Catherine Bruns is a USA Today Bestselling author of many cozy mystery series: Cookies & Chance Mysteries, Cindy York Mysteries, Italian Chef Mystery, High Heels Mystery, and Maple Syrup Mystery series. She is also a contributor to the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series. Catherine is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She is also a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She began writing when she was eight. Catherine currently lives in upstate New York with her family.
The Italian Chef Mystery series is the series of hers that I discovered while shelving new mystery titles. It’s engaging and relatable, while also containing mysteries that aren’t easy to solve. Penne Dreadful is the first in the Italian Chef Mysteries. Italian recipes are included at the end! (Major plus if you like to cook or if all the food talk in this series makes you hungry!)
Tessa Esposito is a local Italian chef. While she has worked in a handful of restaurants, she’s most known for her love of cooking for her family and friends. It doesn’t hurt that she has also won awards and accolades for her sauce. Eventually Tessa wants to open a restaurant of her own with her husband, but she knows that it will be longer down the road. Life, however, has other plans for Tessa and her family.
After her husband Dylan’s fatal car accident, Tessa is struggling to find her way. It’s been hard to get back into the swing of everyday life without her partner. When her cousin Gino, a local police detective, knocks on the door with news, she discovers that Dylan’s death wasn’t the accident that they all thought it was. They need Tessa to help them figure out why someone would have wanted to kill her husband.
Confused and desperate to find out what happened to Dylan, Tessa starts working at Dylan’s favorite local pizza parlor, Slice. Hired as the new chef, Tessa relishes her new role cooking and starts to find herself again. Slice was the last place that Dylan was seen before he died. Tessa believes that something shady is happening behind the scenes at Slice, something that only becomes more apparent the longer she works there. The more she investigates, the more secrets she finds. Tessa may be finding answers to some questions, but at what cost?
This book is also available in the following format:
Italian Chef Mystery series
- Penne Dreadful (2019)
- It Cannoli Be Murder (2020)
- The Enemy You Gnocchi (2021)