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Four Parties and a Funeral

This is the latest in Maria DiRico's quirky and hilarious Catering Hall Mysteries, and I loved it!




Mia Carina runs her Italian-American family's Queens, New York, catering hall. Her family has links to the mob but is trying to go straight, and the catering hall is their legit business. Mia has her hands full with the business and the wedding, but a reality show is doing a casting call at her hall, and even her friends and family members get in on the action. But when a dead body turns up, Mia must uncover a killer.


I had so much fun reading this! Populated with interesting and colorful characters, I enjoyed spending time with them and particularly liked Mia's Nonna. Mia has a large and very close extended family, and the family relationships and Mia's friends make this book feel more like many of the small-town set cozies, even though its set in NYC. Also, the dialogue between these characters and Mia's internal dialogue is just so funny! Maria DiRico also writes under the name Ellen Byron. She has worked as a tv comedy writer, including on The Fairly Odd Parents, and her books are funny and engaging.


Mia has several irons in the fire this time, from her sleuthing to her catering business, the wedding, her relationship, the reality show, and everything going on with her friends and family. But such is DiRico's talent that these subplots do not detract from the well-crafted mystery. Instead, they add to the overall fun and development of several characters. I really loved how DiRico wove everything together and threw in a few red herrings and some delicious recipes to create a unique cozy mystery and entertaining read! Cozy mystery lovers, this is a great addition to the series, so you'll want to pick it up!


My steep was my newest tea, perfect for this book! Romance in Ravello by Club Magic Hour, a chocolate-passionfruit-rose-cream white tea. Yum! www.clubmagichour.com


SYNOPSIS:


In this fresh and witty cozy mystery series set amid an extended Italian-American family in Astoria, Queens, catering hall owner and amateur sleuth Mia Carina must solve a murder on the set of a reality show.


The June events schedule at Belle View is busting out all over—proms, graduations, and of course, weddings. There are unexpected bookings too, including a casting call for the pilot of Dons of Ditmars Boulevard. But soon, Mia’s fears about the cheesy reality show are confirmed . . .

Belle View quickly becomes the site of a sea of wanna-be goombahs and phony girlfriends, and some of Mia’s friends insist on getting in on the action. The production company owner and his executive producer ex-wife—who’s also very minor British royalty—have assembled a motley crew that does as much infighting and backstabbing as the on-screen “talent.” Even so, it’s a shock when a dead body is found in the pool house of a local mansion rented by the show . . .

Murder might boost the ratings. But Mia intends to make sure the killer gets jail time, not airtime . . .


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