Cozy Wednesday with Author Victoria Hamilton (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to welcome Victoria Hamilton and
her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour here today!

The Beauty of Useful Things:

How kitchen utensils are art, and why I display them.

By: Victoria Hamilton

VictoriaThe highest form of art, to me, is when something useful is also beautiful. But here we confront a dilemma… beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder.

This is especially true when applied to my collections.

FrenchFryCutterI collect vintage kitchen utensils and bowls, among other things. Some of the items I will never use. Case in point is the French fry cutter pictured here. I found it at a garage sale and it is pretty old. We had one when I was a kid, but it was the horizontal kind, and this one is different. It’s… well, it’s vertical. And I like it. I appreciate the design – the neat shape it makes – and the red handles and everything about it. I’ll never use it, but it is up on a shelf on display.

And yet, as I take a picture of it and examine it, I notice how battered it is, how worn the metal. But I still think it’s beautiful, maybe even more so. It has a grace of form, it tells a tale of family life… a family the apparently loved French fries! It has lived out the useful part of its life, and now deserves to be an ornament.

When folks get old their hands get age spotted and wrinkled, their veins stand out, blue traceries under their skin. Their nails are brittle and the pads of their fingers flatten out. Cheeks and jowls sag, eyes become rheumy and the skin gets so thin and soft it’s like silk. I find old folks beautiful. Their life shows on their face and their hands: the years of hard work and worry, the kids they raised, the people they loved, the pain they have suffered and tragedies endured… the personality that life has crafted in them. Their face and hands tell a story, the story of their life.

And it’s the same with old furniture and kitchen utensils. If it is battered and worn, it means that it was well loved and used often. These things have soul and the kind of beauty you only get from time. That’s better to me than pristine and unused.



About Victoria Hamilton

Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.

Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.

She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series Victoria also writes the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, out June 3rd, 2014.


FreezerMed nov
Freezer I’ll Shoot
(A Vintage Kitchen Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Mystery (November 5, 2013)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252376
E-Book File Size: 1815 KB


About Freezer I’ll Shoot:

Trying to escape her overbearing mother, vintage kitchenware enthusiast and soon-to-be columnist Jaymie Leighton retreats to her family’s cottage on Heartbreak Island. While there she hopes to write an article about the Ice House restaurant, owned by good friends and neighbors, siblings Ruby and Garnet Redmond. Once and actual icehouse, the restaurant is charmingly decorated with antique tools of the trade, including a collection of ice picks.

One night, while working on her article, Jaymie overhears an argument, and, ever the sleuth, sets out to explore. But when she stumbles upon a dead body, her blood runs cold. It’s Urban Dobrinskie, whose feud with the Redmonds is no secret, and he’s got an ice pick through his heart. Now Jaymie’s got to sharpen her sleuthing skills to chip away at the mystery and prove her neighbors’ innocence – before someone else gets picked off…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This installment of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries takes place mostly on Heartbreak Island. Again Jaymie finds herself in the middle of a very well plotted whodunit. I really enjoy the way the author weaves in the history of the vintage antiques our amateur sleuth  loves. This time the ice houses (ice storage) and the implements used before the modern appliances that came later.

I really love Jaymie and her dad, her mom just seems to push my buttons and I can understand why Jaymie feels the need to escape away sometimes. I wasn’t a big fan for Daniel in this story and his mother drove me crazy. Ruby and Garnet had me rooting for them though and their story was the real highlight of this book. Cozy mysteries need that wide variety of crazy quirky characters, the ones we love, the ones we hate, and the ones that make us want to jump into the pages and slap upside the head. Victoria Hamilton has delivered them all in Freezer I’ll Shoot. Plus Hoppy is one of my favorite pooches in the cozy mystery realm.

I am really looking forward to my next visit with Jaymie as I am sure she will again be up to her neck in a murder mystery. I also hope she she opens her heart and her eyes to the right man.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent



a Rafflecopter giveaway


great escape tour banner large freezer ill shoot 640

Tour Participants

November 2 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Spotlight, Interview
November 4 – My Recent Favorite Books – Spotlight
November 5 – According to Squenn – Interview
November 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Guest Post
November 7 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Giveaway
November 9 – A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview
November 10 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review
November 11 – A Date with a Book – Spotlight
November 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review
November 13 – Community Bookstop – Review
November 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Giveaway
November 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Review

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.”

37 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Victoria Hamilton (Giveaway too!)

  1. Mystery is one of my favorite genre. I really love cozy mysteries because they seem to tie in something we all can relate to. Most that I have read have a family related theme and always hold my interest until the very end. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  2. I love reading cozy mysteries because I like to picture the book taking place in a small town with characters who I could envision having as neighbors/friends. They are usually normal, every day characters you might have known at one time in your life. Just hope my neighbor wouldn’t be the killer, ha!

  3. I still have my Grandmothers bowls. Both Grandmothers! I do use them and remember them when I do.

  4. I love cozy mysteries because the characters are down-to-earth. I also like that there is usually some humor and it never gets too graphic. They are just fun to read.

  5. I love cozies for many reasons. I love the ‘punny’ titles (I sometimes choose one book over another due to the great title), cozies relax me. I typically turn to cozies this time of year as a way to soothe myself to sleep or with a mug of tea and a quiet corner to have a sip’n’read. They fit perfectly in my purse for when I stand in line at the store or bank and I don’t mind since I have my cozy to keep my company.
    I collect kitchen ware, too. My grandmother and my mom got me started. I am rarely at a loss for a gift for my mom if I hit an antique store and find the perfect kitchen implement or bowl or platter. This is a fun series.

  6. Lori, I enjoyed your review, and the guest post by Victoria was great! Yes, the signs of wear on people and things tell a story. Why do so many people insist on having everything new, when older/vintage things are often more unique and special?

    Victoria, I’m looking forward to having you on The Bookwyrm’s Hoard tomorrow!

  7. I enjoy cozies and especially cozy series because they usually feature a main character and family that I get attached to. So I not only enjoy the mystery I enjoy the character development and become invested in their lives.

  8. This sounds like another interesting cozy to add to my list. Thanks so much for introducing me to so many good authors and for updating me on new books by my favorites 🙂

  9. I like cozies because I love good, clean fun! I’ve always loved mysteries and I like the light, humorous touches of cozies and the great titles. I also started out reading Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy L. Sayers when I was about 13.

  10. Cozy mysteries are like an informal dinner. You can read them anywhere. wearing anything. My favorite place is by the pool. I lose myself in the mystery, relaxing, knowing it will not be too much to handle, and there will be laughing.
    I also display kitchen utensils. I’m always looking at flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores, and antique stores for new ones. I don’t know why it is, I just love them. My favorite is an old egg beater.

  11. This is the first French Fry Cutter I’ve ever seen. It’s so neat and what a great find.

  12. I love suspense/mystery/thrillers – but cozies let me sleep at night with the light off!!
    This is such a fun series. I hope there will be many more books in it.

  13. I’ve loved them for years, not too scary, and full of characters that are easy to relate too.

  14. I love the fun names of the cozies. I love the quirky characters in the books and the mysteries are not too heavy and graphic for me. . Sometimes you just need something not as heavy.

  15. because of my health I am going back to glass storage ware. Its not easy to find but its out there both vintage and new. I really need to stay away from plastic and I think as a planet we need to move away from plastic.

  16. I love cozy mysteries because they give me the thrill of figuring out whodunnit without all of the blood and gore. Plus the sleuth is always an everyday person who happens to be just a little too curious!

  17. I like cozy mysteries because they have a hint of the familiar with cozy surroundings and don’t have all the blood, gore, vile language and sex in them, they are fun to read.

  18. I like cozy mysteries because a lot of the violence happens off stage and the characters seem like people you could really know. I really like this series, glad to hear about the new title! Thanks!

  19. I use to be a big reader of Stephen King, however I finally got to where I cannot handle the thriller part of the stories. Cozy mysteries are now my ultimate favorite. I can still get the murder/mystery/suspense without all the gory details. I can let my imagination take it as far as I want it too. I just love Victoria’s books and cannot wait to read this one!

Comments are closed.