Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Long Island Iced Tina 

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens—in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events—like murder—are not the kind you can schedule . . .

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens—in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events—like murder—are not the kind you can schedule . . .

Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View—but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.

Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out—and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina . . .

Italian recipes included!

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725352
ISBN-13: 978-1496725356
Digital ASIN: B089NCJ9NS

I Thought…

Long Island Iced Tina is the 2nd book in the Catering Hall Mystery series by Maria DiRico.

It was great to be back in bustling Astoria, Queens, New York City even vicariously, for a few hours, to meet the residents there and solve a perplexing mystery. The mystery is plenty puzzling, and the red herrings it offers up are as tasty as the offerings at the Belle View Banquet Manor.

The primary amateur detective in this one is manager and events organiser Mia Carina. Belle View Banquet Manor is the catering hall that her father has created. Mia’s close friend, Nicole plans to hold a baby shower at Belle View but first Nicole must attend a shower that her wicked stepmother, Tina is throwing, held at the ritzy Versailles on the Park and Mia is looking forward to checking out how her competition runs their business.

However, at Nicole’s own shower a gift is given which turns out to be a valuable, stolen painting. When a fight occurs in the bathroom, between Tina and Nicole’s grandmother, Minnie, Mia can’t imagine that things could possibly get any worse… until she glimpses a guest’s dead body floating in the water. Figuring out exactly who killed Tina – and why – bobs right to the top of Mia’s to-do list.

Mia is determined to leave no stone unturned, and with the help of the family, she uncovers a web of secrets. I was really engaged in the mystery from the start. There is a lot happening and a lot of layers and clues to sift through in order to figure out the identity of the killer.

The unusual thing about Long Island Iced Tina is that it’s set in a city rather than a small town, giving a different vibe than the majority of cozies. Maria DiRico’s well-formulated and super-packed plot involving Tina becomes surprisingly complex as the story develops. Mia’s father, Ravello, offers his ‘expertise’ and wisdom to help Mia with the case.

I continued to warm to Mia, finding her ebullience, confidence and intuitiveness very refreshing. I very much appreciated Maria DiRico’s superb and varied characterisation, even though some of the characters weren’t particularly personable. Apart from Mia herself, my favourite was probably Nonna Elisabetta, a true Italian believing that food can solve any of life’s problems. She added another dimension of humour to the story and had me cracking a smile or two.

Maria DiRico writes with such flair and an easy style. There were a plethora of suspects to choose from who might have had the motive to kill and I enjoyed the way in which Mia evaluated the information acquired from her poking around. With some zig-zagging along the way, this was a story that held my attention well and I loved that things came together for a complicated though great, logical resolution. Being a culinary cozy, there are some delicious sounding recipes at the end along with a tip for hosting events yourself. I may well have a go at making the Honey Phyllo Rollups!

The interesting growth for the series regulars cements my enthusiasm in anticipating what Maria DiRico has in store for Mia and her family and acquaintances next. In addition, reading Long Island Iced Tina has tempted me to take a look at the Cajun Country Mystery series which is written by DiRico under the name of Ellen Byron. Book #1 in that series is entitled ‘Plantation Shudders.’

Thanks to Kensington Books, Great Escapes Book Tours and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Maria DiRico

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.

Website – https://www.ellenbyron.com/catering-hall-mysteries

Chicks on the Case – http://chicksonthecase.net/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CateringHallMysteries/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ellenbyronla

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play – IndieBound

There is a Rafflecopter Giveaway for this tour. Please click below to enter and good luck!

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!


March 1 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW


March 1 – Novel Alive – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, EXCERPT

March 3 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, RECIPE

March 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST

March 5 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 5 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 7 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 8 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 9 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

March 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 10 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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Until Next Time, 

One thought on “Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

  1. Pingback: Cozy Wednesday featuring Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico #Review / #Giveaway - Great Escapes Book Tour - Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

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