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Murder in Trastevere (Roman Holiday Mystery, #2) by Jen Collins Moore 

I literally suspected EVERYONE! 

Murder in Trastevere is the second book in author Jen Collins Moore’s intriguing Roman Holiday Mystery series, but the first to feature expat mover and shaker Faye Masters in the lead role. In this mystery, Faye becomes a murder suspect when a fairly recent addition to her close-knit group of friends dies during a party thrown in her honor in Faye’s apartment. When the death is ruled a murder, rumors start flying, and the police start eying her for the deed, Faye decides the only way to clear her name is to do it herself. 

Faye Masters proves to be a tough character to love initially. She’s opinionated, completely involved in their group’s dynamics, and controlling. A criticism repeated in the story is that she always has to be right. I can relate and can’t really fault her for this! However, she’s in the middle of a painful divorce, and she’s been hiding assets from her husband, of which he is entitled a portion. It’s dishonest, but darn if I don’t feel like she’s been done completely wrong by that man and deserves it. In fact, she was much kinder to him than I would have been. I would have set those boxes and the golf clubs he left behind out in the piazza for him to retrieve himself. 

As the story unfolds, Faye relaxes and lets go of some of her attitudes, especially when her crowd of so-called friends goes MIA. I had a lot of empathy for Faye. She’d been the glue for the ex-pat community for over ten years – the hostess with the mostest – and this is how she was treated? She kept wishing for things to get back to normal so she could return with her friends until she finally stopped and re-evaluated those friendships. I look forward to seeing how she will go on in the future with these people. Finally, I think this is the only cozy mystery character I’ve ever encountered who, upon being targeted for murder, realizes someone thinks she’s so awful that she deserves to die. 

Integral to the charm of the story is the fabulous Roman setting. Faye’s excursions throughout the city on her scooter were fun and interesting. I enjoyed her goal of viewing all the locally held Caravaggio paintings. With quotations from the artist’s biography heading each chapter, Faye’s impressions, and images courtesy of Wikipedia, I almost felt like I was along for the ride to the churches and museums. The descriptions of meals and pastries were a to-die-for bonus. 

The murder mystery was intriguing and much more intricate than I first thought. As things progressed, there were many possible theories of motives and matching suspects. The evidence pointed to everyone, and I eventually suspected EVERYONE at one point or another. The resolution was a good one, and with Faye re-examining her future with new eyes, I look forward to the next adventure for her, Maggie, Burt, and Thomas. 

I recommend MURDER IN TRASTEVERE to cozy mystery readers, especially those who read the previous book in the series or enjoy stories set in Rome. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

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