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Murder and Marinara (An Italian Kitchen Mystery, #1)

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Hit whodunit writer Victoria Rienzi is getting back to her roots by working at her family’s Italian restaurant. But now in between plating pasta and pouring vino, she’ll have to find the secret ingredient in a murder.... When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil Hit whodunit writer Victoria Rienzi is getting back to her roots by working at her family’s Italian restaurant. But now in between plating pasta and pouring vino, she’ll have to find the secret ingredient in a murder.... When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil and simmering marinara sauce at the family restaurant, the Casa Lido. But her nonna’s recipes aren’t the only things getting stirred up in this Italian kitchen. Their small town is up in arms over plans to film a new reality TV show, and when Victoria serves the show’s pushy producer his last meal, the Casa Lido staff finds itself embroiled in a murder investigation. Victoria wants to find the real killer, but there are as many suspects as tomatoes in her nonna’s garden. Now she’ll have to heat up her sleuthing skills quickly…before someone else gets a plateful of murder.


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Hit whodunit writer Victoria Rienzi is getting back to her roots by working at her family’s Italian restaurant. But now in between plating pasta and pouring vino, she’ll have to find the secret ingredient in a murder.... When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil Hit whodunit writer Victoria Rienzi is getting back to her roots by working at her family’s Italian restaurant. But now in between plating pasta and pouring vino, she’ll have to find the secret ingredient in a murder.... When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil and simmering marinara sauce at the family restaurant, the Casa Lido. But her nonna’s recipes aren’t the only things getting stirred up in this Italian kitchen. Their small town is up in arms over plans to film a new reality TV show, and when Victoria serves the show’s pushy producer his last meal, the Casa Lido staff finds itself embroiled in a murder investigation. Victoria wants to find the real killer, but there are as many suspects as tomatoes in her nonna’s garden. Now she’ll have to heat up her sleuthing skills quickly…before someone else gets a plateful of murder.

30 review for Murder and Marinara (An Italian Kitchen Mystery, #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    This is the first book in the “An Italian Kitchen Mystery” series and what an excellent start. The book is filled with humor, mystery, adventure and a strong cast of characters. I especially enjoyed the dynamics between Victoria and her Nonna…two headstrong, tough women going head to head but usually Nonna wins out. Still, it’s fun to be a spectator to their battles. The storyline is an intriguing one and could have went in several different directions. Figuring it all out kept me thinking and in This is the first book in the “An Italian Kitchen Mystery” series and what an excellent start. The book is filled with humor, mystery, adventure and a strong cast of characters. I especially enjoyed the dynamics between Victoria and her Nonna…two headstrong, tough women going head to head but usually Nonna wins out. Still, it’s fun to be a spectator to their battles. The storyline is an intriguing one and could have went in several different directions. Figuring it all out kept me thinking and interested. I really want to learn more about the Rienzi family as they seem like a close-knit group. I think this might be one of the series that is ending, but I still have a couple of good books to read and I’m looking forward to it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Rosie Genova writes what she knows, she is a Jersey Girl, an author, and she loves good food! Wonder if these characters are based on her family… Victoria did the unexpected when she left the family business behind, moved to New York and became a very successful mystery author. Now she is back to do a little research to write a non-fiction book about her heritage but she is barely unpacked before she is wrapped up in a murder investigation. Everyone thinks because she writes mysteries she can sol Rosie Genova writes what she knows, she is a Jersey Girl, an author, and she loves good food! Wonder if these characters are based on her family… Victoria did the unexpected when she left the family business behind, moved to New York and became a very successful mystery author. Now she is back to do a little research to write a non-fiction book about her heritage but she is barely unpacked before she is wrapped up in a murder investigation. Everyone thinks because she writes mysteries she can solve this one. The man died in her family’s restaurant so she feels obligated to do what she can but putting herself in danger was never on the menu. Victoria is a strong protagonist and with her sister-in-law (SIL) as her sidekick what could go wrong…. The entire family dynamic is what makes me love this story. Her Nonna is quite a woman and she is not letting Victoria off easy when she returns. Victoria wants to learn to cook the family recipes and she finds herself planting tomatoes and working as a waitress. Her parents are involved with the restaurant but leave all the decisions to Nonna. Victoria’s brother, Danny, does not work at the restaurant either, but he is a police officer and Nonna finds that a reputable profession unlike that of being an author. I think she hates her family being separated more than anything. In addition to the family there is sous chef Tim who just happens to be Victoria’s old boyfriend and is an honorary family member. Victoria thinks her Nonna loves him more than her own grandchildren. :) And there is Cal, a carpenter doing work at Casa Lido. He is not from Jersey and he is very secretive about his past but there is nothing secret about his feelings for Victoria. Genova takes this characters and places them on the beautiful Jersey shore and stirs them all together in a very tasty story. The mystery is complex and keeps the reader engaged with each twist and turn. But I can’t forget the food. I swear I could smell the marinara sauce emanating from the pages and I was so hungry by the time I finished. Thankfully she includes recipes!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Loved it! I only wish I could have read it while sitting on a boardwalk somewhere drinking espresso. This book made me laugh so many times--Nonna is a hoot, and every one of Vic's reactions to her made me smile. And I think I have a little crush on the sous chef, Tim. I hope we see him again in book 2. Downside: now I'm craving pastries made with almond paste.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Weber

    I loved it, especially the cranky yet somehow loveable grandmother. I liked the characters, didn't guess who the killer was, and am hoping that the romance aspect is resolved in the next book. I'm, looking forward to the next in the series!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Author Victoria Rienzi decides to take a break from her successful mystery series by writing a book based on her family history. She leases her New York City apartment and goes back to her birth home in Oceanside Park. Victoria's family owns Italian restaurant the Casa Lido and she returns to waitressing. The family is against the reality TV show The Jersey Side filming their series locally. When the show's producer eats in the restaurant, Victoria must serve him lunch and then she goes outside Author Victoria Rienzi decides to take a break from her successful mystery series by writing a book based on her family history. She leases her New York City apartment and goes back to her birth home in Oceanside Park. Victoria's family owns Italian restaurant the Casa Lido and she returns to waitressing. The family is against the reality TV show The Jersey Side filming their series locally. When the show's producer eats in the restaurant, Victoria must serve him lunch and then she goes outside to find him dead. Obviously, this puts a damper on the restaurant's business. Victoria and her sister-in-law Sofia use their skills to find out who might have wanted the producer dead. I thought this cozy mystery was interesting and well written. The reality show characters and antics in the book sound very much like the real series on TV, the Jersey Shore. I received this book for free in an author giveaway. My opinion is my own and not influenced by anyone.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sabine

    Being a big fan of everything Italy: the country, the people, the food and the language I loved this book. One of my favourites was the nonna even though I wished she would have voiced her opinions a lot more. The setting with the boardwalk, the cottage and the beach made me wish I could read my book in that little Italian restaurant with the deliciously described food and a cappuccino. Great start to a new series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Hill

    I believe I may have found the perfect modern cozy mystery! When I think of mysteries, I think of the way they used to be prior to gore and other garbage, I think of stories just like this one. Rosie Genova has added everything into this story to make is enchanting and extremely smart. There is some romance, incredible mystery, and a delicious humor. From the opening page of the book, I was hooked. I found very little that bothered me within the book. There is some profanity, but it didn't reall I believe I may have found the perfect modern cozy mystery! When I think of mysteries, I think of the way they used to be prior to gore and other garbage, I think of stories just like this one. Rosie Genova has added everything into this story to make is enchanting and extremely smart. There is some romance, incredible mystery, and a delicious humor. From the opening page of the book, I was hooked. I found very little that bothered me within the book. There is some profanity, but it didn't really bother me. I am so grateful there were no bedroom scenes! Each one of the characters in this book are developed well, but Victoria was my favorite (I'm not even sure why). The author has set the scene in an expert fashion, and her logic comes across in an amazing way. I never found myself lost, bored, or horrified. I halfway figured out "who done it" (My ego is always bolstered when I do this!), but I have to admit that I wasn't certain I was correct as I devoured the pages of the story! I look forward to the next installment of this book. Victoria has quickly become a favorite character of mine. In some ways, she reminds me of "Jessica Fletcher" ("Murder She Wrote"), but this character still has a fresh, modern outlook that keeps her from being mundane. If you delight in mysteries, this book should migrate to the top of your list! I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lorrie Thomson

    Victoria Rienzi thinks she's taking a break from writing mystery novels and returning home to write the novel of her heart. In reality, she's returning to her heart--the family she adores that drives her crazy, and the childhood sweetheart she's never quite forgotten. But when a TV producer her family was at odds with dies at her family's restaurant, even the childhood sweetheart is a suspect. I adored the cast of characters, and may have a special place in my heart for Victoria's Nonna. Either Victoria Rienzi thinks she's taking a break from writing mystery novels and returning home to write the novel of her heart. In reality, she's returning to her heart--the family she adores that drives her crazy, and the childhood sweetheart she's never quite forgotten. But when a TV producer her family was at odds with dies at her family's restaurant, even the childhood sweetheart is a suspect. I adored the cast of characters, and may have a special place in my heart for Victoria's Nonna. Either that or I'm simply afraid of her! Beautifully written and fast-paced. Kept me guessing, incorrectly, until the end. Well played, Ms. Genova! You try to figure out who done it. I dare you!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    This is the first book of a new cozy series and new author for me. Vicky Reed, a successful mystery writer has return home to write the her dream book and learned about the Casa Lido, a family restaurant. Just after her arrival a TVReality Producer is murdered in the restaurant. Only members of the family are around. Vicky is charged by her "Nonna" to solve the case so the restaurant will stay open. Vicky and SIL, Sofia explored all the leads to the killing. The must find an answer before they lo This is the first book of a new cozy series and new author for me. Vicky Reed, a successful mystery writer has return home to write the her dream book and learned about the Casa Lido, a family restaurant. Just after her arrival a TVReality Producer is murdered in the restaurant. Only members of the family are around. Vicky is charged by her "Nonna" to solve the case so the restaurant will stay open. Vicky and SIL, Sofia explored all the leads to the killing. The must find an answer before they loose their lives.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I forgot how much fun it is to read really great mysteries. But Rosie Genova's Jersey Shore murder mystery had me at "marinara." The book quickly absorbed me into the family, the mystery and the sleuthing sisters-in-law. The descriptions are vibrant, and the plot twists kept me guessing. I can't wait to read the second one this summer. It promises to be the perfect book to read in my beach chair at Wildwood, NJ! Congratulations Rosie on a wonderful mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stacie Haden

    I have to give this a three because the entire middle section was just repetitive filler. It was ok, enough that I'll read at least one more in the series. P.s. It did give me a real hankering for Italian food :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil and simmering marinara sauce at the family restaurant, the Casa Lido. But her nonna’s recipes aren’t the only things getting stirred up in this Italian kitchen. This reminded me a lot of the Murder She Wrote series as it is another mystery writer who ends up involved in solving a murder. Victoria, the main character, mystery writer, and sleuth, When Victoria takes a break from penning her popular mystery series and moves back to the Jersey shore, she imagines sun, sand, and scents of fresh basil and simmering marinara sauce at the family restaurant, the Casa Lido. But her nonna’s recipes aren’t the only things getting stirred up in this Italian kitchen. This reminded me a lot of the Murder She Wrote series as it is another mystery writer who ends up involved in solving a murder. Victoria, the main character, mystery writer, and sleuth, is a "saucy" Italian girl with a stereotypical Italian family all involved in the family business (in this case an Itallian restaurant). I loved the fact that along with her sister in law, Sophia, she finds that solving real life mysteries isn't quite as easy especially when you throw in lots of could be killers with a variety of motives and a victim with heart problems. Enough twists and turns to keep my attention from start to finish and filled with mouth watering Italian dishes and some recipes at the end. This is book two in the Italian Kitchen mystery series and I have enjoyed them both. If you like cozy mysteries, I definitely recommend this series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    This is what happens why a mystery writer goes home to learn how to cook the family way and runs across a murder...they solve it of course. Of all the cozies I have ever read, I don't think I have read one where the main character was a mystery writer. And then you throw in some good ol' Italian food (with recipes at the end), well it is a good combo. There was a good cast of characters and I have to admit I probably missed most of the clues. I truly did not expect the murder to be who it was...d This is what happens why a mystery writer goes home to learn how to cook the family way and runs across a murder...they solve it of course. Of all the cozies I have ever read, I don't think I have read one where the main character was a mystery writer. And then you throw in some good ol' Italian food (with recipes at the end), well it is a good combo. There was a good cast of characters and I have to admit I probably missed most of the clues. I truly did not expect the murder to be who it was...definitely a surprise for me. ready to see what book 2 has to bring!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angie Carpenter

    I won this book on Goodreads in the First Reads contest. This book was amazing! All the characters and the setting made me want to go be a part of their kitchen!! Recipes included too that I have on my menu for this week. What a great idea to incorporate them into the book! It kept me hanging until the very end and didn't disappoint! I can't wait for the next in the series to be released!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

    This was a pretty smart cozy mystery. The premise of a mystery author solving a mystery was fun. The whole Jersey Shore plot was ironic. I think I will definiteltely give the next book a try, see how some of the relationships build.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    I always have a weakness for leads with my name.

  17. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    2.5 stars Vick Reed, famed mystery writer decides it's time to write the book of her heart - a story based on her family history. To do that she has to go home to the Jersey shore where she'll be kid sister, daughter and granddaughter Victoria Riezzi. She arrives to frosty stares and hard chores from her Nonna and though she grumbles about the chores, Vicky considers it good for research. She is looking forward to working in her quiet cottage but her peace is broken when she learns that RealTV is 2.5 stars Vick Reed, famed mystery writer decides it's time to write the book of her heart - a story based on her family history. To do that she has to go home to the Jersey shore where she'll be kid sister, daughter and granddaughter Victoria Riezzi. She arrives to frosty stares and hard chores from her Nonna and though she grumbles about the chores, Vicky considers it good for research. She is looking forward to working in her quiet cottage but her peace is broken when she learns that RealTV is planning to film a reality show about some twentysomethings at a Jersey shore rental brawling and drinking at the Jersey shore only a few miles away from the restaurant. The Riezzi family is up in arms about The Jersey Side (Nonna calls them puttanas (which is one word in Italian I can understand. My Nonnie apparently labeled one of my dad's high school girlfriends a puttana for wearing a miniskirt in the 60s). Those puttanas represent a bad image of the Jersey shore and the family and some of their neighbors want it stopped. However, the mayor is fully compliant, believing the show will be good for business. After a failed protest, the producer of the show Gio Parisi barges in to the restaurant demanding lunch (when they're not officially open) or else! Vicky has the unfortunate chore of waiting on him and trying to get the hated man out of there before Nonna finds out he was there. Her mission is successful, but when Vicky next sees Gio Parisi, he's lying outside face down in his own vomit - dead! The media makes a big deal out of the fact Parisi died at the restaurant and zeroes in on Vicky. The paparazzi want an interview Vicky isn't prepared to give, unless she can figure out whodunnit in a week! The police have their own list of suspects and Vicky is near the top. The main suspect is Tim Trouvare, the assistant cook and Vicky's old flame. She's certain he didn't do it, and she's positive no one else associated with the restaurant did it - or did they? The other suspects include Cal, the handsome woodworker repairing the bar; the two kids from the show who were with Parisi earlier that day; cast member Mikey G's dad, who has ties to the mafia; the mayor, who has a beef with the Riezzi's for some reason; the not-so-grieving widow Anjelica Parisi and the ex-lover/mistress. With the help of her super fabulous sister-in-law (SIL) Sofia, Vicky is determined to solve the mystery and make sure that business picks up again. I really wanted to like this story. I was excited to read about an Italian-American woman whose family owns a restaurant. My dad's family owned an Italian restaurant for many years but it closed before I was born so I thought this book might give me a good idea of what it was like for my family though the story is contemporary. Unfortunately I really didn't care that much for it. The characters are all Italian stereotypes and they drove me nutty. I'm not super sensitive to that sort of thing but they're all in one book: the mother with an over-the-top sense of style (think Long Island Medium), the formidable Nonna, the mobsters, the so-called guidos, the handsome half-Italian, half-Irish hunk. UGH! Nonna, I get because I've seen pictures of my great-grandmother and great-great grandmother and they look pretty terrifying but my Nonnie was not like that at all. I had hoped that an Italian-American author could avoid the pitfalls of stereotyping - at least leaving out the mafia if the rest is based on her own family and of course, The Jersey Shore. It's better than the Stephanie Plum novels (also set in Jersey) but not not much. I figured out whodunnit based on a vital clue about 1/4 of the book before Vicky did. The clue is a minor one she didn't even pick up on but I was certain I was right. I was on the right track with how and that lead to who. I wasn't entirely surprised at the end but still I read on to find out how Vicky solved the mystery. I wanted to like Vicky because she tried to escape her crazy Italian family and she's a writer, both things I can identify with. However, I really couldn't stand her. She's supposed to be in her 30s and she acts like a teenager. She has a silly love triangle she can't figure out and she repeatedly sticks her nose in where she shouldn't, doing illegal things and basically making the situation worse than it already was. Her continued bumbling got on my nerves. I liked Sofia better because she did the research and she knew what she wanted out of life, but then she started behaving like an idiot too. The other characters don't really get much of a chance to stand out except Tim, the boy who can't grow up and Danny, Vicky's brother, who endangers his career by helping his sister. Cal is meant to be mysterious and we don't know much about him. I was pretty sure he was sincere and just a flirt. Everyone else is pretty much the same old stereotypes. I don't think I'll be reading the next book in the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    This series has been on my to-read list for years, but I've always hesitated because as a born and bred Jersey Girl with Italian heritage I didn't want to read another stereotypical depiction of life in the Garden State. And I didn't. Murder and Marinara is the first of the Italian Kitchen series with the main character, Victoria, returning home from New York when she decides to shelf her popular murder mystery book series to write a historical based on her family. When she does, she comes face- This series has been on my to-read list for years, but I've always hesitated because as a born and bred Jersey Girl with Italian heritage I didn't want to read another stereotypical depiction of life in the Garden State. And I didn't. Murder and Marinara is the first of the Italian Kitchen series with the main character, Victoria, returning home from New York when she decides to shelf her popular murder mystery book series to write a historical based on her family. When she does, she comes face-to-face with the man who broke her heart when he left her for someone else and a reality tv show producer who wants to film his Jersey Shore-esque show in Oceanside (I like to think its Point Beach, but that's just me). It all converges at the family restaurant. The cop connection is Victoria's brother, Danny. The mayhem cozy mystery readers love (me included) moves the plot forward without sacrificing characters, settings or themes. I was engaged throughout the entire book, never wanting to skip a graph or two because it's too in the weeds with stuff I don't need to know. Victoria was intelligent, determined, and unapologetically herself without being overdone as to almost becoming unlikable. Thank you, Rosie Genova for writing a Jersey Girl the right way. You decide on the rest of the cast of characters, including Victoria's parents, sister-in-law, nonna (grandmother), and the two men vying for her attention. Spoiler but not a shocker: one of the men is the man who broke her heart. He's now the sous chef at the family restaurant. The book was engaging and well-thought out with quality writing. I can't wait to get my hands on book two. Loved it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Traci Andrighetti

    I have molto amore for this book, for obvious reasons!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    I've had this author on my to read list for awhile. By luck, I won a signed book from her and read it as soon as I received my copy. Great book and it really kept my interest. Now to get the second book in this murder mystery series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)

    I wasn't sure when I first started reading this as to whether I was going to enjoy it, but as the story progressed I got more and more engrossed, we have Victoria (a successful murder/mystery writer) going back to her family in New Jersey, partly to write a fictional account of her family coming to America from Italy and partly so that she can improve her cooking skills with the help of her Nonna (her Grandmother, who is not inclined to help as she believes that Victoria should be a)back home an I wasn't sure when I first started reading this as to whether I was going to enjoy it, but as the story progressed I got more and more engrossed, we have Victoria (a successful murder/mystery writer) going back to her family in New Jersey, partly to write a fictional account of her family coming to America from Italy and partly so that she can improve her cooking skills with the help of her Nonna (her Grandmother, who is not inclined to help as she believes that Victoria should be a)back home and b)married and producing the next generation of restaurant people!) The day after she arrives she is getting settled in only to have an obnoxious reality TV producer eating (and sneering) in the restaurant - the problem is that an hour later he is found dead in the veg patch behind the restaurant and the only people who are suspects are the restaurant staff!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    "When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie... that's aaaa muuuuurdah!" Who doesn't love a big, crazy Italian family and all the murder, er... food that comes with it?!? And that's just what you get from Victoria Rienzi and her crazy but fun family. The Rienzi's own the Casa Lido, a classic Ristorante Italiano on the boardwalk of the famous Jersey Shore. Victoria decided to take a break from the big city life in NYC and head back to the shore for the summer to learn more than her fair sha "When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie... that's aaaa muuuuurdah!" Who doesn't love a big, crazy Italian family and all the murder, er... food that comes with it?!? And that's just what you get from Victoria Rienzi and her crazy but fun family. The Rienzi's own the Casa Lido, a classic Ristorante Italiano on the boardwalk of the famous Jersey Shore. Victoria decided to take a break from the big city life in NYC and head back to the shore for the summer to learn more than her fair share of cooking, family business and a bit of crime! Right before the big weekend that has everyone flocking to the Shore's beaches, a famous producer for a reality tv show takes THE big bite right in the family restaurant! It's now up to Victoria to clear her families name in murder before the Casa Lido's has to close it's doors for good. This great and spicy Italian mystery had my hand in that familiar old Italian hand gesture while reading, and singing along to "Papa Loves Mambo" and some classic Frank while I putz around in the kitchen recreating some "Rienzi Family" classic recipes from none other than the Casa Lido itself. This fabulous mystery does not read like a typical first in a series but more like an old friend from Napoli, with all of Victoria's crazy Italian family and friends along for the ride! I thoroughly enjoyed the bits of Jersey Shore tributes and classic boardwalk'esq style thrown in to set a wonderful scene and mood, I also enjoyed the subtle tributes to that famous "familia italiano" lingo with flipping through pages reading words like; Cafone!, Bene, Cara, Brava and Puttanna! This book had me racing to the end to figure out who really murdered that big Cafone producer, faster than a angry Italian grandma. I loved this book and I think that this is one saucy little mystery that you will not want to miss out on!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Italo Italophiles

    Murder and Marinara is the first book in The Italian Kitchen Mystery Series, a cozy-murder-mystery and romance series set on the Jersey Shore, in the state of New Jersey in the United States. The series' protagonist is Victoria Renzi. Vic is our first-person narrator of the book, guiding us through her adventure with a dry sense of humor. The book starts quickly, expertly setting the scene, and introducing us to the various characters in the Renzi family, and to people linked with the family rest Murder and Marinara is the first book in The Italian Kitchen Mystery Series, a cozy-murder-mystery and romance series set on the Jersey Shore, in the state of New Jersey in the United States. The series' protagonist is Victoria Renzi. Vic is our first-person narrator of the book, guiding us through her adventure with a dry sense of humor. The book starts quickly, expertly setting the scene, and introducing us to the various characters in the Renzi family, and to people linked with the family restaurant. The Renzi family jumps off the pages with life, easy to visualize and easy to understand. If you are from that area of the world, you will probably enjoy the story even more, since the locations and people will be instantly recognizable to you. The story moves along swiftly. It is a solid, by-the-book, cozy-murder-mystery: clean, fun, comforting, with light humor and light romance. The murder that occurs is a disaster for the Renzis so Vic gets involved in the investigation to help her family. Vic questions suspects, ruminates on the case with a side-kick, and eventually resolves the case with an exciting finish. Murder and Marinara is full of lots of love for the Jersey Shore and for Italian food and for Italian-American culture. There are even recipes at the end of the book, including the titular Marinara Sauce. This is a book for Italophile cozy-enthusiasts! Please visit my full and illustrated review at Italophile Book Reviews: http://italophilebookreviews.blogspot...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ronna

    Come back to the boardwalk and the Jersey Shore before Hurricane Sandy struck. Rosie Genova has captured the fun and food with a turn around on the popular Jersey Shore TV show. Her heroine, Victoria, is even a mystery book writer with a cleaver Italian Inspector for her hero. But when Victoria leaves New York to settle into the loving arms of her family who own the Casa Lido Restaurant so she can write a novel about her family history, everything explodes worse that a boiling tomato sauce on th Come back to the boardwalk and the Jersey Shore before Hurricane Sandy struck. Rosie Genova has captured the fun and food with a turn around on the popular Jersey Shore TV show. Her heroine, Victoria, is even a mystery book writer with a cleaver Italian Inspector for her hero. But when Victoria leaves New York to settle into the loving arms of her family who own the Casa Lido Restaurant so she can write a novel about her family history, everything explodes worse that a boiling tomato sauce on the stove! One of the not so nice producers of the Jersey TV show demands lunch even though the restaurant is closed. Unfortunately for him and for the restaurant's reputation, he ends up dead in their back yard immediately after lunch. Victoria's Nonna's heavy hand of authority sends Victoria and her sister-in-law on the trail of all the would be suspects. But Victoria's police officer brother tries to keep them in the kitchen and away from sleuthing. Can the murderer be found before bad press closes down their long time family restaurant? I'm now hooked on this Italian fun in the sun foodie mystery. Rosie Genova brings into her stories creative intrigue that boarders on real places and people, with descriptive atmosphere that took me right to the Jersey shores! The relationships between the family members is so real, and the dialogue feels just like a family gathering. The mystery was cleaver and kept me delving for solutions till the final pages. Pre-ordering the next book immediately!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Moondance

    "Vic," Josh said, "I don't think you have any choice. Victoria Rienzi AKA Vick Reed is a best selling mystery writer who decides to take a break from her usual writing. She returns home to the New Jersey shore to write her heart's work and work in the family restaurant. Unknown to her, Victoria's former love is also working at the restaurant. The family's matriarch, Nonna Giulietta Rienzi, runs the restaurant with an iron fist. Victoria is given menial tasks until she can prove herself to Nonna. "Vic," Josh said, "I don't think you have any choice. Victoria Rienzi AKA Vick Reed is a best selling mystery writer who decides to take a break from her usual writing. She returns home to the New Jersey shore to write her heart's work and work in the family restaurant. Unknown to her, Victoria's former love is also working at the restaurant. The family's matriarch, Nonna Giulietta Rienzi, runs the restaurant with an iron fist. Victoria is given menial tasks until she can prove herself to Nonna. A reality TV show wants to bring their production to town and the Rienzi family is very opposed to the idea. The show's producer insists upon eating at Casa Lido and is found dead soon afterwards in the garden behind the restaurant by Victoria. An interesting group of characters. The family bond is extremely strong with the Rienzis. Even Vic's estranged sister in law, Sofia, is willing to go above and beyond to clear the family name. Recent hire, Cal, falls under suspicion along with former love, Tim. Twists and turns reveal more information about the deceased and his infidelities. You begin to wonder if anyone is as they seem. A fun read with yummy recipes in the back. I have the next book in the series and look forward to reading it soon. 3.5 stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    If you're only going to read one cozy mystery this year, let it be this one. The first book in Rosie Genova's Italian Kitchen Mystery Series, Murder and Marinara has every element required of a delightful cozy, and then some. I loved the entire premise and Victoria Rienzi makes for a likeable and engaging main character. Surrounding her is her close knit and rather fabulous Italian-American family (including her formidable Nonna), a gorgeous ex who broke Victoria's heart but not her spirit, and If you're only going to read one cozy mystery this year, let it be this one. The first book in Rosie Genova's Italian Kitchen Mystery Series, Murder and Marinara has every element required of a delightful cozy, and then some. I loved the entire premise and Victoria Rienzi makes for a likeable and engaging main character. Surrounding her is her close knit and rather fabulous Italian-American family (including her formidable Nonna), a gorgeous ex who broke Victoria's heart but not her spirit, and a Jersey shore boardwalk town that makes me want to plan a summer trip back east. I enjoyed every page of this read, often laughed aloud, and absolutely could not figure out who the murderer was before Vic spelled it all out. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series, The Wedding Soup Murder, and hope Ms. Genova has many more books planned.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Chance

    In her debut novel, author Rosie Genova presents a charming, action and humor filled novel that will delight cozy-mystery lovers. The story’s setting on the Jersey show lends to the fun of the overall mystery, and Genova’s background as a “Jersey girl” as well as a feisty Italian gal gives credence to the authenticity of the tale. The cast of characters are sassy, brassy and memorable, with writer Victoria and her SIL (sister-in-law) Sofia leading the way with the loving and loud family. Genova a In her debut novel, author Rosie Genova presents a charming, action and humor filled novel that will delight cozy-mystery lovers. The story’s setting on the Jersey show lends to the fun of the overall mystery, and Genova’s background as a “Jersey girl” as well as a feisty Italian gal gives credence to the authenticity of the tale. The cast of characters are sassy, brassy and memorable, with writer Victoria and her SIL (sister-in-law) Sofia leading the way with the loving and loud family. Genova also includes a selection of delicious sounding recipes that are featured in the story – a pleasurable plus to any cozy mystery. Fans of fast-paced and intriguing mysteries will enjoy this fun novel. I look forward to more in this series!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Scimone

    You know that satisfied feeling you have after you eat a bowl of soft, fresh gnocchi? This book definitely hits the spot with a spunky cast of characters more New Jersey than even my own cawfee- and wawduh-swilling family! I adore the vivid descriptions of the shore setting and all the simmering sauces. The murder weapon was so unexpected, and I love Vic's approach to solving the murder. I especially love Victoria's persona as a writer, which gives her an ability to solve murders as well as a ta You know that satisfied feeling you have after you eat a bowl of soft, fresh gnocchi? This book definitely hits the spot with a spunky cast of characters more New Jersey than even my own cawfee- and wawduh-swilling family! I adore the vivid descriptions of the shore setting and all the simmering sauces. The murder weapon was so unexpected, and I love Vic's approach to solving the murder. I especially love Victoria's persona as a writer, which gives her an ability to solve murders as well as a talent for one-liners in reaction to her sister-in-law and dreamy ex, Chef Tim. Nonna's Rustic Italian recipes sound great, though a part of me hopes Katrina-refugee furniture-maker Cal will cook up a creole or Cajun specialty later in the series. Can't wait for The Wedding Soup Murder.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melina

    This was an awesome cozy. I really liked Victoria Rienzi/Vick Reed. The setting of this story was great also. Who doesn't love the beach and the boardwalk. This book had a great cast of characters, a close-knit Italian family. When a big time producer eats in the family restaurant, Casa Lido, and is later found outside dead, Victoria's grandmother wants her to find the killer. So Victoria and her sister-in-law Sofia start and investigation. They have several close calls, but in the end, they fig This was an awesome cozy. I really liked Victoria Rienzi/Vick Reed. The setting of this story was great also. Who doesn't love the beach and the boardwalk. This book had a great cast of characters, a close-knit Italian family. When a big time producer eats in the family restaurant, Casa Lido, and is later found outside dead, Victoria's grandmother wants her to find the killer. So Victoria and her sister-in-law Sofia start and investigation. They have several close calls, but in the end, they figure it out. My attention was held from the beginning till the end, this was a great story and a great start to a new series that I look forward to. Great job Rosie. I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I received this book for FREE as a GoodReads giveaway...and I loved it. I grew up on the Jersey Shore. Reading this book was like going back home again for me. I love to read about sassy girls with questionable taste in men. The story is filled with wonderful characters. Vic has a rather delightful and snarky sense of humor, I loved her SIL Sofia, her Nonna, the restaurant. The murder mystery was very interesting and different, and kept me guessing right up to the end. Oh, and there's recipes to I received this book for FREE as a GoodReads giveaway...and I loved it. I grew up on the Jersey Shore. Reading this book was like going back home again for me. I love to read about sassy girls with questionable taste in men. The story is filled with wonderful characters. Vic has a rather delightful and snarky sense of humor, I loved her SIL Sofia, her Nonna, the restaurant. The murder mystery was very interesting and different, and kept me guessing right up to the end. Oh, and there's recipes too...which is always a nice touch when the book has a food theme...This was a wonderful and fun read, I already can't wait for the next in this series!

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