Sophia Mancini would have enjoyed the grand opening celebration of her family’s private detective agency if the volatile chef at Vincenzo’s Ristorante had actually survived the meal.
But before Sophia’s chilled spoon hit the spumoni, someone plunged a knife into Vincenzo’s back and the word on everyone’s lips went frommangia to murder.
Sophia soon finds herself trailing crime boss Frankie Vidoni, chatting with his mouthy mistress Maria, and dodging henchman Mooch DiMuccio. She’s suspicious of Vincenzo’s widow, Stella, and his assistant chef, Eugene, because they don’t appear the least bit dismayed by Vincenzo’s passing. There is no conversation Sophia won’t eavesdrop on, no question she won’t ask, and no danger she won’t face to find the killer.
It’s no secret in Little Italy that Johnny and Cici Canadetti are fabulously wealthy and utterly crazy. Halfway through their dinner party from hell, Sophia Mancini decides to abandon her plans to woo the couple as potential clients for her family’s new business. No amount of the Canadetti’s money would be worth putting up with their vulgar and wild ways. But before Sophia and her brother Angelo are able to leave, the storm knocks out the power and the Canadetti mansion is pitched into blackness. When the lights finally come back on the guests discover that one member of their party has left, permanently. As the blame for the murder centers on Angelo, Sophia vows to do everything she can to clear his name, even if it means undertaking a dangerous deception to find the killer.
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With the Russian mob hot on her heels, Stephanie St. James (AKA manners columnist Miss Prim & Proper) heads to Sinful, Louisiana to stay with her frail, elderly great-aunt Ida Belle, a woman she’s never met. What better place to hide than a sleepy little southern bayou town where nothing ever happens? But when the bullets start to fly, she soon discovers that her aunt Ida Belle and friends are anything but feeble, and that Sinful is anything but quiet.
When the corpse of a scorned suitor goes missing, Stephanie decides her best hope to escape a murder rap is to join forces with Swamp Team Three.
Ignoring the fact that the Russian mob has a hit out on her, Stephanie St. James, AKA Miss Prim & Proper, throws herself into planning a glamping trip for Swamp Team Three. It’s an uphill battle to convince Fortune, Gertie, and her great-aunt Ida Belle that they’ll enjoy a weekend filled with facials, pedicures, and girl talk. What Stephanie doesn’t plan on is the discovery of a familiar looking corpse outside of their cabin or the arrival of a sexy F.B.I. Agent.
But within the space of only a few hours, Ida Belle is arrested for murder, Agent Kase Mayeux becomes a shadow Stephanie can’t shake, and Fortune manages to commit a felony even though she’s under house arrest. The only way Stephanie sees out of the situation is to offer herself up as bait to a vengeful mobster, which is a risk she’s just crazy enough to take.
Just when life appears to be settling into a quiet routine, the news that Gertie plans to ride off into the sunset with Bull Dozer sends shock waves through Sinful. Despite possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of etiquette, Stephanie soon realizes that her life as Miss Prim & Proper hasn’t taught her the first thing about wearing a wire, the proper use of handcuffs, or how to pose as an illegal arms dealer. Between discovering a million-dollar life insurance policy taken out against Gertie’s life, uncovering Bull’s illegal activities, not to mention moving Ida Belle into a nursing home, Stephanie and Fortune are forced to work together to sort through the mess that threatens the very existence of Swamp Team Three.