by: Chris Cavender              

Publisher: Kensington  

Published: April 24, 2012        

Format: Paperback (304 pages)      

ISBN: 9780758271501            

Series: Pizza Lovers Mystery      

Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Eleanor could help another widow, even if it meant losing a few hours worth of business at her pizzeria, A SLICE OF DELIGHT.   However, when someone lit a fire in the trashcan outside her place, Eleanor got a bad feeling about this.

Cindy Rankin a new bookstore owner, friend, and widow caught both Eleanor and Maddy in her request for help.  Her problem wasn’t seen as one in the first few minutes, but after Eleanor did an Internet search Cindy’s problem multiplied and by extension, Eleanor’s had reached exponential proportions.  Her friend’s issue was one of good news and bad news. Her bookstore’s opening day would be punctuated by a visit from publishing house star, but the bad news was the author’s identity.  

Author and chef, Antonio Benet’s reputation painted him a rude, egocentric personality who gave trouble with a capital T, but he hadn’t arrived, yet.  Chef’s personal assistant, Oliver Wills arrives ahead of time, declaring Eleanor’s conveyor belt pizza oven won’t meet with Chef’s preferences, but with the town’s only other pizzeria and wood burning oven permanently closed, he’d have to make due.  However, he will not do it happily, Oliver warned.   The assistant gave them backstage information, descriptions of Chef’s not-so-good book signings, and the curious reason as to why this event was hastily added.  

The powerful Chef Antonio Benet passed up a New York book launch with all the trappings of morning talk shows, features, and fame to come to a small town in North Carolina?  

Meanwhile, the demonstration kitchen wasn’t the only thing heating up once the television and book star arrived or actually walked out of the bookstore.   Their attempts to soothe his ruffled cap only led to his disdain; even Oliver wasn’t having much luck.  Eleanor figured that by stroking the guy’s ego they’d at least get him off the sidewalk and into the bookstore, where she had not a doubt his abuse would continue.   On their heels, a young woman in black appeared while Chef reminded his wife a mate was all she was.  Executive Producer, Jessie Taylor was the woman in black and she was debating her need to talk privately with Chef Benet who thought otherwise.  

Resurfacing from their heated conversation, Chef asked Eleanor for the keys to the pizzeria/his greenroom.  Begrudgingly, Eleanor hands them over.  Once he’d left, his assistant spoke up; if the chef failed to return, he would go on with the demonstration, but his declaration is met with scorn.  

The executive producer dismisses his aspirations and then dispatches all of them to find the man.  Eleanor contains him inside the pizzeria until start time.  

Now, the Chef has a full house of fans but he’s four minutes late.  

Figuring he was either trying to make a grand entrance or was in the middle of another hiss-fit, Eleanor and Maddy went to fetch him.  However, this chef’s only entrance would be into a grave. 

My Take:

REST IN PIZZA by Chris Cavender is a charming, small town cozy where murder and pizza go as easily together as cheese and sauce! 

Chris Cavender’s characters are as three-dimensional as you or me.  While Eleanor’s past shapes her, it prods her desire to help others, and through many marriages, Maddy’s life stays grounded with her sister and the pizzeria.

REST IN PIZZA is a standalone novel, but you’ll want to catch up on the other Pizza Lovers Mysteries, A SLICE OF MURDER (Kensington 2010), PEPPERONI PIZZA CAN BE MURDER (Kensington 2010), and A PIZZA TO DIE FOR (Kensington 2011). 


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