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Penne Dreadful

(Italian Chef Mysteries #1)

by
4.46  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  72 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 dea

...more
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  72 reviews


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Lisa Ks Book Reviews
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.
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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Chris
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Tessa Esposito is still grieving over the death of husband, Dylan, after a tragic car accident. However, when her cousin Gino, a detective, informs her that it might not have been such an accident after all, she vows to do anything to help the investigation. So she ties on an apron and nabs a job at Slice, a pizza parlor and the last place Dylan was seen alive. Soon she’s embroiled in a family business where everyone has something to hide. But the real trouble starts when her own husband’s secre ...more
LORI CASWELL
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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Mark Baker
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, mystery
Tessa Esposito has had her life turned upside down. Her husband has been killed in a car accident, leaving her a widow at 30. However, she is about to get another shock. Her cousin Gino, a cop, stops by to visit and drops the bombshell on her – the police don’t think the accident was an accident at all. Instead, they think it was murder. And he suggests that someone at Slice, the local pizza parlor where Dylan had lunch most days, might be responsible. After all, he was last seen alive leaving t ...more
Kristina
Penne Dreadful is the first book in An Italian Chef Mystery series. Tessa Esposito is from a large Italian family and she is known for cooking up a delectable tomato sauce. She lost her beloved husband, Dylan five weeks ago and she has been holed up in her home ever since. When her cousin and police officer, Gino Mancusi tells that Dylan’s car had been tampered with, Tessa is determined to find out who committed the crime. As Tessa searches for the guilty party, we are introduced to a variety of ...more
Tari
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good that I devoured it in almost one sitting. It was so sweet in some places especially at the end when everything came together for Tessa. This was a complex case with a couple of different mysteries going on that sort of tied together. I don't want to say too much or spoil anything, but there was an exciting showdown where Luigi the cat came in very handy! The ending gave me leaky eyes, but happy ones! I really love the characters of Tessa, her police detective cousin Gino an ...more
Thomas
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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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LibraryLaur
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, adult
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.
Taryn
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Mary Brown
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Penne Dreadful
Italian Chef Mystery, Book #1
Catherine Bruns
5 Stars

Synopsis:

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, and why?

With the investigation running cold, Tessa
...more
The Cozy Review
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Series: Italian Chef Mysteries - Book 1
Author: Catherine Bruns
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Culinary
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Page Count: 416

Publishing Date: July 30, 2019

From Poisoned Pen Press comes the first in a new cozy series “Italian Chef Mysteries” from author Catherine Burns, titled Penne Dreadful. Tessa is a recent widow who finds out that her husbands’ fatal accident was murder. Still grieving, she agrees to help the police find his killer.

Tessa is a talented chef who was idyllically in l
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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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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.
K.A. Davis
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Toni
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

This is the first book in the Italian Chef Mysteries series by Catherine Bruns. She also has a popular series called the Cookies & Chance Mysteries.

Tessa Esposito is still in a daze after her husband of six years died in a car accident. Then her cousin, Gino tells her that it might not have been an accident at all. It was murder. So Tessa goes into sleuth-mode searching out the killer.

I thought this was a great book. I only wish there had been more scenes with her hubby’s best frie
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Missi Martin (Stockwell)
Penne Dreadful by Catherine Bruns is the first book in her new An Italian Chef Mystery series and one thing you NEED to know when you start reading this book is to have a snack handy.....it won't solve the mystery but it will help when you are reading about all the delicious food !!

One unique thing about Penne Dreadful is that the murder already occured when you start reading the story..... When you start reading Penne Dreadful Tessa is mourning the loss of her husband Dylan to a deadly car acci
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Barbara Sousa
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is nothing dreadful about Penne Dreadful; in fact, reading it was a delight. Penne Dreadful is the first in a new series by Catherine Bruns, who takes a unique and refreshing approach to the cozy mystery format.

Tessa Esposito is barely coping following the death of her husband, Dylan. The police had presumed it was an automobile accident, but was it? Tessa’s inquiring mind needs to know. Her investigation soon reveals that Dylan’s life – and his death – were not what she thought them to b
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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
Cathy Daniel
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. Likable characters for the most part and great writing. However, I wished they made the husband die 6 months ago, not 6 weeks. Her moving on and basically considering a new man at 6 weeks seems a little crass. Especially considering his role! I didn't care for the way it ended and Tessa benefiting from something illegal. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Knocked a star off for that. Besides that, I enjoyed it.
Marie McNary
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong start to a new series. At 399 pages, this book is a little longer than some other cozies, but it flew by. I enjoyed the characters and the story. Tessa and her family are rich characters and this book sets a solid foundation for whatever is to come. I look forward to seeing where Tessa’s adventures take her next.
Annarella
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent cozy mystery, well written and engrossing.
It does not match the classic cozy mystery standards and I appreciated the originality and the well developed plot.
The cast of characters is fleshed out, well written and likable.
The mystery, full of twists and turns, kept me guessing till the end.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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.
NicoleG
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Smooth and steady pace of action and lighthearted scenes. Great new series. Another must read from this author.
Tessa
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Penne Dreadful, a new mystery series by Catherine Bruns, is a full-bodied novel with a spicy finish that leaves you excited for more. In this emotional opener, the reader meets Theresa Esposito, Tess or Tessa for short — just like yours truly. Her husband recently passed away in a car accident, and Tessa is determined to find out who killed him no matter the cost. The answers aren’t always what she expects, but it all comes together into a story that is as satisfying to the reader as the right w ...more
Kay Garrett
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...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