Two Fun Culinary Mysteries
Tina Kashian is the author of the Kebab Kitchen Mysteries, and One Feta in the Grave is the third installment. Lucy Berberian is the manager of her familyâ€™s Mediterranean restaurant in the Jersey Shore town of Ocean Crest. Everyone doesnâ€™t get along, and when an unpopular business owner is found murdered, Lucy investigates, since her best friend is one of the suspects. Lucy gets herself in and out of difficult situations, and is, as always, in trouble with the local detective for sticking her nose into the investigation.
Lucy and her best friend Katie are well-developed characters, as well as Bill, Katieâ€™s husband. Detective Clemmons is one to hate, which is typical in cozies with an amateur sleuth who is trying to solve the mystery; detectives seem to feel threatened, and donâ€™t want civilians interfering. Michael, owner of the bike shop next door is well-developed and well-liked, but Azad seems to be the one Lucy is leaning toward.
Kashian is a good storyteller, and the story flows well. Readers wonâ€™t know who the murderer is until the very end. As is typical of a cozy, this series doesnâ€™t contain graphic sex, language, or violence, so it is suitable for all ages.
If youâ€™re looking for a new culinary mystery series, you may want to check out The Italian Chef Mysteries, written by veteran author Catherine Bruns who writes several other cozy mystery series. Penne Dreadful introduces Tessa Esposito, a young chef whose husband Dylan has recently died in a fiery auto accident. When she hears rumors that Dylanâ€™s death wasnâ€™t an accident, she starts investigating why someone would want her beloved husband dead. Dylan hung around a pizza parlor often, so Tessa gets a job there so she can investigate and see if she can get to the bottom of it.
Bruns knows how to tell a good story; the cozy is well-organized, and the characters are likeable â€“ well, most of them, that is - and while the scenarios arenâ€™t totally believable and Tessa is a bit pushy, itâ€™s okay, since this is, after all, fiction. Tessa gets herself into some difficult jams, and may not survive long enough to find her husbandâ€™s murderer. Readers will have suspects throughout, but in the end, they will be surprised. Readers will also look forward to subsequent novels in this series, and of course want to try out the Italian recipes.
Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of these two novels.
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