November 25th. The city is thronged with tourists and locals in the run-up to Christmas. Business is booming at the B&B belonging to Carmela, Lolita Lobosco’s sister. One of the guests is a Roman writer, Enrico Fasulo, who has decided to hole up in Bari for a few weeks to set to work on his new book. Carmela is drawn to her guest and cooks up all her specialities to serve him, including a superb scammaro, courtesy of her grandmother Dolò’s recipe. But the next day, the man is found dead, and the police accuse Carmela of manslaughter. Lolita is kept off the case, endures pressure from her family, and is going through a rough patch with her beau, Caruso, but none of the above stop her from doing what she does best: investigate, in order to prove her sister’s innocence once and for all.

Gabriella Genisi has written numerous novels and created the character of Lolita Lobosco, protagonist of ten novels published by Sonzogno that have generated a TV series directed by Luca Miniero and starring Luisa Ranieri. The first eight are: La circonferenza delle arance (2010), Giallo ciliegia (2011), Uva noir (2012), Gioco pericoloso (2014), Spaghetti all’Assassina (2015), Mare nero (2016), Dopo tanta nebbia (2017), and I quattro cantoni (2020). This year Genisi has turned out two more Lolita Lobosco novels: Terrarossa, and Lo scammaro avvelenato e altre ricette.  Another of Genisi’s mainstays is the woman carabiniere from Italy’s Salento region, Chicca Lopez, who first appeared in the 2019 novel Pizzica amara, published by Nero Rizzoli and optioned by Fabula Pictures. In 2021, she published the second installment of that series: La regola di Santa Croce.