Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Hummus and Homicide (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

About the Book

Hummus and Homicide (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713476
Digital ASIN: B071FLH733

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 . . .
Recipes included!

 Excerpt 2
Hummus and Homicide
By Tina Kashian

Heather left the kitchen and returned to the dining room where she spotted the new hummus bar in the corner. She studied it for a long moment and walked its perimeter. “What type of salad bar is this?”

“It’s not. It’s a hummus bar,” Lucy told the new health inspector. “All different varieties. Customers love it.”

Heather pulled out a measuring tape from her purse. She scribbled dimensions down on her note pad. When she was finished, she looked at Lucy. “The sneeze guard is too low.”

“Too low? I thought the only concern was if it was too high and people could accidentally sneeze into the food.”

Heather shot her a haughty look. “We’ve revised the regulations. And I personally dislike salad bars.”

“Like I said, it’s not a salad bar.”

She snorted as she tore off a carbon copy from her clipboard and handed it to Lucy. “See that all these violations are immediately remedied.”

Anxiety spurted through Lucy as she studied the paper. “These are all absurd!”

Heather’s eyes narrowed. “Excuse me?”

“These are bogus violations and you know it.”

“I know no such thing.”

“Is this because of our little tiff today at the bar or does it go way back to our high school years?”

Heather’s eyes narrowed to slits. “I don’t know what you’re suggesting.”

“Kebab Kitchen hasn’t been cited for a single health violation in thirty years,” Lucy snapped.

Heather’s lips curved into a malicious smirk. “There’s always a first. See that the violations are remedied or I’ll have the place closed down. You have seven days.” She turned on her heel and stalked out of the restaurant.

Lucy’s heart hammered as she stood clutching the carbon copy in her fist. She barely heard their line cook, Butch, approach.

“What’s wrong, Lucy Lou? Is it the inspection?”

She shook her head. “I’ve dealt with a lot of difficult clients over the years, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve wanted to strangle someone.”

“That bad?”

“What’s so bad?” another voice chimed in.

Lucy and Butch turned at the sound of her father’s voice.

She dreaded telling him the news. “We didn’t do so well with the new health inspector.”

Her dad held out his hand for the inspection report. “Let me see.” His olive eyes widened and his face turned a mottled scarlet as he read. Lucy met Butch’s eyes, and they both held their breath for her father’s expected burst of anger.

“Hent! She’s crazy! In all my years here, I’ve never seen a report like this.”

Lucy couldn’t have agreed more. “You’re right, Dad. But there’s not much we can do but comply. She has the power to shut the doors when she comes back.”

Her dad’s brows drew together. “She has to be the one to come back?”

For the first time she noticed how her father was aging. He looked . . . well . . . older and almost fragile. The wrinkles around his eyes and the downward slope of his shoulders didn’t sit well with her. He was still a large, robust man, but she could see how the daily stress of running the restaurant was taking its toll.

She also sympathized with her father’s dread regarding the new health inspector. Lucy hoped she wasn’t there when Heather came back. Something about Heather Banks . . . and something about this place . . . made Lucy act irrationally.

She’d always prided herself on her control. She’d never lost her temper in her legal practice no matter how difficult a client or adversary.

She glanced at her watch. Twenty minutes. Heather had been in the restaurant for only twenty minutes, and Lucy felt as overheated as a radiator about to explode. Was she becoming hotheaded after just two days back? What would happen after a week? A month? Was anger management in her future?

About the Author

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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Tina Kashian’s Award-Winning Hummus Recipe

This is my own secret recipe and I make it weekly at home for the kids and the husband. It can be served as a dip with wedges of pita bread or vegetables, and goes well with broiled or grilled meat. It can also be used as a healthy alternative to mayonnaise on sandwiches.
1 can (15 ounces) chick peas
3½ teaspoons tahini (sesame seed puree)
3 cloves minced garlic (1½ teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Drain can of chick peas and reserve ¼ cup fluid. Mix tahini thoroughly before using to incorporate oil that separates during storage. Using a food processor or blender, combine and blend all ingredients until smooth. If hummus is too thick, add a few tablespoons of reserved fluid from chick peas and blend again. Pour into serving platter. Enjoy!

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