Cozy Wednesday with Author Christine Wenger (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640I am delighted to have organized Christine’s Great Escapes Book Tour
and honored that she accepted my invitation to guest post here
before we even talked about her tour.

Author of DO OR DINER

CHRIS WENGERI am so thrilled to be asked to be a guest at Great Escapes/Escape With Dollycas!

I want to talk about how I got started reading mysteries. And who doesn’t love a great mystery?

Picture me in fourth grade at St. Margaret’s Grammar School in Mattydale, New York. I am wearing a white blouse and a forest-green jumper and black saddle shoes. I’m the tall girl in the last row with thin, pin-straight, blonde hair who is NOT paying attention to Sister Mary Mary teaching arithmetic. I have a Nancy Drew mystery that I’m reading under the lip of my desk.

Nancy had a roadster, which I was pretty sure was a car. She had great friends, a hunk of a boyfriend, and a father who never knew where she was or what she was doing as she solved mystery after mystery. I wondered how long it would take me to save my 50-cents a week allowance to buy my own roadster, but it never crossed my mind to pay attention to Sister, so I could figure out the answer to that.

I identified more with Trixie Belden. Trixie had blonde hair like mine, was a tomboy like me, and solved mysteries with her rich friend Honey Wheeler, who had horses that Trixie could ride (Note: I didn’t have a rich friend or access to horses).

DO OR DINER COVER 2Trixie also had a potential boyfriend by the name of Jim Frayne who I was in love with. Trixie roamed all over the Catskill Mountains (I believe) solving mysteries with Honey, and later Jim, and her parents never knew where she was or what she was doing.

How did one get such parents? Mine would barely let me ride my bike off the street.

Anyway, I loved Jim Frayne so much that I had to marry a Jim. I turned down at least 547,908 men with other first names until I found a Jim!

That brings me to the TV detectives. My favorites will always be Colombo and Monk and Jessica Fletcher. I was thinking of their similarities and differences and I came up with the obvious, but what the brilliant writers of both series did was highly develop each character.

Great characters are the key to every great story.

I’ll always remember Nancy and Trixie, Colombo and Monk, Kay Scarpetta, Stephanie Plum, Spenser, and Richard Castle.

And I hope that you all will remember Trixie Matkowski of my “Comfort Food” cozy mysteries series from Penguin Obsidian Books. Do Or Diner is the very first comfort food cozy published by them!

All my best wishes for great escapes by reading cozy mysteries,

~Christine Wenger

About This Author

She worked in the criminal justice field for more years than she cares to remember! It seems like she was forever going to school while  working full time, but in the end, received a dual master’s degree in Probation and Parole Studies and Sociology from Fordham University.

Unfortunately, the knowledge gained from way too many years in night school, didn’t prepare me for what she loves to do the most – writing romances and cozy mysteries.

Find out more on her Webpage here.


A Comfort Food Mystery

A Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Obsidian (August 6, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415080
E-Book File Size: 480 KB


When Trixie Matkowski agrees to take over her aunt’s diner, she pictures lakeside views and delicious comfort food in the small town where she spent summers as a child. But the sweet scene turns sour when someone puts murder on the menu…

Leaving her cheating ex-husband behind Trixie heads to upstate New York to take over the reins at her family’s famed Silver Bullet Diner. With very little explanation her aunt leaves town and leaves Trixie in charge. Sadly things go quickly downhill when the health inspector face plants into the Blue Plate Special, deader than a doornail.

Trixie has full plate trying to keep the diner going and trying to find the person responsible for the inspector’s last supper. She also needs to be sure not to become the next target of this comfort food killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I grew up living above and working in my parent’s cafe that was so much like the Silver Bullet Diner. My mother served comfort food gleaned from her mother’s recipe box. My grandma ran a restaurant too! Sadly our family is no longer in the restaurant business. It is stories like this one that stir up some very precious memories. 

Christine Wenger made this reader feel right at home in this story. The characters are fun and easy to relate with. Trixie Matkowski is a girl after my own heart. The cooks, the waitresses, the competition from other eateries all rings true. Even the meal scrounging food inspector hits the mark but I have never seen one die before 🙂 Every cozy needs a hunky male and Wenger delivers with Deputy Ty Brisco, always in the right place at just the right time.

Kudos Christine!! Your cozy debut is a comfort foodie and cozy reader’s delight!!!!  Can’t wait for A Second Helping of Murder!! coming in April 2014!!

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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.”

47 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Christine Wenger (Giveaway too!)

  1. Sounds like a great new series. Meatloaf and mashed potatos are usually a good meal at a diner.

  2. I agree that great characters are the keys to great stories for me. I have friends who are compelled to figure out whodunit as fast as possible. I prefer to be carried along by the story and the interactions between the characters and find out whodunit when the characters do.

  3. When I remember eating at diners as a kid with my dad, I think of pie. I always had coconut cream pie and it brings back such lovely memories.

  4. I love to order breakfast at diners. Love to get french toast, eggs, home fries and sausage.

  5. My favorite thing to order depends on what meal we’re talking about. For instance, breakfast I love to order an omelet (spinach, mushroom & Monterey Jack) with hash browns (extra crispy), wheat toast, and coffee. At lunch and even sometimes dinner, I LOVE to get a French Dip! YUM! And dinner, I love liver with bacon AND onions (has to be well done until the onions are black and crispy!) Are you grossed out? It’s okay most people make a face when I say liver. =)

  6. It has been so long since I have gone to a diner, but the one in a town not too far from us has great French Dip sandwiches and salads.

  7. BLT with French fries with gravy, now I’m hungry. This sounds like a great series, thanks!

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  9. I had a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and tomato the last time I was at a diner. Loved it!
    This looks like a fun book.

  10. Hi Everyone! I had such a great time writing this book. I am of Polish heritage and my whole life was one big feast! All my relatives (and especially my mother) were/are great cooks and bakers. All the recipes that I’m using in this “comfort food” series are from my friends and relatives. And, of course, my heroine (Trixie Matkowski) is true to her heritage and traditions.

    Please, more comments! And write me on Facebook and/or my website. Sign up on my website for my newsletter and I’ll tell you when the next book comes out (A SECOND HELPING OF MURDER). I won’t bore you with a lot of information, just releases.

    And a big thank you and a big hug to Dollycas. What a brilliant website this is. She does so much to promote cozy mysteries, and it is appreciated so very much. I don’t know what I would have done without her help with my first cozy mystery!

    Chris Wenger
    Author of DO OR DINER

  11. I identified more with Nancy Drew than Trixie Belden, although I read every book that I could get my hands on. That meant spending every penny I ever got on books because our small local library never had enough. Money was very scarce and we had to pay a nickel a book at the library because we lived out of town. I made sure I read every book I checked out! The book looks great!

  12. Congratulations on your new book! It sounds like a great summer read. My favorite diner food is chili cheese burger and fries.

  13. I don’t know that I have one favorite item to order… it all depends on the diner. But I often find myself craving breakfast for dinner! Sounds like a good read that I will be adding to my TBR list. And I too, love Columbo, Monk, and Jessica. (Watch reruns anytime they are on tv.) 😀

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