25 November 2014

Review #87: Limoncello Yellow by Traci Andrighetti

My rating:
4 of 5 stars

Christian Louboutin, the world-famous French footwear designer, has quoted about "heels" as:

The higher the better. It's more about an attitude. High heels empower women in a way.

You must be wondering that I'm going to tell you about a book which portrays about women and their high-heels. Well, you're wrong! Traci Andrighetti, an Italian author, has penned her debut book, named, Limoncello Yellow which is about female private investigators with a lot of Italian flare, glamor, glitz and some bad-ass actions.

Francesca "Franki" Amato is a tough-talking rookie cop in Austin, Texas—until an unfortunate 911 call involving her boyfriend, Vince, and a German female wrestler convinces her once and for all that she just isn't cut out for a life on the police force. So Franki makes the snap decision to move to New Orleans to work at her friend Veronica's detective agency, Private Chicks, Inc. But Franki's hopes for a more stable life are soon dashed when Private Chicks is hired by the prime suspect in a murder case to find out what really happened to a beautiful young boutique manager who was found strangled to death with a cheap yellow scarf. When she's not investigating, Franki is hoping to seduce handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, but most of her time is spent dodging date offers from a string of "good Italian boys"—make that not-so-good aging Italian men—that her meddlesome Sicilian grandma has recruited as marriage candidates. As Mardi Gras approaches and the mystery of the murdered shop girl gets more complicated, Franki must decipher the odd ramblings of a Voodoo priestess to solve both the murder and the mystery of her own love life.

Well you must be wondering, then why I've used the famous Christian Louboutin quote! Because Franki and Veronica- the two bad-ass PI rocked the murder investigation by doing a lot of digging around, wearing their highest of high heels along with their leopard print dress! Can you imagine that right now? I mean these two chicks are the coolest fictional PI that I've ever read about, apart from the famous Veronica Mars, and who doesn't love Veronica Mars? This book is somewhat similar to a Veronica Mars kind of mystery, but it has lots of ROFL moments and some kick-ass narration style which can't be found in the latest Veronica Mars book.

For a first time author, Traci has painted the picture of New Orleans in a bright and colorful way and the resultant canvas of New Orleans looks very striking to me. From coffee shops to voodoo parlors to Mardi Gras festival to everything that the author has written about the town is something very lush and eye-catching. The dialogues, mostly the narration between the protagonist and the characters vary from dangerous-to-stomach-hurting-ly-funny.

Her main protagonist, Franki! You'd just fall in love with that gal! She's brave, intelligent, '0' fashion IQ, fearless and heart-broken! Well who wouldn't be heart-broken if you catch the love of your life with another woman on your bed!!? Franki tried to hide the broken side of hers under her tough-bad ass-cop demeanor. The funny moments in Franki's life are when her grandma frantically tries to set her up with some Sicilian/Mexican crack-head guys, and how Franki tries to avoid those guys.

There's even some growing chemistry between Franki and a bank guy named Bradley and the inevitable attraction between them is written quite strikingly and passionately! So there is also a promising love story unfolding slowly behind the revelation of the mystery.

Her partner- Veronica! That was the disappointment for me. I really loved that woman, but I wish, I could get to know her more. The author has not laid out about Veronica's demeanor intricately. I mean there was lot of descriptions about her behavior but still I felt like I didn't get to know her clearly and my mind got clouded with her image due to all irrelevant information about her.

Traci's style of writing this book is flawless, edgy and very chic with lots of intriguing and brain-twisting complexities and that makes the book one hell of a page turner. I was totally bowled over by the real killer's identity- totally didn't see that coming! Traci kept her mystery well hidden and tightly under the wraps and cloud of suspicions.

Verdict: A very promising mystery book! A must read for all cozy mystery books fans!!

Courtesy: I feel very grateful to the author, Traci Andrighetti, for sending me over a copy of her book, in return for an honest review. 

Author's Info:
Traci Andrighetti is the national bestselling author of the Franki Amato Mysteries. In her previous life, she was an award-winning literary translator and a Lecturer of Italian at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a PhD in Applied Linguistics. But then she got wise and ditched that academic stuff for a life of crime--writing, that is. 
If she's not hard at work on her next novel, Traci is probably watching her favorite Italian soap opera, eating Tex Mex or sampling fruity cocktails, and maybe all at the same time. She lives in Austin with her husband, young son (who desperately wants to be in one of her books) and three treat-addicted dogs.
Visit her here

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