Guest Post – Mary Lee Ashford – August 2
What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing Writing About Murder?
When people in my professional circle find out that I write murder mysteries they’re always a little shocked. “But you’re so nice.” Or something close to that is often the comment. Little do they know.
My interest in murder mysteries goes way back. Like many other authors I cut my teeth on Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew mysteries. In my case, I then graduated to my mother’s collection of Agatha Christie books and from there I moved on to a variety of mysteries before discovering M.C. Beaton and her lovely Agatha Raisin books. A voracious mystery reader for years, I don’t think I realized the sub-genre I kept gravitating to had a name. I just knew I liked the settings, the interesting (and often colorful) characters, and I really didn’t like a lot of violence on the page.
And I loved that ordinary people had a part in solving the murder.
In an amateur sleuth story, which is my favorite kind of cozy, the frequently under-estimated main character is able to put together the clues and set things straight. Sometime working with law enforcement. Sometimes not.
In the Quiche of Death, which is the third book in the Sugar & Spice mystery series, friend and business partners, Sugar Calloway and Dixie Spicer, are faced with a dilemma. The Arbor family has invited them to a weekend gathering to discuss the recipes to include in a family cookbook. But when one member of their group is found dead, Sugar and Dixie have to come to grips with the realization that the killer just might be a member of the family.
But they all seemed so nice. Right?
As they learn more and recipes and secrets are shared, Sugar and Dixie are in the unique position of being able to ask questions and piece together clues in a way the local authorities can’t. So, when Sheriff Griffin asks Sugar to keep her eyes and ears open, she’s certain that almost makes it like she’s working undercover. In the end, it turns out Sugar does have the key clue that unravels the whole mess.
That’s what I love about cozy mysteries. And that’s why, though I do try to be nice, I write about murder.
About Quiche of Death
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (July 21, 2020)
Print Length: ~254 pages
When editor Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer went into business creating cookbooks, they found a sideline as amateur sleuths. Now a bitter family grudge could leave a fatal aftertaste…
At Sugar & Spice Community Cookbooks, the friends and business partners have secured a tasty new commission: producing a cookbook for the Arbor family. The Arbors have made their fortune in quiches, and Sugar and Spice have been invited to a weekend gathering where all the siblings, along with crusty matriarch Marta, will be in attendance. But it’s soon clear that this trip will come with a hefty slice of drama.
Theo, the only grandson, arrives with his flaky fiancée, Collette, who quickly stirs up trouble . . . and is found dead the next day. As the investigation unfolds, secrets—and recipes—are shared, and Sugar and Spice realize just how messy and murderous the situation may be. As another family member falls ill, can they solve the case without getting egg on their faces . . .and a target on their backs?* Includes delicious recipes! *
“Quiche me, you fool.”
The demand was followed by hoots of laughter as the sister—Jezzie, I think her name was—leaned into her spouse for a smooch. He hesitated but obliged.
I smiled at the boisterous group who clearly shared some inside joke about quiche and kissing. The warmth of the table and the sibling love melted my heart like butter on a biscuit. Taking a sip of water, I glanced over at Dixie, who sat across from me at the huge oak table.
She rolled her eyes.
“What?” I mouthed.
Dixie shrugged. Jezzie had perhaps a teensy bit too much wine, but still: When did my best friend and business partner get so darn stuffy? Maybe it was the inside-joke part that she found off-putting.
But we did know quiche was the family’s stock-in-trade, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch to figure out the expression had something to do with the Arbor family’s food business. After all, that was why we were here.
*I received a free copy of this book which i voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.
What a fun culinary themed cozy! We catch up with Sugar and Dixie as the start the process of making a family cookbook for the Asher family. All of them stay at the family B&B to celebrate the matriarch's birthday making this a good time to catch them all. The weekend starts well but gets tense on the first night when a beloved grandson brings his new fiance to meet them. She makes a horrid first impression I must say and then the poor woman is found dead by Sugar the very next morning. Sugar can't help but get involved in the investigation though it takes a few unexpected turns before coming to a surprising conclusion. Makes for a great mystery full of characters with depth including the fur babies that liven things up a bit. The food throughout leaves you hungry ready to try the tasty recipes included. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
About Mary Lee Ashford
Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries.
In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.
Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.
She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a past board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter for writers’ groups.
Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university-level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.
She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and cat, Zoey. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.
Author LinksWebsite - https://maryleeashford.com/
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