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Ratings and Book Reviews (9 10 star ratings
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    HERE COMES THE BODY by Maria DiRico

    HERE COMES THE BODY by Maria DiRico (AKA Ellen Byron) is the first book in the A Catering Hall Mystery series. Mia Carina has moved back home to Astoria, Queens, New York City after being cleared of any wrong doing in the disappearance of her cheating husband who came up MIA and is presumed dead. She’s determined to make Belle View, the catering hall her father bought, a raving success both to give her something to do and to help her father go straight with a thriving business. Although Ravello Carina will always be part of the “family”, for his own good he’s trying to become legit with Belle View. Granted the place is a bit run down, but the location if phenomenal. However, problems plague them at every turn. Finding a dead body in the stripper cake at their first big function, a bachelor party, means having to deal with the police who can only see a known crime kingpin as their suspect and all the bad publicity that it brings with it. Then there is the fire – another delay. Was it arson? Before the real criminal can be found, one of Belle View’s employees, who just happens to be kin to the former owner, is found dead in the dumpster out back. Now sure Ravello is the guilty party, they arrest his and send him to Rikers. The judge finds their case lacking and releases him. Can they figure out who the real culprit is before he strikes again? Is Mia getting too close for her own good? This is a phenomenal way to start a new series! The author not only tells a complete story that is exciting and keeps you turning pages, but she endears us to a whole host of character that I can see us enjoying for many more books to come. You have Mia’s brother, Posi, incarcerated in Triborough Correctional Facility who would like to be the next media sensation - #anotherhotconvict. Lizabetta is Mia’s comical and sometimes hot headed Italian grandmother who has her “Army” of friends for support. Local folks include the real estate lady who is trying to talk all the elderly to sell their homes before they become to senile to do it and the pesky reporter who is determined to finish what her father started. We met the madame who seems to have friends in high places and whose “associate” tried a little black mail. There are the folks in the pet support group that are grieving that Mia meets. She had lost her precious bird due to an accidental escape from his cage. We meet Donny Boldano, mob leader, whose son, Jamie is Mia’s best friend. Then there’s the employee. One is Cammie who is quite the character and ex-wife to Detective Pete Dianopolis, who is in charge of the murder investigations. And we must not omit Doorstop, Mia’s lovable cat. Can’t wait for the next book in the series to see who all shows back up. Great cozy mystery that will keep you guessing to the very end. I highly recommend HERE COMES THE BODY and will be checking out the rest of the series.
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    A fantastic start to a new series!

    Mia Carina, the daughter of former mobster, Ravello Carina, has moved back home to Queens after her cheating husband disappears in a boating accident. She wants a fresh start and is thrilled to be working at her father's catering hall. Unfortunately, her first event, a bachelor party, turns into a nightmare when a call girl is found dead inside the gigantic cake. When a check written by Mia's dad is found next to the body, he immediately becomes the main suspect. A few days later, another body is found and Ravello is suspected again. Mia is determined to prove her father's innocence and find the real culprit. Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico is a fantastic start to a new series. It is an enjoyable and entertaining read, with plenty of laugh out loud moments, fun, engaging characters, and a puzzling murder mystery. Mia is smart, independent and has a good heart. Despite her confidence, she always acted responsibly and never put herself in dangerous situations. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the city setting but ended up loving it. Mia's neighbors were a hoot, and I enjoyed reading about the different cultures and food. The catering hall is a great setting for future mysteries and I forward to seeing what's in store for the characters. I will definitely be reading the second book. I received an ARC from NetGalley through Kensington Books. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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    I loved it

    This was an enjoyable first in a new series. Solid interesting characters and a well written whodunit. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
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    FUN READ!

    This is a delightfully entertaining debut novel of a new series by Maria DiRico (pen name of Ellen Byron)! It’s a story about Mia Carina moving back to help her family & realizing that the FAMILY is something you never really leave. Her Dad is doing his best to stay on the straight & narrow at a catering hall known as Belle View. Maria quickly discovers there’s more to running a catering hall than dealing with Bridezillas, finding the perfect matching “natural” hue of flowers, overcoming being in the flight path of LaGuardia & having using a ride share driven by her old boyfriend that she should have married. All of that is really quite normal stuff until the night of the Worst Bachelor Party Ever. That’s when murder, mayhem & madness breakout! Will Maria be able to find any clues to the this mystery? Will her Dad be implicated? Will he have to call in favors from the Family or is the Family somehow involved? Very clever debut novel!!
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    Italian Speaking Cozy Characters

    Cute cozy with characters who speak Italian. Mia Carina is back home in Queens NYC. Living at her Grandmother's house and working with her father in his new adventure provides the foundation she needs. That her dad works for THE MOB, her BFF is the son of THE BOSS adds another layer of twists and excitement. When bodies turn up linked to the banquet center, Mia investigates to prove her father's innocence. A fast easy read with great potential as a series.
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