Book Tour Featuring *Four Parties and a Funeral* by Maria DiRico @chicksonthecase @dollycas #giveaway #recipe

Four Parties and a Funeral (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Four Parties and a Funeral

Four Parties and a Funeral (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington Cozies (March 28, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496739701
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496739704
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B6DBV3WV

In this fresh and witty cozy mystery series set amid an extended Italian-American family in Astoria, Queens, catering hall owner and amateur sleuth Mia Carina must solve a murder on the set of a reality show.


The June events schedule at Belle View is busting out all over—proms, graduations, and of course, weddings. There are unexpected bookings too, including a casting call for the pilot of Dons of Ditmars Boulevard. But soon, Mia’s fears about the cheesy reality show are confirmed . . .


Belle View quickly becomes the site of a sea of wanna-be goombahs and phony girlfriends, and some of Mia’s friends insist on getting in on the action. The production company owner and his executive producer ex-wife—who’s also very minor British royalty—have assembled a motley crew that does as much infighting and backstabbing as the on-screen “talent.” Even so, it’s a shock when a dead body is found in the pool house of a local mansion rented by the show . . .


Murder might boost the ratings. But Mia intends to make sure the killer gets jail time, not airtime . . .

Italian recipes included!



Coconut Amaretto Bread Pudding



  • 4–5 cups torn croissant pieces
  • 1⁄2 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3⁄4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1⁄3 cup Amaretto liqueur, plus 1 tsp.
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 6 macaroons, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar



Dry bread uncovered at room temperature for 12 hours. (You can also dry the bread in a 250-degree oven for one hour.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13″ x 9″ (or larger) baking dish.

Arrange the croissant pieces in the baking dish.

Sprinkle the almonds over the bread, making sure they’re evenly dispersed.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, 1⁄3 cup of Amaretto, heavy cream, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt. Stir in the crumbled macaroons.

Pour the mix slowly and evenly over the bread.

Cream the butter with the brown sugar and teaspoon of Amaretto, then dot the pudding with the mixture.

(Note: You can chill the pudding, covered, for anywhere from an hour to a day before baking, but this is optional.)

Bake the pudding in the middle of the oven until it’s slightly puffed and golden and the middle has set—about 40 minutes.


OPTIONAL SAUCE: In a double boiler, whisk together 1⁄3 cup of Amaretto, 1⁄4 cup of heavy cream, and a pinch of salt until combined well.

Serve warm. Notice that there’s no sugar in this sauce recipe. That’s because I find the bread pudding to be sweet enough. But it’s a pretty hard sauce without it, so feel free to add sugar according to your taste.

Serves 6.


About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award-winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Author Links

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Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKobo IndieBoundKensington 



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