dinsdag 12 oktober 2010

Joanne Pence - To catch a cook

The eight book in the Angie Amalfi Mystery series.

To catch a cook

A Nasty Stew
Between her latest "sure-fire" foray into the food industry-video restaurant reviews-and her concern over boyfriend Homicide Detective Paavo Smith's depressed state, Angie Amalfi's plate is full to overflowing. Paavo has never come to terms with the fact that his mother abandoned him when he was four, leaving behind only an antique brooch to remember her by. But when the bauble vanishes, the jeweller who was repairing it is murdered, and Paavo's surrogate father is critically wounded by a would-be burglar, Paavo decides it's time to discover the truth about his errant parent's life and mysterious disappearance.

Gourmet chef and eager sleuth Angie smells a tasty mystery cooking. But what's bubbling in this pot is a lethal goulash of intrigues, betrayals, FBI deceptions, and murderous Russian mafia mayhem-an old family recipe for disaster for Angie and her policeman beau.

For Christmas Paavo gave Angie a beautiful cameo brooche that belonged to the mother he never knew. She dearly loves it, but the stone fell out. So she takes is to a famous jeweller to have it fixed. It is not worth much, but the sentimental value is huge. To her amazement, the jeweller tells her it is a priceless antique, museum quality, and won’t she sell it? Of course not, and she leaves it with him to have it repaired.

The very next day, her apartment is searched, Paavo’s house is searched and destroyed, and Paavo’s surrogate father, the old Aulis is being shot and his house is also ransacked. The jeweller is murdered, but nothing seems to be stolen. Then a famous Russian forger is found murdered too. What are they, who ever they are, searching for? What is the connection?

While putting Aulis’ house back together, Paavo finds a letter from his mother, leaving her children in Aulis’ care. With the new information Paavo is determined to find out what he can about his parents. He will not have Angie in danger if he can put a stop to it!

Angie too tries to find out stuff, the not official way, and she is also very successful. But the more secrets they uncover, the more the danger escalates. Is finding out the past really worth it all?

It all goes back thirty years, the cold war, the Russian threat. Student activists, and Russian smugglers, and a now famous Silicon Valley tycoon. Corrupt FBI-officers, stolen Russian art and technology. And Paavo’s parents were smack in the middle. His father was murdered, and his mother ran away, trying to save her children. And now, in the end, she is there to save Angie. But the intrigue can’t stop just there, so she has to run again.

A really great story, I won’t tell too much about, so I won’t spoil it. I really did not see this coming. Paavo learns a lot about his parents, and he is glad about it, but all the lies, the empty life he has lived before he knew Angie. He missed so much, and why? Angie tries to tell him, it doesn’t matter. She loves the man he has become, his parents don’t matter to her. But then she has countless relatives, and Paavo has none. He just needs to know his roots.

Driven out of their houses, they temporarily live together, and they both like it a lot, even Hercules the cat doesn’t mind. So, when will they take the next step in their relationship?

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