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    Loved it

    Really enjoyed this book. Can't wait for the next one!
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    Entertaining cozy mystery

    Stabbed in the Baklava by Tina Kashian is the second A Kebab Kitchen Mystery. Lucy Berberian is now the manager of her family’s restaurant, Kebab Kitchen in Ocean Crest, New Jersey. Lucy is surprised when Philadelphia socialite, Scarlet Westwood asks Kebab Kitchen to cater her wedding in two weeks. It is a tight timeline for the restaurant, but it would be excellent publicity. Two weeks later they arrive at Castle of the Sea prepared to wow the wedding guests with their cuisine. Preparations are going well until a drunken Henry Simms, local banker, stumbles into the kitchen and ends up in a verbal disagreement with Azad Zakarian, Kebab Kitchen’s head chef. After extricating Henry from the kitchen, the rest of the meal goes off without a hitch. Henry is later found in Kebab Kitchen’s van with a shish kebab skewer thrust through his neck. Detective Calvin Clemmons, unfortunately, is assigned the case and he has narrowed his sights on Azad. Lucy, at the urging of her parents, works to prove Azad’s innocence and unveil the killer. Accompany Lucy on her campaign to decipher the clues and spot the individual who skewered the banker like a shish kebab! Stabbed in the Baklava contains good writing and a nice steady pace which makes for an easy to read cozy mystery. While Stabbed in the Baklava is the second book in series, it can be read alone. The author provides Lucy’s backstory and summarizes the mystery from Hummus and Homicide. Lucy has settled into managing the restaurant and is learning how to cook as well. There are some luscious food descriptions that will have readers craving Mediterranean food. Her attempts at making improvements at the restaurant have met with limited success. Lucy has two love interests which include her old boyfriend, Azad Kazarian who has her parent’s approval and the handsome motorcycle riding Michael Citteroni. While a cozy mystery needs to have some romance (it is expected), I prefer it to play out softly in the background and I am tired of love triangles. The murder mystery was ingenuous. I identified the victim and killer before the victim was skewered. Lucy needs to work on how she asks suspects questions. She lacks subtlety and her questions come across as accusatory (I am sure she will get better in time). I hope the author introduces a new detective in a future book. Detective Clemmons is the cliché nasty detective with a grudge because of an incident that occurred in high school. I appreciate Lucy’s best friend, Katie Watson. She is a lively character with an upbeat personality. Katie is always up for adventure and has inside intel thanks to her police officer hubby. I did feel that there was too much time devoted to Lucy speculating on the crime and I could have used less repetition of key details (like Lucy’s lack of cooking skills). Stabbed in the Baklava is an undemanding cozy mystery with a quaint small town, charming characters and food descriptions that will have you salivating.
5

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