Niagara Gazette

Features

February 27, 2012

NIAGARA WRITERS: Mystery novel is set at noted Falls funeral parlor

NIAGARA FALLS — Sometimes, one’s automobile pilots itself down certain alleys and boulevards of the Falls out of strange and irrepressible memories trapped inside our internal GPS. For me, the building that always holds sway on Niagara street is the former Magaddino Funeral Home.

The lore of this structure is ingrained in many Falls natives of a certain age. I am too young to remember it in full operation but old enough to have heard some of the back stories that made it such a famous-or infamous- destination.

But my interest in the building was of a professional nature. Since 1992, I have been in the restaurant business and, as with most commercial structures, the first and only concern in regards to real estate valuation is whether or not a successful restaurant could be housed at a particular address.

Location. Location. Location.

For years I watched it remain vacant, expecting someone to scoop it up, install a kitchen, and give it a go. But it never happened. It sat dark, winter, spring, summer, fall and my dream of opening  a restaurant in my hometown slowly receded into a vast warehouse of unclaimed and unfinished projects.

But the restaurateur’s nature is a restless one.

I cheated.

I bypassed the blood, sweat and tears of opening a bricks and mortar operation (and the risky capital investment), and instead wrote a novel of a restaurant housed at the very same corner of Portage and Niagara streets.

My novel “Gastro Detective” is the result. The characters and situations are culled from a

novel ...

Continued from page 1C

substantial time in the restaurant business, and with the full and professional license of fiction that enable me  to transform the former Magaddino Funeral Home into Restaurant Giuseppe Basi.

It is here where Chef Joe Bass, owner of a celebrated regional restaurant and well-known television personality on Food Network, has been murdered in the kitchen of his eponymous restaurant. His sudden and unexpected demise prompts the return of life-long friend Frank Bruno, who is also immersed in a high-level facet of the food industry for the U.S. government, far beyond the machinations of sole proprietorship.

Yet, as the nitty-gritty of a return to life in the restaurant business envelopes him, Frank Bruno is reminded that the fundamentals of food, family and restaurants remain the same.

It’s a hands-on business where everyone’s hands are dirty.

Gastro Detective is available locally at The Book Corner in Niagara Falls, and at D’Avolio Olive Oils in Lewsiton. It is also available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle editions.

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