Pizza To Die For

Posted in Age-o-Meter:: 10-14, Scare-o-Meter: 6

SNATCH A STORY

 
At fourteen, future chef Mikki Norden is ready for any kitchen emergency – except the unexpected death of her mentor, Mr. Baldacci. But Mikki’s learned a lot about solving crimes from her mother, an almost-published mystery author. So when the local New Jersey police rule Mr. B’s death a heart attack, she knows she has to prove otherwise. But then, one night, she is kidnapped …

An Excerpt from Pizza to Die For:

“That’s why you kidnapped me. You. You both. You killed Mr. B, didn’t you? You’re afraid I’ll go to the police and tell them what I know!” I closed my eyes, ready for one of them to confirm my suspicions. “Go ahead. Kill me. It won’t help you. The person I was talking to on the telephone knows everything I do. Killing me won’t keep the police away.”

Tito and Angelo both started laughing. Big, boisterous, rumbling laughs. Laughs that made the pains in my head throb.

“Us? Kill Tony?” Angelo finally managed to say. “Why would we kill Tony? He was one of our best friends.”

“Likewise!” agreed Tito. They stopped laughing and looked very serious. “If someone put a hit out on Tony, we should be the ones to find his killer. Then we will revenge his death. The police, they will do nothing!”

“The police,” Angelo said, “I spit on them!” And he did. Right on the purple carpet.

“A D’Andrea never goes to the police!” said Tito. “You’re young. You’re a girl. You’re new to Jersey. Maybe you don’t know.”

“Maybe your grandma, she didn’t explain it to you,” agreed Angelo. “So we took it into our hands.” He looked down at his hands, as though to demonstrate, “To explain what should be done, should you be correct about Tony’s demise.”

“Should Tony have been snuffed, it had to be by another family,” said Tito, very slowly, as though he was explaining the alphabet to a preschooler. “The police do not understand such murders. Angelo and I, on the other hand, have extensive experience dealing with family business. It is to us that such issues should be brought.”

“Family business?” Tito said those words the way Tony Soprano would have in The Sopranos. Mom would not be happy about this conversation. I wasn’t sure about everything the men were saying but I was sure about a few basics. I was not in a TV show or movie. And Tito and Angelo were taking me seriously. If I said Mr. B was murdered, they were willing to listen. “What family would be interested in getting rid of Mr. B?” I asked. I hoped I didn’t sound as dumb as I felt.

“We would have to listen around, you understand,” said Tito. “To be sure.”

“True,” said Angelo. “But the family most likely would be the Morellis. The Morellis and the D’Andreas have always been in competition with each other.”

“What you say is indeed factual,” said Tito. “Although that competition has not resulted in violence for some years. And Tony always made sure he was never in a position for such a thing as snuffing to happen to him.”

“Absolutely,” Angelo acknowledged. “Still, the Morelli family is the obvious place to begin. Plus, I believe there is a local connection. Remember Louie Morelli, from the old days?”

He turned to Tito. “His son Bobby now lives in Edgewood. I have personally observed him eating pizza at Baldacci’s on more than one occasion.”

At that point the throbbing in my head got seriously worse. “Bobby Morelli?” I asked. “You mean Robert Morelli? You think he killed Mr. B?”

“I believe Robert is the formal name of that Morelli,” said Angelo. “So. You know this man?”

I’d suspected these guys were a little over the edge. Now I knew they were seriously messed up. “Robert Morelli’s my history teacher.”

 

THE WICKED READ

 

Pizza To Die For
by Lea Wait
Published by Sheepscot River Press
ISBN-13: 9780996408455
Ages: 10-14

At fourteen, future chef Mikki Norden is ready for any kitchen emergency – except the unexpected death of her mentor, Mr. Baldacci. But Mikki’s learned a lot about solving crimes from her mother, an almost-published mystery author, so when the local New Jersey police rule Mr. B’s death a heart attack, she know she has to prove otherwise, even if she’s a very amateur detective.

Mikki grows up fast as she discovers secrets surrounding Mr. B and his restaurant … and within her own family.

Wacky characters and situations make this a memorable coming-of-age mystery for readers of all ages.

 

Look For It If You Dare…
Local Library | Local Bookstore | Amazon | B&N

 

THE CREEPY CREATORS

 

Author Lea Wait wears black clothes and lives in a spooky old house with an old man and a black cat. She loves pizza with anything (except pineapple) on it, and has met black-suited men who hang out in the back of Italian restaurants. (They like pizza too, usually with tomatoes and black olives.) She survived growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey and was mean enough to make her own children do the same. She likes to sing in elevators and cars.

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