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…
SERIES: A Kebab Kitchen Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: February 27, 2018
Other Books In This Series
“Family helped family…”
Tina Kashian debuts on the cozy mystery scene with a delightfully multi-cultural cast and setting. (Side note: I’ve noticed I use the word ‘delight’ and its derivatives a lot…. oh well. What can I say? Books delight me!) Hummus and Homicide joins the ranks of other recent ethnically-diverse cozies such as Leena Clover’s Meera Patel series and Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop Mysteries – and I love it! The ESOL teacher side of me adores the familiar cadence of beloved nationalities, their family dynamics, and of course their food!
Lucy Berberian is a first generation American (meaning her parents immigrated to the States before she was born) with a rich cultural background. Both parents have Armenian roots, while her mother also claims Lebanese and Greek heritage. Family is key – and food is central. Yummy food like kebabs and hummus and stuffed grape leaves and warm-from-the-oven pita bread. My mouth is literally watering right now, y’all. I am thisclose to having hubby bring home some carryout hummus and pita from the Mediterranean restaurant on his way home from work.
The murder mystery is very well-constructed, and just when I thought I had it figured out Lucy and her investigative skills proved me wrong. Lucy’s love life has a couple of intriguing possibilities for future books in the series – her first love Azad (who wants her back) or the hot new guy Michael (who totally rocks the bad boy vibe). I’m pulling for Azad but we’ll see where the story takes them. Her relationship with her best friend Katie is fun, too, and they make a great sleuthing team. The way Katie conveniently took off work whenever she wanted to seemed a tad unrealistic but it still added to the overall charm of their friendship – and to Katie’s character itself.
Bottom Line: Hummus and Homicide is charming and well-written, setting things up nicely for the rest of the series and keeping readers invested in Lucy and her life. The murder plot is nicely paced and full of twists and turns and red herrings, and the characters are layered and endearing. I would love to hang out at the Kebab Kitchen with its warm atmosphere and tantalizing food. Looking forward to book #2!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!
Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sand castles, 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 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, 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 Kashian’s Award-Winning Hummus Recipe
This is my own secret recipe and I make it weekly at home for the kids and the husband. It can be served as a dip with wedges of pita bread or vegetables, and goes well with broiled or grilled meat. It can also be used as a healthy alternative to mayonnaise on sandwiches.
1 can (15 ounces) chick peas
3½ teaspoons tahini (sesame seed puree)
3 cloves minced garlic (1½ teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Drain can of chick peas and reserve ¼ cup fluid. Mix tahini thoroughly before using to incorporate oil that separates during storage. Using a food processor or blender, combine and blend all ingredients until smooth. If hummus is too thick, add a few tablespoons of reserved fluid from chick peas and blend again. Pour into serving platter. Enjoy!
I have been authorized to give away a copy of Hummus and Homicide to one of my readers! (Winner’s Choice of print or ebook; Print available to US addresses only. Void where prohibited by law) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
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What about you? Have you ever tried other varieties of hummus? Do you stick to traditional? Or are you scared to try it at all?