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The Da Vinci Cook: An Angie Amalfi Mystery    by Joanne Pence order for
Da Vinci Cook
by Joanne Pence
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In The Da Vinci Cook, the fourteenth in the series, Angie Amalfi flies to Rome to root out the bad guys, while her San Francisco police inspector fiancé Paavo worries at home.

Angie is trying to get her culinary career off the ground. Approached by a chef of world renown to co-author a cookbook with him, she is ecstatic at the chance. If only her sister Caterina hadn't gotten herself involved with Marcello, a shady furniture salesman. Cat is witness to a man running away from a murder and she follows him to the airport. Angie joins her there and they both travel to Rome to bring the man to justice.

Of course, things cannot be that simple. It seems the Chains of St. Peter are being offered for sale on the antiquities black market, of which the Vatican takes a dim view. Things get more and more complicated as more and more shady people follow each other around.

The desperate sisters' tour of Rome is enchanting and brings back to mind the short time I spent there. But the fun is trying to decide who is chasing whom and why. And will Angie and Cat make it back home to their men? The sense of urgency they would have felt did not seem too apparent to me, but there is plenty of action and derring-do - unhampered by their lack of money. Trust funds allow them to jump on a plane at the last minute.

A sisterly discussion escalates to down and dirty on the edge of a dark pit. Don't miss what might be a fight to the death - or the wonderful recipes for the edibles mentioned in the text. It's a fun series. And I wonder when the big wedding between Angelina and Paavo will take place. Surely a murder will occur at the reception – possibly a body in the punch bowl?

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