Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian

Posted October 1, 2020 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, mystery/suspense, Tina Kashian / 16 Comments

Kebab Kitchen Mystery #5

GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Kensington
RELEASE DATE: September 29, 2020
PAGES: 336

Not even her impending nuptials can keep Lucy Berberian, manager of her family-owned Kebab Kitchen, from the Jersey Shore’s annual Polar Bear Plunge. But her dive into the icy ocean is especially chilling when she finds a fellow swimmer doing the dead man’s float–for real . . .

Who would kill a man in cold blood during Ocean Crest, New Jersey’s most popular winter event? When Lucy learns the victim is Deacon Spooner, the reception hall owner who turned up his nose–and his price–at her wedding plans, she can’t help wondering who wouldn’t kill the pompous caterer . . .

Perhaps the culprit is the wedding cake baker whose career Deacon nearly destroyed? Or the angry bride whose reception he ruined? With her maid of honor, Katie, busily planning Lucy’s wedding without her, Lucy will have to get to the bottom of this cold-hearted business in time for Kebab Kitchen’s mouthwatering Christmas celebration–and before her hometown’s holiday spirit washes out to sea . . .


Other Books In This Series


I enjoy reading cozy mysteries, and I like to sample various series & authors to make sure I’m not missing out on a new fave. But there are some current faves that I follow most closely and am always thrilled when a new book comes out. Tina Kashian’s Kebab Kitchen Mysteries is one such series, and I also love that I’ve been with it from book one (even the cover reveal haha!). I enjoy all of the characters, the setting, the plots, the romance, the humor, the writing style, and of course the delicious food served up at the Kebab Kitchen! It makes my mouth water for some good hummus – which I recently discovered I can have delivered to me from a fave local restaurant, courtesy of Uber Eats. #winning

But I digress.

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is a delightful addition to the series. Lucy is such a great protagonist, and her relationships with the various supporting characters are layered and engaging. I especially enjoy her interactions with her fiance Azad, her best friend Katie, and her landlady Eloise (who is a hoot!). Beyond the mystery that gives the book its framework, the heart of this series is family – the one you’re born into and the one you assemble around you as you go through life. Kashian does a marvelous job of blending both dimensions to this story so that the relationships don’t take away from the cozy mystery feel, and vice versa. It makes for an engrossing read from start to finish.

Another thing that makes this series a fave for me is that the culprit isn’t as obvious as it can sometimes be in the cozy genre. More often than not, when reading a Kebab Kitchen Mystery, I’m stumped as to whodunit. Yet after the reveal it all makes sense & I feel like I should have seen it all along.  Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder does it again, and I think this time I was more clueless than usual. Very well-plotted & perfectly executed (if such a word is permitted when discussing a murder mystery lol)

Bottom Line: Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is a feast for the senses – yummy food to make your mouth water, sea breezes to appease the beach lovers among us, the sights & sounds & aromas of a bustling boardwalk, family, friends, humor, heart, and a puzzling mystery to unravel. Kashian creates dynamic characters and layered plots, and readers will find her writing voice delightful and appealing. Another great adventure with Lucy & crew!

(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!

Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that this book does contain some scattered cursing (including some stronger words on the cursing spectrum).

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Tina Kashian is an attorney and mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She is the author of the popular Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean cozy mystery series for Kensington Publishing. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two daughters. Please visit her website at to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

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16 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian

  1. Diana Hardt

    Nice cover. I liked the blurb. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Debra Branigan

    I would love to read this book because it sounds like a very fun holiday read. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Julie Waldronf

    I have yet to read any books by this author. But I love finding new cozy mysteries by different authors. Sounds like a fun book.

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