What a fun, fun, fun novel!
I loved it for its simplicity,wit and immediately-friend worthy characters.
It's an lively and pleasant mystery. Not violent. Not suspenseful. Not filled with murder and gore and non-existent morals.
Here's the delicious premise...
Penny Nichols and her boyfriend, Jeremy (who's also her cousin, but only by step-marriage), both recently inherited a huge estate from a great aunt--cars, houses, property, the works. They're learning to deal with people they barely know (or often, don't know at all) and having mounds of money at their disposal.
The two of them carefully plan out their investments and decide to splurge on a single grand gift to themselves: a 1920's yacht. Yacht's mystery? Free with purchase. Together they travel around Italy, Corsica and Capri to find a copper lion that two different families lay claim to. Aside from sentimental value, this lion likely has supposed connections to Beethoven. The Beethoven. Making it worth many, many, many beads.
Every time I picked up the book, it felt as though a wonderful friend was telling me a personal story. C.A. Belmond, through her(?) conversational first person narrative, talked directly to me. I honestly felt like a member of the cast of characters. All my senses were involved. I could smell the amazing Italian vegetables fresh from the vine. (I was even tempted to eat a tomato just to put myself right at the yacht's dining table with Penny and Jeremy. And I abhor tomatoes, so this is saying a lot!) I felt the sea air and saw the Monet shades of green and blue and yellow in the sky. I honestly wanted to jump on the next flight to Italy and drive myself straight to Lake Como.
Go read this book. And it's predecessor (A Rather Lovely Inheritance). And it's successor (A Rather Charming Invitation).
I haven't yet read the former and just started the latter. Do yourself a favor and go buy them! Right now! Go, Delicious Readers! Go!