Nonna Maria and the Case of the Lost Treasure
April 23, 2024

Book Review

Nonna Maria and the Case of the Lost Treasure

reviewed by Pam Guynn

Lorenzo Carcaterra returns with the third book in this cozy mystery series. The author’s endeavor to cast Maria, the main character, as a friend, mother, grandmother, aunt, and great-grandmother to many continues to work for me. While others say she is a sleuth, she says she doesn’t solve crimes, but helps friends and family when they’re in trouble.

Once again, two cases are intertwined in the plot. Rita, the granddaughter of an old friend comes to Nonna Maria seeking help. Her grandfather left her a map to treasure hidden in one of Ischia’s caverns. The caverns are full of pits, traps, and other hazards. However, he died before he could give her more specifics. The other case involves Captain Paolo Murino, the lead federal law enforcement officer assigned to the island of Ischia, Italy. Paolo created a powerful enemy years ago in Naples. An assassin has come to the island seeking revenge.

Maria is charming, patient, a friend to many, and has a web of connections. She has intuitive instincts and is nurturing and caring for those she knows and loves. Her character has significant depth. Captain Murino has grown over the series. He relies not only on himself and his skill, but on Maria and her circle of contacts. The other characters have a variety of depths and many of them are memorable. Which ones will show up in future books?

I was immediately drawn into the story and the main characters were likeable and relatable. This is a book to be savored. It is not a fast-paced book, but it brilliantly portrays the island, the local people, the sites, and the customs on the island, bringing them to life. The writing flows well and is very descriptive, but the mysteries were a little predictable. The atmosphere and world-building are excellent. The author managed to provide fantastic insight into the characters’ thoughts, behaviors, and actions toward others. There are also interesting insights into local food, how news is spread on the island, and how children learn life lessons from their elders. Weaving love, survival, family, friendship, family dynamics, found family, revenge, death, marriage, and much more into the story, the author keeps me reader turning the pages.

Overall, this is a moving, charming and enjoyable cozy mystery with great characterization as well as some pivotal stressful and emotional moments. It is also a celebration of friendship and community. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author’s writing style is easy to connect with and draws me into his stories. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine – Bantam and Lorenzo Carcaterra provided a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently expected to be May 07, 2024.

Nonna Maria and the Case of the Lost Treasure available at:

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