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Esposito Mysteries #1

For Love of Livvy

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After her favorite aunt is found dead and an alarming box is mysteriously left on the doorstep of her aunt's house now legally hers, Lavinia Esposito wants explanations. But, having cleared the package of explosives, the local cops are dumbounded by the precious stones which came without an explanation, just an address, her Aunt Livvy's. Frustrated by the cops' refusal to share their theories, criminal justice instructor Lavinia Esposito, a.k.a. Vinnie, takes investigation matters into her own hands. Vinnie is soon dragged into situations beyond her control, finding herself in hot water with the law, the crooks, and her Italian father. Willing to put her life at risk to find out what really happened to her beloved Aunt Livvy, and why jewels would be addressed to her aunt, Vinnie plunges ahead with her usual tenacity, bravery, and keen wits to solve and survive this mystery.

248 pages, Paperback

First published December 21, 2007

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About the author

J.M. Griffin

22 books189 followers
JM Griffin grew up in the Maine countryside. Inspired by the Nancy Drew mysteries, JM wrote her first story at age twelve.

With 5 books written and more in the works, JM's first book in the Vinnie Esposito series published in February of 2009. The first and second Vinnie Esposito novels have been re-released through Lachesis Publishing. The third novel in the series, Dead Wrong, was released in ebook format in October 2010, and in paperback in April 2011. Stay tuned for more of the Vinnie Esposito series.

In addition to the Esposito series, JM has written a mystery featuring faeries, pixies, murder, tea and cupcakes. Lyrical Press, Inc. presented the ebook on August 16th of 2010. The paper edition was released in June 2011 and is available at www.amazon.com.

Murder on Spy Glass Lane, a novel filled with the antics of Sarah McDougall, a psychic artist, her Bassett hound Sparky, and their swashbuckling pirate-like neighbor was published as an ebook in January 2012. The paper version of this book will be available January 1, 2012.

JM and her husband John reside with two crazy cats who rule the roost in New England. Their home is surrounded by a forest, a nearby reservoir and natures creatures.

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5 stars
483 (26%)
4 stars
605 (32%)
3 stars
499 (27%)
2 stars
183 (9%)
1 star
77 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 185 reviews
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 1 book32 followers
December 31, 2009
I tried. I mean I really tried to make it all the way through. Maybe I'm not cut out to read romance or partial-romance genre fiction. For me, a successful novel is one that is character driven. Plot driven may work to a point, but without well-defined characters the plot will eventually lose steam. It's easy to draw comparisons between Vinnie, the thirty something female protagonist in this book, and Stephanie Plum: both italian, both involved with criminal justice, both visit home for dinner, both have two male interests to jostle. The difference is that Vinnie is tough to nail down; one minute talking about teaching a criminal justice class, the next flouncing through her Aunt's house like a thirteen year old any time one the interchangable muscle men appear. Even her adjective-laden dialogue sways between a stereotypical tough Italian and an adolescent groupie.

What For Love of Livvy really needs, though, is compression. There is just too much detail of actions and items that have no bearing on character or story development. I think there are the makings of a good read here, but trying to see it through the verbal clutter is exhausting.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ruth Hill.
1,115 reviews638 followers
July 22, 2013
When it comes to well-written mysteries, I am always a fan. Add a little romance and some light-hearted humor, and I am hooked. Indeed the first book in this mystery series meets the criteria to become a fan favorite. Vinnie is a strong woman, but she seems to be somewhat flighty at times, much to the chagrin and delight of those around her--especially the two men in her life. The charm of the story more than makes up for any portions of the story that come across as being less engaging. By in large, the action is moderately paced, but it mostly kept my attention until the end.

I will be honest--I could have done without the profanity and the sex (I am grateful for no erotic scenes), but the book's rating is not suffering because of these two things. I am appreciative of the fact that the author did not add gratuitous violence to this book. The intrigue is definitely present, but there is nothing that will cause the reader to shiver or shrink back in fear. Honestly, I found Vinnie rather obnoxious when it came to her love life. I grew weary of her attraction to both men in her life. I would have preferred her being more decisive, and I couldn't understand her penchant for one-night stands. I am glad she could defend herself, but I would have preferred if she were a little more assertive in some areas of her life. But that is just my opinion.

Although I was not sold on every portion of the story, it was well worth my time and investment, and I look forward to reading more from this author and series. If you like mysteries, I would recommend that you give this one a try. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Profile Image for Amy.
412 reviews
April 15, 2012
Okay, so this struck me as a very poor attempt at reproducing Stephanie Plum. This book is difficult to follow and the relationships are completely unrealistic. Oh, and I just about pulled my hair out every time I read abiut the "Julia smile", " the two dummies" and " the creep". I will not be continueing on with this series.
Profile Image for Victoria.
763 reviews9 followers
February 23, 2014
Hmmm. I read this several weeks ago and I can't even remember how it ended. I do remember that it irked me throughout the book that the police detective kept getting touchy-feely, groping, kissy with the main character while investigating the case and in uniform and on duty. Really?
Profile Image for Evelyn.
1,189 reviews2 followers
February 8, 2017
I had to get used to how J.M. Griffin began this book inasmuch as I felt there might have been a prior book but no, this is the 1st of the Series. It was a good mystery but I think you will realize who the culprits are pretty quickly.
Profile Image for Ted Tayler.
Author 54 books246 followers
February 14, 2017

This doesn't have the depth of character, or unique plot that would propel it into the stratosphere, but it's an enjoyable read all the same. It's cozy, and a mystery; exactly what it says on the tin. So dive in and enjoy it for what it is; a few hours of escapism.
Profile Image for Krystyna.
5,134 reviews35 followers
July 6, 2018
The Italian connection

Brilliant. Sassy, brash and confident, Vinnie has taken over the house that her aunt left her when she died. She certainly didn't expect an anonymous package to be left on her doorstep. Calling the troopers in (she feared it might contain explosives) has her meeting her hunky hero. Cut gems are in the package. Was her aunt involved in smuggling? Was her aunt's death natural? More packages come to light. With a new tenant, her BFF and her hunk she starts to investigate. Can she find out what really happened to her aunt and who is behind the gems as she has already been attacked and her home turned over twice. A great plot with some nice twists even though you know early on who the culprits are. Great diversity of character lend even more to the story.
4 reviews1 follower
January 1, 2013
This writer really needs an editor, for both grammar/word choice and help with realistic, believable dialogue. Both weaknesses are a big distraction from what I think may be a decent plot. Hoping the rest of the series is stronger. I like light romance, but only if it's truly readable and clever. Writer would greatly benefit from a strong editor as partner.
Profile Image for Donna Huber.
Author 1 book288 followers
October 24, 2013
I think this was a case of "It's me, not you" - I've read too similar books this summer. I would give another book in the series a try as the main character Vinnie grew on me.
Profile Image for Jean.
788 reviews25 followers
September 10, 2014
This is a new author and a new series for me - I liked the story and the characters. I also liked the author's language.
Profile Image for Karen.
1,799 reviews34 followers
July 31, 2015
Not my favorite type of mystery, too much romance.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
408 reviews8 followers
December 16, 2015
This was a fun mystery, not complex but an easy and entertaining read...
Profile Image for Sandra Lopez.
Author 3 books317 followers
January 30, 2020
A strange package arrives to Vinnie after the recent death of her Aunt Livvy. Ever since then, something has been nagging at her about the strange death. But what? The death was not violent; she was found dead in her car. It is weird that we still don’t know how she died.

The story had a slow and unamusing start with too much talk on the small Rhode Island town and the ancient Victorian house Vinnie inherited. The mystery was a little drab and it took a long time to get to it. It seems to be all about the stone gems.

Although Vinnie came up with a snarky quip or two, the story just didn’t compel me as much as I thought it would. I just didn’t buy Vinnie as the detective type, even though she teaches criminal justice at the college. Still, those who can’t do, teach.
882 reviews5 followers
April 24, 2022
What could be better than to read a mystery of a dead aunt, an Italian family, the FBI and the local police not to mention everyone but Livvy knows how to cook? Livvy has inherited her Aunt's home, her 2 businesses, her elderly car and several mysterious bags of valuable gems in velvet bags one of which was delivered to her doorstep in a package addressed to her dead Aunt Livvy! Livvy the niece thinks it is a bomb and calls the bomb squad. That's when worlds collide and she finds out that her aunt died under mysterious circumstances and that the police and the FBI are thinking that Livvy might be involved. That's all that I will tell you but this is a fun read which kept me up late and waking early to finish! Enjoy!
Profile Image for Penny Post.
290 reviews
January 21, 2020
Just What I Needed

I loved the characters and could easily picture Vinnie and Marcus fussing back and forth, her embarrassment at all the clumsiness. The exasperation at her talking back to him and the way they were drawn together while he tried to solve the puzzle of the gems mysteriously being delivered for Aunt Livvy months after her death. Throw in the "Romeo" hunk, the tiny fireball best friend and Vinnie's Italian parents and good food and you have a delightful story with relatable characters and non stop enjoyment.
167 reviews1 follower
January 25, 2019
I enjoyed every minute.

I really liked this character and encourage the author to write more about her mysteries
Who has two gorgeous hunks in her life? Although, I think she choose the right guy, I would encourage a mystery with her best friend and the other hunk This story could have Vinnie involved because her friend asks for help. TA TA
7,314 reviews24 followers
April 20, 2019
Vinnie is a criminal justice instructor, when a package addressed to her deceased aunt arrives on her doorstep. Inside was jewels, what were they about, and did they have anything to do with her aunt’s untimely death. For Vinnie and trouble seem to go hand and hand. As she investigates on her on, curiosity to get answers. Intriguing mystery, with death threats.
Profile Image for Jeff.
581 reviews10 followers
March 27, 2022
I liked this, but didn't love it. It's a typical cozy mystery, and the story is entertaining, but the relationships are totally unrealistic. I agree with other reviewers who question the relationship between Vinnie and the cop. It just doesn't belong, at least not in the context presented. Nevertheless, it was a fun read.
62 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2017
Impetuous heroine and great storyline

Great read. Fast moving and well developed characters made this a book I couldn't put down. Vinny is quite the impetuous heroine and the men in her life have a difficult task trying to control her.
15 reviews
October 5, 2021
A Good Read

A fun story with enough excitement to keep the reader involved. Livy works thru all the angles to get to the end of the story. Sometimes drags a bit, but nonetheless a nice, sexy read.
Profile Image for Natalie.
364 reviews
August 18, 2017
Although I thought it started off a little slow, I did end up enjoying the story.
Profile Image for Linda.
263 reviews2 followers
November 17, 2017
For Love of Livvy

A very entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book and look forward to reading your next book. 👍👍👍👍 !recommend it.
Profile Image for Sandra Burns.
1,701 reviews22 followers
May 18, 2018
Very enjoyable

I just discovered these cozy mysteries last year. Nice to read a book, with humor & miminal romance. Also, no graphic violence.
273 reviews
December 15, 2018
A Stephanie Plum wanna be. Vinnie Esposito, meets hunky men and solves a crime. EH!
126 reviews2 followers
March 28, 2019
Pretty light weight in terms of sex or romance/attraction.
It needed more of either one to keep your interest and make you want to read the next in the series.
Profile Image for Delia Papas.
169 reviews3 followers
July 6, 2019

Love the characters and story. Amazing what family will do to each other for material possession. New adventure with best friends.
22 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2020
Fantastic story, fantastic read!!

Loved the characters and I'm looking forward to following Vinnie through her next adventures! And of course, Trooper Marcus Richmond!
October 19, 2021
good read

I enjoyed the book I liked the spunk of Vinnie. The two cops were ok will get into the next venture that's written Hope you all read and like
Displaying 1 - 30 of 185 reviews

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