Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian

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 . . .

Titles in the Kebab Kitchen Mystery series include — Hummus and Homicide – Stabbed in the Baklava – One Feta in the Grave – On the Lamb – Mistletoe, Moussaka & Murder

Title:  Mistletoe, Moussaka & Murder
Series:  The Kebab Kitchen Mystery #5
Author:  Tina Kashian
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Published:  September 29, 2020
Publisher:  Kensington Books
My Rating:  4 stars

Mistletoe, Moussaka & Murder is the fifth title in the Kebab Kitchen Mystery series.  Although I have not read the previous stories in this series (I will be going back for them in the near future) I wasn’t lost in this story and anything that I really needed to know from the previous events could be found in the narrative or the dialogue.  I wasn’t lost but I do wish I’d found the time to get caught up first… time, never enough of it.

Lucy and her best friend, Katie are deep in wedding plans (at least, Katie is) and getting ready for the annual Polar Bear Plunge, the proceeds of which will benefit the work needed at the local senior center.  It’s all in fun, freezing, and a good cause… until a very nasty, disliked, and rude man apparently drowns during the event.  But it’s soon obvious that this was no accident and another of Lucy’s friends is the prime suspect.  There is no way that Lucy believes for one minute that her friend did this, so it’s time to dust off the investigative skills and track down a killer.

I had fun with Mistletoe, Moussaka & Murder even though I was catching up on some background that should have been familiar.  Still, I got to experience Lucy’s family who originally ran the restaurant and still works there, her adorable soon-to-be husband, and even a flirtatious landlady who has her eye on Lucy’s man… in a totally flirty, not home-wrecking way.  And food.  I swear I gained 5 pounds just reading this book because, of course, I got the munchies for some moussaka myself.  I had a couple of strong suspects, but I rarely read a Cozy Mystery to be the first to point out the killer, I enjoy the lead up to the reveal and the background story perhaps even more than solving the murder.  This story kept me on my toes while enjoying an adorable cast of characters (for the most part).  I will definitely be going back to the beginning in 2021.  If you love a good Cozy Mystery with food, friends, and an enjoyable experience, then you’ll want to check this one out soon.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Kensington Books via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available in paperback or for your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle.

 

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