The Secret Poison Garden
by Maureen Klovers
Fans of M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series or Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency will love this new series featuring Italian-American matriarch turned small-town crime reporter Rita Calabrese. Like Agatha Raisin and Precious Rambotse, Rita is more than a strong, independent woman forging her second act–she’s a force of nature.
For most of her life, Rita has doted on her lovable but exasperating “famiglia.” She’s always fortifying her down-on-their-luck neighbors with secret deliveries of home-grown vegetables and ravioli alla zucca, sneaking cannoli into her gruff husband’s lunch, and meddling in (or, as she would say, “improving”) the lives of her three grown children.
Then Rita takes a job at the local paper, and her profiles of Acorn Hollow’s eccentric citizens, including the soft-spoken biology teacher with a secret poison garden, soon make her the toast of the town. But when the beloved football coach is murdered and Rita’s investigation uncovers not only a messy love triangle, but also rumors of her ne’er-do-well son Vinnie’s involvement, she finds her newfound journalistic zeal on a collision course with her fierce maternal instinct.
Set in New York’s bucolic Hudson Valley and sprinkled with Italian phrases and customs, “The Secret Poison Garden” includes eight mouth-watering, garden-to-table Italian-American recipes.
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Category: Mystery – Cozy