cover image The Road to Murder: A Tuscan Mystery

The Road to Murder: A Tuscan Mystery

Camilla Trinchieri. Soho Crime, $27.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-64129-556-7

Trinchieri’s tasty fourth mystery for former NYPD detective Nico Doyle (after Murder on the Vine) finds the newly minted sous-chef investigating the murder of a wealthy widow in the small Tuscan village of Gavigna. Fresh off a promotion at fine dining establishment Soto Il Rico, Nico receives an early-morning call from his friend, police marshal Salvatore Perillo, informing him that Eleonora Salivati Lamberti has been found slumped over her piano and strangled to death by a curtain cord. What’s more, Lamberti’s watch fob and valuable cache of ruby- and pearl-encrusted jewels are missing. While Nico is initially reluctant to get involved, Salvatore convinces him to come aboard because he needs help translating a statement from the surly English-speaking friend who found Lamberti dead, and the two wind up launching a wide-ranging investigation. Suspects include Lamberti’s housekeeper, cook, and gardener, plus her greedy daughters and their romantic partners. Meanwhile, Nico’s involvement with the case strains his budding relationship with winemaker Nelli even as it boosts business at Soto Il Rico, with diners gunning for proximity to the case, and Salvatore’s colleagues on the police force face various romantic entanglements. Trinchieri keeps the food, wine, and sumptuous descriptions of the Italian countryside flowing, and she offers a surprising yet satisfying resolution to the central mystery. This will satiate armchair sleuths and armchair travelers alike. (Mar.)