Delayed Death

Temptation in Florence #1

Beate Boeker

Have you met the Mantonis? This eccentric Italian family has a fatal tendency to fall over dead bodies, and their unique reactions to murder will keep you giggling all through the night.
In this first book of the series, the sudden death of the grandfather, Nico, threatens to put a stop to Emma’s opulent wedding. Unacceptable, says the bride, and in true Mantoni style, she hides the body until the festivities are over.
But when it turns out Nico was poisoned, the attractive commissario, Stefano Garini, is called in to solve the case. Taciturn and sardonic, he couldn’t be more different from the exuberant Mantoni clan. But they say opposites attract . . . and Carlina, his prime Mantoni suspect, certainly makes his heart beat faster than allowed. Will they find the murderer while falling in love?

Delayed Death is the first in the cozy mystery series Temptation in Florence.

Discover Carlina’s Florence with this tour around town!


4 stars
Delayed Death is a quintessentially “feel good” read and set in a lovely city, one of the most beautiful in Europe: Florence. The author is very adept at making you feel you’re walking the streets of Florence and meeting all the characters in this expanded, crazy Italian family. The twists and turns are a delight and the ending is fully satisfactory. The main characters are so likeable (the policeman and the lingerie seller) that you can’t wait to meet them again in the next book in the series!

This is not high literature but the perfect read when you’re in a bad mood, sad, stressed or feeling harassed. It will put you straight back into a good mood! As the author says of her own work, these are “happy books” echoing her own name which roughly translates into English as Happy Booker…
Claude Nougat

5 stars
Delayed Death is the debut book in the Temptation in Florence series by Beate Boeker.

Meet Carlina. She’s not having the greatest of days! When she finds her grandfather dead on the day of her cousin’s wedding, she decided to hide him in the bed for later. Of course when it turns out he was poisoned, she becomes the Inspector’s prime suspect. In order to clear her name Carlina will have to find the real killer!

What a fun, fun, FUN start to this series. I hadn’t heard about this series before I was approached to review, and I’m so glad I discovered it. Right from the beginning I was laughing along with Carlina and her outrageous family, as she tries to keep them in line, solve the mystery and keep her lingerie store in business.

I thought this mystery was a great five-star read that kept me laughing thanks to Carlina’s interfering family and trying to guess who killed her grandfather. I’m especially glad it’s just the first in a series because I plan to read the next two: Charmer’s Death and Banker’s Death right away!
Bella McGuire

5 stars
It was so easy to download the kindle version of Delayed Death from Amazon, and an enjoyable read whilst relaxing on holiday.
Beate Boeker has again introduced believable characters. A family we can really imagine and want to join, with fun mystery and death. A story so full of intrigue, romance, family misunderstanding and an ending to surprise everyone.

A thoroughly good read, perfect descriptions of the wonderful area of Italy. You are so envious that you wish to be there enjoying yourself.
Mrs. W. J. Livesey

4 stars
This story has some mystery, a lot of fun, a ton of stupid decisions that only end in disaster but made for all the right reasons, and more interfering family members than you could poke a stick at. The romance was not really that central to the whole ‘who done it’ theme but it was there enough to make things interesting.

Did I enjoy the read? You bet ya. I basically couldn’t put it down and got rather grumpy when I had to leave the story and do things like go to work and earn a living!

Would I recommend this book? Of course!

5 stars
Delayed Death seems to prove the cliché that no good deed goes unpunished. Carlina was only trying to help when she decided to delay the news of her grandfather’s death for a day. Her generous impulse results in a series of misadventures for the close-knit, unpredictable Mantoni family and a laugh-out-loud funny read for the rest of us. This cozy mystery is set in Florence and told with good-natured charm and an eye for detail that makes you feel you’re in that beautiful city. Once I started reading it, the dust bunnies under the bed had to wait. I couldn’t put it down.
Sandra Cody

5 stars
This cozy mystery in beautiful Florence drew me right into the life of the young and cheerful Carlina, her family, and the death that happened. The story was sometimes funny and sometimes bizarre, but very close to real life. I enjoyed the big Italian family, the tension as the story develops, and the way the mysterious murders are solved. In fact, I was only able to put the book to the side after I had read the last page . . . and even later, I kept seeing pictures in my mind as if I had lived the life of Carlina myself or as if I had seen a good movie. It’s amazing and exciting to see how much can happen just because of a pair of socks. I’m happy there are more books in the series, so that I can go on and meet Carlina, her family, and the attractive investigating inspector right again.
Claudia S.

4 stars
I’m always going to be attracted by any book which starts off with a premise like this. I may (in fact I do) have a sick sense of humour but the whole ‘corpse heist’ motif, when done right, does make me laugh (think Little Miss Sunshine – not a favourite of mine but the ‘granddad in the boot’ thing was good, and Fawlty Towers’ The Kipper and the Corpse).

In this case, the rest of Delayed Death delivered on its initial promise. Lots of enjoyable slightly black humour, some great relationships: I loved Carlina’s family and their interactions and habits, and the inspector’s shell-shock when he encounters them – watching him trying to navigate his way through the case while dealing with the whole tribe is a delight. There’s also the mystery of ‘whodunnit’, the solution to which I didn’t see coming – mainly because the whole family are plausible suspects!

Overall – definitely worth a read if you like mysteries and have a good sense of humour. (And perhaps a big family…).
Harriet Vane

5 stars
A vicarious vacation to Florence, complete with a wedding and murder. It just doesn’t get any better than that. The premise is unconventional, to say the least, but that adds to the fun as Carlina first tries to cover up her grandfather’s untimely death and then tries to cover her tracks as she becomes suspect number one. Where will it all lead? To a crazy Italian escapade that will keep the reader engaged from beginning to end.

Beate Boeker’s voice is light and conversational, as if sitting down and talking with a friend. She paints the scenes so well you can feel the timbre of the city and taste and smell the delicious food offerings of Florence. With a sprinkling of Italian-speak thrown in, I swear I was bi-lingual by the time I finished. This is cozy mystery writing at its finest.
Jayne Ormerod

Strong Beginning:
Strong, engaging opening. with strong interactions between characters. Great dialogue and details. Judges particularly liked the bridal jitters.

Carolina and Emma were well rounded, believable characters. One judge said, “I felt a strong bond with Carolina. She is put in an impossible situation and trying to help her family.” However, there were so many characters introduced in these pages that readers might have some trouble keeping them straight.

Well done. Nice engaging descriptions such as this one for the bathroom, “A modern wonder in black with spotlights hidden in the floor.” Nice use of scents.

Exceptionally well executed. The dialogue flowed well. It sounded very realistic. The ‘back and forth’ between the girls was believable.

Good plot, good story structure. “Who killed grandfather” is the plotline. It’s easy to see that Carolina is up to her neck in the cover-up.

Suspense/Tension: Well done. Judges felt the push/pull of tension and really cared when Carolina decided to save her sister’s wedding day.

Well handled. There were lots of conflicts within the family and then the plot conflict of Carolina lying to the police. The interactions between the girls is great.

Moves well. The writing is lean and stays in the moment, moving the story forward efficiently.

Voice/Writing style:
Could use some tightening up, here and there, but you have an engaging voice and a nice flowing style.

Grammar & Mechanics:
Very well executed.

Additional Notes:
All judges who read this felt it was a publishable manuscript. One judge said, “What a fun read. Wishing you all the best!”
Feedback from the judges of the killer Nashville Claymond Award Contest 2012