

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