This is the very enjoyable and well-written third book in the Sally Solari series by Leslie Karst. In lots of ways, Sally mirrors Ms. Karst’s own life. I saw on the book flap that she worked previously as a lawyer, she enjoys cooking, cycling and singing so I thought that was pretty cool since Sally is always riding her bike somewhere and in the second book she was enjoying being part of the community choir.
My Goodreads review:
Death al Fresco by Leslie Karst
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’ve read the first two books in this series and really enjoyed reading about the Italian culture and way of life in Santa Cruz where Sally Solari helped her father, Mario, with his restaurant Solari’s and also owned Gaugin that was willed to her by Aunt Letta. I always enjoy that these books have just the right amount of description in them–the food, the scenery and the people, not overdone or underdone, just right. Kind of like the perfect meal! The book was well-written and kept my interest all through it.
This installment has Sally’s dog digging up the body of a dead local fisherman on the beach during one of the art classes she and her ex-now-best-friend, Eric were taking. Sally’s investigations are getting a little too close to the truth so she needs to be careful she’s not the next victim.
One of the side stories had Sally helping her dad with a big dinner that he was throwing for visitors from Santa Cruz’s sister city in Italy. Sally could never turn him down and always felt a little guilty that she had more or less turned away from working at Solari’s to devote time to her own restaurant.
I did love how Sally and her dad’s relationship has gotten a lot better since she first took over Aunt Letta’s restaurant, Gaugin. He realized his little girl had a business of her own to tend to and could respect her for that. They didn’t always share the same opinion on certain things but when the day was over, they always knew they had each other.
The other side story involved Javier looking into running a new restaurant with his girlfriend, Natalie. I won’t spoil how that turns out 😉
I’m enjoying Sally and Eric’s new relationship. They’re simply best friends who take an art class together, confide in each other and are pretty much always there for each other. I like that they are on better terms and she’s not annoyed by him now. I’m not sure if I’d want to see this turn into a romance or not since it obviously didn’t work the first time–they do get along really nice and play well off each other during an investigation.
For those who like to venture into authentic Italian cooking, there are several recipes in the back of the book.