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Death In Bagheria by Susan Russo Anderson
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Serafina ran up a winding staircase and opened the door. Breathless, she fished in her pockets for a linen, smelling beeswax, citrus, the must of centuries. After her eyes adjusted to the dimness, she saw Sister Genoveffa, the Duomo’s sacristan, standing at the worktable, arranging lemon blossoms in a vase. The woman’s overskirts were hiked, revealing fine leather boots. Serafina looked down at her own pair, scuffed in spots and worn at the heel. Her temples throbbed, and the last handful of olives she’d eaten rumbled like rocks in her stomach.
Quotations
She can’t cook, so she’ll live forever.
Did she love her children for themselves or for what she hoped they would become? She saw in herself, if only for an instant, what her mother once called “the pincers of a mother’s love.”
They rushed in, thick as stars, through an otherwise stilled village.
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Book description
Sicily, March 1870. When Sister Genoveffa, a headstrong aristocrat with a mysterious past, commissions Serafina to find her mother's poisoner, she travels to a windswept villa on Sicily's gold coast where she begins her investigation of the beloved baroness's suspicious death. There, she meets with the irascible baron and his huge staff of servants. In the midst of her inquiry, Serafina has a harrowing encounter on the roof with a mad stalker, narrowly escaping with her life, knowing he will try to kill her again. Adding to her peril are the ruthless attempts to foil her success by her arch enemy, Don Tigro, the local mafia capo.
    
Yet Serafina is unflagging in her determination to unmask the killer, despite mortal danger, the pleas of her children for her speedy return, and a longing to resume her broiling new romance with Loffredo, the lusty count of Oltramari. With the help of her friend, Rosa, two daring servants, and an unexpected visitor, she uncovers ugly entanglements that portend great misfortune for the baroness's heirs. Will Serafina catch the killer before his henchman throws her over the roof?
  This is the third book in the Serafina Florio mystery series. Other books in this series:
Death of a Serpent
No More Brothers
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0984972641, Paperback)

A gripping tale of murder and deceit. A baroness poisoned . . . A family masking dark secrets . . . and one woman determined to uncover the truth. Sicily, March 1870. When a headstrong aristocrat commissions Serafina to find her mother’s poisoner, the midwife turned sleuth travels to a windswept villa on Sicily’s gold coast where she begins her investigation of the baroness’s death. There, she meets with the irascible baron and his huge staff of servants. Adding to her peril are the ruthless attempts to foil her success by her arch enemy, Don Tigro, the local mafia capo. Yet Serafina is unflagging in her determination to unmask the killer, despite mortal danger, the pleas of her children for her speedy return, and a longing to resume her broiling new romance with Loffredo, the count of Oltramari. With the help of her friend, Rosa, two daring servants, and an unexpected visitor, she uncovers entanglements that portend dire misfortune for the baroness’s heirs. Will Serafina catch the killer before his henchman throws her to her death?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:20 -0400)

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