Writers are asked one question more than any other, and you probably know what
it is: Where do you get your ideas? The answer is almost always the same; ideas
come from everywhere and anywhere. A whole series can come from one thing, one
simple idea or, in my case, a piece of furniture.
I have a Hoosier cabinet in my kitchen. Or, well, not exactly a Hoosier cabinet,
because that is one brand name for a whole family of kitchen cabinets that
became popular in the Depression era, from slightly before to slightly after.
I’m not sure what brand mine is, but it is probably a Knechtel. What was their
function? Back then few homes had built-in kitchen cabinets, so an all-in-one
piece of furniture was sold by a number of manufacturers. The so called
‘Hoosier’ cabinet, also made by companies like Sellers in the States and
Knechtel in Canada, combined storage cupboards, drawers, spice racks, a flour
dispenser and porcelain coated worktop in one efficient, handsome piece of
furniture. When kitchen cupboards became standard in homes, the cabinets were
discarded, many to rot in garages. Until, that is, those among us who love
vintage rediscovered the beauties and put them to use as storage, worktops and
Mine lived for many useful years in its awful painted form before it was
lovingly stripped of the old paint to expose the gorgeous oak underneath. When I
decided to write cozy mysteries, I realized that I needed to mine my many
interests to create a hook for a series. Thus the Vintage Kitchen Mystery
series was born! The first book features my protagonist, Jaymie Leighton, on the
hunt to find a Hoosier-type cabinet for her own kitchen.
And now in a sense I have come full circle! NO MALLETS INTENDED, Book 4
of the series, features Jaymie again on the hunt for a Hoosier-type cabinet for
the historic home that the Queensville Heritage society is fixing up as a living
museum! I just can’t stay away from those cabinets. Writing about your
obsessions allows you to drool over photos of gorgeous old Hoosier cabinets and
other kitchenalia (to coin a word) and call it research!
How lucky am I?
About NO MALLETS INTENDED
Jaymie Leighton is excited and a little nervous about her current venture,
completely redoing the kitchen at Dumpe House—now the Queensville Historic
Manor—in time for the December opening. But the house is mired in controversy, a
challenge to the heritage society’s right to own it, and questions about the
author hired to write a pamphlet detailing the Dumpe family history and that of
None of that is Jaymie’s business, so she keeps her head down and her focus on
the exact color right for the kitchen, and assembling all the accouterments,
including a Hoosier-style cabinet! She’s also got lots to think about in her
personal life, with Daniel acting a little odd, and her friend Heidi dragging
her in to the trouble between her and her fiancé, Jaymie’s former boyfriend Joel.
But a late night whack on the head with one of the antique mallets Jaymie has
been cataloging for the society and a dreadful murder right on the house’s
doorstep draws her once again into murder and mayhem. Jaymie faces her most
cunning and dangerous opponent yet, but with her best friend Valetta Nibley by
her side and the police chief’s approval, she must figure out whodunit before
they do it again!
About Victoria Hamilton
Victoria Hamilton is
the author of three nationally bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen
Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot
Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of
Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.
Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and
teapots, almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially
mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and
has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a
good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!
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