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Nonna Maria and the Case of the Stolen Necklace

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Member Reviews

Nonna Maria is an amateur sleuth. She's also well-connected across the island of Ischia and beyond, thanks in part to her longevity in the community. I fell in love with her on page one and hope to one day be as wise and brave as her.
In this novel, she decides to help clear her goddaughter's name. In the process she may catch a necklace thief. She also helps to identify a Jane Doe and bring justice to the woman's killers.
This book is deinitely a cozy mystery. I felt like I was sitting, chatting and shadowing Nonna Maria on her adventures.
Sometimes, keeping all the characters in order was confusing. But I can't wait to read more books in this series!

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Nonna Maria is one of my favorite detectives - I love her no nonsense personality, her love of family and food, and her common sense.

When a young woman is accused of stealing a valuable necklace from a resort hotel, Nonna Maria is positive the maid is innocent. As she looks into that, she also assists with bringing closure to a hit and run death of an unidentified woman.

The tone of these books is wonderful - nobody is silly, people aren't perfect, and there is a deep love of family and community. I look forward to more in this series!

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I love Nonna Maria! This is the second in the series but I think can be read as a standalone, though I do recommend reading the first one as well because it is also really good. This was a well written cozy mystery with likeable characters and a couple of engaging mysteries to solve. The descriptions of the food and the scenery has me wanting to visit Ischia. By the end of the book I wanted to visit Nonna Maria to enjoy some of her coffee, wonderful cooking and discuss the cases with her! I can't wait for the next book in the series!

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This is the second book in the Nonna Maria mystery series. Nonna Maria is a no-nonsense elderly Italian lady who feels it's her duty to solve the crimes of her beautiful island home.

When not one but two cases come her way, it's up to Nonna Maria to solve both. The first case involves her goddaughter Loretta, who stands accused of stealing a necklace by a guest of the hotel where she works. The second is the case of the death of an unknown woman found on the roadside.

I enjoyed this mystery with its cozy vibes and descriptions of an idyllic island life on Ischia. I love the idea of a nontypical amateur sleuth that truly cares about the people involved in the crimes she solves. We should all be so lucky to have a Nonna Maria in our lives.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Nonna Maria and the Case of the Stolen Necklace is the second delightful cozy mystery featuring the wonderful, wise, and practical octogenarian Nonna Maria alongside a whimsical cast of secondary characters and another cleverly constructed puzzle by Lorenzo Carcaterra. Released 2nd May 2023 by Penguin Random House on their Bantam imprint, it's 288 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback format due out from the same publisher in first quarter 2024.

This was such a relaxing and enjoyable read. It's redolent of the setting, with the local cuisine and lifestyle pace and rhythms of the island of Ischia off the coast of Naples and the charming and intelligent chief protagonist, Nonna Maria. Everyone knows her and she knows everyone and their extended family histories and interrelationships, so she's naturally sought out for advice and help when the locals don't need or want to go to the official police.

In some ways this reminded me of the pacing and atmosphere of the Bruno, Chief of Police, novels or Guido Bernetti, or even Bannalec's excellent Georges Dupin novels. The pacing is similar, the storytelling unhurried, but it's not at all derivative. The mysteries small and large entwine closer to a satisfyingly constructed climax and denouement.

Nonna Maria herself, though age and craftiness comparisons will surely be made to Miss Marple, strikes me as tough, resilient, and resourceful and more compassionate than Christie's inimitable sleuth who could be cold as ice and brilliantly calculating. I found Nonna Maria thoroughly likeable and wonderfully warm and really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to more from this capable author featuring this island setting and these appealing characters.

An epilogue chapter at the end of the book teases the next book in the series. Readers who enjoy intelligent, well plotted cozies would be wise to have this author on their radar. It would make a nice choice for public library acquisition as well as for home use and mystery book club or buddy read.

Four stars. Very well done.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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Nonna Maria knows almost everyone on her small island, so she is well suited to sniffing out criminals. When her goddaughter is accused of theft and a stranger is found dead, she is quick to investigate. This series is extremely well written. The characters are very well developed and the plots are well thought out. Highly recommended! I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book and chose to write a voluntary, unbiased review.

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I have been putting off this review for days and well all I really have to say is - it was a cute little not so very mysterious cozy kind of we know who did it book. There is a terrific setting, lots of food to go with every situation, a self-proclaimed elderly detective who knows everything and everyone on her patch and multiple crimes that need to be solved. It was a serene little turn around the island of Ischia as logic, experience and local knowledge is employed by our Nonna Maria to crack the cases and right the wrongs.

Thanks to Random House/Bantam Books and NetGalley for a copy.

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NONNA MARIA AND THE CASE OF THE STOLEN NECKLACE is a really nice cozy mystery. However, I found the pacing too slow, even with two cases for Nonna Maria to solve.

There is, of course, a stolen necklace, but there is also a murder Nonna Maria has tasked herself to solve.

I really enjoyed the community on the island of Ischia and the characters were interesting. Nonna Maria is wise beyond her years. She is a, shall we say, mature character. Her biggest flaw was her nosiness and that was a tad boring.. Her character fell a bit flat for me.

The descriptions of the food and wine made me hungry for a fantastic meal, but I wish the pace of the story had been faster.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for an e-copy of NONNA MARIA AND THE CASE OF THE STOLEN NECKLACE to review.


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Nonna Maria and the Case of the Stolen Necklace" by Lorenzo Carcaterra is a delightful mystery set in the charming backdrop of Ischia, Italy. Drawing inspiration from the Agatha Christie style of storytelling, Carcaterra introduces readers to Nonna Maria, a fresh and engaging character who brings a unique voice to the genre. As the story unfolds, the old lady's witty observations and unconventional investigative methods add a refreshing twist to the classic mystery formula.

The narrative is skillfully woven, capturing the essence of a cozy mystery while adding a touch of modernity. Ischia's picturesque setting provides a vivid backdrop that enhances the story's atmosphere, and the mystery itself keeps readers engaged and guessing until the satisfying resolution. Carcaterra adeptly balances humor, suspense, and a sense of community, making "Nonna Maria and the Case of the Stolen Necklace" a heartwarming and enjoyable read for fans of both classic and contemporary mysteries.

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Nonna Maria is back and she’s solving 2 crimes on Ischia that impact her personally. She knows everyone and sees everything, has endless energy, and never eats or drinks anywhere but home. The cliffhanger at the end leaves me anticipating book 3 and more of life in Ischia.

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An atmospheric and captivating tale. Nonna Maria is a sleuth that I love and can relate to.
Many thanks to Random House and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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3-3.5 stars. This cozy mystery takes place on an island off the coast of Italy. The author, with his descriptions of the scenery and the food, certainly succeeded in making me want to go there! I thought the characters and the plot were less well done, however, and I didn't find them compelling or wholly believable.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free e-ARC of this book.

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In this second book in a series, Nonna Maria assists with solving two mysteries: a "stolen" necklace and the death of an unidentified woman. When a necklace belonging to a client at the Hotel Excelsior disappears, Nonna Maria's goddaughter comes under suspicion, since she serves as a chambermaid there. Nonna Maria works with the carabinieri to set a clever trap to catch two criminals involved in the missing necklace. She is also involved in helping to identify the body of a woman who has been murdered, and in the process some past secrets are revealed and wrongs are righted.

Set on a beautiful island off the coast of Italy, this mystery novel shows readers that the elderly are a force to be reckoned with! Nonna Maria commands the respect and cooperation of a network of friends, as she gathers information to help Captain Murino solve two very different mysteries.

The descriptions of the island, its inhabitants, and its foods and settings make this book a joy to read. The character of Nonna Maria takes center stage along with the Captain, while other characters play some cameo roles. While there are many twists and turns throughout the story, all is resolved in the end. Readers who enjoy mystery novels and interesting characters will find this a welcome addition to the mystery genre. Although it is second in a series, the book can be read as a standalone. The intriguing novel lacks descriptive violence, intimacy, and strong language. I am looking forward to more novels about Nonna Maria.

I received this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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Fun, enjoyable and engaging read with memorable characters and a mystery that keeps you engaged. Eagerly anticipating the next book.

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Love the main character Nonna. She’s fun and free spirited and made the story come to life more. Loved the way her drinks were described. I would high recommend this to anyone that loves a good cozy mystery

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✨ Book Review ✨

A big thank you to Ballantine Books and @netgalley for the #gifted copy of #NonnaMariaAndTheCaseOfTheStolenNecklace !!


📖 Nonna Maria and the Case of the Stolen Necklace by Lorenzo Carcaterra

An older woman aides the police in solving crimes on her beloved island.

What to expect:

🔎 Mystery
☕️ Cozy
🔪 Thriller
🧬 Found Family

Quick thoughts:

✨ Beautiful island vibes.
✨ Interesting mysteries.
✨ Interesting characters.
✨ Loved Nonna Maria’s network of friends and family.

Overall thoughts:

A woman is found dead. Meanwhile, a wealthy woman’s necklace is stolen. Both cases end up in the lap of Nonna Maria and she is eager to help those involved that she cares about.

Nearly the entire island of Ischia is like family to Nonna Maria. I loved the found family aspect of this story. As an older woman, Nonna Maria has spent her whole life on the island of Ischia. Along the way she’s formed close relationships with the other locals. When Nonna Maria comes calling everyone is eager to help her.

I thought the mysteries were interesting. They start off running right from the beginning of the story. I enjoyed the twists and turns. I also enjoyed all the characters we get to meet along the way as Nonna Maria conducts her investigation. Moreover, the descriptions of Ischia really set the scene. You can read this as a standalone but this is apart of a series. If you like cozy mysteries give this one a try!

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2.5 stars rounded up

I was super excited when I received this book for review, it's a cozy mystery set on an Island off the coast of Italy. It follows numerous perspectives, but we mainly follow the perspective of Nonna Maria, who knows everyone and everything about her small town. She is asked to help in solving the disappearance of a high valued piece of jewelry, but also the death of an unidentified woman.
I loved the setting of this story. I was excited to be immersed in the descriptions and details of this village. However, the writing style of this story really did not work for me. This book did not have us following the thought process of the characters, or clues, but each chapter was basically Nonna Maria telling us and handing over what she already found. There was no way for the reader to speculate on who might have done it because there was no back story for us to really get a grasp on other characters until after the fact when evidence was presented.
Finally, Nonna Maria kept talking about her dead husband a handful of times every chapter. It was repetitive and did not need to be in the story that much, we get that she loved him very much. Also she never ate or drank anything especially outside her home which was also brought up a lot. This story was fine I guess, but I found it to be dull and the writing style was not for me.
I received this advanced ebook, via Netgalley. This review is my own honest opinion.

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Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy of this book.

Nonna Maria lives on the island of Ischia in Italy, where there are two cases occupying her time, a necklace that has been reported stolen from Grand Hotel Excelsior, and the second case involves a dead body. It's like a who done it case.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, mysterious and from Italy. My first read from this author, this mystery kind of story.

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Nonna Maria is back to solve more crimes being committed on her beloved island of Ischia. She is a great character, stubborn and fiercely caring, and of course the setting is filled with beautiful views and great food. It's a gentle mystery in the style of the Mma Ramotswe series. I enjoyed the characters’ relationships, which make up the majority of this book.

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I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

This is the second in a wonderful series about Nonna Maria, an elderly grandmother in a small Italian city. She loves her family and friends and is well-respected in the community. In addition to being a great cook, she has helped the police solve a number of crimes.

When a visitor to the island claims that an expensive necklace has been stolen, Nonna Maria's talents are called to the fore. It is no surprise that she ultimately solves the crime, but the journey is highly enjoyable for the reader.

I look forward to future Nonna Maria cases.

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