Long Island Iced Tina review

When I first heard about this book sometime last year, I thought it was just the cleverest pun title for a cozy, and after reading it, it’s even better! This is the second book in the Catering Hall mysteries by Maria DiRico, who’s actually well-known cozy author Ellen Byron. She tells on her site how the real Maria is her grandmother (or great-grandmother). I can’t find it on her site, but I’m thinking she mentioned it on her  Facebook author page.

I had the best time reading this book from Mia’s sleuthing, the bumbling retail manager they hired as a favor to one of Mia’s dad’s friends, and good old Nonna on a mission going to funeral visitations dragging her neighbor Phillip along. Great stuff and so funny sometimes!

My Goodreads review:

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery Book 2)Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just love this series, and Mia has to be one of the funniest main characters I’ve read about. This is another character I can so easily close my eyes and hear Fran Fine the Nanny speaking as Mia. (And somehow, Val’s voice was coming from Nicole lol). I enjoy all these key characters so much, even Donny Boldano Senior has some endearing qualities. Donny Junior is just hilarious without meaning to be. And Jamie’s just plain adorable, but even though he’s taken, he’s a really good and faithful friend for Mia aka someone her dad hopes can keep her out of trouble!

At least Mia and her dad weren’t being blamed for the latest murder, but they might as well have been, since the body was found in the bay next to their venue. Once more at the showdown, Mia found herself facing down a crazed killer, but she did okay! Seems she’s a lot better driving on the water than on land! Just when Jamie appeared to be taken and happy with no one on the horizon for Mia to even be remotely interested in…well, I’m going to leave it at that and let readers find out for themselves what happens. 😉

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Here Comes the Body review

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:

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery #1)Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico

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….;)

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