Thursday, May 7, 2020

Book Review: PERIL AT THE PELLICANO HOTEL Italian Village Mystery #4 by Adriana Licio


A group of wordsmiths, a remote hotel. Outside, the winds howl and the seas rage. But the real danger lurks within. 

When travel author and part-time sleuth, Giò Brando, joins a writers’ retreat in Maratea, her quaint sea town, the last thing her companions are expecting is for the spiteful author who ruined their previous meeting to turn up uninvited. And the last thing Giò is expecting is to find that same woman lying dead on the restaurant floor the following morning.

At first, it seems the author’s death was the result of a tragic accident, but Giò suspects there’s more to it than meets the eye. What happened to the manuscript the victim had been working on? What was the mysterious business deal she was in Maratea to close?

With her fellow writers all having reason to lie to the carabinieri, Giò desperately sifts their stories for clues. But could the key actually lie in a tragic tale from long ago?

Peril at the Pellicano Hotel is the fourth book in the An Italian Village Mystery series.

Fans of cosy mysteries everywhere are invited to help Giò solve her latest delightfully dramatic case, unfolding against the stunning backdrop of the southern Italian coastline. That is, if you dare.


Giò Brando is the newest member of a writer's group, set up in Maratea for writing sprints. Giò's project is a book recapping her travels to Scotland, while others are engaged in their own projects. She doesn't make much progress on her writing after the death of the not well-liked person, Margherita, who was kicked out of the group after the previous retreat. Then Mrs. Galli is found dead a few days later. Both deaths could be natural causes, but both involving wordsmiths at the same hotel, not to mention they knew each other? Giò's granny has some insights, not only on the deaths, but on Giò's growing feelings for Guido. Then there's Paolo who seeks out Giò for her insights and information not readily shared by with the carabinieri. Add in the adventures of Rolando as he woos his wife of many years.  

I decided to read this book because of my Italian roots. The description of the island and the village in Basilicata sets the stage for the activities in and out of the Pellicano Hotel. There is mystery and romance, Italian family, and likable characters. Guido has his faults, but his charm comes through and I couldn't help but like him, as did Giò. Giò's character has depth and humility. Her granny is everything you'd expect. This is the fourth in the Italian Village Mystery series, but my first. It can easily be read as a stand alone, though I wonder if there isn't some back story with Paolo.


Books in the Italian Village Mystery series:
Murder on the Road
A Fair Time for Death
A Mystery before Christmas
Peril at the Pellicano Hotel

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