‘Evil Under the Tuscan Sun’ is tightly plotted mystery

“Evil Under the Tuscan Sun” is the third entry in the superior Tuscan Cooking School mystery series by Cleveland author Shelley Costa, who writes here under the name Stephanie Cole.

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American Nell Valenti is in Tuscany to set a cooking school to be run by a celebrity chef. Her job de ella is to design the curriculum, renovate the kitchen and fix up the ancient convent as a dormitory for the students. In the first book, “Al Dente’s Inferno,” a film crew comes to cover the launch of the school, and its leader, who happens to be Nell’s ex-boyfriend, ends up dead.

In Book Two, “Crime of the Ancient Marinara,” the first group of tourists arrives; now, in “Evil,” another group is scheduled, but there’s a switch: An American billionaire has bought out the entire 10-person sauce-making class for himself, his mother and her companion Muffy. Mother Mimi has been living in the memory care unit of an assisted living facility and often needs kind Muffy to remind her of where she is.

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