Review CRIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINARA By Stephanie Cole

Review CRIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINARA By Stephanie Cole

When Nell Valenti is offered an exciting job opportunity to start a cooking school in Tuscany and work with one of her long-time idols, Chef Claudio Orlandini, she eagerly accepts. She packs up her trusty Italian dictionary and off she goes.

It doesn’t take too long—about a millisecond—for Nell to figure out that this career move probably wasn’t her best decision ever. Not only is the chef’s villa a falling down wreck of a place, the appearance of the chef himself is a real shock. Chef is an old man, missing several teeth, and his wardrobe choices leave a lot to be desired. The one bright spot in a motley cast of supporting characters is Chef’s handsome son, Pete. At least he speaks English.

Nell refuses to give up after traveling so far and sticks to her plan to transform the Villa Orlandini into a superb farm-to-table, full-scale cooking school. The menu is finally set, and Nell hopes the villa is prepared to receive its first guests—five American gastrotourists. The group members are in the cooking school to learn, among other things, the top-secret recipe for Chef’s marinara sauce, which has made him world-famous.

It doesn’t take long for things to start to go wrong, beginning with Chef injuring his right arm playing bocci before the first meal is served. This is a big deal, because the injury will limit Chef’s actual participation in the cooking demonstrations and meal preparations. The guests begin to complain immediately that they’ve traveled all this way for nothing, and Nell knows she has to act quickly to save the school. But things get even worse when one of the guests die soon after eating Chef’s famous marinara sauce.

“Crime of the Ancient Marinara” is a delicious page-turner of a mystery that cozy readers will love. I devoured every word and can’t wait for Book 3.

Review CRIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINARA By Stephanie Cole

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