Cozy Wednesday with Author Virginia Lowell (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to welcome back Virginia Lowell to Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book!

Promo shots 015There’s something about decorated cookies, cookie cutters… and murder.

Decorated cutout cookies are lovely and delicious and, I must admit, challenging to create. For me, anyway. Mine never taste as good as I imagine my characters’ cookies do. But I keep trying. Which is probably why my dentist recently informed me that I need a filling. And let’s not discuss the effect those delicious confections can have on one’s weight. My characters never actually gain weight, of course. They might worry about it now and then, but that’s all. I think it’s because they expend so many calories hunting murderers.

9780425260692_large_One_Dead_CookieSo lately I’ve been pondering why cookies—and cookie cutters, especially—seem to lead my sleuths, Olivia (Livie) Greyson and Maddie Briggs, right straight into a mystery. Once they are embroiled in a mystery, making decorated cookies seems to help them solve it, as well. There’s definitely a connection between cookies and sleuthing. As the narrator of Livie and Maddie’s adventures, I feel that same connection, and it makes me curious.

When I’m writing, I love to clutter my desk with sparkling sugar containers and little bottles of gel food coloring in exotic colors like fuchsia and electric purple. They fire up my imagination. For inspiration, I’ll take a whiff of orange bakery emulsion and find myself wondering… might a character be so enchanted by the flavor that she wouldn’t notice that faint taste of lethal poison.

Cookie cutters, too, have a way of turning my mind to murder. Don’t get me wrong, cookie cutters are delightful, and I’ve collected them for years. But for me, those cutters, especially the antique ones, can evoke sinister thoughts. Maybe it’s those mysterious dents, the strange scratches, those sharp edges… I wonder what that jolly Santa Claus cutter has seen during his decades of use. Did someone hurl him at an attacker as a weapon of last resort? Are those scratches the initials of a killer? Was Santa ever used to shape a tasty yet deadly poisonous instrument of murder?

The task of creating cutout cookies is challenging, but it can also be meditative. Believe me, there’s plenty of time to think. The process can take all day, sometimes two, especially if you want to decorate the cookies with royal icing. If you happen to be trying to solve a mystery, you’ll have lots of opportunities to percolate the puzzle while you mix, chill, roll, cut, roll and cut some more, chill again, bake, cool… Olivia and Maddie find that the repetitive process of preparing and baking cookies, which is second nature to them, helps them sort through suspects and clues. (Between you and me, I don’t know how they do it. I’d space out and forget to set the timer.)

Livie is the logical thinker… well, most of the time. When murder visits Chatterley Heights, Livie isn’t satisfied until she has put together all the pieces and solved the puzzle. Maddie, on the other hand, is the artistic genius, especially when it comes to decorating cookies. Her creativity and enthusiasm provide ideas, and she possesses that risk-taking impulse necessary for both baking and sleuthing.

Now that I think about it, even writing about crime makes me hungry for cookies. I wonder why… I’ll just go get a cookie and think about it.

Virginia Lowell

p.s. And by the way, The town of Chatterley Heights wishes to convey a warning to anyone out there with murderous intent: Don’t mess with Maddie’s wedding.

About Virginia Lowell
Virginia lives in the temporarily unfrozen northland with her husband and two bossy cats. One Dead Cookie, which was just released on July 2, is the fourth book in her Nationally Bestselling Cookie Cutter Shop mystery series.

You can visit her website and at

One Dead Cookie
(A Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 2, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425260692
E-Book File Size: 572 KB




Olivia Greyson is the proud owner of The Gingerbread House—a quaint shop that specializes in all things cookie—and her best friend, Maddie, is her sidekick, baking up scrumptious treats for their cookie-themed parties. But a dead body on their front porch might put their bake shop in a truly sticky situation…

Maddie’s engagement party is just a few days away and finding the dead body of a soap star on the front porch has put quite a crimp into the plans. It seems Trevor Lane grew up just up the road in Twiterton and he left a few enemies behind and time has only let their anger fester. Even Livie and Maddie’s friend Stacy has become a suspect. They have no choice but to use their baking and sleuthing know how to mix up the perfect recipe to catch the real killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I absolutely love this series. Livie is trying so hard to make her friend Maddie’s party super special but soon realizes she is in over her head and that’s even before the branded victim is found on the front porch.

These characters are so wonderfully written. Their dialogue always rings true. The friendship is the foundation each and every story is built on. People with friendships like Livie’s and Maddie’s are truly blessed.

The mystery sure doesn’t crumble, it is plotted perfectly. There are plenty of suspects and I found myself thinking I knew the killer more than once and was wrong every time.

Another fantastic story from Virginia Lowell. Can’t wait to see what this smart cookie has up her sleeve for readers next!
a perfect escape

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Virginia for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End July 29, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


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.”

89 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Virginia Lowell (Giveaway too!)

  1. I love cookie cutters too. My m-i-l gave me a little set that she used to use for her card group. They were, as expected, a heart, spade, diamond and club. So fun! Would love to win, thanks for the chance!

  2. After reading this article, I’m so eager to start this series. It looks great!

  3. This looks like an awesome series! I love cookies and mysteries (and love cute dogs on covers!). Will definitely check this out.

  4. I actually own 2 of the books in the series, “Cookie Dough or Die” and “A Cookie Before Dying”. I enjoyed them immensely and would love to win this one to add to my collection. Thank you so much for holding these great giveaways.

  5. I have to say, this sounds like a delightful series, and I’m so glad Lori has called it to my attention! I’m quite fond of cookies myself, though I’m no good at decorating them. Still, I have a reasonable collection of cookie cutters, mostly holiday-themed. Hope sprang eternal when my daughter was younger that we would celebrate holidays by making shaped cookies! Alas, we rarely did. Perhaps someday I’ll have more time to bake cookies. Then again, maybe I’ll just enjoy eating them — and reading about them!

    1. I have a much harder time making decent decorated cookies than Livie and Maddie do! They make it seem easy. But then, they do it all the time, so that’s my excuse. But I do love eating them… and writing about them!
      Thanks for your lovely comment!

  6. I love cookies, I just hate what they do to my weight. Not that it stops me. When I was young my mom and I would always make Kris Kringle cut out cookies for Christmas. I was the decorator. No icing (I’m still not fond of it). We did an egg wash and sprinkles and other non pareils.

    1. I take long walks to make up for the cookies. I’m beginning to think the walks need to be longer, though. Royal icing can be overwhelming, but it is so beautiful! (At least, it is when Maddie makes it.)
      Thanks for your comment!

  7. Everyone loves cookies and this mystery sounds delightful. One Dead Cookie is going on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Sounds like a wonderful new cozy series to add to my TBR list. Thanks for the opportunity to win! Great review!

  9. I haven’t read this series. Thank you for info and enjoyed the posting. Thank you for entering me in the giveaway.

  10. This sounds like a book I would so enjoy reading . I love cookies to . thanks for the chance to win

  11. I love to bake cookies! My sister likes a couple of peanut butter chocolate chip before her long runsvon Saturdays. This sounds like a great book.

  12. I have not made sugar cookies for a long time. I loved cutting them out and eating them. Until we both lose weight, they are not on the menu. Your book sounds so good.

    1. I hear you. When I experiment with a recipe, I have to make sure the results go directly to my husband’s office. (Unless the experiment went terribly wrong, and the cookies are not fit for human consumption.)

    1. I have to remind myself that just because I’m writing about cookies doesn’t mean the cookies I eat are fictional.
      Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Livie and Maddie do bake up a storm in this one. They have a lot on their plate, so they need the sugar high! (Or so they tell themselves…)

  13. I love the Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery series first 3 books! Can’t wait to read this one! Thanks for the great review & giveaway!

  14. Virginia, some of my happiest memories are of cutting out cookies on Christmas and Halloween with my mom and sister. And decoration them of course! So I can understand how cutting cookies can help solve mysteries too;)

    1. I, too, have happy memories of baking cutout cookies with my mother and sister. We usually got carried away and made so many that we passed out plates of the cookies to the neighbors. (Of course, we also ate our fair share…)

  15. This sounds like a interesting series! My favorite cozies feature baking ( especially love cookies and cupcakes! )

  16. This is one of my favorite series. I just love Olivia and I’m jealous that she gets to live in such a wonderful old house with her business just down stairs. Can’t wait to read the next book.

  17. I’m a big mystery reader and this is a new to me author. Thanks for the introduction.

  18. This series has been on my TBR list. I love, love, love cozy mysteries that involve food, especially sweets. 😉 Yum!

  19. I love cozy mysteries and I love cookies. I love eating them and mixing them and baking them and ‘tasting’ the dough. Sounds like this series is a perfect match for me.

  20. sounds good.i love cookies and i love the cover.the dog looks just like murphy (my brothers dog)

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