May 29, 2014

Book Review: You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa

You Cannoli Die Once
Title: You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa
Published May 28, 2014; Pocket Books
Genre: cozy mystery

My thoughts:
I learned not only what cannoli was but how to make it! A clever former dancer now turned chef in her family restaurant near Pittsburgh, Eve Angelotta is busy and pretty happy cooking Northern Italian food even with her seventy-six-year-old mother Maria Pia keeping watch that she does not make the dreaded dessert, cannoli. For some reason, Maria Pia has made Eve swear not to serve this at their restaurant.

Everything is going fine with a restaurant full of staff that seem musically inclined and ready to drop their aprons, bring out the tambourines, and sing Italian music or dance the tarantella for customers. That is, until Eve walks into her kitchen one morning and finds a dead man lying on top of a rare 78 disc of the only song recorded in English by the great Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso. The disc is part of Eve's collection of opera memorabilia handed down to her by her great-grandfather.

The unknown dead man was killed by a mortar from the restaurant kitchen, so Eve and all her staff are suspects, including her mother, whose alibi begins to fall apart the closer Eve and her love interest, attorney Joe Beck, look at it.

The book is full of clever and witty conversation and zany but entertaining characters. I could not guess the murder culprit so the ending was a surprise and the plot and setting are original. I gave this a five star for its entertainment value, and I can't wait to read the next in the series, Basil Instinct.

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book.


  1. I love Italian restaurants, mysteries, and live near Pittsburgh. I may have no choice but to pick this up.

  2. Very clever titile and a very clever concept.

    I think that my wife might really like this book. We are both into food culture. She likes to read mysteries based on these quirky but entertaining concepts.

  3. The title called me! Sounds like a fun foodie read ... so when are you making cannoli?


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