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Murder on Memory Lake

(Ferrara Family Mystery #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  53 reviews
For Alberta Scaglione, her golden years are turning out much more differently than she expected—and much more deadly . . .

Alberta Scaglione’ s spinster aunt had some secrets—like the fortune she squirreled away and a secret lake house in Tranquility, New Jersey. More surprising: she’s left it all to Alberta. Alberta, a widow, is no spring chicken and she’s gotten used to d
Mass Market Paperback, 323 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  121 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Murder on Memory Lake by J.D. Griffo is the first book of the new cozy Ferrara Family Mystery series. And what a creative beginning to a cozy mystery this was with the sleuthing actually becoming a family affair.

Alberta Scaglione is a sixty something widow who couldn’t believe the news she received that her aunt had left everything in her will to Alberta including her house on Memory Lake in Tranquility, New Jersey. Her aunt had been a spinster and sort of the black sheep of the family but being
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Most of us hope we have a long lost relative that will leave us a fortune. Well, Alberta Scaglione thought she knew her aunt quite well, but was totally surprised to find she had quite a nest egg and a house on the lake in Tranquility, New Jersey. Even more surprising was she left it all to Alberta. Alberta and her cat quickly moved to the house on Memory Lake. The view was idyllic until it was marred by a dead body in the lake. The dead body of someone she knows.

Alberta’s rel
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Alberta Scaglione's spinster aunt dies, she leaves her niece her lake house and money in Tranquility, NJ. Alberta is a widow now and her children are grown, so she's happy to start a new phase of her life. Her peaceful prospects are interrupted, however, when the dead body of her childhood nemesis, Lucy Agostino, is found floating in the lake. Alberta teams up with her granddaughter, Gina -- known as Jinx -- to investigate who killed Lucy.

I enjoyed this cozy mystery with its Italian flavor
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, e-books, cozy
The first of a new series and new author for me and has a unique plot. I found this book hard to rate. I finally gave 3 stars but would have given it 3.5 stars, if I could. I found it difficult to bones with the characters. The text did flow easily. I felt The characters need more development. The ending is no surprise.
An elderly senior, Alberta Scaglione has inherited a cottage from her Aunt. The house is located on the banks of a man-made lake called Memory located in Tranquility, New Jersey.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
If you enjoy cozy mysteries with an older protagonist, a cast of Italian characters and more quirkiness than suspense then you will enjoy Murder on Memory Lake. I found difficult to connect with cast of characters at times, but I enjoyed the mysterious elements woven into the story-line as well as the beautiful descriptions of Memory Lake.
Gail C.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Prepare to suspend belief. The characters are vividly drawn and often their activities are outlandish or so outrageous as to be unbelievable. Nevertheless, they are easy to fall in love with and you find yourself caught up in whatever they are doing at the moment, hoping it all turns out to the good. The mystery, or perhaps it’s solution, borders on the absurd at times, and yet you find yourself wondering if you have drawn the correct conclusions. If so, you may be able to determine “who done it ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Murder on Memory Lake by J.D. Griffo is the debut of The Ferrara Family Mystery series. Alberta Scaglione is surprised when she learns her recently deceased aunt, Carmela had an estate and left it entirely to her. It turns out that Carmela kept some secrets which included a lake house in Tranquility, New Jersey and a large amount of money. The only caveat is that she cannot give away any of the money (i.e.—to her greedy relatives) for two years (she knew her niece well). Alberta’s family used to ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is book 1 in the Ferrara Family Mystery series and it's a good one. I love how Alberta Scaglione inherits a cottage on Memory Lake and gathers her Italian family around. When her granddaughter Jinx arrives just as an old frenemy of Alberta is found in the lake, they decide to investigate. The mystery was well written, the only annoying thing about this book was all the comments among the family in Italian. I like the older characters taking point and still be active women. I received a copy ...more
Jerri Cachero
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solving mysteries, family style!

I enjoyed the first book in the Ferrara Family Mysteries! When a surprise inheritance changes Alberta Ferrara 's life, it also leads to changes in her granddaughter Jinx, sister Helen and sister-in-law Joyce's lives - they become investigators. Their first case is a matter of life and death for Alberta!

With the exception of Jinx, all the ladies are of a mature age, which I enjoy! The characters are feisty, stubborn, complex and loving, kind and smart...just like f
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in a new series and what a start it was. I loved this loud, boisterous, sassy Italian family. When Alberta Scaglione's spinster aunt dies, she leaves her niece her lake house and money in Tranquility, NJ. Alberta is a widow and her children are grown, so she's happy to start a new phase of her life. Moving to the house on Memory Lake Alberta expected to have a nice peaceful place to retire but what she didn’t expect was to walk out and see a body floating in the lake. Just ...more
Jessica Wilhoite
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Murder on Memory Lake" is about a woman (Alberta) who inherits a lake house from her aunt. Right after she moves in she discovers a body floating on the lake. It turns out she knew the woman from her you - and was not very fond of her - apparently someone else wasn't either. Alberta is estranged from her daughter, but is very close with her granddaughter, Jinx, and they decide they want to solve this mystery together. Of course, neither of them are detectives. With the help of Alberta's sister, ...more
RO G'ma
3.5 Stars
Murder on Memory Lake is the debut book in J.D. Griffo’s Ferrara Family Mystery series. The book starts slow, but picks up momentum and the cast of quirky characters add humor to the storyline. There aren’t any gratuitous adult situations or graphic violence in this unique mystery, but there is adult language.

When Alberta Ferrara Scaglione’s aunt passed away, she’s shocked not only to learn she owned a house, and had cash and stocks, but also that she’s the sole beneficiary. Alberta mo
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-family
What an excellent start to a new series (I actually started this series with book 2, and loved it so raised book 1 to the top of my TBR pile!)

Alberta was expecting to live out her life in a fairly cramped apartment when she gets a surprising phone call letting her know that she is the sole beneficiary of her late aunt.  This means a wonderful house over looking  Memory Lake, she also has managed to connect with her grand daughter (known to all as Jinx) but is still estranged from Jinx's mother,
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Murder on Memory Lake by J. D. Griffo is the first book in Ferrara Family Mystery series, and an enjoyable book. Alberta is shocked to learn that she inherited not only a lake house in Tranquility, New Jersey, but also everything else her aunt owned. When a body is found in Memory Lake, Alberta, her granddaughter Jinx, sister Helen, and sister-in-law Joyce set out to solve the mystery. Jinx is a reporter, who is looking for a break on a big case. I found this book very interesting, and full of c ...more
JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
Alberta Scaglione hasn't had an easy life. She was married to a man who didn't love her, and her only daughter fights with her constantly - which culminates in her daughter moving out of state to get away from her. She's a 64-year-old widow who doesn't have much in life - until a spinster aunt leaves her over three million dollars and a lakefront home in Tranquility, New Jersey. Now she's enjoying her chance to relax and live her life the way she wants.

At least she was, until a body floats on th
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozies
Received a free copy from Murder & Mayhem and Kensington Books. It was a mixed bag for me.

What I liked:
- The characters were engaging, and I like the warm Italian family relationships;
- Well written dialog that felt natural;
- Descriptions of people and places were pretty good;
- Good sense of humor throughout.

Things I didn't like as much:
- The plot was pretty convoluted, especially at the end. One big messy ball of spaghetti;
- The characters jumped to conclusions that sometimes didn't make m
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to the wonderfully oddball world of the Ferrara Family Detective Agency. The members are Alberta (grandmother to Jinx and sister to Helen) Jinx, a budding reporter, Aunt Helen (a former nun, not to be messed with) and Aunt Joyce, the black Italian sister-in-law and ex-wife to Helen and Alberta's brother Ant. Put them together and watch out.
Alberta has inherited her aunt's house on Memory Lake in a small town called Tranquillity. All she wants to do is sit and enjoy her retirement while
Cozy Cat Reviews
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Welcome J.D. Griffo! This new series is a hit.
As a cozy debut this author has all the right elements that make this book so enjoyable to read. I look forward to the next in series with anticipation. . Thank you for the ARC which does not influence my review. I highly recommend this new series for all who enjoy a great sleuth amid fun characters and a humor throughout.

This is the story of Alberta Ferrara Scaglione who is in her 60'S. . She has been named the heir in her Aunt Carmela’s will and
Susan Johnston
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Princess Fuzzypant here: Having a Momma who is of a certain vintage who never would and certainly never will again be a supermodel like meow, I appreciate books where the heroine is like fine wine and well aged. Alberta is quite lady. She has lived in the shadows of her difficult husband and now he is gone, she is ready to live her life. It helps when a relative leaves her a fortune and a house of the lake where she used to summer as a child. She has been beaten down by life but making the move ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alberta Scaglione is a senior who has given up hope. When her aunt dies, she inherits millions of dollars and a house on the shores of Memory Lake in Tranquility, New Jersey. Not long after she moves into the house, she finds a body in the lake, and not just any body. It’s the body of someone she knew in high school. Her sister, sister-in-law, and granddaughter, who wants to be a crime reporter, join her in trying to solve the crime.

The author used way too many stereotypes – a lawyer who talks l
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delightful read. It started slow for me (getting to know the background & all) but glad I stuck with it because it definitely picked up and had me hooked till the end. I love the group of family ladies. They are all smart and witty. They work well together. Alberta reminds me a lot like my own grandmother and I could see her doing half the things Alberta did. There were a lot of good words of wisdom that reminded me of my own family. Very relatable to me. Good mystery. Lots of twists and e ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alberta Scaglione is a single grandmother who finds herself the sole heir of her recently deceased aunt who kept some secrets about her wealth. Moving into her aunt’s house on the lake, Alberta settles in and learns how to relax on the deck as she watches the sun set on the lake...until one day she finds the body of her long time nemesis, Lucy. Only Alberta realizes that Lucy must have been murdered.

Nemesis or not, Alberta’s newly returned granddaughter talks her into solving the murder. With t
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Really more of a 3.7 book. I really enjoyed having a mature sleuth (Alberta) team up with her granddaughter and sisters in law to solve a mystery. The big Italian family was fun-- and I thought the humor marvelous. I was a bit disappointed to have Alberta become-- well, more of a generic heroine partway through the book. She and her granddaughter behave too similarly. I was hoping for more contrast in approach. Fortunately, some of that was provided by the more acerbic Helen. My two favorite cha ...more
Susan Edmondson
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it
The book involves Alberta, her granddaughter Jinx, her sister; an ex-nun: Helen and sister in law Joyce. The ladies are a hoot together and some of the lines Helen gives makes you laugh. The book had a slow start but it is the first one in the series. The story line moved at a quick pace as well.

Alberta inherits a cottage on Memory Lake from an aunt. She finds an old school rival floating in the lake one morning. The local sheriff says it was accidently and Alberta knows different. With the hel
Kathleen Gray
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alberta, a mature woman, didn't expect to find a body floating in the lake in front of her newly inherited home (who does?) She teams up with her granddaughter Jinx to find out why Tranquility is not so tranquil. This is the first entry in what's meant to be a series so there are a lot of characters to meet, including members of the boisterous Italian American family and Alberta's friends who will help her as well. Some of this goes over the top, some of it could have been pared, but there are s ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book courtesy of NetGalley. This light cozy has Italian women begin their own unofficial family detective agency. Alberta finds her lifelong nemesis floating in the lake and knows right away that her death is murder. The police are unconvinced until the autopsy results and while they investigate so does Alberta. Joining her are her granddaughter Jinx, sister Helen and sister-in-law Joyce. The family conversations, card games & flavored vodka provide quite a bit of entertainment. ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I saw the cover of this book, I knew it had to be a good one! What else could I expect with the cover's pretty flowers, peaceful lake, glorious sunset and even a cat! Alberta and her granddaughter Jinx agree to work together to solve the mystery of why someone was killed, with the body discovered on Alberta's inherited lake property. More relatives join forces, and bring a smile to your face at the same time!
This book was given to me as a result of a giveaway, and the thoughts expr
Sep 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018, dnf
I saw this book as an ebook in my local library and thought I'd start a new series. I gave it 50 pages and then had to put it down. The writing style was just uncomfortable for me. I'm not sure if it was translated from another language but it just didn't flow well with alternating long, flowing sentences and then very short simple sentences. Over and over again and it just made it too hard to keep going.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Around the Year in 52 Books 2018 Reading Challenge. An author's 1st book.

Alberta Scaglione's spinster aunt had secrets, including her fortune and a house on Memory Lake in Tranquility, New Jersey. Unfortunately, soon after moving in, Alberta discovers the body of her life long nemesis floating in the lake. Alberta and her granddaughter decide to solve this mystery aided by Alberta's sister and sister-in-law. They are an interesting family. Lots of potential for this series.
Barbara Tobey
A pleasant cozy mystery. A diverse group of four Italian ladies decide they must solve a murder. The writing flowed nicely, but I wasn't totally engaged with the characters. Too easy for me to put down and return later. I will try the next one in this new series. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley.
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