An Idiotic Trade-off

An excerpt from my yet-to-be-named Book 3 in the Savino Sisters Mystery Series.

Cutting short their Italian holiday due to their uptight mother’s involvement in the murder of one, Dakin Corrigan, was bad enough for Ellen and Margo Savino. But the sisters did not expect the relatives they recently discovered in Italy would follow them to America. Their grandfather soon finds his rightful place in St. Louis but the uncle is another story, having worn out his welcome with school librarian Ellen who values her solitude more than the culinary talents of her guest.

In the words of Margo Savino:

Franco Rosina moved his things into my place on Tuesday, a simple task requiring no more than ten minutes tops. On seeing his new bedroom, twice the size of the one he’d vacated at El’s, Franco declared his approval with a single word and circling of his right thumb and forefinger, “Perfetto!”

Perfect for him, you bet. Not so perfect for me. Whatever had I been thinking, letting El talk me into taking Franco off her hands. Oh right, the idiotic trade-off. I’d agreed to Franco moving into my spare bedroom provided El agreed to accompany me on a Saturday morning jog with Jet Gregson, former girlfriend, among others, to the recently deceased womanizer, Dakin Corrigan.

Hello. Just color me stupid. Sure, El had agreed to the sweat-friendly jog, though with considerable resistance on her part and a bit of arm twisting on mine. My little sis may’ve been short on the athletic genes but she did possess a thorough understanding of her physical limitations, which on that fateful Saturday meant conking out five minutes into what was expected to be a forty-minute run through Forest Park. One, I might add, that left me to suffer the humiliation of a tongue lashing from Jet Gregson, an overachiever I would not have given the time of day had it not been for major crime detectives Winchester and Reardon hounding my mother over the death of Dakin Corrigan, who’d been dating Mom as well as her best friend. Among others, simultaneously. Talk about Soap Opera St. Louis.

Our poor mother, all this business about Dakin’s murder was taking its toll on her. She seemed to have aged five years since El and I cut short our Italian vacation to act as her advisors or, better yet, lend our support to Winchester and Reardan, who hadn’t asked for it, yet. But, of course, they didn’t know the real El and me. During our recent Italian holiday, we’d learn a thing or two about mystery solving. More like unraveling. Not all mysteries were meant to be solved. Or so we’d been told more than once. In Italy, that is. Here in America, those-in-the-know, not necessarily El or me, take a different approach to solving or unwinding or leaving up in the air.

And don’t get me started on the mysteries of life and love and just plain lust.

But in the comfortable confines of my bachelorette pad in Clayton one thing was for sure, Frank Rosina, our recently discovered though still unacknowledged uncle, could cook as well as any imported Italian chef working The Hill. Already I’d gained two pounds in the short time Frank had been guesting with me. At this rate I’d need an entire new wardrobe before his imminent return to Italy. Four or five months max, I so wanted to believe, preferably no more than half of his remaining time living under my roof. Not that he was a bother, more like the company he kept that bothered me. And we are judged by the company we keep, or so my mother always told me. Too bad she hadn’t followed her own advice.

“More pasta?” Franco asked, digging into the oval platter that sat between us.

“Not another bite,” I said, stifling an unladylike burp. “Nor do I have room for dessert.”

“What? But for you I made—”

“Maybe later.” I pushed my chair away from the table and got up.

“About tomorrow night,” he said.

“I’m going out but you’re welcome to invite your lady friend Romaine for dinner.”

He stood, leaned across the table, and kissed one of my cheeks and then the other. “I think Romaine knows more about this Dakin Corrigan than she has told me.”

End of excerpt

About Loretta Giacoletto

Loretta Giacoletto is an American writer of family sagas, mysteries, and contemporary fiction, all of which contain elements of crime. She divides her time between the St. Louis Metropolitan area and Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks where she writes fiction, essays, and her bi-monthly blog, Loretta on Life, while her husband Dominic cruises the waters for bass and crappie. Their five children have left the once chaotic nest but occasionally return for her to-die-for ravioli and roasted peppers topped with garlic-laden bagna càuda. An avid traveler, she has visited numerous countries in Europe and Asia but Italy remains her favorite, especially the area from where her family originates: the Piedmont region near the Italian Alps. - See more at:
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