Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Mystery Before Christmas by Adriana Licio

A Mystery Before Christmas (An Italian Village Mystery Book 3) by [Licio, Adriana]
Hello!  Adriana Licio lives not far from Maratea, the setting for An Italian Village Mystery series.  Adriana loves to travel, walk, read, explore small villages and savor good food.  Like Agnese in her books, Adriana runs her family perfumery shop.   When not busy, she indulges in cozy mysteries.  Adriana lives with her husband, Giovanni and her dog, Frodo.  You can find out more about the author and her books by visiting her websiteSubscribe to her newsletter and get And Then There Were Bones which is the prequel to An Italian Village Mystery series*.  Readers can follow Adriana Licio on Amazon to get updates when she releases a new story.
John Heseltine explores the  coast of Basilicata  and its most important town
A Mystery Before Christmas by Adriana Licio has Anna Giordano and her daughter, Betta stranded in Maratea, Italy because of car trouble.  A kind couple provides them with lodging.  Anna and Betta decide to spend Christmas in Maratea, so Anna gets a job with Agnese Fiorillo at her perfumery.  Mrs. De Blasi comes in one day and is surprised when she sees Betta.  The young girl looks remarkably like her son who passed away years ago in a fire.  Gio notices the unique tune Betta sings that her father taught her and how the carillon Mrs. De Blasi gifts Betta plays the same song.  She decides to do a little digging and get some answers.  The citizens of Maratea are in distress because jewel thefts are occurring around town and the police have no leads.  The local library is having a similar problem with books.  But in this case, the books reappear after a short while.  Gio and the librarian decide to catch the culprit.  Christmas is rapidly approaching and Gio wants to wrap up her the mysteries before the festivities begin.  
Street view in Maratea, Basilicata, Italy (by arny_bol).
A Mystery Before Christmas by Adriana Licio is the third story in An Italian Village Mystery series.  This charming novella has realistic characters who live in a charming Italian village.  Gio Brando is busy finishing up her Scottish travel guide before the holidays.  She is not feeling the Christmas spirit since there are no decorations up in town yet.  The town has a tradition and Gio must wait until the night of the tree lighting.  Gio is kept busy when newcomer Betta Giordano bears a close resemblance to Mrs. De Blasi’s deceased son.  There are a couple of other coincidences that send Gio into sleuthing mode.  Paolo, with the local carabinieri, is dealing with a rash of jewel thefts.  The thieves are clever leaving Paolo with few clues.  When Gio goes looking for a book at the library, it is missing.  The librarian states this has been happening for a month.  They decide to do a stake out to catch the book thief.  With family coming to town for the holidays, Gio wants to wrap up these mysteries before the bickering begins.  I thought A Mystery Before Christmas was well-written and it moved along at merry pace.  The mysteries were well-crafted and intriguing.  They are the type that play out and I could not wait to see how everything turned out in the end.  I liked the message that the best way to repay kindness is to pay it forward.  I loved the author’s vivid word imagery that brought the town, Christmas market, the holiday decorations as well as the characters to life for me.  A Mystery Before Christmas can be read as a standalone if you have not had the opportunity to read Murder on the Road and A Fair Time for DeathA Mystery Before Christmas is an appealing cozy mystery with jewel thefts right and left, illicit library loans, kindly citizens, wrangling relatives, and a magical Christmas market.  
14 Best Christmas Markets In Italy For 2018.
A Mystery Before Christmas is available through Amazon* along with Murder on the Road and A Fair time For Death (the latter two are available through Kindle Unlimited).  Thank you for visiting today.  I am featuring A Wedding for the Spitfire Girl by Fenella J. Miller tomorrow. I will have an excerpt from the book and there will be a giveaway for an ebook copy.  I hope you have a joyful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!  

The Avid Reader
woman reading - Margo Pasman born 1945 in The Netherlands
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