Cappuccinos, Cupcakes and a Corpse
Francesca Amaro moves back to her hometown of Cape Bay, Massachusetts, and takes over the family business, Antonia’s Italian Cafe. She spends her days making delicious artisan cappuccinos – until she stumbles upon her neighbor’s dead body. When the police discover Mr. Cardosi was poisoned, Francesca becomes a suspect. The victim’s son, Matty, happens to be Francesca’s old high school friend. Together they uncover the secrets of the locals in order to find the killer in their idyllic beach town.
Tea, Tiramisu and Tough Guys
When Francesca’s old high school crush, Todd, is accused of murder, she is convinced he is innocent. The police don’t believe Todd’s story, and neither does Matty. During the busy summer tourist season at Cape Bay, Francesca sets out to prove Todd’s innocence. Matty, however, investigates to prove Todd is guilty. Why does Matty detest Todd so much? But what if he’s right – what if Todd is a murderer?
Margaritas, Marzipan and Murder
Summer tourist season is winding down, but the Cape Bay police find a dead body in the alley beside Mary Ellen’s Souvenirs and Gifts. Police rule it a suicide, but Francesca Amaro knows it’s murder. Who would buy a bag of souvenirs, including a box of delicious marzipan, only to commit suicide moments later?
Even though the police tell her to stay out of the case, Fran is too curious not to investigate, even though she’s running a busy and popular cafe.
Lattes, Ladyfingers and Lies
Fran is anticipating her trip to Italy with Matty…until a precious diamond ring is stolen from the town’s jewelry store and an employee is murdered. Fran suspects the store owner of insurance fraud, but what if she’s wrong? Would her life be at stake again if she butts in on another police investigation?
Americanos, Apple Pies and Art Thieves
It’s almost Thanksgiving, and Fran is baking her family’s famous apple pies for the cafe. While pie fever spreads through Cape Bay, a world-famous artist holds a special art show in the town’s modest museum in honor of his late mother, who grew up there.
Louis Cliffton’s paintings are encrusted with valuable gems and gold. At the opening night, the centerpiece of the show is stolen. When Fran investigates the case, she receives threats, and someone follows her home and vandalizes her cafe.
What kind of thief would do this? A crazy outsider – or someone from her very own town?
Cremas, Christmas Cookies and Crooks
It’s almost Christmastime in Cape Bay, and another murder has everyone in town talking. A despised new drama teacher at the local high school is killed in the school’s parking lot. The police arrest a beloved teacher, Mrs. Crowsdale, but everyone else thinks she is too nice to murder anyone. Mike, however, says they have solid evidence that proves she did it.
Sammy is particularly devastated. Mrs. Crowsdale was her favorite teacher and still her hero. Sammy begs Fran to find the real culprit. Fran isn’t so sure. Mike would be angry with her for butting in on another case. And what if more danger befalls her? After all, there are some pretty dangerous people in town….
If you love cozy crime, with good plots, cheery characters, and the occasional recipe, then this is a series for you….
Every now and the I enjoy shaking up my crime routine with some cozy crime. Sometimes you just need to be able to giggle to yourself while still trying to figure out a mystery.
I discovered this series thanks to a random freebie purchase on Amazon, I was looking for a break from the usual and took a chance on Cappuccinos, Cupcakes and a Corpse. I’m glad I did, devouring all six books in a little under four days. They were such easy reads, that flowed well, kept me pleasantly entertained, and I didn’t want to put them down until I was done, as I was enjoying the growth of the stories and the writing.
There are some delightful characters in here. I love Fran and Mattie, who bounce off each other well. I love one of Fran’s closest friends a part time police patrol officer / detective who is trying to balance his duty, his appreciation of assistance, his dislike of civilian ‘interference’ in his cases, and their eventual consequences.
If you want a break from the ‘harder crime novels’ I recommend these.
If you want cozy crime that ‘doesn’t include cats’, I recommend these.
If you want a great mystery, without the ‘gory details’, I recommend these.