It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington Cozies (October 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496725360
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496725363
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08VFBT9B2

Astoria, Queens, is decorated within an inch of its life for the Christmas season, and Mia Carina is juggling her job at the Belle View catering hall with a case of murder . . .

Mia’s busy with a full schedule of events at the family business—among them an over-the-top Nativity-themed first birthday party and a Sweet Sixteen for a teen drama queen. But her personal life is even more challenging. Her estranged mother has returned—and her lifelong friend Jamie has discovered a shocking secret about his past. He’s so angry that he starts hanging out with Lorenzo, who claims to be his long-lost brother—even after it becomes clear that Lorenzo’s story is as fake as a plastic Christmas tree.

Then a body turns up among the elves in a Santa’s-workshop lawn display, and amateur sleuth Mia has a buffet of suspects to choose from. Amid the holiday celebrations, she intends to find out who’s the guilty party . . .

Italian recipes included!


She heard lumbering footsteps coming down the hall, indicating her father’s approach. A minute later, Ravello appeared at her door. He looked perturbed. “Bambina, I’m lost.”

“You don’t mean that literally, I hope,” a nervous Mia said. At a recent Belle View birthday party for a centenarian with a touch of dementia, the guest of honor had been found wandering the parking lot coatless in twenty-degree weather after getting off-track on his way back to the Marina Ballroom from the bathroom. Fortunately, Mia had discovered the elderly man before frostbite set in and steered him back to the ballroom in time to blow out two of the one hundred candles on his birthday cake.

“No, thank God.” Ravello, reliving that frightening moment, crossed himself.

“Lin’s present?” Mia guessed. Her father had a girlfriend for the first time since his marriage to her mother Gia had been annulled almost six years prior. Lin Yueng was an elegant former attorney who owned a florist’s shop in the East Village. Ravello was smitten when he took her flower-arranging class on a cruise and had pursued the relationship from the sea onto dry land. Mia wasn’t ashamed to admit she’d take the lovely Lin over her own mother Gia, a beautiful narcissist now living in Italy with her second husband, a low-level crook who’d been deported after serving a sentence for a variety of petty crimes. If threatened with waterboarding, Mia wouldn’t be able to recall her last conversation with Gia.

Ravello parked himself on one of the two folding chairs in Mia’s office. He ran a hand through his thick thatch of hair, which remained dark brown without a speck of gray despite his fifty-plus years. “Lin’s so . . .classy. I don’t know from classy. With your mother, it was all about the bling. Lin doesn’t even wear jewelry except tiny little gold stuff. And clothes? Fuhgeddaboudit.”

“Let me talk to Madison. She might have some interesting ideas. And deals.” Mia had come to like Jamie’s girlfriend. They’d bonded the way women who’d dated the same man often did—by making good-natured fun of his quirks behind his back. Madison, a blogger at a popular fashion website, had also endeared herself to Mia with her connections and discounts. “But here’s an interesting development, Dad. Donny Boldano called. He wants to me to meet with him and Aurora tonight. Just us. And not tell Jamie.”

Ravello stared at his daughter. “Just you?” he repeated.

Mia nodded. “Any idea what it might about?”

Her father shook his head. “Not a clue.” Ravello crossed his arms in front of his chest. His face darkened. “And I don’t like that. I don’t like that one bit.”


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.

Author Links – Website – Chicks on the Case – Facebook –  Twitter –

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo IndieBound 

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