Title: Hummus and Homicide
Author: Tina Kashian
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Page Count: 321
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
When Lucy Berberian quits her Philadelphia law firm and heads home to Ocean Crest, she knows what she’s getting—the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster, and the tastes of her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. But murder wasn’t on the menu . . .
Things are slow in the off-season in this Jersey Shore town, but Lucy doesn’t mind. She doesn’t even mind waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. Her parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roasted red pepper. It’s fun to see their calico cat again, and to catch up with her old BFF, who’s married to a cop now.
She could do without Heather Banks, though. The Gucci-toting ex-cheerleader is still as nasty as she was back in high school . . . and unfortunately, she’s just taken over as the local health inspector. Just minutes after eating at the Kebab Kitchen—where she’s tallied up a whole list of bogus violations—she falls down dead in the street. Word on the grapevine is it’s homicide, and Lucy’s the number one suspect . . .
Hummus and Homicide by Tina Kashian is the first book in the new cozy Kebab Kitchen Mystery series. This series introduces Lucy Berberian who has left her job as a lawyer to return to her hometown of Ocean Crest, New Jersey to regroup and find out where she wants her career to go.
When Lucy arrives home she immediately jumps in to helping at her parents restaurant, the Kebab Kitchen. While it was nice to come home and see her friends and family unfortunately one person Lucy could do without seeing walks back into her life. Heather Banks was a typical mean girl in high school and things certainly haven’t changed a bit.
After her initial run in with Heather Lucy hopes to be done with her but Heather walks back into the Kebab Kitchen and announces she’s taken over as health inspector. Of course with Heather behind the inspection the restaurant fails leaving Lucy and her parents wondering what to do but the next thing they know Heather winds up dead right outside the restaurant.
As typical of a cozy Lucy begins her own investigating by questioning everyone who knew Heather and compiling her list of suspects. She was one of those main characters that was completely realistic in not pretending she knew how to be a detective but asking the right person here and there to eventually lead her to solving the crime and clearing her name.
As likable as everyone was in this new series my one thing that I lowered my rating a bit to 3.5 stars was that I felt the characters missed that extra spark. Dare I say everyone seemed a bit too normal?? The author did a good job making this one a bit more diverse but I didn’t get that humorous quirkiness that stands out to me in cozies. Otherwise though I did like the story and characters with the mystery being a nice one to try to solve.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business where her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. She worked almost every job—rolling silverware and wiping down tables as a tween, to hosting and waitressing as a teenager.
After college, Tina worked as a NJ Deputy Attorney General, a patent attorney, and a mechanical engineer. Her love of reading fiction for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. The Kebab Kitchen Cozy Mystery series launches with Hummus and Homicide (3/18), followed by Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave by Kensington Books. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit www.tinakashian.com and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.
Tina is also an Amazon best-selling historical romance author and writes under the pseudonym Tina Gabrielle. Visit tinagabrielle.com to learn about her romances.