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Slain Over Spumoni

Violetta Pelicani, massage therapist in Grado, Italy shortly after WWI, meets a young man at almost the same instant she learns her favorite uncle is dead. Suspicion of murder arises, and the two work together to prevent Vi from being accused. Though she has helped her uncle run his gelateria, she expects to gain nothing from his death, but she has already gained an admirer in John.

John Baxter is in Grado to assist his brother’s travel home from a military hospital. John, or Gianni, as Vi calls him, is immediately smitten with Vi and wants to help her, while enjoying her company and her gelateria’s gelato, but will sleuthing get in the way of sampling the famous spumoni?

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" . . . an engaging historical mystery that will make you want to run to the nearest gelateria—but not before finishing the book!" ~Marty Wingate, USA Today bestselling author of mystery novels and historical fiction

"A massage therapist heroine with a hidden past, an intriguing American who bears shocking news, and a body in a sand bath—not to mention a secret family gelato recipe! Delizioso!" ~Traci Andrighetti, USA Today bestselling mystery author

"Delight in vivid scenes of old Italy, but beware of a killer on the loose!" ~Wendy Kendall, author of Cherry Shakes in the Park and Kat Out of the Bag

"Some of us savor a novella as if it were rare Italian gelato, but “Slain Over Spumoni” invites us to devour it with gusto. Skillfully crafted and enjoyable from start to finish." ~Jo Deniau, author of Stiff Hearts

Watch my interview with Lynette Morgan, KWPZ radio host from Bellingham, WA, on 2022 National Spumoni Day talking about my new 1920s romantic mystery book! Learn about the inspiration behind the story, how I got here, and what I'm writing next.

Order your copy now!



Horace Greeley's famous phrase, "Go West, young man, and grow up with the country", could very well apply to Italians. This free Substack site is dedicated to exploring their lives since the mass migration of the Gilded Age, and is an adjunct to my upcoming book, ITALIANS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST (Launch: September 25, 2023).

Forced to leave the economically disadvantaged and agriculturally overworked mezzogiorno of their booted homeland, many southern Italians ventured west. Between the late 1800s until the early 1920s, over 4 million Italians left Italy.

Most made their life along the Eastern Seaboard, but many left the crowded tenements and inner cities to build large enclaves in Chicago, New Orleans, and Winnipeg. Fewer still, moved further west, beyond the Mississippi River of the United States and the industrializing eastern provinces of Canada.

These brave souls sought adventure, freedom, and hopefully more opportunity, in the logging and mining outposts in the Pacific Northwest with about 12,000 Italians, mostly men, settling in British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.


Subscribe to read a new story, for free, every 2 weeks until the end of 2023, and then sporadically after that.


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