On Tuesday, June 20, 2023 HOW THE MURDER CRUMBLES was released. It’s the first book in the Cookie Shop Mystery series where the delectable aromas of freshly baked cookies mingle with a recipe for intrigue. Mallory Monroe, our fearless cookie baker, is on the brink of scoring the news coverage her bakery desperately craves. However, just as the spotlight begins to shine on her sweet creations, a heated clash with notorious food blogger Beatrice Wright erupts. Accusations of recipe theft threaten to overshadow Mallory’s triumphant moment, casting a dark cloud of doubt over her reputation. But the storm truly hits when Mallory stumbles upon Beatrice’s lifeless body, plunging her into the heart-wrenching center of a murder mystery. Suddenly, Mallory goes from a budding entrepreneur to a prime suspect, her bakery caught in a whirlwind of attention that does little to pad her bank account. As the media circus engulfs Mallory and her beloved bakery, she must navigate a treacherous labyrinth of clues and suspects to uncover the truth before her dreams crumble alongside her reputation. With secrets lurking around every corner and the remnants of a stolen recipe as a tantalizing clue, Mallory’s resilience and wit are put to the ultimate test. Can she prove her innocence and save her bakery from destruction? Join Mallory on a thrilling journey where sugar and suspense blend into an irresistible confection, leaving readers hungry for more.
When I sat down to create a new series and all I had was a vague idea of a main character owning a bakery, a sidekick who told corny baking jokes, and the support of my agent. Five months later, I had fleshed-out characters and a story to tell.
During the process of writing what is now my twelfth book, I had friends, family and readers cheering me on. I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge those closest to me who have cheered me on, used a red pen when necessary, helped brainstorm, and ultimately made this book possible.
My husband, George. Without your support and encouragement, none of my books would have been possible. Debbie Mulach, your daily messages helped keep my focused and allowed me to do what I truly love to do – write. Ellie Ashe, Jenny Kales, and Denise Pysarchuck, you gals brainstormed, edited, and in the end made this book so much better than I could have imagined. Sgt. Michael Confield, my go-to consultant when I have police procedural questions. Thank you for your time and for helping me keep it real in my story. Finally, to my editor and the whole team at Crooked Lane Books. Thank you for believing in Mallory and her story.
And thank you to YOU for choosing to read my book. It means the world to me.
In my March newsletter I asked my readers what their favorite Food Blogger mystery novel was and my inbox was overflowing with replies. To date, there are five Food Blogger mysteries released. They are THE UNINVITED CORPSE, THE HIDDEN CORPSE, THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE, THE CORPSE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO.
Reading each email I received, I started seeing that the most favorite books among my readers were mine also! Now, as an author, I do love every book I write but I can’t help but have favorites.
Today I’ll share with you the top three books and why they’re my faves.
THE UNINVITED CORPSE –
This is the first book in the series and the first book I sold. It will always hold a special place in my heart. In this book, Hope Early is settling into her new life back in her hometown of Jefferson, CT. When her sister is accused of killing a rival real estate agent, Hope has no choice but to do a little of her own sleuthing to clear her sister.
As I wrote the first draft of this book, I created characters that I love and enjoy writing so much. Sally and Jane Merrifield are two characters that are a pure joy to write. There’s also Hope’s bestie, Drew Adams. When I plot out scenes that include the Merrifields with Hope and Drew, I know it’s going to be a great writing day. Then there’s Ethan Cahill, the police chief and longtime friend of Hope’s. They have a solid foundation and a mutual attraction.
Another character that was fun to create was Maretta Kingston. She’s such a sour person but she does love her hometown. Then there’s Elaine Whitcomb. What a hoot to write, especially the cooking lesson scene. There are so many more reasons why I love this book, but I don’t want to write…well a novel here. If you haven’t read THE UNINVITED CORPSE, I hope you’ll add it to your TBR.
THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE –
All I had when I sat down to write this book was an idea about a scavenger hunt and three widows bickering with each other and all three under the suspicion of murder.
When I began outlining the book, the scene where the bigamist is found dead and his widows are there, was a scene I was so looking forward to writing. But, as the plotting continued, another scene when the widows show up at Hope’s house quickly became my most anticipated scene to write. This book was so much fun to write that I was a little sad when I typed, The End.
THE CORPSE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH –
In this book, I loved connecting a twenty-year missing person’s case with a present-day murder. The book also includes a true crime podcast which gave me an opportunity to weave it into the story.
I felt as I was writing the book that there was a sinister vibe to it, not too much to make the story uncozy (yeah, that’s not a word, you understand what I’m talking about). For some reason, I think the killer reveal really underscored how we really don’t know people. Fun fact – my local library was used as the inspiration for the cover of the book.
To read more about the Food Blogger Mystery books click here and you’ll be directed to the series page.
If you haven’t tried the series yet, I hope you’ll give it a chance. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite book. Also, another Food Blogger mystery is coming this fall. More info on that will be coming soon.
If you have read the series, which book is your favorite?
I have big news! Ready for it?
There are going to be more Food Blogger mysteries!!!
In December, I signed a three book contract and I’m beyond thrilled! So much so, that I’m halfway through the first draft of Hope’s latest adventure. I don’t have a publication date yet, but what I can share now about the book is that the story revolves around Drew’s family. So. Much. Fun.
2022 has been a challenging, roller-coaster of a year. While things may have gone sideways, there have been blessings. I’m looking forward to this new year and writing more Food Blogger mysteries.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Connecticut. Or least it is today when I’m starting this post. We got a little more than a dusting of snow on Sunday night but on Monday we got some big, bright sunshine to start melting all the white stuff. I’m coming off a very busy week. Last Tuesday, SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS, released and it’s been so wonderful hearing so much positive feedback on the book. So far, it’s one of my favorite stories I’ve written.
This week seems to be just as busy as last week. I’m taking a course to help with goal planning and time management, HB90, and this week there are daily videos and assignments. It feels a little overwhelming right now because there’s so much going on between family medical issues and a new writing project (more to come soon). The blog tour for SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS is still going on until the 18th and on Tuesday I did a takeover on the Cozy Mystery Party Facebook group. I was there for two hours and I had so much fun. There were recipes, games including one that gave you your Elf name! BTW, mine is Frosty Twinkletoes. Isn’t that too funny? Yes, it’s silly but it did perk me up as I wrote out Christmas cards. I should have signed them from Frosty. Connie napped while I wrote the cards but I suspect that when I start wrapping, she’ll be more involved. She also has been busy with play dates and grooming. In fact, her 2023 grooming schedule is all set. Apparently, those appointments are difficult to get.
Speaking of 2023, I’ve signed up for a 31 day free yoga program from Boho Beautiful. It looks amazing and I’d like to challenge myself to do yoga daily. And as a bonus, there are four free Cosmic Winter yoga videos available to start using now. I’ve already done one and loved it. I’m really looking forward to January. But I’m not rushing this month.
For what’s left of this week, I need to hit my word count goal (a whopping 10,000 words) and then over the weekend I’ll be baking cookies. ‘Tis the season!
Thanks so much for stopping by today! It’s been great catching up with you. Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re doing and what your plans are for the weekend!