The Milanese Stars

Romance - Suspense
154 Pages
Reviewed on 07/18/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Milanese Stars is a romantic suspense novel by author Pamela Q. Fernandes, which focuses on the beautiful and bustling Italian city of Milan. The objects of the book’s title are a valuable collection of pink diamonds, which go missing from the famous Buccatino boutique at the novel’s opening. Enter our hero, all-American guy Samuel Keane, who is here to investigate the insurance claim made by the boutique to compensate them for the diamond heist. During the course of his investigation, he meets Vita, and the pair soon has stars in their eyes for different reasons. As the plot unravels and Sam meets more of Vita’s family and learns her culture and her history, this insurance investigator soon realizes there’s more to the heist than it seems.

Pamela Q. Fernandes has created a delightfully cosy romance read with exciting injections of crime, suspense, thriller and humor throughout. Although you read the tale safely in the storytelling of an accomplished writer, there are moments of genuine surprise and plot twists which send the story deeper into your mind and your heart. Samuel and Vita are well-created characters, and the atmosphere of Milan and northern Italian culture in general is developed with care. I felt like part of Vita’s family right from the moment I met her and her sister. I think it’s important also to commend Pamela Q. Fernandes for the inclusion of disabled characters in her work. Overall, The Milanese Stars is a very enjoyable romance with many surprises along the way.

Jack Magnus

The Milanese Stars is a romantic suspense novel written by Pamela Q. Fernandes. Vita lived a life of quiet desperation. She had resigned herself to having nothing more than that -- no loves to fear losing, no magic to grasp onto only to see it slip away. All her love, energy and life went to paying for her younger sister Tecla’s hospital bills and rehab program; that and making her little coffee shop, Cafe Milano, an irresistible stop-off for locals and tourists alike. She spent hours preparing brioches, cannoli, macaroons and other delicacies which she artfully displayed in her impeccably clean store.

One of her regulars and a good friend was Alice, an academic, and the two of them spent a few minutes discussing the recent theft at the local store of the famous Buccatino boutique. The polizia were busily scouring the store and the local environs for clues as the store’s owner, Don Giovanni, was a man of some importance -- and reputed to be a former Mafia Don. Even the carabinieri had been called in to investigate. The tall, handsome man who entered her store that morning was obviously neither from the polizia nor the carabinieri. He carried himself differently, and, when he asked for her recommendations for breakfast, she knew he was special indeed. Somehow, his very presence broke through her quiet desperation, but could she allow herself such an indulgence?

Pamela Q. Fernandes’ romantic suspense novel, The Milanese Stars, is a sweet and enthralling story about second chances for happiness and the courage that’s sometimes needed to take that chance. The characters in this story are beautifully developed, especially those of Vita, her sister and the enigmatic insurance inspector, and the plot is smooth and enticing. The on-again, off-again relationship between Samuel and Vita is a joy to follow, and the ongoing mystery of the stolen diamonds comes complete with red herrings to consider. The Milanese Stars is most highly recommended.

Asher Syed

The Milanese Stars by Pamela Q. Fernandes is a mystery novella that follows the heist of prized pink diamonds from Milan's Buccatino Boutique. When an insurance inspector named Samuel Keane is enlisted to assist the police investigation on a case that is as confounding as it is brazen, he hits the same wall as those before him: no witnesses, and everyone who had a front row seat to the jewelry store's pillaging appeared to have had their heads in the Italian cobblestone, including cafe owner Vita. Sparks fly when Vita and Samuel get to know each other and the pair finds themselves in danger as it becomes clear there's a connection between Vita, her family, and the Stars - and no gemstone goes unturned as surprise twists drive the probe to grandiose heights.

Pamela Q. Fernandes intrigues readers with fast-paced action and an unexpected wrap-up in The Milanese Stars. The novella is short enough to enjoy in a single serving, but has all the excitement I look for in a book about lifting valuable jewels. There's romance mixed into this mystery and while Fernandes has her well developed characters tying up all the loose ends, she also provides some swift twists along the way. This is a fun romp through the streets of Milan that reads like a part travel journal without slowing down the tempo with extraneous details. Fernandes uses all she needs to set the scene and tell a captivating tale, and I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves an adventurous cozy mystery.