Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Book Review: Murder in the Piazza by Jen Collins Moore (Maggie White Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good characters; setting brought to life
Cons: Pacing could be better
The Bottom Line:
New boss is murdered
Wonderful Roman setting
Overall fun book

Murder in Rome

I keep saying I want to read some travel themed mysteries, but I rarely pick them up.  I changed that with Murder in the Piazza by Jen Collins Moore, and I’m glad I did.

Maggie White’s husband has been sent to Rome for two years for his job, and she’s gone along with him.  After a few months of living the life of leisure, she has found a job working for Masterpiece Tours, a specialty tour company that offers painting lessons and tours of some of the museums and famous locations in the city.  She’s barely started and she’s already fantasizing about ways to kill her boss, Lord Phillip, an English expat.  However, she is shocked to find him shot in his office one evening.  The police don’t seem that interested in figuring out what happened, so Maggie starts investigating.  Can she figure out what is going on?

This book does a great job of bringing Rome to life.  Since Maggie’s been there a few months, she’s acclimated to the city, but still seeing it through a tourist’s eyes.  I haven’t been able to visit Rome yet, but I certainly felt like I was there.  Most of the characters speak English.  While we get the occasional foreign word, we don’t have any trouble following the dialogue, which is great.

The pacing could have been a little better, especially near the beginning.  While Maggie found Lord Phillip’s body fairly early, it seemed to take a while for the story to really get going.  However, once it did, I found it entertaining, and I loved how everything came together at the end.

The characters were also good as well.  We meet many of them in a group setting, which always worries me, but as the book progressed, we really got to know them better.  I never had to try to remember who they all were.

After reading this book, I’m ready to hop on a plane and tour Rome myself.  If you are looking for a virtual vacation with a little murder on the side, Murder in the Piazza is the book for you.


  1. A cozy mystery set in Rome sounds wonderful. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Mark

  2. The cover looks great as well. Adding to my list for later, when I need a virtual vacation!

  3. This sounds fun - my brother and his family lived in Rome for several years working at the US Embassy to the Vatican, and I think my sis-in-law would enjoy it too.

  4. I love virtual vacation books and this sounds like a great one!

  5. I visited Rome maybe 20 yrs ago and would love to be taken back there, even on the page. I don't read a lot of cozies, but the way you describe this one makes it appealing....maybe it's the Rome angle. Thanks for the review.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys


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