Some Reviews

One Reviewer wrote:  “I had a lot of fun reading this mystery novel! I actually read the book on a plane going to Italy so that really added to the fun. The characters were fun to decipher and each had their own distinct personality. Candida Martinelli has a wonderful Italian website and so she knows how to flavor a story with everything Italian. Put me in a great mood to spend a few weeks back in Tuscany!”

Another reviewer wrote:  “Candida Martinelli obviously loves Italy: the country, the people, the culture, and especially the food! In this book her characters, both native and non, share this love.

‘Martinelli ticks all the boxes for a cozy mystery with quirky characters, romance, a whodunnit which keeps the reader guessing and frequent descriptions of delicious food.

‘If you like amateur female sleuths, alla Miss Marple, you will enjoy meeting Martinelli’s Julie.

‘As a middle-aged woman with diabetes, my main criticism is that none of the book’s characters seem to think about the consequences of their frequent high-carb meals. Devouring this book in a day made me feel I should be checking my glucose between chapters, yet none of the women in the book seem concerned about health or weight issues. The result of all that olive oil, perhaps.

‘I loved the loyal friendships portrayed in the book which served as counterpoint to the selfish, manipulative relationships of the “bad guys.”

‘I was impressed with the way the author accurately structured her Italian characters’ English phrases. These seemed familiar to me from my conversations with my Italian daughters-in-law, granddaughters and their Italian families and friends during my visits to Italy. In my experience, even those most fluent in English give a charming Italian twist to our language.

‘For a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience, I say, “Bravissima.””

Another Reviewer wrote:  “This murder mystery is an updated re-telling of an Agatha Christie country house mystery. But instead of exploring the intricacies of between-the-wars English society, Candida Martinelli examines modern Italian society.

‘Ms. Martinelli’s familiarity with Italian culture and society is clear as she tells the story of an engagement between the handsome, spoiled oldest son of a wealthy Italian family and a modern, liberated American woman. Her characters aren’t stereotypes though. The reasons why Laura would embrace a husband from a culture so different from her own are clearly and convincingly explained.

‘Seen through the eyes of Laura’s mentor, Julia, Italy is presented in all of its richness and complexity. Ms. Martinelli provides detailed insights into everything from the traditions of long meals designed to savor every flavor to the whys behind elaborate and ornate designer dress.

‘The book is much more than a simple mystery, but the mystery doesn’t get lost in the exploration of Italian society. Julia, uncomfortable with Laura’s fiancé, doesn’t hesitate to ask questions about everything she sees, and after she uncovers a body in an olive oil press, about everyone’s motives. Trading on her status in Italian society as an older woman and mother figure, Laura is able to uncover long hidden secrets as well as hidden attitudes.”

‘Like Agatha Christie, this simple mystery with slightly inexplicable characters turns out to be a much more complex exploration of manners. Like a good pasta sauce, it’s full of the subtle flavorings of multiple spicy accents!”

Another Reviewer wrote:  “As a fan of Ms. Martinelli’s web site,, I approached this book with great expectations. Indeed, I have found many of her insights on other authors, such as the obnoxious Donna Leon, to be truly insightful and sensitive to the nuances of Italian culture….” 

Unfortunately, this reviewer did not like the genre of Traditional Murder Mystery.  In the rest of his review, all the genre features were criticized.  Please take this as a warning that the genre stated on the cover is correct and true, and this book is for those who love the Classic Murder Mystery genre, sometimes called a Cozy Murder Mystery.  I do not want to disappoint a reader.  That is why I put the first six chapters on-line for free as an excerpt on this site.  Read the excerpt to see if this book is for you.  CM