31 May 2013

Faith Goes to Italy

The Body in the Piazza (A Faith Fairchild mystery) by Katherine Hall Page (William Morrow hardcover, 30 April 2013).

Faith and her husband are off to Italy, sans offspring, to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They spend a few days in Rome before heading to Tuscany to attend the inaugural session of a cooking school run by Faith's former assistant Francesca Rossi.

At their hotel in Rome, they meet a charming older gentleman named Freddy Ives, who advises them on the best things to do and the best places to eat. One night during an after-dinner stroll, they stumble upon Freddy, lying in the Piazza Farmese, stabbed and dying.  

Before they are able to learn much about what happened to Freddy, they must head to Tuscany, where they find a charming home and hosts, though the other students are a motley bunch. But it appears that someone is trying to sabotage the Rossis: the milk turns sour and snakes are found in some of the guests' bathtubs.

Between learning how to cook scrumptious Italian foods like biscotti and authentic Tuscan ragu, Faith and Tom try to figure out who is trying to ruin things for the Rossis and why.

I love this series, but must admit that some of the Fairchild's more quirky Aleford neighbours are a bit tiring. It's wonderful to see them out of their natural habitat, and to see another side of Tom.

Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the digital galley.

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