Girls*Heart* Books: 'From Mangia to Murder' by Caroline Mickelson: Review, Interview & Giveaway

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

'From Mangia to Murder' by Caroline Mickelson: Review, Interview & Giveaway

From Mangia to Murder
Sophia Mancini Mystery Series 
By Caroline Mickelson
Published 2012 by Bon Accord Press

Little Italy, 1946 – Sophia Mancini would have enjoyed the grand opening celebration of her family’s private detective agency if the volatile chef at Vincenzo’s Ristorante had actually survived the meal. But before Sophia’s chilled spoon hit the spumoni, someone plunged a knife into Vincenzo’s back and the word on everyone’s lips went from mangia to murder.

Sophia soon finds herself trailing crime boss Frankie Vidoni, chatting with his mouthy mistress Maria, and dodging henchman Mooch DiMuccio. She’s suspicious of Vincenzo’s widow, Stella, and his assistant chef, Eugene, because they don’t appear the least bit dismayed by Vincenzo’s passing. There is no conversation Sophia won’t eavesdrop on, no question she won’t ask, and no danger she won’t face to find the killer.
(from Goodreads)

From Mangia to Murder is the first book in the Sophia Mancini Mystery series by Caroline Mickelson.  Set in 1946, the story takes place in Little Italy after World War II. The boys are coming home, but not in the same shape they were sent away in. Unfortunately this is true of Sophia's brother, Angelo. For Angelo and his son, Sophia will do whatever is necessary to keep their family together. 

I love this book. It is well written, the characters are vibrant and interesting and it's full of action and humor. In short, it's the perfect book for me.  Normally, when reading a mystery I find myself able to foresee the outcome but that never happened here.There was mystery layered throughout the story with twists I never saw coming. This is an edge of your seat read, for sure.  

Sophia is my favorite kind of heroine; smart, spunky, brave, loving and loyal. You can't help but love her. In a time when women were expected to stay at home and let their menfolk take care of them, Sophia is shaking things up. She is fiercely protective of her family and friends and it's that love and protectiveness that drives her desire to solve this case before the cops can. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, from beginning to end. I especially enjoyed Captain Tiernan McIntyre. He is a no nonsense sort of cop with little patience for civilians interfering in his work. He was a great counterpoint to Sophia and I can't wait to see how and if their relationship progresses. 
My Rating:

And here is my interview with Caroline Mickelson

*Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in the southwest with my husband, four pre-teen /teenage children and our wonderful German Shepherd. I love to write and love to read. Sometimes it feels I spend more time in another time and place than in the real world! I love my life.
*Where is your favorite place to write?
Any place quiet. I generally write in my office at home, which is our dining room converted into an office. I have a beautiful view of the Catalina Mountains which is fortunate because when I’m stuck on something in my writing I spend a good deal of time looking out the window while puzzling it out.

*What do you consider ‘perfect’ writing conditions?
Interesting question – I’ve never thought about that. I could write anywhere but would need a computer, I’m afraid, because I can’t read my own handwriting.

*Were any of the characters in ‘From Mangia to Murder’ inspired by people in your life?
No, I can’t take any credit for creating the characters. They came to my mind fully formed. I don’t even remember picking out names, the characters just appeared with names and fully formed personalities. The woman on the book cover is my paternal Grandmother. I love the job my talented cover artist, Laura Miller, did with From Mangia to Murder. I especially love having my Grandmother’s photo on each cover in the series. That’s a nice connection to someone I loved very much.

*If you could only recommend one book to us, which would it be and why?
I’d have to say ‘Gone with the Wind’. It’s not even that I really like Scarlett, Rhett, Melanie or Ashley, and I don’t care for the movie, but as a writer I’m in awe of the way Margaret Mitchell wrote such a brilliant book. I read it every summer.

*Is there a dessert you can’t say no to?
LOL! The easiest way to answer this is to say the only dessert I *can* say no to is apple pie. I’m afraid I’m powerless when it comes to chocolate.

*Can you tell us a little about what’s next for Sophia?
Sophia is in for some fun in the next few books . She’ll be busy resisting her family’s efforts to get her settled down and married, she’ll be interfering with Captain McIntyre’s police investigations, and she’ll be chasing after clues and solving murders.

*When can we expect Book 2?
Lights Out in Little Italy will be out in October. I’m plotting the third book and am having enormous fun writing this series.

*Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions!
Thank you, Mel, for reading From Mangia to Murder, and letting me visit your blog!

You can find Caroline Mickelson: 

And now for the giveaway! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for the great giveaway Caroline can't wait to read your book. :)

    1. It's REALLY good! :)

  2. Thank you :)

    Mel - Thanks so much for reading From Mangia to Murder and reviewing it. You made my day! :)


    1. Oh Caroline, it was MY pleasure!! I loved it! Can't wait for the next one!! <3


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