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Saturday, March 7, 2020

On the Lamb

On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)

by Tina Kashian

About On The Lamb

On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)

Cozy Mystery

4th in Series

Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages

ISBN-10: 1496726057

ISBN-13: 978-1496726056


Lucy Berberian is busy preparing her family’s Mediterranean restaurant for Easter on the Jersey Shore—but a batch of sweets is to die for . . .

Bikers are thundering into the seaside town of Ocean Crest for the annual Bikers on the Beach gathering that raises funds for injured veterans. It’s a big boost for the Kebab Kitchen, as well as for local businesses like Melanie Haven’s candy shop. But Melanie is about to find herself in a sticky situation.

When Melanie and Lucy attend a beach bonfire, a local landlord is found dead after apparently choking on a piece of salt water taffy. Melanie, who was known to have a contentious relationship with the victim, is quickly skewered as the prime suspect. But Lucy is determined to prove her friend’s innocence before the real killer coasts free . . .

Recipes included!

What I Thought:

This was another great installment in this series. I love author's writing style because I actually feel like I am at the Jersey Shore. Her descriptions are that great. In this one, it is time for the Biker's on the Beach Festival and Lucy's friend Michael invites her and her friends to a bonfire on the beach. When Lucy and Katie's friend Melanie's landlord is found dead on the beach, Melanie is the main suspect. Of course, since Lucy is a pro at solving crimes, Melanie begs her to help prove she is innocent. Lucy gets herself into some sticky situations while investigating. On top of all this, she is still trying to run the Kebab Kitchen and keep up her relationship with Azad. I thought this story flowed well and the plot was well thought out and well written. I found myself quickly turning pages because I could not wait to find out what happened next. There were several suspects and it took Lucy a little while to rule them all out. I did not figure out who the killer was until right before the reveal, which is what I like in a cozy. I really enjoy this series and look forward to reading more from this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About Tina Kashian

Tina Kashian is a bestselling author, an attorney, and a mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and the first book in her Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean mystery series, Hummus and Homicide, spent six weeks on the B&N bestseller list. Please visit her website at to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Here Comes the Body

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)

by Maria DiRico

About Here Comes the Body

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)

Cozy Mystery

1st in Series

Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)

Mass Market Paperback: 304 page

ISBN-10: 1496725344

ISBN-13: 978-1496725349

Digital ASIN: B07R8WYLSC

After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her Nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . .

Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . .Italian recipes included!

What I Thought:

This was a great start to a new series. This cozy was also unlike most cozies that I normally read. Mia has moved back to Queens from Florida after the suspicious death of her husband. She come back to help run her families catering hall. I really enjoyed meeting this quirky cast of characters which are based on the author's own family, which made the story more authentic and real. When Mia helps plan and elaborate bachelor party, when the giant cake is wheeled out and the stripper does not pop out, but is found dead, Mia's father is the main suspect. Mia has to get busy proving that her father is innocent despite the fact that some of his associates are on the shady side. This story was so well written and I really enjoyed the setting and the plot. It was well thought out and the characters were really believable. I liked that there were some twists but that the book did not end in a cliffhanger, but still leaves you wanting to read more about Mia and her eccentric family. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, her grandfather was a low-level Jewish mobster who disappeared in 1933 under mysterious circumstances. She also writes the award-winning, bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series under the name Ellen Byron.

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Guest Post:

Mia Carina, by Maria DiRico

Lemme tell you, running a catering hall with a mobster father who’s trying to go straight can get a little dicey.

Don’t get me wrong. I wake up every morning thanking the universe that I’m in Astoria, Queens, and not Palm Beach, Florida, where my cheating husband disappeared with his mistress. I live upstairs from my nonna – that’s Italian for “grandma” in the two-family house that she’s lived in for like, a bazillion years. Nonna basically a mom to me, especially since my own super self-involved mother lives in Italy with her deported second husband.

Once I get to work at Belle View Banquet Manor, with its lovely view of the Flushing Bay – and the LaGuardia Airport runway I tend to business and give tours that I hope make people wanna hold their weddings/Sweet Sixteens/anniversaries/Bar or Bat Mitzvahs/funeral luncheons at our oh-so-lovely establishment. On some days, I take a break and go visit my brother Positano “Posi” Carina at the Triborough Correctional Facility, a minimum-security prison where he’s finishing a sentence for stealing luxury sports cars. Posi is incredibly good-looking. I love my bro because he’s got a good heart, even if he spends half our time together admiring his own reflection in the visiting room windows.

When you run a catering hall, you spend a lot of nights there working parties, so I don’t have much of a personal life – yet. I’m back in touch with my old friend, Jamie Boldano. His dad Donny is my dad’s boss, but Jamie has zero interest in going into the “Family” business. You know, when your family’s in “the Life,” you end up with some interesting baggage. Jamie and I grew up together, so we share a bond that only kids who grew up like we did can relate to. We may or may not move out of the Friend Zone into a romantic relationship. Jamie’s got a girlfriend and I’m still skittish after my disastrous marriage.

Yeah, being home again, living with Nonna, working with Dad – it’s all good. All I have to do is keep Dad from getting into trouble, or make sure trouble doesn’t find him.

Wish me luck!