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Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride

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When a crime on a beautiful Italian island stumps the police, locals turn to the trusted, elderly widow Nonna Maria in this transporting mystery from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra, one of the all-time greats (Jeffery Deaver). Nonna Maria has lived in Ischia, an island in the Gulf of Naples, her entire life. Recognizable by the widow's black she's w When a crime on a beautiful Italian island stumps the police, locals turn to the trusted, elderly widow Nonna Maria in this transporting mystery from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra, one of the all-time greats (Jeffery Deaver). Nonna Maria has lived in Ischia, an island in the Gulf of Naples, her entire life. Recognizable by the widow's black she's worn every day for decades, she always has pasta on the stove and espresso in the pot for the neighbors who stop by to ask her advice on life and love. Everyone knows her, and she knows everyone's business. So if something goes wrong, islanders look to her, and not the local carabinieri, to find the solution. When a recently engaged woman confesses that she's afraid her fiance might not be who he seems, Nonna Maria helps her disappear while she investigates the true nature of her betrothed, a stranger to Ischia with a murky past. The stranger has also raised the suspicions of Captain Murino of the carabinieri, but he's occupied investigating the death of a tour boat captain who drowned in the wee hours of the morning. Captain Murino believes it's an accident, but Nonna Maria knew the man was a born sailor, and too good a swimmer to drown, no matter how much wine he might have drunk. While Captain Murino has his hands full, she pours herself a glass of white wine and gets to work, even though getting involved will expose her to the dangers lurking just beneath the surface of her idyllic home.


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When a crime on a beautiful Italian island stumps the police, locals turn to the trusted, elderly widow Nonna Maria in this transporting mystery from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra, one of the all-time greats (Jeffery Deaver). Nonna Maria has lived in Ischia, an island in the Gulf of Naples, her entire life. Recognizable by the widow's black she's w When a crime on a beautiful Italian island stumps the police, locals turn to the trusted, elderly widow Nonna Maria in this transporting mystery from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra, one of the all-time greats (Jeffery Deaver). Nonna Maria has lived in Ischia, an island in the Gulf of Naples, her entire life. Recognizable by the widow's black she's worn every day for decades, she always has pasta on the stove and espresso in the pot for the neighbors who stop by to ask her advice on life and love. Everyone knows her, and she knows everyone's business. So if something goes wrong, islanders look to her, and not the local carabinieri, to find the solution. When a recently engaged woman confesses that she's afraid her fiance might not be who he seems, Nonna Maria helps her disappear while she investigates the true nature of her betrothed, a stranger to Ischia with a murky past. The stranger has also raised the suspicions of Captain Murino of the carabinieri, but he's occupied investigating the death of a tour boat captain who drowned in the wee hours of the morning. Captain Murino believes it's an accident, but Nonna Maria knew the man was a born sailor, and too good a swimmer to drown, no matter how much wine he might have drunk. While Captain Murino has his hands full, she pours herself a glass of white wine and gets to work, even though getting involved will expose her to the dangers lurking just beneath the surface of her idyllic home.

30 review for Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride

  1. 5 out of 5

    PamG

    The author’s endeavor to cast a main character as a mother, grandmother, aunt, and great-grandmother to many in a cozy mystery worked for me. While others say she is a sleuth, she says she doesn’t solve crimes, but helps friends and family when they’re in trouble. The locals on the Italian island of Ischia are more likely to turn to Maria for help than to the local police. Anna, a recently engaged woman tells Maria that she is afraid of her finance. She doesn’t remember much of the last few weeks The author’s endeavor to cast a main character as a mother, grandmother, aunt, and great-grandmother to many in a cozy mystery worked for me. While others say she is a sleuth, she says she doesn’t solve crimes, but helps friends and family when they’re in trouble. The locals on the Italian island of Ischia are more likely to turn to Maria for help than to the local police. Anna, a recently engaged woman tells Maria that she is afraid of her finance. She doesn’t remember much of the last few weeks and wonders if something is wrong. Maria helps her disappear for a while. Is Andrea Bartoli truly in love with Anna or is there something more sinister happening? Maria talks with the local police captain Murino, but he’s also involved with investigating the death of a tour boat captain who drowned. Was it an accident or murder? Between the two of them, they work to find answers to both cases. Maria is smart, listens to all sides of an argument, and doesn’t rush to judgment. She has intuitive instincts and is nurturing and caring for those she knows and loves. Her character has depth, but the supporting characters don’t have a lot of depth except from Captain Murino. This is a book to be savored. It is not a fast-paced book, but it brilliantly portrays the city, the local people, the sites, and the customs on the island, bringing them to life. The author managed to provide fantastic insight into the characters’ thoughts, behaviors, and actions toward others. The writing flows well and is very descriptive. Weaving love, survival, family, friendship, family dynamics, death, marriage, folk beliefs, food, and much more into the story kept this reader turning the pages. Overall, this was a moving, charming, and memorable novel with some pivotal stressful and emotional moments. I am looking forward to reading more from this author. Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine and Lorenzo Carcaterra provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for May 3, 2022. --------------------- Review will be posted approximately two weeks prior to publication per publisher guidelines.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    With a chilled Pinot Grigio in hand, let's crack this one open. Not all white-haired ladies dressed in black travel in the same circles. Nonna Maria takes to the winding streets of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples almost every day. She's easily recognized by the citizens as she often carries jars of her homemade tomato sauce or pockets full of sweets for the little ones. Nonna Maria is on a mission to take care of her own family members as well as those who need assistance. But Nonna Maria has a rare With a chilled Pinot Grigio in hand, let's crack this one open. Not all white-haired ladies dressed in black travel in the same circles. Nonna Maria takes to the winding streets of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples almost every day. She's easily recognized by the citizens as she often carries jars of her homemade tomato sauce or pockets full of sweets for the little ones. Nonna Maria is on a mission to take care of her own family members as well as those who need assistance. But Nonna Maria has a rare gift. She's the Italian version of Sherlock Holmes.....even at her age. She sees things that the average eye does not visualize. She's even perfected an internal radar of knowing when things are out of line or not quite right. Nothing gets past Nonna Maria. A visitor shows up at Nonna Maria's door one morning. The young woman, Anna, pleads with Nonna Maria to save her from her impending marriage to Andrea Bartoli, a truly shady character who usually uses force to get his way. Anna feels that she was tricked into this engagement and fears the consequences if she backs out. Nonna Maria is compelled to come up with a plan to insure Anna's safety. But has she taken on too much with the likes of Bartoli? The next day a body washes up on shore. It's a long-time friend of Nonna Maria's who captained a tour/fishing boat for many, many years. Pasquale could sail through rocky ridges even blinded by too much to drink. Captain Murino of the local police states: "And as sad as it is to say, Nonna Maria, the dead can't talk." Nonna Maria smiled. "On this island, Captain Murino, everyone talks," she said. "Even the dead." Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride is a refreshing break from the overload of serial killers and psychopaths. Lorenzo Carcaterra presents a clever storyline with a highly unusual main character. The dialogue is especially rich with barbs lined with humor. He sketches for us a panoramic view of this lively island filled with people from the very simple to the very complex. "She could spot the honest from those that weren't with one quick glance. These were her people, and she was very much one of them." Delightful and entertaining......it is my hope that Lorenzo Carcaterra will continue to develop a series around this intriquing Italian woman. She's guaranteed to bring us along on her next challenging adventure.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gail C.

    One of the most delightful books I’ve read in a while, this book is a gentle, enjoyable story that will make you wish you knew and had befriended a Nonna Maria of your own. While you’re making wishes, you might wish for a trip to the Island of Ischia regularly for vacation if you can’t just out and out move there. The people are wonderful, the pace is a beat slower than much of current chaotic life, and Nonna Maria has an intelligence and ability that comes from years of living and learning from One of the most delightful books I’ve read in a while, this book is a gentle, enjoyable story that will make you wish you knew and had befriended a Nonna Maria of your own. While you’re making wishes, you might wish for a trip to the Island of Ischia regularly for vacation if you can’t just out and out move there. The people are wonderful, the pace is a beat slower than much of current chaotic life, and Nonna Maria has an intelligence and ability that comes from years of living and learning from everything around her. It’s the perfect book for anyone who wants an excellent story, great characters, and relaxed surroundings that all combine to make you feel as if you are wrapped up in a cozy blanket with a warm cup of coffee (or as Nonna Maria might suggest a glass of wine) in front of a comfortable fire with a light snow falling outside. There is the primary story, which is a young woman who seeks Nonna Maria’s help as she finds herself having agreed to marry a man she hardly knows and an uneasy feeling this is a huge mistake. The solution that Nonna Maria sets in motion is a through line for the entire book. At the same time, she becomes involved in solving the death (murder) of a friend on his boat, the death (murder) of the head of the Carabinieri’s sister, and a host of other issues. As Nonna Maria walks around the island she elicits help from others, some of whom are outcasts and some of whom seem to belong to a different world, but all of whom count themselves as friends of Nonna Maria. She knows the talents and the faults of all these people, she has encountered them in a wide variety of situations, and will tell you in a heartbeat that information she has is hers to have and not to share. She is able to see the deep goodness in people some might write off as law-breaking, as well as to understand the deep evil that others keep well hidden beneath a veneer of polish. The Captain of the Carabinieri acknowledges that people seek Nonna Maria’s help before his official help. Her explanation involves the fact that the people who seek her help are from families that have been residents of the island for generations. They know one another at a level that can’t be achieved by someone who has only been on the island a few years. As for Nonna Maria, she doesn’t say she solves problems or “takes cases”, she simply helps friends and in so doing she deepens the friendship. This, in turn, helps deepen and continue the respect and caring the people have for Nonna Maria and each other. Nonna Maria is a very different main character, one most readers will respect and fall in love with. The Island of Ischia is a delightfully different location for a mystery book, not at all like the typical English village or American tourist spot. It’s almost like the location and the people have been plucked out of an alternate universe and the reader is now privileged to get a long look at what life might be like in that universe. Much like taking a step back in time, the book affords us an opportunity to enjoy life at a slower pace, people who are content to live in that slower world. Overarching all of that is a celebration of Nonna Maria and an appreciation of what age and knowledge can bring when we stop revering youth because it looks smooth and attractive. If Lorenzo Carcaterra writes another book featuring Nonna Maria and the Island of Ischia, sign me up; I want to be one of the first ones to read it. My thanks to Random House Publishing, Ballantine Books for providing an advance copy for this review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)

    DNF @ 40% I read this author's memoir Three Dreamers: A Memoir of Family months ago about the three most important women in his life- his mother, wife, and grandmother in Italy....Nonna Maria. I really enjoyed the book- not surprising since my favorite genre is biography/memoir. However, this book is categorized as a mystery/thriller- a genre I stay away from (not interested). The only reason I gave it a chance was because I loved the author's memoir and the character of Nonna Maria was based dir DNF @ 40% I read this author's memoir Three Dreamers: A Memoir of Family months ago about the three most important women in his life- his mother, wife, and grandmother in Italy....Nonna Maria. I really enjoyed the book- not surprising since my favorite genre is biography/memoir. However, this book is categorized as a mystery/thriller- a genre I stay away from (not interested). The only reason I gave it a chance was because I loved the author's memoir and the character of Nonna Maria was based directly on his grandmother. I loved reading about her the most in Three Dreamers: A Memoir of Family. I tend to be a realist so I found some of the content unbelievable. While I enjoyed reading about Nonna Maria's penchant for cooking, drinking espresso and wine, and generously giving these edible gifts of love to friends and neighbors (also as sort of bribes to get information while sleuthing to solve local mysteries), that was the only part of the book I enjoyed. At the 40% mark I determined that this book just wasn't my cup of tea, and cut my losses. I'm sure this book will do well as I've already seen great reviews, but it just wasn't my niche. Thank you to Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jonann loves book talk❤♥️❤

    What a delightful heart-grabbing book! My hat is off to Lorenzo Carcaterra for writing this sweet mystery based on his own Nonna Maria and childhood memories visiting Ischia, Italy (an exquisite Island located at the entrance of the bay of Naples). 🍷 Nonna Maria, is not your typical woman in her 70's. She is spry, loves her friends, family, and a good stong cup of espresso. She is well respected, wise, and extremely perceptive. People in Ischia often come to her to discuss life issues. Nonna Mar What a delightful heart-grabbing book! My hat is off to Lorenzo Carcaterra for writing this sweet mystery based on his own Nonna Maria and childhood memories visiting Ischia, Italy (an exquisite Island located at the entrance of the bay of Naples). 🍷 Nonna Maria, is not your typical woman in her 70's. She is spry, loves her friends, family, and a good stong cup of espresso. She is well respected, wise, and extremely perceptive. People in Ischia often come to her to discuss life issues. Nonna Maria especially enjoys giving advice on romance. 👰 Anna is engaged to a brutally mean man named Andrea Bartoli. He has a very dark shady past. Anna is terrified of Bartoli and does not know how to escape the situation without being harmed. Nonna Maria, is very concerned about her young friend and arranges for Anna to be hidden from Bartoli. Will Andrea Bartoli find Anna? Will harm come to Nonna Maria while trying to help? Will justice prevail? This book is a clean refreshing mystery that will be published May 3rd. The writing is very descriptive. While reading you can visually picture the characters and beautiful island setting. Nonna Maria is a pure joy to read about. Her take on life and antics made me smile. I highly recommend this book for older mystery lovers. You will get a good chuckle out if it! Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, for the joy of reviewing this book. I am secretly hoping for a sequel that gives us more of Nonna Maria's adventures. 🏝

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shereadbookblog

    Nonna Maria has lived her entire life on the island of Ischia. She is familiar to all for her kindness, generosity, local knowledge, and ability to solve problems, particularly if they involve crimes. She is better at solving them than the carabinieri. To her, though, it is not solving crimes, it is helping friends. There are two cases in which she is involved; the overboard drowning of a local tour guide and a recently engaged young woman who doesn’t know how she ended up betrothed. A beguiling Nonna Maria has lived her entire life on the island of Ischia. She is familiar to all for her kindness, generosity, local knowledge, and ability to solve problems, particularly if they involve crimes. She is better at solving them than the carabinieri. To her, though, it is not solving crimes, it is helping friends. There are two cases in which she is involved; the overboard drowning of a local tour guide and a recently engaged young woman who doesn’t know how she ended up betrothed. A beguiling older woman who is known not only for her wiles in figuring out problems, but also for serving wine, her special coffee, and delicious homemade food, many of the ingredients coming from her garden. Read this book not so much for the mysteries, which are interesting, but to savor island life and appreciate the special charm of Nonna Maria’s character. As an aside, while I was reading this, I thought how Nonna Maria reminded me of an Italian Precious Ramotswe, of Alexander McCall’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, with her wisdom, knowledge of all the local goings on, and ability to solve a mystery. I would love her secret for her unparalleled coffee, of which there is much mention in the book. For a cozy mystery, I give it five stars. I hope there will be more books featuring Nonna Maria. Thanks to #Netgalley and #randomhouse for the DRC ********* Follow me on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/shereadbook...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    The elderly Nonna Maria seems to know everyone and everything relating to the Italian island of Ischia. Her extensive network of friends come to her “with issues that should be brought to the attention of the local carabinieri and not a widow with a bad right leg”. One such person is a reluctant-bride-to-be, who has impetuously agreed to marry a handsome stranger under suspicious circumstances. She also needs to solve the mysterious drowning of an 85-year-old tour boat captain. Nonna Maria lever The elderly Nonna Maria seems to know everyone and everything relating to the Italian island of Ischia. Her extensive network of friends come to her “with issues that should be brought to the attention of the local carabinieri and not a widow with a bad right leg”. One such person is a reluctant-bride-to-be, who has impetuously agreed to marry a handsome stranger under suspicious circumstances. She also needs to solve the mysterious drowning of an 85-year-old tour boat captain. Nonna Maria leverages her friendships with a Camorra crime boss, a priest, and Captain Murino of the carabinieri to help her to resolve the cases. Carcaterra, the bestseller author of the Tank Rizzo series, has written a gentle, charming story highlighting the importance of community on the island of Ischia.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    The Hook - Way back when. It just occurred to me that it really was longer ago than I thought. My Dad, joined me in fandom of Carcaterra when I introduced him to Sleepers . We went on to read Apache and Gangsters together and had interesting discussions about these. Then, in 2005 my father left me to read this author on my own but I could never pick up one of Carcaterra's books without memories of my Dad and how we enjoyed these reads together. Recently Lorenzo Carcaterra is one of my adopted au The Hook - Way back when. It just occurred to me that it really was longer ago than I thought. My Dad, joined me in fandom of Carcaterra when I introduced him to Sleepers . We went on to read Apache and Gangsters together and had interesting discussions about these. Then, in 2005 my father left me to read this author on my own but I could never pick up one of Carcaterra's books without memories of my Dad and how we enjoyed these reads together. Recently Lorenzo Carcaterra is one of my adopted authors at my public library. When Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride was due to be published I received an email from our library asking if I wanted to sponsor this title as it seemed very different than those that came before. I thought about it and quickly answered yes as it's interesting to see authors go in different directions and write what's in their hearts. The Line(s) - ”This was her island, her home. And these were her people.” The Sinker - Immediately I felt the commonality of the characters and locale of Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride. I grew up living with my own Nonna Maria, a widow, who had the spunk and spirit of this book's main character until the day she died (94). No, my Nonna didn't solve mysteries but there were other similarities, most of all love of family, protecting those around her, sage advice, years of wisdom and the making of good food, and wine. Don't tell Carcaterra that my family came from that Northern part of Italy an area that his Nonna lacks a fondness for, but other than this one wander, my Italian roots were tickled as I read this heart-warming story. Closer to my Tito ancestor's origins, Ischia, Nonna Maria's home, manages to be a character in itself. I'd love to visit after reading the book, and then viewing pictures and reading more about this island. Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride is not a thriller, nor fast based book but sometimes you just need to slow it down a bit, stop to enjoy something out of the ordinary. I'd call it a cozy, notched up just a bit. Nonna Maria is a solid addition to senior sleuths, one to give some British oldsters a run for their money. Now I think it's time to read Three Dreamers: A Memoir of Family, which Carcatera wrote in honor of his Grandmother, Nonna Maria and was the inspiration for this fictional character. I'm certain I'll find the true essence of Nonna Maria in those pages.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linden

    Nonna Marie has always lived on the beautiful island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples. People come to her for help instead of going to the local police (carabinieri). A young woman, Anna, seeks Nonna Maria's help because she is supposed to marry a man who is a stranger to the island that she hardly knows. Nonna investigates, and finds out many unsettling things about the prospective groom. Then a beloved boat captain dies, and it's unclear whether it was really an accident. Even though Ischia Nonna Marie has always lived on the beautiful island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples. People come to her for help instead of going to the local police (carabinieri). A young woman, Anna, seeks Nonna Maria's help because she is supposed to marry a man who is a stranger to the island that she hardly knows. Nonna investigates, and finds out many unsettling things about the prospective groom. Then a beloved boat captain dies, and it's unclear whether it was really an accident. Even though Ischia has become a tourist mecca, the locals know they can count on one of their own, Nonna Maria, when there is a problem. Nonna reminds me of Precious Ramotswe, of The #1 Ladies Detective Agency, a wise woman who solves problems for friends in Botswana. Readers who enjoy these books might enjoy reading about Nonna Maria. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    *3-3.5 stars Meet Italy's Sherlock Holmes: Nonna Maria. She has lived on the island of Ischia all her life. All the old-time residents know her well, respect her wisdom, and call on her with their problems. In this first book in what I expect will be a series, a bride-to-be comes to Nonna Maria, hoping to find a way out of her upcoming marriage to a man she barely knows. In another case, Nonna Maria looks into the drowning death of one of her friends, an elderly tour boat captain. This is a cute, *3-3.5 stars Meet Italy's Sherlock Holmes: Nonna Maria. She has lived on the island of Ischia all her life. All the old-time residents know her well, respect her wisdom, and call on her with their problems. In this first book in what I expect will be a series, a bride-to-be comes to Nonna Maria, hoping to find a way out of her upcoming marriage to a man she barely knows. In another case, Nonna Maria looks into the drowning death of one of her friends, an elderly tour boat captain. This is a cute, warm-hearted mystery. Although I really enjoyed meeting Nonna Maria and spending time with her on the island of Ischia, I found quite a bit of the descriptions of both of those to be repetitive. I received an arc of this new mystery from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks for the opportunity.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    Bored. Tried to make it yo 30% to give it a shot, but need to call it. The epitome if "tell vs. show". Stilted sentences. I'm not really engaged. Next! Bored. Tried to make it yo 30% to give it a shot, but need to call it. The epitome if "tell vs. show". Stilted sentences. I'm not really engaged. Next!

  12. 5 out of 5

    First Clue

    What the world needs now is more of the delightful Nonna Maria, an elderly widow who’s lived her whole life on the beautiful island of Ischia—18 miles from Naples—and is a bit of a legend. As famous for the espresso she brews as the advice she dispenses, she’s known throughout the island and, in turn, seems to know every native. When trouble comes calling, it’s Nonna Maria people turn to for help, trusting her instead of the local carabinieri. More of a “fixer” than your traditional detective, N What the world needs now is more of the delightful Nonna Maria, an elderly widow who’s lived her whole life on the beautiful island of Ischia—18 miles from Naples—and is a bit of a legend. As famous for the espresso she brews as the advice she dispenses, she’s known throughout the island and, in turn, seems to know every native. When trouble comes calling, it’s Nonna Maria people turn to for help, trusting her instead of the local carabinieri. More of a “fixer” than your traditional detective, Nonna Maria takes on two cases in this book. In one, a young woman is worried that her fiancée isn’t what he seems, and Nonna Maria discretely moves her into hiding while she investigates. In the other, the old captain of a tour boat—and life-long friend of our investigator —is found dead, and Nonna Maria won’t accept that the death of this born sailor was an accident. To fix these problems, the intrepid widow calls on old friends, her parish priest, a nephew, a grandson, and even the head of a Neapolitan crime family, all while sharing with readers the delights of Ischia. Never too cutesy and plenty tough, Nonna Maria will delight fans of Italian mysteries and cozy enthusiasts who love a good armchair trip.—Brian Kenney, First Clue For more reviews of crime fiction, subscribe to First Clue https://www.getrevue.co/profile/First..., our weekly newsletter.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tracie

    Widowed wise woman Nonna Maria lives on Ischia, off the coast of Naples. She is often consulted by residents when something bad or odd happens instead of their going to the local carabinieri, most of whom are not from the island. So Nonna Maria is not surprised when newly engaged Anna comes to her and tells Nonna Maria she cannot remember much of what happened on the night she met Andrea Bartoli. According to island lore, it could be a case of "La Fattura," when something is put in the food or d Widowed wise woman Nonna Maria lives on Ischia, off the coast of Naples. She is often consulted by residents when something bad or odd happens instead of their going to the local carabinieri, most of whom are not from the island. So Nonna Maria is not surprised when newly engaged Anna comes to her and tells Nonna Maria she cannot remember much of what happened on the night she met Andrea Bartoli. According to island lore, it could be a case of "La Fattura," when something is put in the food or drink and people wake up married or engaged to a stranger. Nonna Maria asks various questions of people around the island and consults Captain Paolo Murino about Bartoli. Then an old friend dies mysteriously, and it appears there is more than one mystery to solve and more than one dangerous person on the island, especially now that there are more tourists around. Nonna Maria is a wonderful character and Ischia is almost a character as well. I would enjoy having a cup of her legendary coffee and spending time with her. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    BookishlyWise

    What a fun reading experience !!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Books

    Nonna Maria is a wonderful character. An older widowed woman that has lots of family and contacts on an island outside of Naples. Nonna is known to be the go to person when someone needs help. She doesn’t consider herself a sleuth but she definitely is. Lorenzo Carcaterra has written a wonderful cozy mystery that keeps the reader engaged as you can’t help but want a Nonna Maria in your own life. Thank you to #netgalley and #randomhousepublishing-balantine for allowing me to read the eARC of this b Nonna Maria is a wonderful character. An older widowed woman that has lots of family and contacts on an island outside of Naples. Nonna is known to be the go to person when someone needs help. She doesn’t consider herself a sleuth but she definitely is. Lorenzo Carcaterra has written a wonderful cozy mystery that keeps the reader engaged as you can’t help but want a Nonna Maria in your own life. Thank you to #netgalley and #randomhousepublishing-balantine for allowing me to read the eARC of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicola

    This is a cute, cozy mystery about Nona Maria who is like a Sherlock Holmes to her family and friends. She hears, sees and knows everything going on. She has her own unique way to solve mysteries and problems. Nona Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride made for a sweet escape for me. She had me smiling. Overall, just a fun book to read. Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    C. Clark

    The setting was beautiful, and the character was quaint, intelligent, and homespun all at once. I liked her, but my biggest problem was the simplicity of the story. Very cozy in nature with a too-fluffy story. I did not waste my time...not saying that....but I doubt I will read another book in this series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Decker

    A fun solid read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Monnie

    By some of my standard measures, this could have been a book that just didn't "grab" me (that the heroine is a meddling old lady living on an island off the coast of Naples, Italy, rang more of a warning bell than a come-and-get-it). On the other hand, I've read and absolutely loved several books by this wonderful author, so I forged ahead. And guess what? I didn't stop until I'd polished it off in a single day (well, I stayed up an extra half-hour at bedtime, but hey...) When it came to summing By some of my standard measures, this could have been a book that just didn't "grab" me (that the heroine is a meddling old lady living on an island off the coast of Naples, Italy, rang more of a warning bell than a come-and-get-it). On the other hand, I've read and absolutely loved several books by this wonderful author, so I forged ahead. And guess what? I didn't stop until I'd polished it off in a single day (well, I stayed up an extra half-hour at bedtime, but hey...) When it came to summing it all up, though, I was at first at a loss for words. So I started by doing something I never do - reading comments by other authors (mostly because I always suspect they're nothing more than reciprocal "fluff" than real observations made after actually reading the book). That is, until I read an assessment by another favorite author - Tess Gerritsen - and the lightbulb went on. "Utterly delightful," she said. "One of the most charming amateur sleuths ever created," she continued. "I couldn't have said it better, so I'm stealing her words," I said. Now on to the story in my words: The title character (and she truly is a character) is Nonna Maria, a 25-year widow in her 70s whose love of cooking for anyone who walks through her door is exceeded only by her love of helping her family, friends and neighbors when something goes wrong. She's got all the inside scoops, gossip-wise, so nothing gets past her; everyone on the island of Ischia knows where to go first when they have a problem. At the very least, they'll leave with full stomachs - everything washed down by Nonna Maria's special coffee (she personally won't drink anyone else's) or, more likely, a few glasses of wine. As the story begins, she gets a visit by Anna, a young woman who claims to have been somehow coerced into agreeing to marry a man she really doesn't love; she suspects he may have ulterior motives. Recalling legends of similar incidents in years past, Nonna Maria has suspicions of her own - and agrees to help. First, though, she contacts her carabinieri friend Captain Murino, who has long "put up with" Nonna Maria's interferences simply because her heart is in the right place (and the fact that she's almost always right). Another case rears a possible ugly head when an elderly tour boat captain appears to have drunk himself into a stupor, fallen overboard and drowned. Murino is investigating and on the verge of declaring it an accident, but Nonna Maria is certain it was no accident; no matter how inebriated he was, she insists, he never, ever would have drowned. And as she shares with him her opinions as well as details of Anna's situation, it appears the good Captain just have have a good reason to investigate her fiance as well. Their interaction is professional, but the charisma between the two is downright charming - prompting me to turn the pages as fast as I could just to get to what happens next. In between the action are enticing, intricate descriptions of the island, its rich history and not-so-wealthy people. Everything works out in the end, of course, but you'll just have to read the book to get the details. Please do - I don't think you'll be sorry. Meantime, I thank the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review another book by a favorite author. Grazie di cuore!

  20. 4 out of 5

    LittleRead

    Nonna Maria of Ischia is beloved by her friends and neighbors. They all look to her for advice, guidance and even help at times. When Anna Maria wakes up with a fiancé, she seeks out Nonna Maria for help as she is afraid of Andrea, a new comer to Ischia. Nonna helps Anna disappear so she can look into the fiancé and find out what and who he really is. As Nonna is using her connections to get information on Andrea, she hears news that her friend Pasquale, an old boat captain, has died. Nonna doesn Nonna Maria of Ischia is beloved by her friends and neighbors. They all look to her for advice, guidance and even help at times. When Anna Maria wakes up with a fiancé, she seeks out Nonna Maria for help as she is afraid of Andrea, a new comer to Ischia. Nonna helps Anna disappear so she can look into the fiancé and find out what and who he really is. As Nonna is using her connections to get information on Andrea, she hears news that her friend Pasquale, an old boat captain, has died. Nonna doesn’t believe it’s from the circumstances given. So now she’s not only looking into Andrea, she’s also looking for a killer. Wow, I am SO glad I found this author, Lorenzo Carcaterra! This was such great read and I couldn’t put it down. We all need a Nonna Maria in our lives…I know I want my own after reading this book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    Although this is a fictionalized account of Nonna Maria’s crime solving, it is written with the love and respect shown so amply in Three Dreamers. Each is a stand alone, but I would heartily recommend reading Three Dreamers first. Each book is wonderful and this one is filled with two crimes and Nonna Maria’s intuition and wisdom in solving them along with the assistance of almost everyone living on or visiting Ischia! Thanks to Net Galley and Bantam (Random House) for an ARC for an honest revie Although this is a fictionalized account of Nonna Maria’s crime solving, it is written with the love and respect shown so amply in Three Dreamers. Each is a stand alone, but I would heartily recommend reading Three Dreamers first. Each book is wonderful and this one is filled with two crimes and Nonna Maria’s intuition and wisdom in solving them along with the assistance of almost everyone living on or visiting Ischia! Thanks to Net Galley and Bantam (Random House) for an ARC for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    I was charmed by Lorenzo Carcaterra's Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride. I've seen depictions of old Italian women dressed in widow's weeds in movies and television programs for decades, and what Carcaterra has done is put a heart and soul into one such woman to bring her to life. First of all, the setting is wonderful. I'd never heard of the island of Ischia before, and I found its history absolutely fascinating. When Carcaterra described one spot on the island in which you could st I was charmed by Lorenzo Carcaterra's Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride. I've seen depictions of old Italian women dressed in widow's weeds in movies and television programs for decades, and what Carcaterra has done is put a heart and soul into one such woman to bring her to life. First of all, the setting is wonderful. I'd never heard of the island of Ischia before, and I found its history absolutely fascinating. When Carcaterra described one spot on the island in which you could stand and see Vesuvius to the left and Capri to the right, I immediately wanted to book a flight to see it for myself. Nonna Maria is the perfect diamond to place in such a breathtaking setting. She has such strong opinions that, at first, she may be a bit intimidating, but once readers see the esteem in which she's held by fellow islanders, they should stop hesitating and let themselves melt right into her world. She may be strong, but she's also wise and compassionate. Anyone Nonna Maria doesn't know isn't worth knowing, and I loved watching her work with Captain Murino of the carabinieri, a man who has his own reasons for wanting to bring one of the cases to a resounding close. How can one old woman be such a force on a small island, especially when she has no phone and no car? As she tells Murino, she only knows what she hears, and on an island filled with people who love to talk all she has to do is listen. As much as I enjoyed watching Nonna Maria solve crimes, you'd think that I'd want to see this turn into a series, but you'd be wrong. Part of me wants this one book to stay a perfect snapshot of the life of a fairy godmother who has a solution for all of your problems. Read it for yourself and see what you think. (Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    The protagonist in this story is a name I recognized, from the authors Memoir, Three Dreamers, which I loved. The story takes place on the Island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples, Italy. Nonna Maria is an older woman, widowed and with a lot of family and contacts on the Island. People she knows come to Nonna Maria with their problems, before seeking out anyone else, and she is always there to help a friend, with her good advise, wisdom of age, and the advantage of her many contacts, which allow The protagonist in this story is a name I recognized, from the authors Memoir, Three Dreamers, which I loved. The story takes place on the Island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples, Italy. Nonna Maria is an older woman, widowed and with a lot of family and contacts on the Island. People she knows come to Nonna Maria with their problems, before seeking out anyone else, and she is always there to help a friend, with her good advise, wisdom of age, and the advantage of her many contacts, which allow her to know what is going on in town. This is not your normal murder mystery, but one that draws you in through the wonderful characters and a laid-back pace that bring whatever she is investigating to a slow boil, and a satisfying ending. I was so drawn to the cover of the book, what a beautiful Image. I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for a copy of this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cary

    That was terrible. The worst book I have read this year, by far. The best thing I can say about this book is that it is short - a mere 257 pages, more like a novella. With 58 chapters that means about 4.5 pages per chapter. At less than 5 pages a chapter it reminds me of a child’s first chapter book, and that wouldn’t be far off. The writing was so simplistic at times I thought I was reading a children’s book. “ ‘You don’t understand these men, Nonna Maria,’ he said, his fear practically visible That was terrible. The worst book I have read this year, by far. The best thing I can say about this book is that it is short - a mere 257 pages, more like a novella. With 58 chapters that means about 4.5 pages per chapter. At less than 5 pages a chapter it reminds me of a child’s first chapter book, and that wouldn’t be far off. The writing was so simplistic at times I thought I was reading a children’s book. “ ‘You don’t understand these men, Nonna Maria,’ he said, his fear practically visible.”(p. 162) Practically visible? You mean palpable, don’t you. While we are on the subject of children’s books - Nonna Maria is like a 70 year old Mary Poppins - practically perfect in every way. Maybe if she sang songs while solving crimes this book would have been better. Just kidding, nothing can save this book but you can save yourself by not reading it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    An unusual and lovely mystery set on the island of Ischia off the coast of Naples, Italy. The main character and detective is an elderly widow, Nonna Maria. She has lived on the island her entire life and is known by all, who come to her rather than the police to solve their problems. According to the author, she is based on his grandmother who had many of Nonna Maria’s qualities, including the bravery to stand up to the Nazis during WWII. Highly recommended!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mystic Miraflores

    This is a very heart-warming mystery, which isn't quite a cozy. I love that it features an older widow, who is independent and takes care of her family and townspeople. I have become tired of cozies where the young female amateur detective falls in love with the police investigator. This book sure made me hungry for Italian food, when the author described all the delicious dishes Nonna Maria prepared. When I grew up, I want to be just like Nonna Maria! I hope the author will write another book a This is a very heart-warming mystery, which isn't quite a cozy. I love that it features an older widow, who is independent and takes care of her family and townspeople. I have become tired of cozies where the young female amateur detective falls in love with the police investigator. This book sure made me hungry for Italian food, when the author described all the delicious dishes Nonna Maria prepared. When I grew up, I want to be just like Nonna Maria! I hope the author will write another book about her.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    4 1/2 stars A delightful cozy that takes you to the island of Ischia. The world of Nona Maria knows what is happening without asking. She can keep a secret and lend a helping hand. You cannot help but like her. Thank you, Goodreads and Random House for this free copy. It's a keeper. 4 1/2 stars A delightful cozy that takes you to the island of Ischia. The world of Nona Maria knows what is happening without asking. She can keep a secret and lend a helping hand. You cannot help but like her. Thank you, Goodreads and Random House for this free copy. It's a keeper.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This book is so wonderful and beautifully written. Kind of an Italian "Murder She Wrote" combined with the story of a magical island just off the Italian coast. If you have ever been to Italy this book will surely make you want to return again. This book is so wonderful and beautifully written. Kind of an Italian "Murder She Wrote" combined with the story of a magical island just off the Italian coast. If you have ever been to Italy this book will surely make you want to return again.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Loved Nona everyone should have her in their lives she is spunky smart and sassy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    A fast read, but cozy mysteries rarely grab me.

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