Monday, March 5, 2018

Hummus and Homicide by Tina Kashian - #review #giveaway

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 . . .



I grew up in a small town, and my family were middle-class WASPs.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the most culinarily curious we got at my house growing up was lasagne and maybe some salmon that my father brought home from a business/fishing trip once.

I had not heard of and did not know what hummus was until I think I was in my 20's.  Up until my husband developed a taste for hummus in all its glorious flavor possibilities did it become a staple in our kitchen.  (I think we have three varieties in the fridge right now!)  Up until recently, the majority of my experience with hummus was from the movie You Don't Mess With the Zohan, where hummus (which the movie mostly pronounced "hoo-moose") was at least equal to gorilla tape in versatility.  So this is what goes through my head each time I see, read about or eat hummus! :D

The recipes and the story of Hummus and Homicide both had my mouth watering!  Although, unlike Lucy, who had a perfectly good reason for leaving a good job in a big city, I probably would have left the job and gone home, just because it was in a big city.  (Yup, I'm a small-town gal.)

And that Heatther Banks is a piece of work, isn't wasn't she?  Giving Lucy's family's restaurant a particularly spurious health inspection because of a high-school rivalry?  If she weren't, you know, dead, I'd like to wag my finger at her and say, "Grow up, already!"  And then, she has the gall to come in to eat at the restaurant the next day, bellying up to the hummus bar and sampling every variety.  I'd be whipping my phone out and setting up a video recording (complete with time and date stamp) to show Heather eating there after giving the restaurant a bad inspection as proof against her report.  Or, maybe she was just setting up the family in order to extort money from them to change the report.  It wouldn't be the first time.

I also l.o.v.e.d. the fact that Lucy had not one, but TWO men interested in her.  The first was an ex-fiance who had broken up with her several years previously (to the start of the book), and the second was the Harley-riding son of the business owner (the dad being rumored to be involved with the mob) next door.  I really didn't know whose team to be on (Team Ex or Team Biker) until the ex became huffy when Lucy said she was thinking of hanging around and taking over the restaurant herself.  I don't know about Lucy, but I was firmly on the back of the motorcycle then!

Hummus comes to a great conclusion for the first book in a new series.  The resolution of the murder is well done, and enough open questions are left for many stories to come!  In fact, just sitting here thinking, I think Ms. Kashian has done one of the better jobs I've seen at providing enough information to satisfy reader appetites for a good story, while keeping enough in reserve to have readers wanting seconds (thirds, etc....)

Two more books are in the works for this series so far, Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave (LOVE those titles!).  I think I'll warm up some pita bread and whip me up a couple hummus recipes before then...*wink* *wink*.



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 and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)

1 comment:

  1. Hi LuAnn! Thank you for hosting me today and for the wonderful review! I'm glad you liked the book and also like hummus!