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Penne Dreadful

(Italian Chef Mysteries #1)

by
4.55  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Tomato sauce isn't the only thing that runs red...

Local chef Tessa Esposito is struggling to get back on her feet following her husband's fatal accident. And when the police knock on Tessa's door, things just get worse. They've discovered Dylan's death wasn't an accident after all, and they need Tessa to start filling in the blanks. Who would want her beloved husband dead,
...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: July 30th 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press
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4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  38 reviews


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Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well done to author Catherine Bruns for penning a cozy mystery unlike any other I have ever read. Her seemingly effortless writing once again ensures this will be another big hit for her.

PEENE DREADFUL wan an intriguing mystery with more twists than corkscrew pasta. With each new chapter came jaw dropping revelations that made this story so much more than it originally seemed.

Love, loss, deceit, betrayal, grief, hope . . . there was so much going on in this tale that I was left emotionally drai
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Gail C.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
PENNE DREADFUL is the first in a new series by Catherine Bruns featuring Tessa, a young, recently widowed Italian who loves to cook. The series, Italian Chef Series, is proposed to follow Tessa as she adjusts to widowhood, and, of course, solves mysteries she is compelled to solve.
In this first book of the series, Tessa is in the early stages of widowhood, finding it hard to get out and begin living again. This is immediately compounded when her policeman cousin, Gino, tells her the apparent
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Thomas
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tessa Esposito is still struggling to get through her days. It's been a few weeks since her husband died in a car accident. Now she learns that his death was not an accident. Gino, her police officer cousin let her know before the news hit the streets. She is asked to take a job at one of the restaurants where her husband was last known to be, and to snoop around if possible.

While asking questions about Dylan's death, she learns that her marriage may not have been as happy as she had thought it
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Shelly
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Suspense, betrayal and twists and turns abound in this debut book in the in the Italian Chef Mystery series. In picturesque Harvest Park, NY everyone knows everyone. Most of the businesses are locally owned and family ties and friendships are paramount. But a cloud of suspicion settles over the town when Tessa Esposito finds herself prematurely widowed at the age of 30 and the police deem the accident he died in was not so ‘accidental.’ Devastated and disconcerted, Tessa vows to find the individ ...more
RO G'ma
Startling Secrets Uncovered When a Husband Dies

Penne Dreadful is the debut novel in Catherine Bruns’ Italian Chef Mysteries series. The storyline flows smoothly in this steadily paced cozy whodunit, and the affable characters are well developed. There are plenty of twists and turns, red herrings, and suspects to keep the reader engaged. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy reading well-crafted cozy mysteries.

Tessa Esposito is a talented chef who recently lost her husband in a tragic automo
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Taryn
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Tessa recently lost her husband in a car accident and has been struggling to make it through each day ever since. The only thing that brings her a touch of happiness is cooking and feeding those around her. When she learns that her husband Dylan's death wasn't actually an accident it throws her for a loop. Who would have wanted to kill her husband and why? Her husband was a great guy and everybody loved him. It doesn't look like the police are getting anywhere and Tessa is tired of waiting for t ...more
Sandy Bartles
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful, yet sad, story. I cried so much throughout the book. Sad is not usually my cup of tea, but there was no way I could bring myself to stop reading it. Catherine Bruns brought this book to life and made me feel as if I was the main character. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.
K.A. Davis
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
PENNE DREADFUL is the first book in the brand new Italian Chef Mystery series by Catherine Bruns. This debut book contains all the ingredients for a page-turning mystery and is filled with lies, betrayal, and murders. The protagonist, Tessa Esposito, is edgier than Ms. Bruns’ previous characters in her other series, and her sleuthing is aggressive. Yet the reader can’t help but cheer for her to move forward and find answers. The author provides good character development and growth over the cour ...more
Sandy Bartles
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful, yet sad, story. I cried so much throughout the book. Sad is not usually my cup of tea, but there was no way I could bring myself to stop reading it. Catherine Bruns brought this book to life and made me feel as if I was the main character. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.
NicoleG
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great first in series! I would hooked from the beginning by the punny title, likable main character, and of course the food!! Who would have thought pasta sauce could be used as a weapon? So meany great cozy mystery elements are woven into this book. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series!
KayKay
This is an excellent cozy mystery, definitely a pleasant surprise.

The author crafts an sophisticated plot with a giant puzzle (or puzzles?) for readers to solve, which is not common for the cozy genre. A widow who is a gifted chef has to find out the motive and the culprit behind the tragic "accident" which takes away the life of her husband very recently. Not wanting to give away too much details, all I can say is "Penne Dreadful" is an engaging read from the beginning to the end. The journey
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Mary Cadahia
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Smooth and steady pace of action and lighthearted scenes. Great new series. Another must read from this author.
LibraryLaur
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, mystery
I found it hard to suspend disbelief in this one. A recent widow discovers her husband's death was no accident and takes it upon herself to solve his murder. I didn't buy the motives or the introduction of a possible love interest (her beloved died, like, six weeks ago!) and I don't think I will be following this series.

*Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
LORI CASWELL
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Was local chef Tessa Esposito’s husband not the man she thought he was? A few weeks have passed since he was killed in a fatal accident and now police have decided he may have been murdered. Her cousin, Detective Gino Mancusi brings her the news and has an idea for her to help solve the case. He wants her to apply for a job at her husband’s favorite pizza place, a place he spent quite a bit of time, and work undercover keeping her eyes and ears open. Tessa agrees but she does
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Kay Garrett
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-read
PENNE DREADFUL by Catherine Bruns is the first book in her new series -An Italian Chef Mystery series. It is the fabulous story of Tessa Esposito – her coming to terms with many secrets her recently deceased husband had kept from her, being told his death wasn’t an accident and finding out she is stronger than she ever thought she could be.

Just weeks after the death of her beloved husband, Dylan, Tessa is trying to make sense of her life, pick up the pieces and move on. Then she learned from her
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Kathleen
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
“Penne Dreadful” earns 5/5 Pots of Sauce…Deliciously Engaging!

I am an eager fan of Catherine Bruns’ work from her seven-book Cookies & Chance Mystery to the three book Cindy York Mystery to her two-book Carrie Jorgenson series in the Aloha Lagoon Mystery multi-author collection, so I knew I'd not be disappointed by her new series…An Italian chef? Italian cuisine? Murder? Catherine penned a well-written first-person narrative with a compelling plot using some contemporary issues, vivid (some
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Christy
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m always hesitant to pick up a book written by a new to me author especially when it comes to cozy mystery books. My first experience with reading cozy mysteries was when I started reading The Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun. So, I expected every book that labeled itself as a cozy mystery to be similar in terms of content: very little swearing, no sex…in other words, clean. I’ve not found that to be the case with all of the cozies I’ve read since. However, I’m happy to tell you that Penn ...more
Lisa
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Penne Dreadful is the first in the Italian Chef Mysteries by Catherine Bruns. This was also the first of Bruns' books that I've read. I will definitely be back for more!

Tessa Esposito is a wonderful chef. She's also now a widow, reeling from the death of her husband Dylan. He died in what she thought was a car accident, but now she's learned that it was no accident. Gino Mancusi, her cousin, is a police officer working on the investigation, and he gives Tessa the heads up. He also encourages her
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Peggy R
This is the first book I have read by this author and the start of a new series for her. I found it to be a very enjoyable read. The book had a good steady pace that kept me turning pages to see what would happen next. I thought the main character Tessa was well written. She has just become a young widow and discovered her husband's car accident may have been murder. I thought the author did a good job of balancing Tessa as a grieving widow with a good sense of inner strength to help her deal wi ...more
Andria Potter
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lovely mystery that was absolutely entertaining and devious! Further review to come!

~*~

I should start this off with a warning to readers: don’t read this book without snacks nearby. Especially tasty snacks. Because this book has described food that made me hungry and craving pasta for lunch (which I successfully had while reading this book!) and it’s description of food is definitely on par with a lot of chefs that I’ve met who know what they’re talking about when they talk about food. The typ
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Penney
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
About the book:
Local chef Tessa Esposito is struggling to get back on her feet following her husband's fatal accident. And when the police knock on Tessa's door, things just get worse. They've discovered Dylan's death wasn't an accident after all, and they need Tessa to start filling in the blanks. Who would want her beloved husband dead, and why?

With the investigation running cold, Tessa decides it's time to save her sanity by reconnecting with her first love-cooking. And maybe the best way ba
...more
Jessica Woods
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Penne Dreadful is the first in a new cozy mystery series "An Italian Chef mystery". Tessa is deep in her grief for her husband Dylan who died a month before in a fiery car crash. In an attempt to get Tessa back to living, her cop cousin Vino tells her Dylan's death looks like it murder and that one of the last places he was seen is looking for a cook. Tessa goes undercover at the "Slice" to sleuth around. But the further she investigates the more it seems her husband was up to his neck in lies a ...more
Marsha
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Penne Dreadful by Catherine Bruns is the first in her new series, Italian Cooks cozy mysteries. The protagonist, Tessa, is recently widowed and just trying to get her life back together. When her cousin Gino, a police detective, breaks the news her accountant husband's car accident wasn't an accident she is out to find out who would want her husband dead. She takes Gino's advice and gets a job at the local pizza parlor where her husband had been going the books.Then during her investigation she ...more
Sue Em
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Recently widowed, Tessa Esposito's family is concerned about her grief and depression. Her cousin, Gino -- a police officer, tells her that her husband's death was not an accident as originally thought. He asks her to get a job at the the local pizzeria Slice where her husband had been spending an inordinate amount of time in the months before his death. With her cooking skills getting hired should be a cinch and she should be able to see if anything suspicious was happening at the restaurant. T ...more
Bridget
This was such a wonderfully compelling mystery from start to finish. Even though the plot-line wasn't particularly new or original, the author, Catherine Bruns, had executed the story with such a fresh take that it was nothing short of hugely enjoyable. An engaging cast of characters and a fantastically well-thought-out mystery resulted in a novel chock full of, love, loss, deceit and betrayal that I was desperate to continue reading until the fulfilling conclusion.

I am already looking forward t
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Karen Wright
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was packed full of action and never a dull moment. All the talk of Italian food made me starving for spaghetti! Overall, I liked it and thought it was a really good book. The story was interesting and fast paced. It was well written and the characters were well developed. The story finished off nicely and I loved Tessa, in fact I am looking forward to another book to be added to the series. The characters were a wonderful, nosy Italian family which added some comedy to the story. There ...more
Karina
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Penne Dreadful (Italian Chef Series #1) by Catherine Bruns is the first book of hers that I have had the pleasure to read. It definitely will not be the last. This book was a quick read with lots of twists and turns keeping you turning the pages. I did not want to put this book down. Just when you think you have a grip the story changes. I love that there are recipes at the end of the book. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I highly recommend this series to anyone that loves z g ...more
Karina
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Penne Dreadful (Italian Chef Series #1) by Catherine Bruns is the first book of hers that I have had the pleasure to read. It definitely will not be the last. This book was a quick read with lots of twists and turns keeping you turning the pages. I did not want to put this book down. Just when you think you have a grip the story changes. I love that there are recipes at the end of the book. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I highly recommend this series to anyone that loves z g ...more
Nicole
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
** I received a free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. **

3.5 stars!

This was a fun, mystery read. I requested it on a whim from Netgalley simply because of the title, being part-Italian and loving to eat penne. It was a little difficult to keep track of all the characters throughout the book. My biggest complaint is a silly one...this book made me SO hungry reading it. I've been craving nothing but pizza, pasta, and my Nana's homemade sauce while I read this.
Betty
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The first book in the Italian Cooks mysteries finds Tessa Esposito trying to recover from her grief of the death of her husband. The police inform her that it was not an accident but MURDER as someone had tamper with the car. Tessa needs to know who is responsible DEATH. She begins to think someone at the Slice, a pizzeria is quilty. The owner hired her as a cook because he wants to market her tomato sauce which is unique. This was the last place her husband was seen before the accident. He was ...more
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Catherine is the USA Today best selling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in Upstate New York with a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons and an assortment of cats and dogs. She holds a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. Catherine also writes the Cindy York Mysteries and the Aloha Lagoon (Carr ...more