*This book was given to me by the author in the "Goodreads Giveaway" in exchange for an honest review.*
"Even the truth can be damaging, if it's revealed too soon or too late or to the wrong parties." - Angelina Bonaparte
Angelina Bonaparte is a former librarian, now a private investigator whom while working a usual case of suspected adultery falls into the abyss of a larger case considering her client and the client's husband.
Namely, Gracie Belloni hired Angelina to investigate her husband Anthony, she suspected him having an affair after seeing an account for furs and jewellery she never received. Angelina was deep into the case (including dumpster diving) when a call in the middle of the night came. Attorney of the alleged adulterer and her client Gracie begged Angie to take Anthony's case because he was just suspected of a murder of his mistress, Elisa Morano. He settled things with Gracie, his pregnant wife whom is about have their fifth child, and now that they were over the adultery thing, he is suspected of a murder. Gracie wants Angie to drop the adultery case and help him clear his name.
If it were anyone else, Angie wouldn't help an adulterer with anything especially a murder case but Gracie is her acquaintance and in her last month of pregnancy so she softened up and decided to help. Plus, she honestly believed Anthony was innocent and she couldn't stand an innocent man winding up in jail.
So, when Angie took the case, she also knew that working with the police was out of the question since they won't look further than Anthony for a suspect. She started with the usual, looking into Elisa's life, her accounts, her whereabouts on that day, her close of kin and known acquaintances. Interviewing, taking notes, poking, staking out...
During the investigation, Angie found a good friend and made a couple of enemies. For one certain grumpy detective named Ted Wukowski for whom she was certain didn't like her since they've met she managed to change an opinion about and much more than that, she started to feel something for him.
The case slowly heated up and the tension was rising. The danger was closer than ever with the killer on the loose and with Angie's heart in turmoil.
"There's a lot of common ground between criminals and cops. Both savor power, thrills, control. The good cops know they're only a step or two away from the crooks they're arresting." - Angelina Bonaparte
The story is interesting, enveloped in mystery and not just in a sense of an ongoing murder investigation but in all the details that we received through our main heroine about her upbringing and role in a society.
Angelina's family came from Italy. They settled here in the last century and made new families and connections through time. But the mentality and the culture were passed down from one generation to another and it changed little since their arrival from Italy.
Women should care for their husbands, the house, the cleaning, kids and grandchildren and they shouldn't poke their noses in male business. That's how Angelina was raised and how most of her family and friends lived including herself until her divorce. Woman's role in a society was to be the pillar of the family while men work as the pillars of society. They are also brought up as firm Christians. All the Christian values must be respected in all aspects of life.
All of that was Angie's life until her ex husband Bozo started to sleep around. Despite her loving support and two children. That was her turning point in life. She got divorced, moved to a spacious condo, got new furniture and a new car. But from all of the things she got, she lost one which is perhaps the most important one to have - faith and trust in people. She couldn't sustain a relationship and she doubted everyone and anyone she didn't personally know.
So, from her strict upbringing through the ugly divorce and a new job as the private investigator, Angelina lived through a lot. She was a good looking woman in her fifties whom stood with her feet firmly on the ground and her life sorted out. Well, for the most part. Now that she got involved in this mysterious case, she must face her demons as well. She doesn't want to be alone anymore, but how to find someone when you can't trust anyone?
I really love this book. I find it - refreshing. Mysteries are not my forte but once in a while I decide to read one for a change of paste. And boy, I wasn't disappointed. The author did a splendid job with her debut mystery novel. The book is told from a female perspective (woohoo) and a strong, capable woman at that. Her European roots only added to the depth of the main heroine.
The book is very easy to read and follow. The humor which we encounter on a regular basis gives this book a perfect balance between a deeply serious story with a gory murder scene in the center and an everyday life of a woman in her fifties and her hopes and fears that come along with a long life experience.
The strong heroine was a big plus, I instantly wanted to know more about her. How she got here, what happened to her, will she find someone who will cherish her, will she be able to solve the case... The life philosophy that guides the main heroine is the ideal we should all follow. I wish I could be in her shoes one day.
"There's no point in wasting calories on cheap chocolate, always opt for the darkest and richest" (ref., Godiva chocolate)- Angelina Bonaparte
The romance crept slowly... there was no sign at the beginning of the book that we will have an interesting love-hate relationship on our hands. It was a great surprise. And I totally fell for it.
The book doesn't have one grammatical error, it was perfectly proofread. The only thing I wish was explained in more depth was the detective Ted. His trauma, suppressed feelings, closed attitude... Ted is a very interesting character I would like to know more about and I think I would have liked to see his feelings more on display and more scenes with him. But, that is just a personal preference.
All in all, I've stayed up through the night to finish it. I had to know what will happen next. One more page, one more chapter... and a couple of hours later with the coming dawn I was a one happy woman because the ending was perfect, it made me smile and it perked me up enough to have a great morning (note, I'm not a morning person, at all, ever).
Many thanks to the author and I hope all of her other works will be written with the same spark and the same enthusiasm as this one. Great job :)