Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to share my thoughts with you today about
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico!
Note there are several recipes in this book and
you can find a few of them being shared on other tour stops!
Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico
About Here Comes the Body
Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 page
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYLSC
After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her Nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .
Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . .
Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . .
Italian recipes included!
Readers are introduced to Mia Carina and her family. She has come home to Queens after her being cleared in her husband’s suspicious death with her cat lovingly named Doorstop. They have moved into her Nonna’s upper apartment. She will be working with her father, former mob enforcer, Ravello Carina, at a business he recently acquired. Belle View is a hot spot for weddings, bachelor parties, and family reunions. Even local support groups meet there.
Mia’s first event is a bachelor party complete with a stripper popping out of a cake. But the woman inside the cake does not “pop” as planned, in fact, the woman inside the cake is not the woman hired for the party but someone who accused Ravello of not paying his debt to her the day before and she won’t be “popping” anywhere. Someone left her dead body along with a check for a million dollars signed by Ravello inside the cake.
The police think the case is a slam-dunk but Mia is determined to prove her dad’s innocence. When a second body is found behind Belle View Mia knows she has to pull out all the stops to keep her dad safe and the business running, even if she needs to reach out to her extended “family”.
The underlying theme of this series is the mob and its connections to Mia’s family. I thought this may be too heavy of a topic for a cozy mystery but Maria DiRico makes it work with a light tone and a lot of humor, although some of the innuendo does tip over the line just a bit.
The author brings us an Italian family with connections. Mia, glad to be home but not totally sure if her New York family took care of her creep of a husband, Adam Grosso, or not. She was cleared to leave Florida and she did. Working for her father isn’t going to be easy, not because of the mob, but because of the over the top clients and their loony requests. Mia showed more patience than I ever could. She comes up with some great ideas too.
Moving in with her grandmother Elisabetta feels right even though most of her furniture looks like it came from a bordello. Her dad has spent enough time behind bars and promises the Belle View is a legit business. Mia’s brother Posi, is still behind bars but is able to give her some advice as she investigates. She reconnects with her old friend Jamie and old feelings start to immerge until she learns he has a girlfriend. Jaime’s dad is high up in the “organization” though and she just may need his help.
Being the first book in a new series, we get to know the main characters pretty well, but there is a lot of room for growth. My favorite being Nonna Elisabetta. A true Italian believing food can solve any problem. She makes sure Mia is always well fed. She had me grinning ear to ear.
I was captivated by Mia and Jamie’s relationship and am looking forward to how it develops. Will, there be a real romance or will they commit to the “friend zone”? Jamie does remind me a little bit of my son, same name, different spelling 😉
Mia is a smart sleuth. It was fun to tag along with her as she dealt with twist after twist. Sometimes the debut book in a series has a less complex mystery to solve while taking time to fully introduce the cast of characters. That is not the case here at all. The mystery was complex. Every time I thought I had everything all figured out there was a twist that proved me wrong.
The subplots were blended wonderfully into the story. I really appreciated Mia’s huge heart as she dealt with a real estate predator. Nonna’s neighborhood sounded delightful and close-knit and the realtor was really ticking off both me and Mia. Some of Mia’s comebacks were just priceless. The author descriptions of the area painted clear pictures of the homes, right down to the sculptures in the yards and their holiday decorations.
Here Comes the Body has this series off to a fine start. The characters are memorable and feel very true to life. The mystery was well-plotted and interesting with a large dose of humor. There are also some yummy sounding Italian recipes at the back of the book. It truly was an enjoyable getaway!
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About Maria DiRico
Maria DiRico was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, her grandfather was a low-level Jewish mobster who disappeared in 1933 under mysterious circumstances. She also writes the award-winning, bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series under the name Ellen Byron.
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February 24 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
February 24 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 24 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 25 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
February 25 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
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February 26 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 27 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 27 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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February 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
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March 2 – That’s What She’s Reading – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
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March 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE
March 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
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March 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”