Hot Best Seller

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder

Availability: Ready to download

Astoria, Queens, is decorated within an inch of its life for the Christmas season, and Mia Carina is juggling her job at the Belle View catering hall with a case of murder... Mia's busy with a full schedule of events at the family business--among them an over-the-top Nativity-themed first birthday party and a Sweet Sixteen for a teen drama queen. But her personal life is e Astoria, Queens, is decorated within an inch of its life for the Christmas season, and Mia Carina is juggling her job at the Belle View catering hall with a case of murder... Mia's busy with a full schedule of events at the family business--among them an over-the-top Nativity-themed first birthday party and a Sweet Sixteen for a teen drama queen. But her personal life is even more challenging. Her estranged mother has returned--and her lifelong friend Jamie has discovered a shocking secret about his past. He's so angry that he starts hanging out with Lorenzo, who claims to be his long-lost brother--even after it becomes clear that Lorenzo's story is as fake as a plastic Christmas tree. Then a body turns up among the elves in a Santa's-workshop lawn display, and amateur sleuth Mia has a buffet of suspects to choose from. Amid the holiday celebrations, she intends to find out who's the guilty party...


Compare

Astoria, Queens, is decorated within an inch of its life for the Christmas season, and Mia Carina is juggling her job at the Belle View catering hall with a case of murder... Mia's busy with a full schedule of events at the family business--among them an over-the-top Nativity-themed first birthday party and a Sweet Sixteen for a teen drama queen. But her personal life is e Astoria, Queens, is decorated within an inch of its life for the Christmas season, and Mia Carina is juggling her job at the Belle View catering hall with a case of murder... Mia's busy with a full schedule of events at the family business--among them an over-the-top Nativity-themed first birthday party and a Sweet Sixteen for a teen drama queen. But her personal life is even more challenging. Her estranged mother has returned--and her lifelong friend Jamie has discovered a shocking secret about his past. He's so angry that he starts hanging out with Lorenzo, who claims to be his long-lost brother--even after it becomes clear that Lorenzo's story is as fake as a plastic Christmas tree. Then a body turns up among the elves in a Santa's-workshop lawn display, and amateur sleuth Mia has a buffet of suspects to choose from. Amid the holiday celebrations, she intends to find out who's the guilty party...

30 review for It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    Honestly, how are we on book three already? I feel like it was only yesterday this series was released, and with the upcoming October publication of It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder in Maria DiRico's series, A Catering Hall Mystery, readers are in for a solid treat. I wanted to hold off until it was closer to Christmas, but I couldn't stop myself this week. And wow, was it good! The books take place in a town in Queens, New York, which just happens to be across the East River from me. Mia Honestly, how are we on book three already? I feel like it was only yesterday this series was released, and with the upcoming October publication of It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder in Maria DiRico's series, A Catering Hall Mystery, readers are in for a solid treat. I wanted to hold off until it was closer to Christmas, but I couldn't stop myself this week. And wow, was it good! The books take place in a town in Queens, New York, which just happens to be across the East River from me. Mia, a thirtyish sorta widow, returns home to her sorta mob family, and begins running a catering hall. In this third installment, her mother returns too... and it's quite the surprise. But when we learn of her connection to the murder mystery, it's even more of a shocker. I was prepared to hate the woman, at least based on what Mia's told us in the past, but that's not the case. Although the relationship is strained, it's ripe for growth, and I am excited to see what develops. In terms of the mystery, let's just say... whoa, I'll never look at Christmas lights and lawn decorations the same again. Mia's former crush, Jamie, learns some devastating news from his family, and when a potential half-brother shows up in Queens, all hell breaks loose. So many mobsters... so much double talk. It's hilarious, and I cannot recommend it enough. I now know... do NOT piss off Maria DiRico! As if that's not enough, Mia's dealing with clients who are driving her nuts, and this time, an entire circus is practically setting up shop in the catering hall. If you're a fan of romance in your cozies, at least the subtle but hit-you-over-the-head chemistry kind, then this book is definitely gonna make you smile. Who wouldn't want a gorgeous mob son coming to work for Mia? I think readers might have some naughty dreams about newcomer Shane, and if they're anything like Mia's, the steam is gonna blow! But it's a funny one too, and all throughout the book, it builds until the end. I won't spoil anything, yet I will say, the ending certainly makes it pretty clear what's happening. Do Mia and Shane hook up? Or does he have to let her down softly because of his personal situation? Excellent installment. Highly recommended. I really think this series is gonna take off, and if you want something with humor and sarcasm and some heat, this Italian mafia backdrop is perfect.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chatting About

    The latest installment of the Catering Hall Mysteries is set at Christmastime in New York. This fantastic plot is stuffed full of home, hearth, and family relationships. The Boldano Family is shocked to it’s core when someone infiltrates their family as a long-lost relative. The answer to that situation comes to a boil very fast, and it’s a huge upset! Protagonist, Mia Carina’s life is hectic as she navigates the event planning at Belle View, plus deals with the suspicious surprise return of her The latest installment of the Catering Hall Mysteries is set at Christmastime in New York. This fantastic plot is stuffed full of home, hearth, and family relationships. The Boldano Family is shocked to it’s core when someone infiltrates their family as a long-lost relative. The answer to that situation comes to a boil very fast, and it’s a huge upset! Protagonist, Mia Carina’s life is hectic as she navigates the event planning at Belle View, plus deals with the suspicious surprise return of her mother, Gia. Filled with mirth and good tidings; Author DiRico’s magic pen flows swiftly through the complex murder mystery. Nonna’s street competition to win best Christmas lights and decorations is a lot of fun. The main characters in this series are some of my favorites—so easy to like and feel welcomed in sharing their ups and downs in life. There are several bad characters to contemplate whether they are killer’s, or not. I was thrilled at the new ‘oomph’ in Shane and Mia’s relationship. There is so much description of delectable food in this story that my tummy was always growling! The author provides yummy recipes, also. I highly recommend this story. It’s best if reader’s read the series starting with book one so you understand the familial ties. I honestly reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington Publishing. All opinions are my own. Thank you.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    This book was so exciting to read, I enjoyed every minute of it. Mia is working hard at the catering hall she and her father run, and with the holidays fast approaching, she certainly has her hands full. The last thing Mia needs is family drama, unfortunately, she’s knee deep in it. Her estranged mother shows up, her best friend finds out some shocking things about his family, and Mia herself is struggling with intimate feelings about a coworker. Mix in a murder, and you’ve got the makings for It’s This book was so exciting to read, I enjoyed every minute of it. Mia is working hard at the catering hall she and her father run, and with the holidays fast approaching, she certainly has her hands full. The last thing Mia needs is family drama, unfortunately, she’s knee deep in it. Her estranged mother shows up, her best friend finds out some shocking things about his family, and Mia herself is struggling with intimate feelings about a coworker. Mix in a murder, and you’ve got the makings for It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder, by Maria DiRico. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a well written, fast paced cozy mystery. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for selecting me to read an advanced copy of the book. #ItsBeginningtoLookaLotLikeMurder #NetGalley

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Event Planner Mia Carina has her hands full planning two upcoming events at the Belle View Banquet Manor in New York City. She also has to keep her Nonna from going to war with nearby streets over the neighborhood holiday decorating contest. She is also involved in some drama related to the Boldano crime family who back the banquet center as one of their legitimate businesses. When her longtime friend Jamie Boldano is being accused of murder, Mia will do whatever it takes to prove his innocence. Event Planner Mia Carina has her hands full planning two upcoming events at the Belle View Banquet Manor in New York City. She also has to keep her Nonna from going to war with nearby streets over the neighborhood holiday decorating contest. She is also involved in some drama related to the Boldano crime family who back the banquet center as one of their legitimate businesses. When her longtime friend Jamie Boldano is being accused of murder, Mia will do whatever it takes to prove his innocence. This book is the third one in this delightful series. I really like the behind the scenes look at the events Mia is in charge of. The organized crime element is handled with a light touch and creates a unique backdrop for so many interesting situations. As I was reading I kept thinking that Mia and her Nonna would give Stephanie Plum and her grandmother a run for their money in the situations they find themselves in. There is a lot going on in this book, almost too much. In addition to her job, Mia has to juggle developments in her own family as well as helping her good friend, Jamie. I kept getting the different suspects mixed up which distracted me from the overall story. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book. The friendship Mia formed with her teenage client was touching. I liked Mia’s estranged mother, Gia, much more than I had expected. I also like the promise of romance between Mia and her employee Shane, who had once modeled in Italy. There are also just enough Italian words and phrases included in the book to give the book authenticity without interrupting the flow of the story. I like the book and the series and am curious to find out what is next for Mia and Shane as well as the entire Carina family. I received this ebook from NetGalley through the courtesy of Kensington Books. An advance copy was provided to me at no cost, but my review is voluntary and unbiased.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ileana Renfroe

    Oh boy, Maria DiRico has done it again! It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder is a great cozy mystery that you must read. Mia Carina has a full plate during the Christmas holidays. when a body is found in Santa's workshop lawn display. Mia puts on her amateur sleuthing cap and goes to work to find out who is the guilty party. A very well-crafted character and fun storyline make this a must-read cozy mystery. Oh boy, Maria DiRico has done it again! It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder is a great cozy mystery that you must read. Mia Carina has a full plate during the Christmas holidays. when a body is found in Santa's workshop lawn display. Mia puts on her amateur sleuthing cap and goes to work to find out who is the guilty party. A very well-crafted character and fun storyline make this a must-read cozy mystery.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    It’s beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder was unputdownable! Christmas means more catering and an inevitable (say in creepy voice) murder! A fun series with quirky characters this one won’t disappoint.

  7. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    Mia Carina returned home to Astoria, Queens, after her husband disappeared in a boating accident in Florida. Since then, she's been managing the Belle View Catering Hall as an event planner, working for her father Ravello, who's finally in a legitimate business for the powerful Boldano Family, whom he works for. She, along with her employees Shane and Cammie (who pretends to work but is priceless to Mia in other ways), are planning a first birthday party based on the Nativity, and a Sweet Sixteen Mia Carina returned home to Astoria, Queens, after her husband disappeared in a boating accident in Florida. Since then, she's been managing the Belle View Catering Hall as an event planner, working for her father Ravello, who's finally in a legitimate business for the powerful Boldano Family, whom he works for. She, along with her employees Shane and Cammie (who pretends to work but is priceless to Mia in other ways), are planning a first birthday party based on the Nativity, and a Sweet Sixteen party for an angst-ridden teenager who's slowly bonding with Mia. But the real problem comes when the Boldanos call Mia to their home. Donny Senior and his wife Aurora are worried because their youngest son Jamie has been approached by a man claiming to be his half-brother. What the Boldanos think is that this con artist is just looking for a way into the family. They want Mia to be with them when they talk to Jamie, and she agrees. But the plan backfires, and now she's in the middle of their problems. But things get worse -- her mother, who lives in Italy, shows up out of the blue and tries to get Mia to forgive her for leaving. But Mia doesn't know how to handle it, and her grandmother Elisabetta, with whom Mia lives, isn't buying any of it. Also on hand is the fact that Elisabetta is trying to get her block to win a trophy for best Christmas display, and she's got a Tony Benne-Santa (don't ask) to beat. Things are heating up for Mia. Just when things can't get any worse, a body is discovered in one of the displays, its feet sticking out from a Santa's workshop. Now Mia finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, trying to prove the innocence of people she loves like her own, and in doing so, she just might ring some bells that would rather she didn't... This is the third book in the series, and I think it is the best of the three. Mia is really in the middle of it this time, and she's lucky she doesn't have a nervous breakdown with everything that's happening: planning two events, the reason her mother returned, her best friend Jamie's problems, and the problems between his family, her grandmother's attempts at winning a trophy. In between there are other things happening, and the root of a lot of the humor in the book (and some are so funny that I had to read the passages to my husband). There's one scene that takes place between Mia and her mother over at Mia's friend Phillip's home that's practically hilarious, in its own way. But even the body takes second place to how it got there and who put it there: Mia is trying her best to find the killer, even if it causes her (very) personal pain (another funny scene). She's lucky to get out in one piece, in my mind. Anyway, she goes through a series of challenges as she's trying to keep the Boldano family members out of jail. It's a wild ride over the Christmas holidays, and almost like being at a county fair, watching the antics go on. Especially fun is her grandmother and her neighbors as they try and out-Christmas-design each other's lawns and homes. Let us not forget the constant strings of Italian thrown in here and there, some invectives (hey, I'm slowly learning the language! When I get mad at my husband, he won't know what I'm saying -- ha!). And, of course, some delicious recipes at the end which I plan to make... When the ending comes and the killer is revealed, it's a twisted tale of threads that were merely one at a time in the beginning, but slowly began to come together in a tapestry of lies, intrigue, misunderstandings, and secrets. What ends up is a wonderful tale that I wish didn't end at all. I love Mia and everyone around her and truly can't wait for the next in the series. Highly recommended. I received an advance copy from the publisher and NetGalley but this in no way influenced my review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder is the third book in the Catering Hall Mystery series by author Marie DiRico. This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites and I look forward to each new book. This new book has a great plot that moves along at just the right pace. Ms. DiRico has crafted this wonderful Italian family so at the heart of this series is family and the relationships that go along with it. These characters light up the page and there is wit, humor, hardship, dysfunction It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder is the third book in the Catering Hall Mystery series by author Marie DiRico. This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites and I look forward to each new book. This new book has a great plot that moves along at just the right pace. Ms. DiRico has crafted this wonderful Italian family so at the heart of this series is family and the relationships that go along with it. These characters light up the page and there is wit, humor, hardship, dysfunction, and estrangement. This time around, the upset and dysfunction are with the Family - the Boldono's - and boy do things go downhill when an imposter tries to worm his way into the family. Long-buried secrets come to light and it ends in murder. Of course, Mia, who's life is already chaotic with the holiday season at the banquet hall, is smack dab in the middle of all of the upheaval. Ms. DiRico gives her reader the gift of a complex mystery with plenty of suspects and secrets to go along with the murder. Let's just say, trying to figure out the killer's identity is made harder because there a several unlikable suspects and I wanted all of them to be guilty. The author takes her reader on a journey with twists and turns aplenty before the killer's identity is revealed. Along the way, Mia has to deal with her grandmother's vendetta against another neighbor in the annual decorating contest, her mother's return, and the baggage she brings along the ups and downs of throwing a sweet 16 party and one very unique first birthday party. Ms. DiRico gives her readers an early Christmas gift and this book will certainly get you in the holiday spirit. I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us in future installments of this series. I voluntarily read a digital advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Kensington Books, through NetGalley. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Wood

    Christmas is a crazy time for any successful catering business and the Belle View Catering Hall in Astorio, New York, is full to bursting with events from christenings through sweet sixteens to staff parties and beyond. Mia Carina and her team are rushed off their feet and they all have family gatherings and local events to handle as well. Even so, when Mia is summoned to meet with the Boldano Family, who she has close ties with, everything else has to wait. What she hears shocks her, they have Christmas is a crazy time for any successful catering business and the Belle View Catering Hall in Astorio, New York, is full to bursting with events from christenings through sweet sixteens to staff parties and beyond. Mia Carina and her team are rushed off their feet and they all have family gatherings and local events to handle as well. Even so, when Mia is summoned to meet with the Boldano Family, who she has close ties with, everything else has to wait. What she hears shocks her, they have a problem which, she knows without a doubt, will cause heartache for her life long friend and their youngest son, Jamie. With the situation spiralling out of control Mia tries to calm everyone and begin mending fences but it is an uphill struggle. When her estranged mother arrives unannounced from Italy it seems nothing more can complicate matters but then, at the beginning of the annual Christmas street decorations competition, Mia finds a dead body and realises she has a link to the victim! This is the third in the Catering Hall Mystery Series but the first I have read and to begin with I found that a problem. Mia's close and distant ties to her family and work colleagues meant it took me a little while to put people into their rightful places. Once I had it sorted this was an absolutely brilliant read and to say the premise was original is an understatement! Not many cosy crime protagonists have ties to the mob and a brother jail for a crime he did commit!  All of it worked however, and the investigation Mia and her friends undertook was as entertaining and fresh as the rest of the storyline. I hope there will be more books to come in this series for after I've caught up with the first two! I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. This is an excellent,  original and highly recommended cosy crime mystery.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder by Maria DiRico is a great cozy mystery that is the third book in the entertaining and hilarious series: Catering Hall Mystery. I just love this series! This series is really coming into its own at this point, and each book is just getting better and better. This time Maria is roped into a murder/mystery when her friend Jaime finds out a family secret that leads to a lot more than just a big reveal. The murder/mystery is creative, engaging, and kept me int It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder by Maria DiRico is a great cozy mystery that is the third book in the entertaining and hilarious series: Catering Hall Mystery. I just love this series! This series is really coming into its own at this point, and each book is just getting better and better. This time Maria is roped into a murder/mystery when her friend Jaime finds out a family secret that leads to a lot more than just a big reveal. The murder/mystery is creative, engaging, and kept me intrigued until the end. There were plenty of twists and suspects to make this a good one. I also like the progression of Maria herself and her own personal life and struggles. She seems real, flawed, natural, and I really like the positive things that are finally coming her way in this book. The dialogue is smart, sharp, witty, and the one-liners and banter make this a real gem. It balances perfectly with the darker, grittier (although not that dark and gritty kind you, which is a good thing in my book) aspects of the story. I enjoyed the ending and am looking forward to reading the next book. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Kensington for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lizz Axnick

    Another fun addition to the Catering Hall mysteries - this one with festive yule tide fun, plenty of Italian curse words and a dead body. Mia Carina is pleased at how well her business, Belle View, is doing, not only because it keeps her father in a legit business on the right side of the Family but because she is proud that she has managed to build a successful business. The Boldano F(f)amily, who owns Belle View, gets an unexpected visit from their son Jamie's "long-lost brother," raising the q Another fun addition to the Catering Hall mysteries - this one with festive yule tide fun, plenty of Italian curse words and a dead body. Mia Carina is pleased at how well her business, Belle View, is doing, not only because it keeps her father in a legit business on the right side of the Family but because she is proud that she has managed to build a successful business. The Boldano F(f)amily, who owns Belle View, gets an unexpected visit from their son Jamie's "long-lost brother," raising the questions of Jamie's parentage. It is clear the brother is a fraud to nearly everyone and when he turns up dead, there is no shortage of suspects including the Baldanos. Mia is determined to solve the crime and take the blame off her friends. The cast of characters in this book is what really makes it wonderful. Mia, her grandmother Elisabetta and the gang at Belle View makes you want to pull up a chair and hang out with the group. Elisabetta's rivalry with several blocks for the best Christmas decorations is hilarious, especially when she works on corrupting their new neighbors to abandon their simple white lights in favor of something, well, flashier. I am a big fan of Maria DiRico (aka Ellen Byron) and her knack for making her settings come alive for the reader and put you smack in the action. Cannot wait for another in this series!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cozy Cat Reviews

    This is the 3rd in the delightful "Catering Hall Mystery" series by cozy author Maria DiRico. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. I loved this charming Christmas theme next in series. The author has beautifully described Christmas decorating, celebrating and food . Mia has her hands full this Christmas with a outlandish catering party for a overindulged teen, decorating for the seasonal lights competition and dealing with her estranged Mother who has now arrived. Th This is the 3rd in the delightful "Catering Hall Mystery" series by cozy author Maria DiRico. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. I loved this charming Christmas theme next in series. The author has beautifully described Christmas decorating, celebrating and food . Mia has her hands full this Christmas with a outlandish catering party for a overindulged teen, decorating for the seasonal lights competition and dealing with her estranged Mother who has now arrived. The arrival of her long lost Mother has upset her entire family. Much hilarity is involved. Her friend Jaime has his challenges in this book which Mia must help him with with some super sleuthing. Add in a dead body and Mia has to investigate and solve the mystery and manage her Christmas responsibilities with her large family. The Christmas time foods will leave you hungry for Christmas baking. I loved the humor, the charcters and the Christmas theme. This was such a fun introduction to the Christmas seasonal. reading. I highly recommend this book for all fans of this fun series and those who love Christmas theme cozies. Very well done to the author !

  13. 4 out of 5

    FMSWarrior

    Christmas is busy at Belle View Catering Hall and Mia is super busy. She’s got some demanding customer requests that are keeping her and the team hopping. While it’s busy, Mia certainly didn’t expect her long lost Mother to appear out of nowhere with no warning. When a man who claims to be Jamie Boldano’s brother shows up, everything breaks loose and family secrets are outed. With the murder of the man claiming to be Jamie’s brother, Mia now has to add solving a murder to her to do list. But will Christmas is busy at Belle View Catering Hall and Mia is super busy. She’s got some demanding customer requests that are keeping her and the team hopping. While it’s busy, Mia certainly didn’t expect her long lost Mother to appear out of nowhere with no warning. When a man who claims to be Jamie Boldano’s brother shows up, everything breaks loose and family secrets are outed. With the murder of the man claiming to be Jamie’s brother, Mia now has to add solving a murder to her to do list. But will she solve the mystery and save the Boldano Family from breaking apart, or will she be sleeping with the fishes by time the the Feast of the Seven Fishes arrives? Be sure to check out the recipes at the back of the book. You’ll be drooling along as you read, but can make the recipes and enjoy them with your family and friends. The author, who also writes under another name, is talented and brings the characters and setting to life. You can almost smell the water outside Belle View. Read and enjoy then check out the other books by this author.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Maria DiRico continues the high standards she has set in the third book in the Catering Hall Mysteries, It is Beginning to Look a lot Like Murder. It is a few days before Christmas and Mia Carina is very busy planning the ultimate Sweet 16 party for a very nervous teenager, a first birthday party where the proud parents want to have a living nativity for their miracle baby, plus the over-the-top neighborhood Christmas decorating competition that obsesses her Nonna. To really add to Mia's stress Maria DiRico continues the high standards she has set in the third book in the Catering Hall Mysteries, It is Beginning to Look a lot Like Murder. It is a few days before Christmas and Mia Carina is very busy planning the ultimate Sweet 16 party for a very nervous teenager, a first birthday party where the proud parents want to have a living nativity for their miracle baby, plus the over-the-top neighborhood Christmas decorating competition that obsesses her Nonna. To really add to Mia's stress her estranged mother, Gia, "comes home" and her friend Jamie Boldano is shocked and hurt to discover he is adopted when his long-lost "brother" Lorenzo shows up. When Lorenzo's body is found in a Christmas display Mia tries to helped the Boldanos find the murder from many suspects. Another murder, a birthday party saved by a baby goat, collecting the clues and possibly connecting with her hunky coworker keep Mia busy all through this well written book. Hopefully #4 is coming quickly! Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for an arc copy. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  15. 5 out of 5

    Grace Koshida

    It's the Christmas season in Astoria, Queens and Mia Carina is busy with clients at the Belle View catering hall as well as big problems affecting her family and friends. Mia's estranged mother Gia has returned and her best Jamie Boldano is shocked to learn he is adopted. Jamie is so angry that he dumps his family and girlfriend Madison and starts hanging out with Lorenzo who claims to be his long-lost brother. But before the brothers can celebrate, Lorenzo's body is found in a Santa’s-workshop It's the Christmas season in Astoria, Queens and Mia Carina is busy with clients at the Belle View catering hall as well as big problems affecting her family and friends. Mia's estranged mother Gia has returned and her best Jamie Boldano is shocked to learn he is adopted. Jamie is so angry that he dumps his family and girlfriend Madison and starts hanging out with Lorenzo who claims to be his long-lost brother. But before the brothers can celebrate, Lorenzo's body is found in a Santa’s-workshop lawn display near Mia's house. When DNA proves that Lorenzo was a con artist, the Boldano family asks for Mia's help to find the killer and reunite their fractured family. Mia's grandmother Elisabetta's rivalry with her nemesis Jacinta for winning the best Christmas decorations on their street ramps up big time and is hilarious. This was another fun read in the Catering Hall mystery series. I received a digital ARC from Netgalley and Kensington Books. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    First and foremost this series has rapidly made its way to one of my top 3 favorite cozy mystery series. It is 3rd in the series.. Its Christmas time with competing neighborhood Christmas lights and decorations on steroids, family time, Holiday events at Belle View, a little romance and a murder that takes center stage among the Christmas decor. The murder mystery was very well done with many twists and turns and lots of suspects. While detective work is on Mia's mind, so is the meaning of Chris First and foremost this series has rapidly made its way to one of my top 3 favorite cozy mystery series. It is 3rd in the series.. Its Christmas time with competing neighborhood Christmas lights and decorations on steroids, family time, Holiday events at Belle View, a little romance and a murder that takes center stage among the Christmas decor. The murder mystery was very well done with many twists and turns and lots of suspects. While detective work is on Mia's mind, so is the meaning of Christmas, forgiveness and falling for a handsome co- worker. I love the Italian Mafia vibe and the humor that goes with it. Mia's Nonna, Elisabetta is a character I love. All in all a very entertaining read. Thank you to Kensington Publishing, the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. I have given my honest opinion. The book publish date is October 26, 2021

  17. 5 out of 5

    K.B. Wilson

    I had to read this one a little earlier than the holiday season but this is such a great series that it’s a pleasure. Mia is one of the strongest heroines in a series, she’s smart, works hard & isn’t flighty at all. She’s surrounded by a quirky cast of supporting characters. I really like the change up that this series takes place not in a small town but in Queens, NY. This time around we’ve got an adoption, long lost family & extortion to go along with our murder. It involves one of Mia’s best I had to read this one a little earlier than the holiday season but this is such a great series that it’s a pleasure. Mia is one of the strongest heroines in a series, she’s smart, works hard & isn’t flighty at all. She’s surrounded by a quirky cast of supporting characters. I really like the change up that this series takes place not in a small town but in Queens, NY. This time around we’ve got an adoption, long lost family & extortion to go along with our murder. It involves one of Mia’s best friends (and former love interest) Jamie so she’s very set on figuring stuff out. Truthfully, I love this series, it’s so much fun to read. The characters are so richly drawn out that they practically walk off the page. Add in Christmas & this a perfect must read for cozy fans.

  18. 4 out of 5

    J Messina

    Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Catering Hall Mystery series is fun to read and the latest book is no exception. Set during the days before Christmas, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder is entertaining and funny at times. Having read the previous books helps to better understand the characters and the storyline, although there are no spoilers. There are many shady characters, and the murder victim is q Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Catering Hall Mystery series is fun to read and the latest book is no exception. Set during the days before Christmas, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder is entertaining and funny at times. Having read the previous books helps to better understand the characters and the storyline, although there are no spoilers. There are many shady characters, and the murder victim is quite unpleasant as well. Fortunately, all that is wrapped up in a nice cozy mystery package for the reader's greatest enjoyment. There are some interesting twists in the story, it's a great read in order to get in a Holidays season mood.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    It was good to hang out again with Mia and friends. I love some of the parties that the Belle View holds. They go all out for their clients. I could picture all those Christmas lights that adorned all those wonderful houses. I love Christmas lights anyway. I loved the storyline in this book and the characters. Oh my, there are some real characters! Some will make you laugh and others may make you shake your head or roll your eyes. I love Nonna (Elisabetta). She has her character part down pat. I It was good to hang out again with Mia and friends. I love some of the parties that the Belle View holds. They go all out for their clients. I could picture all those Christmas lights that adorned all those wonderful houses. I love Christmas lights anyway. I loved the storyline in this book and the characters. Oh my, there are some real characters! Some will make you laugh and others may make you shake your head or roll your eyes. I love Nonna (Elisabetta). She has her character part down pat. I can’t wait to see what adventures await these wonderful folks. You will also find some yummy recipes and an event tip at the end of the story. I received this book from NetGalley, but my opinion is my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tyneisha Lewis

    A cozy mystery to get you in the holiday spirit: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder by Maria DiRico! This is my first time reading A Catering Hall Mysteries and books by Maria DiRico. This book was a wonderful introduction to the series for me. Family drama, party planning, a bit of romance, and murder made this book an interesting read from start to finish. The book has great descriptions and details especially with the food scenes. The use of Italian language was a nice touch in the story A cozy mystery to get you in the holiday spirit: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder by Maria DiRico! This is my first time reading A Catering Hall Mysteries and books by Maria DiRico. This book was a wonderful introduction to the series for me. Family drama, party planning, a bit of romance, and murder made this book an interesting read from start to finish. The book has great descriptions and details especially with the food scenes. The use of Italian language was a nice touch in the story. The protagonist, Mia Carina is a feisty woman with a knack for business and investigation. If you want to get into the holiday mood and enjoy reading cozy mysteries, check out this book! My thanks to the author for an advanced copy of this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Thank you NetGalley, Maria DiRico and Kensington Books for the ARC of It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder. This is my personal review. This is book three of the Catering Hall Mystery series. Mia is as busy as ever with running the catering hall with her father. They are extra busy with the holidays coming up. She tries to do it all and then with some family drama tossed things are piling up. Just when Mia thinks there can be nothing else her mother shows up. And to add to it her friend is no Thank you NetGalley, Maria DiRico and Kensington Books for the ARC of It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder. This is my personal review. This is book three of the Catering Hall Mystery series. Mia is as busy as ever with running the catering hall with her father. They are extra busy with the holidays coming up. She tries to do it all and then with some family drama tossed things are piling up. Just when Mia thinks there can be nothing else her mother shows up. And to add to it her friend is now dealing with some shocking things with her family. Mia then has a murder tossed into things and this all makes for one fantastic cozy to read. I can only tell you to pick up this cozy mystery and if you haven’t read the first two in this series grab those too! You will be so glad you did.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary C

    Two upcoming events are keeping Mia busy at the Belle View catering hall – a first birthday party with a Nativity theme and a sweet sixteen party where the birthday girl wants her celebration to outshine any of her classmates’ parties. Mia must also deal with the unexpected return of her mother and the family secret of her friend Jaime Boldano’s adoption. Added into the mix is the neighborhood Christmas decorating competition her grandmother is involved with. When Jamie’s alleged brother is foun Two upcoming events are keeping Mia busy at the Belle View catering hall – a first birthday party with a Nativity theme and a sweet sixteen party where the birthday girl wants her celebration to outshine any of her classmates’ parties. Mia must also deal with the unexpected return of her mother and the family secret of her friend Jaime Boldano’s adoption. Added into the mix is the neighborhood Christmas decorating competition her grandmother is involved with. When Jamie’s alleged brother is found murdered, Mia investigates all the players involved and who has the best reason to want him dead. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Thanks to NetGalley fior an ARC.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Christmas, large Italian family, outdoor decorations, Sweet Sixteen party, camels/goats, a scam, and a dead man with jingle bells on his shoes? Mia is an event planner in Queens with a model-handsome assistant, a jailbird brother, and some really trying customers. There's a whole lot more, but I'm afraid of getting into spoiler territory (and that's just wrong!). This is an addictive laugh riot guaranteed to make politics go away for a while. Loved it and laughed my way through it! I requested an Christmas, large Italian family, outdoor decorations, Sweet Sixteen party, camels/goats, a scam, and a dead man with jingle bells on his shoes? Mia is an event planner in Queens with a model-handsome assistant, a jailbird brother, and some really trying customers. There's a whole lot more, but I'm afraid of getting into spoiler territory (and that's just wrong!). This is an addictive laugh riot guaranteed to make politics go away for a while. Loved it and laughed my way through it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    Kindle Copy for Review from Net Galley and Kensington Books. I received an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review. Nothing says Christmas like a murder. Mia is busy with the family business and her personal life as well. Estranged mom returns and her best friend have a shocking revelation that he has a long lost brother who he starts hanging out with but soon it turns out that the things the new relative has said is all been a lie. Then a body turns up and Mia will out be looking for a ki Kindle Copy for Review from Net Galley and Kensington Books. I received an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review. Nothing says Christmas like a murder. Mia is busy with the family business and her personal life as well. Estranged mom returns and her best friend have a shocking revelation that he has a long lost brother who he starts hanging out with but soon it turns out that the things the new relative has said is all been a lie. Then a body turns up and Mia will out be looking for a killer. A fast paced read that brings the holiday spirit alive.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Renee Winter

    Snuggle in your favorite chair and get ready for a most enjoyable fun fast paced mystery. Mia is running the family catering business with her father. She gets hit with family drama when her estranged mother shows up. Her friend Jaime is dealing with a problem also. Add murder to the mix and you get a cozy rhat you will NOT want to put down. Once again, Maria DiRico delivers a book worthy of being called a bases loaded home run!! Kudos! Thanks #netgalley and #Keningston for the eARC in exchange Snuggle in your favorite chair and get ready for a most enjoyable fun fast paced mystery. Mia is running the family catering business with her father. She gets hit with family drama when her estranged mother shows up. Her friend Jaime is dealing with a problem also. Add murder to the mix and you get a cozy rhat you will NOT want to put down. Once again, Maria DiRico delivers a book worthy of being called a bases loaded home run!! Kudos! Thanks #netgalley and #Keningston for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Noreen Trotsky

    The holidays can be murder! And in Mia's life, this seems to be the case. Besides running Belle View events, Mia finds herself defending her best friend in a murder, and keeping her family and his on track. Mia seems to be the caretaker (and only sane one) of several different members of her family and friends. This is a fast-paced, over-the-top cozy that is an entertaining read, only around for the holidays. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for a digital copy of this ARC. Al The holidays can be murder! And in Mia's life, this seems to be the case. Besides running Belle View events, Mia finds herself defending her best friend in a murder, and keeping her family and his on track. Mia seems to be the caretaker (and only sane one) of several different members of her family and friends. This is a fast-paced, over-the-top cozy that is an entertaining read, only around for the holidays. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for a digital copy of this ARC. All opinions are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    Mia Carina gets tangled up in another murder investigation in It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder by Maria DiRico. This time a dead body is found in the midst of Christmas lawn decorations on the street where Mia lives with her grandmother. Mia is busy with events at Belle Vue Banquet Manor but finds the time to search for clues. I liked how the characters are so well-developed and the dialogue is very entertaining. The neighborhood Christmas decoration competition and the holiday parties m Mia Carina gets tangled up in another murder investigation in It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder by Maria DiRico. This time a dead body is found in the midst of Christmas lawn decorations on the street where Mia lives with her grandmother. Mia is busy with events at Belle Vue Banquet Manor but finds the time to search for clues. I liked how the characters are so well-developed and the dialogue is very entertaining. The neighborhood Christmas decoration competition and the holiday parties make this a fun Christmas cozy mystery. I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Valeri

    Is the holiday season supposed to be fun? Mia Carina has to ask herself this in the third installment of Maria DiRico’s Catering Hall Mysteries. Estranged and incarcerated relatives crashing the holiday in the Carina household would have been plenty for Mia to deal with but add in her friend Jamie Boldano’s family drama and it’s Christmas ala murder. Throw in an inappropriate crush on her employee, Shane, from yet another mobbed up family, and two events at the catering hall to survive before sh Is the holiday season supposed to be fun? Mia Carina has to ask herself this in the third installment of Maria DiRico’s Catering Hall Mysteries. Estranged and incarcerated relatives crashing the holiday in the Carina household would have been plenty for Mia to deal with but add in her friend Jamie Boldano’s family drama and it’s Christmas ala murder. Throw in an inappropriate crush on her employee, Shane, from yet another mobbed up family, and two events at the catering hall to survive before she can take a breath and enjoy the Christmas season.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Steph Elias

    The latest in the Catering Hall Mystery series is a Christmas-themed delight. A body turns up among the elves in a Santa’s workshop lawn display, and amateur sleuth Mia has a buffet of suspects to choose from. Amid the holiday celebrations, she intends to find out who’s the guilty party. The cast of characters is full of interesting folks. and the twists and turns will keep you guessing. It is a solid and fun cozy mystery that you will love.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    The Cajun Country Mystery series by Ellen Byron is one of my favorite series, I recently discovered that Maria DiRico is her pen name so it is no wonder I fell in love with the Catering Hall Mysteries! They are hysterical! Definitely one of the funniest cozy mystery series that I have read plus awesome characters and fun mysteries! This is a must read series and I cannot wait for more by this author!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...