I'm always on the lookout for new mystery series, especially when there are already a bunch out in that series before I discover it! This was one such discovery. Something's Cooking by Joanne Pence is the first in the Angie Amalfi mysteries. I would definitely consider this to be more of a cozy than a hard-boiled mystery, although honestly I personally would classify it more as romantic suspense, with romance being the primary genre and the suspense/mystery being secondary.
It started off really well and got me hooked quickly. Angelina Amalfi is the youngest daughter in a very wealthy and well-known family. One day she receives a package that turns out to be a bomb. The package was addressed simply to "occupant" so in the beginning she has no idea if it was even meant for her or if it was, who would have sent it or why. She then meets inspector Paavo Smith, who is assigned to investigate her case, as well as a murder case that happened in the same neighborhood on the same day.
Throughout the rest of the book, there are a bunch of twists and turns and the cases end up being linked. Also throughout the rest of the book, a romance develops between Angie and Paavo, and in my opinion, takes over the book a bit too much. Don't get me wrong, the writing was very good and the plot and characters were solid and relatable. I was pleasantly surprised that Angie was such an easy to relate to character, even though she was from a very privileged background.
However, I like a little romance with my mystery, not a little mystery with my romance. In a book that is categorized primarily in the mystery category, I expected more mystery and less romance. Now I personally don't really care for the romance genre, but I know a lot of people do. So I can see where people who really enjoy both mystery and romance genres would probably love this book. Alas, that's just not me. BUT that is a personal preference and like I said the writing was solid.
Another factor is that it is the first in the series, so I am going to give book two a try and see if it is more mystery focused now that the introductory stuff is out of the way. I have very high hopes that this series could be really great if the focus is adjusted a bit. So I will definitely update after I've read book two and hopefully that will be the case.
So with all of that being said, I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book, but I would caution the reader to just be aware that it's really more romantic suspense versus actual full on mystery.
To find out more about the author and/or her books, you can visit her website, http://www.joannepence.com. Something's Cooking is available on Amazon, for $4.99 for the Kindle edition.
Edited to add that I did read the second book in this series just to see if it continued to be mainly romance or if it got more mystery-like. I'm sad to report that in the second book as well, there aren't as many romantic scenes since Angie and Paavo are having some relationship problems in the second book, but their relationship is still focus #1 and the actual mystery is still on the back burner :( So that's it for me for this series, but if you like romance books, then you'd probably love it.