Four Parties and a Funeral (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico
About Four Parties and a Funeral
Four Parties and a Funeral (A Catering Hall Mystery)
4th in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington Cozies (March 28, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496739701
ISBN-13 : 978-1496739704
Digital ASIN : B0B6DBV3WV
In this fresh and witty cozy mystery series set amid an extended Italian-American family in Astoria, Queens, catering hall owner and amateur sleuth Mia Carina must solve a murder on the set of a reality show.
The June events schedule at Belle View is busting out all over—proms, graduations, and of course, weddings. There are unexpected bookings too, including a casting call for the pilot of Dons of Ditmars Boulevard. But soon, Mia’s fears about the cheesy reality show are confirmed . . .
Belle View quickly becomes the site of a sea of wanna-be goombahs and phony girlfriends, and some of Mia’s friends insist on getting in on the action. The production company owner and his executive producer ex-wife—who’s also very minor British royalty—have assembled a motley crew that does as much infighting and backstabbing as the on-screen “talent.” Even so, it’s a shock when a dead body is found in the pool house of a local mansion rented by the show . . .
Murder might boost the ratings. But Mia intends to make sure the killer gets jail time, not airtime . . .
Italian recipes included!
Reality t.v. comes to Belle View Catering Hall with a casting call for the new show The Dons of Ditmars Boulevard. That along with weddings, proms, graduations, and a very special funeral keep Mia Carina and her staff very busy.
But it is the reality show that takes most of her time especially when one of her new employees/relatives gets cast in the show and finds romance with an executive producer who happens to be the production company owner’s ex-wife and also a minor British royal. There is more drama offscreen than onscreen with the cast and crew on a daily basis so it wasn’t really a surprise that someone ended up dead . . . and there are plenty of suspects.
While the show must go on Mia plans to produce a killer while trying still catering to the masses.
All our favorites return in this new Catering Hall Mystery. Mia and Shane’s relationship has risen to a new level but hits a big bump. Grandmother Elisabetta is on a crafting binge that had me truly wondering if the woman is now color-blind or at least needs a fashion refresher. Mia was a trooper wearing whatever the woman came up with. Ravello is on a health kick that kicks back. And Cammie has come up with another way to spend Detective Pete Dianopolis’s money.
They are joined by a bunch of “Dons and Donettes”, and a wacky production crew. There is also a Boldano wedding and all the pre-wedding gatherings that bring many new characters to the story including the bride’s Connecticut family. While there was plenty of drama among the characters there was also a lot of comedy. The author had me in stitches throughout most of these stories with all these characters’ antics.
In between all the laughter, there was a mystery to solve and with so many suspects it was not easy. There were twists on top of twists and some very interesting turns. Just when I thought I had it figured out a few pages later I saw I was all wrong. I truly was still guessing when all was revealed. Ms. DiRico did an excellent job of plotting and misdirection.
Of course, there was a lot of food involved whenever people gathered. The rehearsal dinner in Connecticut almost had me on the floor laughing, one recipe is included in the back of the book. While tasty, not your usual party fare. There was some seriously delectable Italian cooking done as well and the author has included recipes for a few of those treats as well including Pasta Puttanesca.
Four Parties and a Funeral is a hilarious mystery. I was captivated from beginning to end. I am excited for this series to continue. I am fully invested in these characters and can’t wait to see what Ms. DiRico dreams up for them next.
As always for maximum enjoyment, I recommend reading the books in order.
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About Maria DiRico
Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award-winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.
Great Escapes Praise for Four Parties and a Funeral (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico
The story is engaging, the plot moves at a good pace, and the characters are well-developed. While readers of previous books learn more about Shane and others, the mystery is stand-alone and easily read on its own.
~Christa Reads and Writes
This captivating book kept me turning pages late into the night to find out what happens next, all the while trying to keep my laughing quiet enough to not wake up the household. I, for one, can’t wait for the next book in the series!
~Cinnamon and Sugar and a little bit of Murder
I loved, loved, LOVED every bit of this story. Quirky, fun, drama, and… can I repeat myself and say FUN again??? If you are looking for an entertaining and engrossing cozy mystery filled with drama, personality, and romance, you might want to give Four Parties and a Funeral by Maria DiRico a try.
~The Book Decoder
Belle View Catering Hall takes on reality TV in FOUR PARTIES AND A FUNERAL with plenty of drama, laughs, and love. It will tug at your heartstrings while you simultaneously hold your stomach from laughing too hard.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
March 29 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
March 30 – I’m Into Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 30 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
March 31 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
April 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
April 1 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
April 2 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT
April 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – FUONLYNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 6 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 6 – The Mystery of Writing – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
April 8 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
April 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
April 10 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
April 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
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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.”