I really enjoyed this first in a brand new series, the Catering Hall mystery series. Ellen Byron wrote it under her new pen name of Maria DeRico, and I’m loving it as much as I do her Cajun Country series.
Mia was a fun and sassy main character, not unlike Maggie Crozat from Cajun Country…except Mia’s dad never did anything as innocent as making gumbo. Even though he was ex-mob, I did really like Ravello’s character a lot. He loved his daughter fiercely, but he was trying very hard to be a legit businessman now. Ravello was secretly dating a local woman which gave his character a softer side as well.
My Goodreads review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mia is different from any main character that I’ve come across yet in cozies, and I think that’s why I like her so much! I love her sass but good attitude toward things. She managed to survive being a suspect in her still-missing husband’s death and was happy to be living with her Nonna again in Queens.
I loved seeing Mia and Jamie together even though she tried to make everyone think she didn’t have strong feelings for him. Guadalupe and Nonna were two of my favorite characters. It was cool that Guadalupe and another employee Cody were former military which seemed to make for a smooth running catering hall, well until the murder happened. I didn’t have any idea who the killer was, and the showdown was really exciting. Being a former mobster’s daughter definitely had prepared her for taking care of herself in every emergency. The most unlikely person came to her assistance, and I wonder if this person will be back as a new friend.
The way the book ended (no cliffhangers, no worries) made me anxious to read the next one. I loved that Mia seemed to be embracing everything stereotypical about her dad’s former life if people wanted to buy into that. If it sells the banquet space….;)