Published: February 23, 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: Print from Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina firstname.lastname@example.org
In the aftermath of solving two murders at her family…that would be small “f” family catering venue, Belle View, manager Mia Carina is happily focusing on the business at hand. Added to that is the fact that their latest event is her long time, close friend, Nicole’s baby shower. What she learns, however, is that Nicole’s step-monster….I mean step-mother, Tina, has planned a bigger, event at a competitor venue. Mia usually goes along to get along and takes the opportunity of Tina’s shower to check out the competition. After the over-the-top event that is more about Tina than her step-daughter’s upcoming baby, Mia has some fresh ideas and moves on to the shower planned at Belle View. During that event things got slightly awry when Nicole is gifted with a strange painting whose appearance causes Tina to faint. Not long after Tina is found dead, floating in the bay just off Belle View. Once again the catering venue is under suspicion. When Tina’s husband and Nicole’s father, Ron is taken in as a person of interest Mia can’t help but investigate. In short order she finds herself in the midst of the world of stolen art. And when it comes to stolen art, can murder….more murder…be far behind?
I totally enjoyed Maria Di Rico’s firsts book in her Catering Hall Mysteries, HERE COMES THE BODY and couldn’t wait to dig into her latest, LONG ISLAND ICED TINA. Di Rico did not disappoint. In fact, LONG ISLAND ICED TINA was an even better read.
I grew up on Long Island and my parents were from Queens so I know the accent and sense of humor. Knowing neighbors and spending warm summer nights sitting on the stoop were part of our every day lives. Like Mia, we knew our neighbors and could rely on them. Except for the Family (capital “F”) connections I can totally relate to Mia. She is smart, caring, compassionate and loyal. She knows herself and rather than cave into anger or despair when confronted with competition she figures out how to use to to meet her own ends. word.
Di Rico has some great characters in Mia, her grandmother Elisabetta and her dad, Ravello. Cammie isn’t a favorite of mine and her laziness was getting a bit old after reading about it in two books—I hope she gets a little more ambition in book 3 although she is useful when it comes to her ex-husband, Pete. Pete, the local detective, is a hoot with his Steve Stianopolis self-published books. Mia’s brother, Posi, adds to her crime solving skills and his own brand of humor. And, of course, my perennial favorites – pets—Doorstop the cat and Pizzazz the parakeet.
Di Rico gives her readers a fun mystery to solve along with Mia—where did the stolen painting come from? Why did is surface now? And how was it stolen in the first place?
Book 1, HERE COMES THE BODY has references to what may be Mia’s husband who may or may not be dead after her disastrous marriage and move to Florida. I felt like I’d missed something and looked for a prior book, even a novella, to explain what happened there and there was nothing. There was one or two mentions of him in this one, but still no explanation. Hopefully this will be dealt with to clear up any confusion.
I really enjoyed LONG ISLAND ICED TINA for so many reasons—DiRico’s writing voice, her characters, the setting, the mystery. It is one of those all-around really fun, solid reads that draws you in and makes you feel like part of the action. Just the right amount of red herrings and a great solution. For readers new to cozies this is a great series to start out with. For fans of cozies this is a MUST READ series. Perfect for men, women, adults and teens it’s an all around great read.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.