J.D. Griffo’s book features a happy, carefree cover of a “tranquil” park laden with beautiful flowers, chirping birds, a curious cat and a quaint, charming tree house. But then you read the title of his new cozy, Murder in Tranquility Park, and you know right off the bat, that looks can be deceiving.
The setting is Tranquility, New Jersey where senior citizen Alberta Scaglione and her extended family, have accidentally landed a new career – part-time amateur detectives. Alberta is old-country traditional Italian, and you can’t help but enjoy the tasty bits of classic Italian sayings (succinctly translated) throughout the book.
It’s a feisty cast of women. Alberta’s sister, Helen, left the convent after forty-one years, and her sister-in-law, Joyce, retired from the challenges of Wall Street. Then there’s Jinx, Alberta’s 25-year old granddaughter, who is working hard to become a prominent journalist. Put them all together and toss in her childhood friend, Vinny D’Angelo, now the chief of police, and you got a cozy that is more delicious than a piping hot plate of home-made lasagna!
I love the spunkiness of all the ladies, their lack of fear and total commitment to taking on their newest case – which by the way, started with a morning jog in Tranquility Park. As the book cover proclaims: “Nothing spoils fresh air like a dead body…” Alberta and Jinx find a lifeless body beneath the tree house in the park. First thoughts bring everyone (police included) to conclude that it’s an accidental fall. But since this is a cozy mystery, of course, you and I both know better – this is no accident.
Alberta and her crew feel compelled to solve this heinous crime that has literally landed at their feet. But researching the dead man’s past leads to a story of unrequited love and unexpected suspects. Unfortunately, suspects include some of their closest friends and Father Sal, who has the women looking at him sideways with distrusting eyes. There’s even the possibility that someone on Vinnie’s police force is starting to smell just a little bit rotten.
Looking for twists and turns? Look no further. This isn’t exactly a stroll in the park for these determined women who are suddenly faced with a very cold blooded killer – but when it comes to this cozy, as Dean Martin would say: “THAT’S AMORE!” LOVE IT!”
A thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book.