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Pasta, Pirates and Poison

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She wants to get back to Italy. Does she have a ghost of a chance? Paige Murphy loves her new life in Italy, where she can sip wine, eat pasta, and while the days away working on her romance novel. But all that changes when her beloved aunt falls ill, and she must fly back home to Texas—a place she thought she’d left behind. In a blink, she finds herself with a failin She wants to get back to Italy. Does she have a ghost of a chance? Paige Murphy loves her new life in Italy, where she can sip wine, eat pasta, and while the days away working on her romance novel. But all that changes when her beloved aunt falls ill, and she must fly back home to Texas—a place she thought she’d left behind. In a blink, she finds herself with a failing beachside bookstore, jealous cousins out to get her, and pesky suitors who won’t leave her alone. As if that wasn’t enough, buried treasure and hidden secrets could prove to be deadly! Pasta, Pirates and Poison is Book 1 in the Beachside Books Magical Cozy Mystery Series. If you like paranormal cozy mysteries (with a cat), you’ll love this light-hearted, fun read.


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She wants to get back to Italy. Does she have a ghost of a chance? Paige Murphy loves her new life in Italy, where she can sip wine, eat pasta, and while the days away working on her romance novel. But all that changes when her beloved aunt falls ill, and she must fly back home to Texas—a place she thought she’d left behind. In a blink, she finds herself with a failin She wants to get back to Italy. Does she have a ghost of a chance? Paige Murphy loves her new life in Italy, where she can sip wine, eat pasta, and while the days away working on her romance novel. But all that changes when her beloved aunt falls ill, and she must fly back home to Texas—a place she thought she’d left behind. In a blink, she finds herself with a failing beachside bookstore, jealous cousins out to get her, and pesky suitors who won’t leave her alone. As if that wasn’t enough, buried treasure and hidden secrets could prove to be deadly! Pasta, Pirates and Poison is Book 1 in the Beachside Books Magical Cozy Mystery Series. If you like paranormal cozy mysteries (with a cat), you’ll love this light-hearted, fun read.

30 review for Pasta, Pirates and Poison

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sandee

    A cozy-style mystery without the romance, but with a ghost. As an entry to a new series, I thought it was a good story. The characters are interesting with some funny interactions with family members. The beginning was a bit slow and difficult to believe. Funny thing to say when the story includes a ghost, but the main character is an unknown and unpublished author who has been given an advance on her book. She uses that money to live in Italy while writing her first book. I had a hard time gett A cozy-style mystery without the romance, but with a ghost. As an entry to a new series, I thought it was a good story. The characters are interesting with some funny interactions with family members. The beginning was a bit slow and difficult to believe. Funny thing to say when the story includes a ghost, but the main character is an unknown and unpublished author who has been given an advance on her book. She uses that money to live in Italy while writing her first book. I had a hard time getting past this. The rest of the story is much better. By the end, I couldn't put it down.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Paige returns to her hometown following the death of her aunt. The death is suspicious and Paige soon finds herself helping out with the investigation. It seems all motives involve a local legend of pirate gold and the bookstore Paige inherited from her aunt is at the center of the mystery. Too many things bugged me about this book. I disliked all but the last couple of chapters. I am not sure exactly what it was about the writing style, but it just isn't for me. It was too superficial, too..... Paige returns to her hometown following the death of her aunt. The death is suspicious and Paige soon finds herself helping out with the investigation. It seems all motives involve a local legend of pirate gold and the bookstore Paige inherited from her aunt is at the center of the mystery. Too many things bugged me about this book. I disliked all but the last couple of chapters. I am not sure exactly what it was about the writing style, but it just isn't for me. It was too superficial, too......immature?? IDK, maybe it is meant for teens and I am just in the wrong target market and therefore expected too much.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shae Petersen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What a cozy mystery indeed. This was my first experience with this genre and it was a nice little breezy book. I liked how the characters weren’t too deep and therefore I didn’t build a connection with any of them and feel too much emotion when certain events happened. I loved Casper the cat, I thought it was such a cute aspect to the book. There was only a little bit of magic spread throughout which I kind of liked, and there was also the last words that insinuated there will be more magic in b What a cozy mystery indeed. This was my first experience with this genre and it was a nice little breezy book. I liked how the characters weren’t too deep and therefore I didn’t build a connection with any of them and feel too much emotion when certain events happened. I loved Casper the cat, I thought it was such a cute aspect to the book. There was only a little bit of magic spread throughout which I kind of liked, and there was also the last words that insinuated there will be more magic in book 2. Overall a quick and easy read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    A cozy mystery indeed, with just the right blend of odd events and crime-solving. Paige is in Italy when we first meet her, trying to finish her novel and fending off the advances of an amorous chef. She gets some upsetting news about her aunt, and has to return home. Upon arrival she learns her aunt was murdered, and there’s a steady stream of people making their way to her bookshop to try and persuade Paige to sell. Paige is keen to see her aunt’s murder solved, so starts sleuthing. Ghosts, myste A cozy mystery indeed, with just the right blend of odd events and crime-solving. Paige is in Italy when we first meet her, trying to finish her novel and fending off the advances of an amorous chef. She gets some upsetting news about her aunt, and has to return home. Upon arrival she learns her aunt was murdered, and there’s a steady stream of people making their way to her bookshop to try and persuade Paige to sell. Paige is keen to see her aunt’s murder solved, so starts sleuthing. Ghosts, mysterious treasure hunts and soon enough things get sorted. Hints that there might be more to Paige than meets the eye, but perhaps the magic/witchcraft will focus more on book two.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elysian Fields

    This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series and it has a fun cast of characters. A ghost, a witch (or two), a loving yet lazy cat and a few humans. I liked the cast, the way the interacted and played off each other. I certainly look forward to more stories with them. The characters had such distinctive and interesting personalities that I could help but turn the pages just to learn more about them. I did think the story was a bit slow in the beginning (up until about 50%), as it took unt This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series and it has a fun cast of characters. A ghost, a witch (or two), a loving yet lazy cat and a few humans. I liked the cast, the way the interacted and played off each other. I certainly look forward to more stories with them. The characters had such distinctive and interesting personalities that I could help but turn the pages just to learn more about them. I did think the story was a bit slow in the beginning (up until about 50%), as it took until 40% to even admit there was a murder to solve (when its written in the book description). It also took till 75% before any real action took place. There was a bit too much of the main character talking about her “failed” career and her feeding the cat and cleaning the cat box. It didn't need to be repeated as much as it was, (I get it establishes routine, I just didn't need it). I did really enjoyed the last 25% of the book the most. For me, the first book in a series is often time my lowest rated because its difficult to introduce all the characters, their relationships, the setting and the plot mystery in such a way that doesn't over or under whelm the reader. I very much look forward to more as I think this is going to be a humorous and fun ride; and if you like cozy, safe stories you will enjoy this one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. At first this book just wasnt for me. It was boring and I couldn't get into it, but I am glad I pushed through it because when it picked up it stayed at that pace for me. Although I was able to figure out Jay was Aunt Nora's killer. I was not expecting Neal to be working with Horace, but at least it was against his will. It sucks Paige couldnt get the gold she found, but I guess that's a good thing. I might read the next book. At first this book just wasnt for me. It was boring and I couldn't get into it, but I am glad I pushed through it because when it picked up it stayed at that pace for me. Although I was able to figure out Jay was Aunt Nora's killer. I was not expecting Neal to be working with Horace, but at least it was against his will. It sucks Paige couldnt get the gold she found, but I guess that's a good thing. I might read the next book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather Silvio

    Overall fun read; interesting plot and characters. However, for a magical cozy, I expected more magic. And, I also have a personal preference for first-person with cozies, so I had a harder time staying engaged.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ruby

    Just couldn’t get into it The mystery was boring to me, and the main character just seemed and interesting and honestly she came off as very annoying, I like that she lives in Italy but I really just didn’t care for her or her family

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jae

    Paige has left her small hometown and moved to Italy, ostensibly to work on her novel. In the meantime, she's taken a job cleaning at a hotel, and she shares a flat with two other girls. Paige loves the seaside village, the Italian food, and the romance of it all. Everything changes, however, when her brother calls to tell her their beloved aunt is dying. Paige flies home to Comfort Cove TX, arriving in time to say goodbye to Aunt Nora before she passes. On her death bed, Nora tells Paige to tak Paige has left her small hometown and moved to Italy, ostensibly to work on her novel. In the meantime, she's taken a job cleaning at a hotel, and she shares a flat with two other girls. Paige loves the seaside village, the Italian food, and the romance of it all. Everything changes, however, when her brother calls to tell her their beloved aunt is dying. Paige flies home to Comfort Cove TX, arriving in time to say goodbye to Aunt Nora before she passes. On her death bed, Nora tells Paige to take care of her flowers and Captain MacDougall. Paige assumes Captain MacDougall is the latest in the line of cats that Nora keeps at her bookstore, Beachside Books. Once the will is read, Paige learns that her scheming cousins, twins Patty and Taffy, have inherited Nora's house, her brother Scott gets Nora's vintage Mustang, and Paige inherits Beachside Books. Not sure what to do with a barely lucrative bookstore, Paige starts cleaning it and doing inventory. She meets several people, including her aunt's friend Lucy, who runs the bakery on one side of the bookstore, and Jay, a surfer dude who owns the bike shop on the other side. There's also Neal, the shop assistant that Paige has inherited with the store, and Casper, the white cat in residence. When Paige realizes she's going to be in Comfort Cove for the foreseeable future, she cleans out the tiny, attic apartment above the shop so she can quit staying in the guest room at her brother's house. That's when the real fun starts, as the store is broken into, people are yammering at her to sell it to them, and a mysterious book collector comes in, hounding Paige to sell him an old captain's log that Nora had in her private collection. Paige soon learns that magic and ghosts are real, that Aunt Nora was murdered, there's a drug ring in town her brother is investigating, and oh yeah, several locals believe that a pirate's treasure of gold was hidden somewhere in the store. Life in her dull hometown is more exciting than Paige imagined! This was a cute book, lite and humorous. Some things were easy to figure out, others, not so much. Characters would have benefited from more development, but one can assume that will happen in later books. It was an enjoyable read, but there was nothing exceptional about it. Giving it an average rating.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Krystyna

    Read all about it! A good read. Frankly the magic was just a hint but it could develop in future books. The plot was just a bit to obvious and it would have been good for the trapped ghost to have more of a role. The characters are developing well and will get more fleshed out in future books. She's in Italy (working as a housekeeper while trying to write her novel) when she gets a call that her aunt is in hospital. Jetlagged and tired she gets there just in time to say her farewell to her aunt. W Read all about it! A good read. Frankly the magic was just a hint but it could develop in future books. The plot was just a bit to obvious and it would have been good for the trapped ghost to have more of a role. The characters are developing well and will get more fleshed out in future books. She's in Italy (working as a housekeeper while trying to write her novel) when she gets a call that her aunt is in hospital. Jetlagged and tired she gets there just in time to say her farewell to her aunt. Was her death natural causes? The doctor thinks otherwise and this is borne out by further tests. She was killed by a new street drug that has hit their community hard. Also although she left her house to cousin's, the business she has goes to her whilst her brother gets the car he gas always listed after. Now she discovers that some of the first editions aren't first at all. What is going on? Why does the local restaurant owner and the owner of the shop next door want to buy her business? Where is the gold that everyone wants? What is so special about the old sea captain's log book? Who killed her aunt? Where are the missing books?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Blake

    (FYI I tend to only review one book per series, unless I completely change my mind on a series, so want to change my scoring down a lot) How I rate Stars: 5* = I loved (must read all I can find by the author) 4* = I really enjoyed (got to read all the series and try other books by the author). 3* = I enjoyed (I will continue to read the series) or 3* = Good book just not my thing (I realised I don't like the genre or picked up a kids book to review in error.) All of the above scores means I would r (FYI I tend to only review one book per series, unless I completely change my mind on a series, so want to change my scoring down a lot) How I rate Stars: 5* = I loved (must read all I can find by the author) 4* = I really enjoyed (got to read all the series and try other books by the author). 3* = I enjoyed (I will continue to read the series) or 3* = Good book just not my thing (I realised I don't like the genre or picked up a kids book to review in error.) All of the above scores means I would recommend them! - 2* = it was okay (I might give the next book in the series a try, to see if that was better IMHO.) 1* = Disliked Note: adding these basic 'reviews' after finding out that some people see some stars differently than I do - hoping this clarifies how I feel about the book. :-) ------------ First time read the author's work?: Yes Will you be reading more?: Probably not of this series, I did not like the MC. -- I will try the other first in a series I own by her, sometime.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julie Howard

    I read book two (Apple's, Actors and Axes) and enjoyed it so thought I would start at the beginning of the series, glad I did as I enjoyed the book. It was a easy light cozy mystery and even thought it has magical in the title it was pretty much non existent, I think it will play a big roll in future books and look forward to see how it develops, as I will be continuing with the series. Paige inherits a book shop, a white cat and a mystery. With missing pirate treasure supposedly buried in her sh I read book two (Apple's, Actors and Axes) and enjoyed it so thought I would start at the beginning of the series, glad I did as I enjoyed the book. It was a easy light cozy mystery and even thought it has magical in the title it was pretty much non existent, I think it will play a big roll in future books and look forward to see how it develops, as I will be continuing with the series. Paige inherits a book shop, a white cat and a mystery. With missing pirate treasure supposedly buried in her shop, she must try to work out who keeps breaking into her shop to find it before they decide she is in the way and must be dealt with, like the way someone dealt with her aunt. With plenty of suspects it had enough going on in the story to keep you intrigued until the last page.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kat Taylor

    Aunt Nora's legacy Laughter is good for the soul and I just got me a full dose of it through this intreageing cozey murder mystery with an aray of caracters surrounding the mysterys of a death, missing books,drug dealers, pirate treasure and a mysterious diary of said pirate. Paula Lester has given an aray of mysterys in this enchanting book,she is a high caliber writer and it shows up in this enticing series first book .So aquier "Pasta, Pirates and Poison "so you yourself can enjoy reading it Aunt Nora's legacy Laughter is good for the soul and I just got me a full dose of it through this intreageing cozey murder mystery with an aray of caracters surrounding the mysterys of a death, missing books,drug dealers, pirate treasure and a mysterious diary of said pirate. Paula Lester has given an aray of mysterys in this enchanting book,she is a high caliber writer and it shows up in this enticing series first book .So aquier "Pasta, Pirates and Poison "so you yourself can enjoy reading it as much as I have. 😯🤔🙄😊Kat

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amber Frechette

    Good beach read What's better than reading a book on the beach? How about a book about a mystery in a bookshop in the beach? After having to move home from Italy when her aunt gets sick suddenly, Paige learns the sleepy little cove she grew up in is more exciting than she thought. I can't wait to read more on how Paige deals with this change in lifestyle and how she embraces a secret she once kept hidden. Good beach read What's better than reading a book on the beach? How about a book about a mystery in a bookshop in the beach? After having to move home from Italy when her aunt gets sick suddenly, Paige learns the sleepy little cove she grew up in is more exciting than she thought. I can't wait to read more on how Paige deals with this change in lifestyle and how she embraces a secret she once kept hidden.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jodi Bennett

    This was a delightful read. Paige is living her dream in Italy writing her first book when she gets the call and heads home to comfort cove. Did her aunt die of natural causes or could someone possibly have murdered her? Paige meets a host of characters and deals with everything at the bookstore too. This is a light easy read and seems perfect for a day at the beach. I am looking forward to where the author takes the series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Sharp

    Potential Slow to get going but I suppose it's the first a series. Whatever it pretends to be it is not a mystery, it was obvious who the culprits were and why. The characters acted to suit the plot rather than as thinking individuals which cost the story believability. It is well enough written to have us believe following novels may not suffer similarly. Potential Slow to get going but I suppose it's the first a series. Whatever it pretends to be it is not a mystery, it was obvious who the culprits were and why. The characters acted to suit the plot rather than as thinking individuals which cost the story believability. It is well enough written to have us believe following novels may not suffer similarly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Enjoyable, but something missing Nice read, a bit monotonous, plodding along even with exciting events, then tidied up a bit too quickly. Could use more depth and fleshing out of background.. Considering trying next book in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Linda Rainey

    A Great Start to a New Series I am going to love this new series. It is full of delightful, quirky characters and the story kept me on my toes from first word until last. This book is recommended for those who love cozy mysteries.

  19. 5 out of 5

    D Marie

    A very good mystery I was looking to start a new series and boy am I glad I found this book. Ghost pirates, witches and drug seizures, it has everything. It has great characters and the storyline is awesome.

  20. 5 out of 5

    christopher langner

    **i received a free copy from the author** This was a great listen. Paige was easy to like and she was spunky! The story was short, sweet and enjoyable. Looking forward to reading more in the series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I found this to be a fun book. The pirate ghost is definitely my favorite character. I did find that Marco was a bit odd showing up in her hometown like that. There was a distinct lack of magic although there was talk of witches. I would like to see more magic in the next book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne Meyer

    Good story This is a fun mystery with ghosts, criminals , a bookstore and treasure. It has the ingredients for a good read ,which it is. I look forward to reading more of this author's work. Good story This is a fun mystery with ghosts, criminals , a bookstore and treasure. It has the ingredients for a good read ,which it is. I look forward to reading more of this author's work.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lockett

    Loved this book Paige inherits her Aunts book shop after her death and along with her brother, friend Lucy, Casper the cat and a pirate ghost they try to find the answers to solve her aunt's murder . Loved this book Paige inherits her Aunts book shop after her death and along with her brother, friend Lucy, Casper the cat and a pirate ghost they try to find the answers to solve her aunt's murder .

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna Conrad

    Fun! This is a fun, interesting read. I loved the characters and really enjoyed the writing. I could picture the story and adore Casper!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Prockish

    A quick read, but a fun cozy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annette Mordec

    Great read Real nice cozy mystery. Did not expect the paranormal side but it just added nicely to the story. Great book to sit back and relax with.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    Enjoyable mystery. Ghost and cat are best part.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Custer

    Very good book I liked reading the book how it had the ocean and pirate theme it keeps you on your toes the whole book

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    It was ok.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peg Halley

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