Hummus and Homicide (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Digital ASIN: B071FLH733
When Lucy Berberian quits her Philadelphia law firm and heads home to Ocean Crest, she knows what she’s getting—the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster, and the tastes of her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. But murder wasn’t on the menu . . .
Things are slow in the off-season in this Jersey Shore town, but Lucy doesn’t mind. She doesn’t even mind waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. Her parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roasted red pepper. It’s fun to see their calico cat again, and to catch up with her old BFF, who’s married to a cop now.
She could do without Heather Banks, though. The Gucci-toting ex-cheerleader is still as nasty as she was back in high school . . . and unfortunately, she’s just taken over as the local health inspector. Just minutes after eating at the Kebab Kitchen—where she’s tallied up a whole list of bogus violations—she falls down dead in the street. Word on the grapevine is its homicide, and Lucy’s the number one suspect . . .
Hummus with a side of Homicide. That is what Lucy Berberian has to deal with shortly after returning home to Ocean Crest. When she quit her job as a patent attorney in Philadelphia she hoped to come home, lick her wounds, and decide what her next career move would be. But now she is the prime suspect in the murder of Heather Banks, one of the high school in-crowd from when she and Lucy were in high school. She was now the local health inspector who had just written up a ton of violations for Lucy’s parent’s restaurant, The Kebab Kitchen. She also had loud words with Lucy soon after she arrived in town, in front of several witnesses. Those reasons, plus the victim happened to eat a whole lot of hummus at the family eatery right before she died means Lucy and her parents could lose everything.
The Berberian family had Lucy’s life all planned for her, work at the restaurant, marry the dishwasher soon to be chef, and take over the family business when her parents were ready to retire. She had other plans, she went to college and law school and took a job with a Philadelphia firm hoping to make partner. When her law career didn’t go as planned they welcomed her home with open arms. This theme is real, believable, and traditional of many families in the restaurant and other family businesses. These characters have depth and their dialogues are delightful. I was drawn into the story immediately by them as soon as they were introduced.
From the title I knew the method of death would be poison and it would be in the hummus, but beyond that, the entire investigation was a surprise. The suspect pool was pretty limited by who was in the restaurant or had access to the restaurant, most being family. I enjoyed following along with Lucy and her BFF Katie as they tried to find the actual killer. Twist after twist made this a tough mystery to solve. It was very well plotted by the author to lead this reader off the right track. I was totally blown away when the killer was revealed.
The story had a steady pace that picked up as we got closer to the big reveal.
Ms. Kashian has introduced us to some very captivating characters. I am excited to get to know them better in future stories. I love the romantic triangle that is just starting to evolve for Lucy. I also enjoyed her friendship with Katie, whose husband happens to be a police officer. Together they make a nice team and you know they have each other’s back no matter what.
This is an excellent start for this series. Stabbed in the Baklava will be released August 28, 2018. I can hardly wait.
About the Author
Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sand castles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business where her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. She worked almost every job—rolling silverware and wiping down tables as a tween, to hosting and waitressing as a teenager.
After college, Tina worked as a NJ Deputy Attorney General, a patent attorney, and a mechanical engineer. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. The Kebab Kitchen Cozy Mystery series launches with Hummus and Homicide, followed by Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave by Kensington Books. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit www.tinakashian.com and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.
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