I get so excited when I receive the first book in a brand new cozy series. New characters to get to know, a new town to scope out, maybe a pet or two, and of course a murder! Peg Cochran is here today to tell us a bit about how Gigi Fitzgerald and Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lites came to Woodstone,Connecticut. There is lemonade on the table, help yourself, and help me welcome Peg Cochran.
When I decided that I wanted to write a “cozy” mystery, I learned from my successful cozy writer friends (Krista Davis, Laura Alden, Janet Bolin and Avery Aames) that I needed a strong “hook” for the series. Not unlike a fisherman’s hook, I needed something to reel my readers in. I thought about it quite a bit and decided that what I’d really love to do was marry my passion for cooking (and eating!) with my love of writing and mysteries.
I looked at what was already on the market, and there were quite a few foodie mysteries already. I needed something with a twist. I thought about diet food…but my friends reminded me that cozies are supposed to be indulgent. And dieting is anything but! So I decided, how about gourmet low-calorie food that’s home-cooked and hand-delivered three times per day? Maybe even I could stay on a diet if I had access to such a service. Voila! My Gourmet De-Lite series was born.
I wanted my protag to be feisty (the plaque in her kitchen reads “I have an Irish temper and an Italian attitude.”) But I didn’t want her to be too tough so I made her slightly damaged—her husband has left her for an older woman. What a blow!
But it takes more than that to get Gigi Fitzgerald down! She moves to Woodstone, Connecticut, rents a charming cottage, starts her business and acquires a Westhighland white terrier named Reg as a sidekick! Her business allows her the flexibility to do a lot of investigating (poking her nose into things might be a more appropriate way of putting it!), especially when her client dies from a peanut allergy and Gigi becomes suspect number one!
Woodstone, Connecticut doesn’t really exist—except in my imagination. I love Connecticut and gave the town everything I would want to have in a place I lived—lots of big, old trees, charming shops, interesting characters. It’s the ideal small town, and isn’t that what cozies are all about? Except for the murder of course!
Thank you so much for being here today! I am anxiously awaiting the next installment 🙂
To find out all about Peg and her alias Meg check out her web page here.
Allergic to Death
(A Gourmet De-Lite Mystery)
Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Murder
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 7, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
Cover Illustraion by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Gigi Fitzgarald has brought a new diet plan to Woodstone with her business Gigi’s Gourmet De-lite. She makes 3 meals a day for her clients. With Martha Bernhardt, a restaurant reviewer, as her newest client she just knows her business is going to grow as her clients lose some inches. When Martha drops dead after eating one of Gigi’s meals things just go nuts! Seems Martha had a peanut allergy and there were traces of peanut oil in her last meal.
Gigi know she didn’t drizzle any peanut oil anywhere near Martha’s meal so she needs to find out who did and fast before more of her clients start dropping like flies instead of dropping the pounds.
The author has created a wonderful mix of characters in a wonderful setting. Gigi has just enough spice to make her a woman to reckoned with and a heart that will have you rooting for her from the first chapter. Her friend Sienna is a great sounding board and Detective Mertz was really growing me and Gigi too. The puppy on the cover is a lovable Westie that used to belong to Martha. Gigi wastes no time in agreeing to take in her new four legged friend.
As someone who is allergic to nuts this story his me on a personal level. Thankfully I have never had a severe reaction and watch what I eat so have not even had a minor flare up in years. But what a perfect way to commit a murder. Well almost perfect because the culprit does get caught.
A great debut for what I know is going to be a great series. There are even some of Gigi’s de-lite-ful recipes to try and some dieting tips too!
Want to win a copy of this great debut!
Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”