The Witless Protection Program by Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico’s Catering Hall Mystery series is guaranteed to give you a madcap romp through New York, with at least one dead body (or a few more), plus solid cozy plots filled with an abundance of simply delectable characters. Her newest release in this series, The Witless Protection Program, is NO exception! Even the title and the cover art had me smiling!

Mia Carina runs her Italian-American family’s Belle View banquet and catering hall in Queens. Running the Belle View for Ravello, her ex-mobster dad gone “straight,” has been a challenge and she slayed it!

Everything is coming up roses, as in her upcoming wedding to Shane – the love of her life. Mia is a widow and is ready to take the “leap” one more time. Her ex-husband, Adam Grosso, was in a powerboat accident, lost at sea and presumed dead.

Mia is crazy-busy both at work and in her personal life when she spots her dead hubby, Adam, at a bridal expo! Is she so stressed she’s seeing things? After all, it was just a “glimpse.” But when she sees Adam again a few days later fleeing in a crowd, she realizes it really is HIM! Adam Grosso, adulterer and general sleazebag – back from the dead! Holy moly! She can’t marry Shane when she’s still technically married to Adam!

And then the story really kicks into high gear as she desperately tries to find Adam for a quickie divorce so she can strut down the aisle with her hottie fiance´! Time to call in the “big guns!” Papa Ravello is on it. So is their family friend, Donny Baldano, a senior crime boss (who is “kind of” going straight). Baldono has dispatched his crew to find the missing Adam, El Pronto!

Then toss in Mia discovering a dead body in an alley as the wedding draws closer, and things get downright “nuts!”

It’s all hand’s on deck with family fun, Italian style! Mia’s grandma, Elisabetta, is a cookie-baking zany character that makes this series extra fun! Mia’s Belle View event planner, Cammie, always adds a riotous sassiness that’s hard to top!

Pete is Cammie’s ex-hubby and now “kind of” boyfriend (yes, there’s a lot of “kind of’s” in this cozy mystery). Pete is also the local police detective trying to help find a killer while trying to win back his flamboyant, money-spending ex-wife (you’ll be rooting for him)!

Solid, infectiously delightful characters are sure to keep readers happily engaged as they try to figure out who among the victim’s acquaintances might be a cold-blooded killer!

This cozy mystery is filled with witty and endearing humor that ONLY Maria DiRico can conjure up! Mobsters “gone” straight and mobsters “trying” to go straight make a perfect backdrop for this positively upbeat, well-done Catering Hall Mystery series.

Don’t miss The Witless Protection Program by Maria DiRico. It’s a perfect read at the beach or while snuggled under the covers on a rainy day – or simply ANYTIME!

Cover photo and a copy of this book were provided by: Kensington Publishing.

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