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Review 🔍 Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico

February 25, 2021

long-island-iced-tina-maria-dirico

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens—in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events—like murder—are not the kind you can schedule . . .
 
Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View—but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.
 
Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out—and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina . . .
 
Italian recipes included!



Release Date:
Feb 23, 2021
Series: A Catering Hall Mystery
Book: 2
Publisher: Kensington
Price: $7.99




Mia Carina is helping her former mobster father go legitimate by helping him run the Belle View Banquet Manor in Queens, New York. One of Mia’s best friends is having a baby and Nicole’s mother and grandmother throw her a baby shower at Belle View. Things are going great until Nicole’s grandmother and her flamboyant stepmother Tina get into a shouting match in the bathroom that Nicole’s mother has to break up. Then Nicole gets a strange shower gift that flusters her usually overconfident stepmom. Things get even worse when soon afterwards Mia discovers Tina’s dead body in the bay in front of Belle View. Mia is determined to prove that nobody in Nicole’s family was responsible for Tina’s death and also keep the Carina name free from another scandal.

This is the second book in the Catering Hall Mystery series. I loved the first book, but you can enjoy this book even if you haven’t read it. I love all the references to Mia’s father’s former life in the mob and that some of the people Mia deals with still have some underworld connections. The book is populated with colorful characters, both in Mia’s family and in “The Family.” Mia is an engaging character who is trying to make the banquet hall a success and keep her dad out of trouble. She also has an Italian grandmother to keep out of trouble, too, and their relationship is both sweet and funny. Mia also hangs around with Jamie Boldano, who is the son of a mob boss but isn’t in the “business.” There was a lot of chemistry between Mia and Jamie in the first book and in this book, they discuss whether their friendship could be more.

In addition to the interesting characters, I like that this cozy mystery takes place in New York City. It gives a different vibe than the majority of cozies that are set in small towns. The plot involving the “step-monster”, Tina, becomes surprisingly complex as the story continues. I like that Mia’s father, Ravello, is able to use his insights into the criminal mind, to give her important clues that help solve the case. The book is a fun, quick read that is full of humor. The scenes between Mia and her family come across as very authentic. As expected in a cozy set in a catering center, the book ends recipes of a few of the dishes that are mentioned in the story. If I was a better cook, I would love to try making the cannoli cake! A new character is introduced at the very end that could really shake things up in the next book. Fans of Rosie Genova, Victoria Abbott, or The Cajun Country mysteries which are written by DiRico under the name Ellen Byron, will enjoy this book. I am already looking forward to the next one in this great series.

~ Christine



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