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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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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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  • 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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  • Debut of A Catering Hall Mystery series

    Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico has Mia Carina returning to Queens for a fresh start. She is thankful to no longer be under suspicion for her husband’s disappearance. Mia will be working for her father as assistant manager at Belle View Catering Hall. Ravello Carina, Mia’s father, is taking a stab at running a legit business which pleases Mia. Mia’s first event is a bachelor party with a woman popping out of a cake. Things go sideways when they find a woman who threatened Ravello a few days earlier inside the cake with a knife sticking out of her chest. With Ravello as the police’s prime suspect, Mia begins searching for the real culprit. Here Comes the Body is the exciting debut of A Catering Hall Mystery series. Mia Carina has had a rough time recently with her husband disappearing and the police accusing her of offing him (her family has a reputation). She is glad to be back in Astoria with her family. Mia can visit her brother, Posi during visiting hours at Triborough Correctional Facility where the guards know the family by name. Mia will be working at Belle View Catering Hall which a man gave up to cover his gambling debts. Ravello, Mia’s father, is the manager and Mia will be handling events. Belle View is run down and needs a facelift (get rid of the 80s vibe). Mia has not been home a week when a body if found inside a cake. Someone is framing Ravello and Mia does not appreciate it. She begins questioning attendees of the bachelor party in hopes of narrowing in on the killer. The mystery had several viable suspects. I had a good time following Mia on her quest to clear her father’s name. I thought Here Comes the Body contained good writing, interesting characters and humor. I laughed several times while reading. I loved Mia’s grandmother, Elisabetta Carina. She is an Italian grandmother who makes mouthwatering dishes. The ladies on her block compete to have the best decorations for each holiday (and other things as well). There are a couple of side stories as well. A greedy realtor is trying to get senior citizens to sell their homes and move into an assisted living facility. 46th Place is the new hot area where people want to take the homes, gut them and modernize them. Something is going on with Evans, the sous chef, as well. Cozy mystery readers will be delighted with Here Comes the Body which is written by Ellen Byron under the pen name Maria DiRico. Here Comes the Body is a humorous & intriguing cozy mystery with a murdered moll, a vanished feathered friend, transportation troubles, frightful free furniture, a relentless reporter, and a matchmaking mobster.

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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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