In Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico, a ghastly discovery at a bachelor party sparks a case of amateur sleuthing for a caterer. After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina goes back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some novice detective work.
The story starts when Mia starts working at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed. Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island.
Grab a comfortable seat to read Here Comes the Body with a cup of your favorite black tea and a slice of an exclusive Orange-Vanilla Honey Cake with Whipped Cream and Pistachios recipe! Get the sumptuous recipe below!
- Ingredients for Cake
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ cup regular, uncooked farina
- Ingredients for Glaze
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ¼ cup honey
- Garnish: whipped cream, chopped pistachios
- Preheat oven to 350º. Spray an 8-inch-square baking pan with baking spray with flour.
- In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with farina, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top if necessary. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, while cake is baking, combine 2 cups water, sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and honey in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for the duration of cake’s baking time. (If you turn the heat off, make sure to heat up the glaze again before using it to finish the cake.)
- While cake is hot, poke about a dozen holes in it. Ladle glaze over cake, waiting for one ladle of glaze to absorb before adding another. (You can use all the syrup or half of it, saving the other half for future use.) When cake has cooled completely, cut into 16 squares. Garnish servings with whipped cream and chopped pistachios, if desired.
About the Author
Maria DiRico (the pen name of award-winning author Ellen Byron) was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. While growing up in Queens, Maria/Ellen’s cousins uncles ran the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls. Mardi Gras Murder, the fourth book in Ellen Byron’s bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series, won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel. The series has also won multiple Best Humorous Mystery Lefty awards from Left Coast Crime. Fun fact: she worked as cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. Maria/Ellen loves to translate what she learned from Martha into recipes for her books.