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As F. Della Notte, Francine Paino writes traditional and cozy mysteries and crime stories. She is the author of the HOUSEKEEPER MYSTERY SERIES: I’m Going to Kill That Cat, Catwalk Dead, and The Church Murders and the Cat’s Prey. Her current stand-alone, Descent into Hell, a Mafia Story, will one day have a sequel. Writing as Leonora, she allows the darker side to hold sway, writing paranormal tales. In her own voice, she blogs on any subject that captures her fancy, from cats to mysteries to food.


When she’s not in front of her computer creating her fictional worlds, Paino, an Italian-American, a native New Yorker, and a Texas transplant living in Austin with her husband and quasi-psychic cat, Miss Millie, loves melding all three cultures into her stories and her passion for cooking. She infuses her recipes with Italian, New York, and Texas cuisine, making them all gluten-free. A cookbook is in her future. Since relocating to Texas, she has joined Sisters in Crime, Heart of Texas Chapter, Writers’ League of Texas, and she’s an alumnus of Austin’s Citizens’ Police Academy.


Looking back, she says, “It’s amazing to connect the dots along the winding paths and the roads less traveled, even when seemingly unrelated.”  In real life, Paino graduated from Mandl School’s College of Allied Health in New York City and worked as a medical assistant until she retired to raise her children. While a stay-at-home mom, she completed a Bachelor of Science from Roger Williams University and earned an M.A. in American History from the American Military University. 


When she returned to the workforce, fate took her in an unexpected direction. She became the administrative assistant to the late Kaleria Fedicheva, then to the Artistic Director Ali Pourfarrokh at the Eglevsky Ballet Company. In the opera world, she and her husband supported the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, which provided scholarships, study grants, and masterclasses for budding young artists. The Painos faithfully attended their annual opera competitions and galas, all of which are part of the foundations that color her world and her writing.


She blesses her readers and listens for the muse’s whisper deep within her, inspiring more stories and culinary creations. 

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