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Murder in the Piazza

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Maggie White, a downsized American executive stuck in Rome on her husband's expat assignment, is finding the dolce vita isn't all it's cracked up to be. She's taken a job offering painting instruction to well-heeled travelers and her boss-a rather unpleasant English lord-has turned up dead in his penthouse. Maggie's left with a palazzo full of suspicious guests, a valuable ...more
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Published September 22nd 2020 by Level Best Books
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
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Sarah
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through my favourite place in the world to visit - Rome.
55-year-old Maggie White is re-establishing herself, downsized from her job as a marketing VP for a candy company, she's accompanied her husband Burt to live in Rome for two years, for his work. Discontented with endless games of bridge and cocktail parties with the ex-pat set, Maggie has taken a job with Lord Philip Walpole, who runs small group boutique art tours from his plush Piazza Navona palazzo apartmen
...more
Literary Soirée
Loved the cover and the setting — Rome, glorious Rome! Had hoped for a charming Italian whodunnit, but MURDER IN THE PIAZZA with its slow pace and uninspired characters was not my glass of Prosecco.

3 of 5 Stars

Pub Date 22 Sep 2020

Thanks to the author, the Independent Book Publishers Association, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

#MurderinthePiazza #NetGalley
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
An American woman living in Rome… sounds like the beginning to a story that I want to be living! I just hope that the next thing that happens in mine is a dead body and a murder case on my hands… But at least in this one, the murder victim isn’t exactly a beacon on morality!

Maggie White is in Rome working for a tour company that sells American’s a picture-perfect holiday in Italy—for a hefty price tag. Five months earlier Maggie White was downsized from her high-status executive job, and she sti
...more
Sarah Sansom
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Paintbrushes, plotting, and Prosecco aplenty. If Agatha Christie, Michael Palin and Nigella Lawson conspired to write a novel, Murder In The Piazza would be it! This is a charming, quaffable whodunnit set against the wonderful backdrop of tourist-heaven Rome.

Maggie White is a likeable, cake-loving fifty-something American ex-pat working for an artist tour company in Rome. One moment she’s fancifully planning the demise of her unpleasant boss, Lord Philip, and the next she finds herself in the ce
...more
S Mille
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable despite it hitting a few of my pet peeves.

I really enjoyed this book despite it hitting two of my pet peeves – the protagonist being a suspect and constantly hounding the police with suspects. I don’t like the protagonist being a suspect because it adds artificial tension – the reader knows the hero is innocent, will find the guilty party, and be absolved of the crime, at least in this genre. I think the protagonist pestering the police falls into the same sort of category in that, ag
...more
Jaclyn Shelton Hamer
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A totally charming cast and a compelling mystery set against a gorgeous backdrop of Rome. Maggie White is the perfect cozy protagonist and her gumption will steal your heart. Curl up and dive in to this great story that delivers everything you want from the cozy genre.
Nadishka Aloysius
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book.
I absolutely loved the atmosphere created by this book. I have been to Rome and reading this brought back good, vivid memories of that trip, right down to getting lost near the Pantheon. The setting has a really authentic feel, and the descriptions are wonderful. It's not just what can be seen but, I felt that it appealed to all the senses and made this a memorable read. I particularly liked the extracts from the "W
...more
FMSWarrior
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Expat life isn’t as exciting as Maggie would like it to be, so she finds a job working for a British Lord who hosts trips for artists. They say, be careful what you wish for and Maggie couldn’t have even guessed that during her first time working with a tour group she would find more than enough excitement. Her boss is murdered and Maggie becomes a prime suspect all for trying to help the local police who seem to brush off the murder as a robbery. Now Maggie has to balance the remainder of the g ...more
Brenda
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Such fun to read a cozy mystery which takes place in my most beloved city on the planet, the incomparable Rome. Very meaningful and relatable, though one needn't be familiar with sights/sites to enjoy this book as the atmosphere was described well.

Maggie White and her husband are Americans temporarily living in Rome. While her husband works, Maggie finds boredom closing in so finds a job providing painting instructions. After her boss is found dead, she also helps with tours along with others sh
...more
Len Joy
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Murder in the Piazza” was a welcome escape after six months where the farthest I’ve traveled is Appleton, Wisconsin. I’ve never been to Rome, but it is definitely on my list of places to go as soon as we can start going places again.

Jen Collins Moore’s debut novel, “Murder in the Piazza,” is described as a cozy mystery and I am not a cozy mystery reader so my opinion is not expert, but this was an engaging story with numerous plot twists that kept me guessing right up until the conclusion. Wel
...more
Kristin
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
New to me author. This was a fun read, set in Italy, so I was excited to read it. It didn't disappoint. Good mystery, great ending. Looking forward to the next book in the series!
Elizabeth
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I expected a Hallmark mystery movie storyline, but it became clear fairly early on that this was not going to be that type of book. It was unpredictable and kept me guessing the entire time. The protagonist had a tendency to just throw everything at the wall and see what stuck only to be believed with little persuading in the end. But overall, it was an enjoyable read.
Mary Hale
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book, I wanted to give it 4 stars but there were too many inconsistencies and errors. My favorite part was the opening of each chapter, it added to the story without being straight fluff. Despite its issues, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries
Savanna (savbeebooks)
Synopsis: "Maggie White, a downsized American executive stuck in Rome on her husband's expat assignment, is finding the dolce vita isn't all it's cracked up to be. She's taken a job offering painting instruction to well-heeled travelers and her boss-a rather unpleasant English lord-has turned up dead in his penthouse. Maggie's left with a palazzo full of suspicious guests, a valuable painting her boss might have stolen, and a policeman who's decided she's the prime suspect. Now Maggie must keep ...more
Karren Hodgkins
Sep 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This really was a mixed bag for me; there were definitely parts of the book I enjoyed then others not so much. The use of the tourism brochure toggle context to each chapter was delightful and I enjoyed the mentions of the various elements of Rome.

The characters who worked together to solve the crime seemed implausible to me, they haven't known each other very long at all, so didn't come across as a likely crew to solve a murder. I also struggled to relate to the lead character and her attitude
...more
Dorothy
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this cozy mystery. I couldn't put it down! Maggie, the protagonist, was relatable and witty. Loved the author's sense of humor and lyrical descriptions. Set in Rome, the novel was a much needed escape during this lock-down period. I have the biggest craving for artichokes now, but that's beside the point.

I finished this book in a couple of sittings. The plot is fast-paced, and the characters are memorable. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book. It's the light, fun, distracting read
...more
Livingston Grant
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book! Yes, it involved murder, bodies, mystery.... It also involved every day people. How would you react to something like this? And all were suspect!
Rome really had nothing to do with the story, but it is always nice to remember places where one has traveled. The introductions to the chapters was a nice touch.
theliterateleprechaun
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Mamma mia! What a treat you are about to read! Promise me you’ll grab a saccottino al cioccolato with your cappuccino – you’ll thank me later. Jen Collins Moore’s writing appeals to the artist, the traveller, the sleuth, and the foodie and I’d rather you be wiping a crumb off your page than drool!!!

You are about to embark on a new mystery series featuring Maggie White, an endearing and extremely relatable middle-aged detective, and a delightful cast of travellers on a luxury vacation in Italy.
...more
Cathy Cole
One of these days, I'm going to travel to Italy, but until that happens, I have to be satisfied with being an armchair traveler. On that score, Murder on the Piazza, the first Maggie White mystery, delivers a feast. The Rome setting is superb, and I really felt as though I got to know the city. I also appreciate art, so being in the midst of a tour that includes sightseeing in art museums and classes on painting was right up my alley. If only my reaction to the characters and the mystery itself ...more
Sue F
Sep 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m a fan of murder mysteries set in foreign places, and so I was happy to receive an ARC of Murder in the Piazza, which is set in Rome, in exchange for my honest review. And I found Murder in the Piazza to be an enjoyable cozy mystery, but felt that it underperformed just a bit.

The premise is quite nice – the protagonist, Maggie, is at loose ends without a job while her husband Burt has an expatriate posting in Rome. So she gets a job with Lord Philip, who appears to be a bit of a remittance m
...more
Susan
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was just what I needed, a virtual return trip to Rome, one of my all time favorite cities. Joining Maggie was great fun as she went from boredom to a new job to wondering how she would go about bumping of her odious boss. She forgot that old saying, be careful what you wish for - two weeks into her job working with artist tours somebody does bump off Lord Philip Walpole and the whole tour group, assorted others and, of course, Maggie, are on the suspect list. Not being satisfied with the la ...more
Homerun2
Sep 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.5 stars

This was a readable if perhaps not memorable mystery with an interesting setting. Maggie White and her husband Burt are in Rome. Burt's job took him there, and Maggie was at loose ends after an abrupt termination from her U.S. job that she is embarrassed and secretive about. But, after becoming bored with the wife ex-pat socializing experience , Maggie has found something to sink her teeth into: she is the sort of manager of a high-end travel group that provides insider tours and experi
...more
Lizz Axnick
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ng-reviews
I liked the cover of this book and the fact that is a cozy set in a different country. I was hoping it would be a nice change of pace from the usual cozy faire of small town amateur sleuth where everyone knows everyone. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

Maggie is an older protagonist than the usual cozy heroine at 55. The author likes to compare other characters' ages to Maggie's, saying they are x years older or younger than she is. I started out liking Maggie but when we got to the actual murd
...more
Tara Farbstein
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020, arcs
Rome, pastry, art, and cozy mystery, this book had the recipe to be a wonderful escape. Although it was slow going, in the end, I enjoyed this book.

Maggie, a 50-something, ex marketing executive, is living in Rome with her husband who has been transferred for 2 years. To keep herself busy with something she deems "worthwhile", she gets a job with a small tour company specializing in art in Rome. One moment, she is planning her boss's demise, and the next he's the victim of murder. Maggie takes i
...more
Debbie
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Multiple twists and turns throughout this charming cozy murder mystery set in Rome had me guessing until the end which of the colorful characters "done it." The clever excerpts from the tour brochure that started each chapter hinted at the unveiling story line and at the same time brought the sites, flavors and essence of Italy to life. The enticing descriptions of Italian dishes and pastries added to the authenticity. I felt like I was on a tour of Rome while trying to solve the mystery through ...more
Jan
Rome was beautiful, the art was exceptional, the characters were almost caricatures, and the investigation was rather a spoof. I found it to be rather fun and enjoyed the read.
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Level Best Books/Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) via NetGalley. Thank you!
Jilly
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Maggie White is a middle aged American expat in Rome working as a tour group manager who fantasizes about different ways to murder her obnoxious boss until one night she walks in to find him dead at his desk--the victim of a fatal gunshot wound. Maggie quickly realizes that her now deceased boss is not exactly what he appears to be as she begins to hunt down his murderer (all while still leading a tour of art loving Americans and Brits around Rome).


This book is a really fun murder-mystery with
...more
Jessica Robbins
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-kindle, blog-tour
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.

Italy anyone? This lovely new cozy series is set in the ancient city of Rome giving us a glimpse into the country. Maggie is living there for two years thanks to her husbands work. She is supposed to be content not working during this time but feels unfulfilled after working all her life while raising their kids. So instead she takes a job with Masterpiece Tours which is where we start with her plotting
...more
T Olsen
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
The characters are good, but the story is rather boring with lots of repetitions and no suspense. The plot is also weak, making this book readable, but not very entertaining. PS: If you bake a cake at 375 for 20 minutes in Italy, you will get a bad surprise.
Patty
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you follow my book reviews you know I don’t read a lot of murder mysteries; I have found that they tend to interfere with my sleep patterns. I found that I couldn’t resist this one though due to the location and the fact that it’s a “cozy” mystery which means it’s not going to be full of blood and gore. I love Rome and really enjoyed my trip there and reading this book was almost like a trip back to that wonderful city. I probably should have made myself a big bowl of pasta to eat while readi ...more
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I love to travel, and I write mysteries about the places I love to visit. Remembering the sights, smells, sounds, and, of course, food, of a favorite place is one of my greatest pleasures when bringing a story to life.

I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer, but I took a long path to get here. After earning an A.B. from Bowdoin College (a fancy Latin term for a Bachelor of Arts) and an M.B.A. fr
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