Lea Wait

Pizza To Die For

Back to Novels for Young People

Buy now from:

Sheepscot River Press
ISBN 9780996408455

At fourteen, future chef Mikki Norden is ready for any kitchen emergency – except the unexpected death of her mentor, Mr. Baldacci. But Mikki’s learned a lot about solving crimes from her mother, an almost-published mystery writer, so when local New Jersey police rule Mr. B’s death a heart attack, she knows she has to prove otherwise, even if she’s a very amateur detective. Mikki grows up fast as she discovers secrets surrounding Mr. B and his restaurant …. and within her own family. Wacky characters and situations make this a memorable coming-of-age mystery for readers of all ages. Recipes included.

– Mainely Murders, Kennebunkport, Maine: “Pizza To Die For is a different kind of Lea Wait mystery! Mikki Norden is spunky and capable, even in the most hilarious circumstances. Moving from Seattle to the New Jersey suburbs, she’s trying to feel at home. But, she muses, are the wacky characters she keeps meeting really typical Jerseyites? Pizza To Die For is a great gift for a young reader. And a fun read to give yourself. We both enjoyed it so much we’re breaking out “no kids books” rule and featuring it in our bookstore.”

- Suspense Magazine: “Pizza To Die For is a delicious mystery starring a smart and feisty young girl coming to terms with who she is, with a supporting cast of wacky characters guaranteed to entertain readers. Yummy fun!”

- Dru’s Book Musings (2017 winner of Mystery Writers of America Raven Award): “Light whodunit … a well crafted mystery with plenty of suspects and a great cast of characters .. a fun read.”

Author’s Comments: What fun this book was to write! I lived in New Jersey for many years … a good part of my childhood was spent there, and then, as an adult, my corporate job took me back, and I raised my daughters in New Jersey suburbs. Mikki is new to New Jersey, and readers will smile and groan along with her as she struggles to understand its culture – and that of the Italian half of her family who she’s meeting for the first time – and keep her own dreams. Extra fun for readers: Mikki cooks to relax, and some of her recipes are included. Plus, I included the names of all 8 of my grandchildren in the book … close readers can find them all!

Questions for Classroom Discussions:
Mikki finds it hard to make friends in an established school community. Would that happen in your school? Why do you think Richard becomes her friend? What do they have in common? How are they different? What would you do if YOU found the body of someone you knew? Would you talk to the police if you thought they were wrong? Why, or why not?
Would you like to be a detective? Why, or why not?
Did Mikki put herself in danger by doing some things? Would you have done them?
Would you like to have a grandmother like Mikki’s? Why or why not?
Do you cook at your house? If not, would you like to?
What do you think happens to Mikki and Richard after the book is over?

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