Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder
A Kebab Kitchen Mystery
by Tina Kashian
About Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder
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 . . .
About Tina Kashian
- Website: www.tinakashian.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TinaKashianAuthor/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TinaKashian1
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinakashian/
- Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/tina-kashian
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16902011.Tina_Kashian
Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian has Lucy Berberian gearing up for the holiday season at Kebab Kitchen. Lucy is participating in the Polar Bear Plunge with her best friend, Katie Watson because the proceeds are benefiting the local senior center. It is a madhouse when everyone hits the water which is a balmy 46 degrees and one man does not make it out alive. Deacon Spooner, co-owner of Sea View, was drowned. When Susan Cutie of Cutie’s Cupcakes is accused of the crime, Lucy sets out to prove the woman’s innocence. Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder can be read as a standalone if you are new to A Kebab Kitchen Mystery series. The book contains good writing and it is well plotted. I did find the pacing a little slow in places. There are lovely descriptions of the town decked out in all its holiday finery. Lucy has become engaged to Azad Zakarian, the head chef at Kebab Kitchen. It has not been announced publicly nor has Lucy set a date for the wedding. Her best friend, Katie is pushing Lucy to pick a venue, theme, dress, or perhaps a date. Lucy loves Azad, but there is something holding her back (they are meant for each other). Of course, Deacon Spooner’s pompous attitude and high prices did not help matters. When Susan Cutie becomes the prime suspect in Deacon Spooner’s death, Lucy with her trusty sidekick, Katie begins asking questions. There are a few suspects since Spooner was not a nice man. I picked out who I thought was the guilty party early in the book and then waited to see if I was right. There are good clues to help readers solve the whodunit. There is, of course, plenty of food talk in Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder. There are four recipes at the end for lemon meringue pie, Perfect Pilaf, holiday pretzel treats, and Azad’s moussaka. Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is a cheery cozy mystery with holiday house hop, matrimonial machinations, Christmas cheer, a polar plunge, seashells, seagulls, and snow.
For the lemon pie
1 cup sugar
¼ cup flour
4–5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups water
3 eggs, separate yolks from whites and keep both
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup lemon juice
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Pastry pie shell
Combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt and mix. Gradually add the water, stir, and cook the ingredients over low heat until the mixture gently boils. It should thicken and become smooth. Gradually add beaten egg yolks, constantly stir, and cook over low heat for three minutes. Beat in butter, lemon juice and lemon rind. Allow to cool on stovetop. Pour custard into the pie shell and cool in refrigerator.
For the meringue
3 egg whites (reserved from above)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons of sugar
It’s easiest to use an electric mixer to make the meringue. Beat the egg whites with the salt in a small bowl until light and frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat at high speed until mixture will stand in peeks, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover the cooled pie filling with the meringue until it touches the edges of the pastry to prevent the meringue from shrinking. Bake in 425 degree oven for five minutes. Cool and then refrigerate until cold before serving. Enjoy!
The Avid Reader