Ask me how much fun it is to kill people and to eat fab food! But believe me, it
is not for the feint of heart. We can all handle the murder part because what’s
a cozy mystery without some (off screen) bloodshed? But writing a culinary
mystery adds another ingredient – food stress.
It’s great fun plotting a new book. By the time I started this second one in the
Mysteries, ROUX THE DAY, the characters were my old friends. The task
is finding ways to make sure readers feel that way too, while knowing these
characters must face challenges that will in some way change them or the way
they look at the world. Without losing the friendship of readers.
The setting, Half Moon Bay, a quaint village-like community in Burlington, VT
remains the same for each book. Although this time the body is found at a
fundraising Casino Boat event, miles from shore, cruising on Champlain Lake. The
victim is TV personality Miranda Myers and her co-emcee, Connor Mac, shares a
past and an argument with her. Now he’s disappeared and tops the suspect list,
with J.J. a close second. It’s up to J.J. and fellow foodies, the Culinary
Capers Dinner Club, to find him, and the real killer.
Nothing goes better with a mystery than a touch of romance and I find that
Private Investigator Ty Devine is just the guy to provide it. The friction
between Ty and J.J. is as much attraction as contrariness. Of course, other
characters need some of this, too…so stay tuned.
Now, back to that other ingredient. Unless the writer of culinary mysteries
possesses a high metabolism, weight gain is assured. How could it not be, with
all those tempting cookbooks filled with enticing photos; those recipes that
need to be tested and which appear at the end of each book; and, don’t forget
the occasional snacking while thinking up food descriptions.
For an added treat, the cookbook chosen by the Culinary Capers Dinner Club in
ROUX THE DAY is the MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK. And, three of the
recipes – from Sara Paretsky, Lisa King, and Cathy Pickens -- are reprinted,
with permission, at the back of ROUX THE DAY.
So, grab your favorite comfort food and curl up with ROUX THE DAY. Food and a
mystery – an unbeatable recipe for pleasure.
Linda Wiken is the author of the national bestselling Ashton Corners
Mysteries under the pseudonym Erika Chase and is the former owner of a mystery
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