Tina Kashian is the author of Hummus and Homicide, the first in the Kabab Kitchen cozy mystery series. Tina believes diversity in mysteries can make for a fun and entertaining read and has set the Kebab Kitchen cozy mystery series somewhere she knows well, on the Jersey shore in a Mediterranean restaurant. The cast of characters are quirky and humorous and Tina said the series is fun to write.
Growing up in the restaurant business
“I grew up in the restaurant business, and my Armenian-American family owned a restaurant for thirty years in South Jersey. Also, I vacationed at the Jersey shore as a kid building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. Now that I have my own children, we take a family vacation to the Jersey shore every summer. My two young girls love it.”
Tina said growing up in the restaurant business was wonderful, but challenging. “As one of the owner’s daughters, I’d often get last minute calls from my father to waitress or hostess when another worker was sick. I used to grumble about it, but I always showed up. Family came first.
“But there were plenty of great times too. I met my prom date, a busboy, while waitressing. My tips paid for my prom gown. Also, some of my favorite scenes from the book are straight from my memories—those temperamental chefs, busy busboys, and gossipy waitstaff can be quite entertaining.”
Real life can be stranger than fiction
A lawyer, Tina said she’s been hooked on mysteries for a long time. She’s also wondered about some of the cases she’s seen in her career. “If this was in a book, would anyone believe it?” she said. “Also, my parents have passed away, and I’m sad they will never see the book. A lot is based on what they taught me as restaurateurs and parents.”
Like many culinary mysteries, Tina’s titles are based on food puns to reflect the light and funny feel of a cozy mystery. Hummus and Homicide will be followed by Stabbed in the Baklava (9/18) and One Feta in the Grave (2/19). Learn more about Tina Kashian at tinakashian.com.