I love mysteries! You’re here visiting this blog because you do too. Did you ever solve a real mystery? Not ones like what that smell is emanating from your teenager’s bedroom, or who put the toilet paper on the roll backwards. Not that those aren’t important or that you shouldn’t get credit for your detective skills, LOL! But I’ve solved a couple of family mysteries, and I’ll tell you about one here today.
Genealogy is one of my hobbies, and there is a genealogical element to Feta Attraction, one that will become more important in Book Two (sorry, I don’t have an official title or a release date on that yet!). My heroine, Georgie, will find out some very interesting things about who she is and where she came from and why murders keep happening around her in Bonaparte Bay.
My real-life family, and I suspect just about everyone else’s too, has its own mystery. Family legend says that my great-great grandfather was a Native American (Mohawk), that he and my white great-great grandmother had an affair, then he ran off when she found out she was pregnant. She left the baby with her widowed mother, and ran off herself. I’ve always taken that story with a grain of salt.
Now, thanks to the Internet and some digitized old newspapers, it turns out I was right to be skeptical.
The real story, which I pieced together from old newspaper articles and online census records—did I mention, I LOVE research?—is rather more Downton Abbey or Upstairs, Downstairs. Not nearly as romantic or interesting as having a Mohawk ancestor! The documentation proves that Great-Great-Grandma was a servant in the home of a wealthy shopkeeper, and they had a relationship, which resulted in a baby, my Great-Grandfather. A lawsuit was brought by the girl’s mother for loss of the girl’s services due to the pregnancy, and damages were awarded against the shopkeeper. My Great-Grandfather either never knew the real story, or deliberately lied about who his parents were on his marriage certificate, which other members of my family have taken as truth. Even though I’ve presented my proof, most still cling to the legend rather than the reality.
Not that I can blame them. Stories are often so much better than real life, aren’t they? Which is why we keep reading novels, and especially cozy mysteries with their familiar characters and satisfying endings. I hope you enjoy Feta Attraction!
Wishing each and every one of you peace and prosperity in the New Year,
About This Author
Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenaged son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.
(A Greek to Me Mystery)
New Cozy Series
Setting: New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Bill Bruning
Cover Design by Diane Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00KWG5W1Y
Georgie Nikolopatos manages the Bonaparte House, a Greek restaurant and historic landmark in beautiful upstate New York rumored to possess ghosts and hidden treasure. But when her husband disappears and her main competitor is found dead, it’s up to Georgie to solve a big fat Greek murder.
With her husband, Spiro, inexplicably gone for days, Georgie has her hands full running the restaurant and dealing with the crew of the TV show Ghost Squad, called in by Spiro to inspect the house for haunting. So when she has a chance to take a boating excursion on the St. Lawrence River with her friend Keith Morgan, she jumps on it. But their idyll is quickly ruined when they discover the body of rival restaurant owner Domenic “Big Dom” DiTomasso floating in the water.
When the police start asking questions, it doesn’t help that Spiro can’t be found—and with Georgie on their suspect list, it’s up to her to find her missing husband and find out who killed Big Dom before someone else’s order is up.
Includes delicious Greek recipes!
As soon as I read that the Bonaparte House was an Octagon House I was so excited to keep reading. I was amazed by an Octagon House back in elementary school when we took a field trip to the Octagon House Museum in Watertown, Wisconsin. Many years later I learned of another Octagon House in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and that one has been said to haunted! There is said to be another in Hudson, Wisconsin. These house were popular in the 1850’s thanks to amateur architect and lifestyle pundit Orson Squire Fowler*. Because of knowledge of these homes I had a very good idea about how this mystery may play out.
Georgie has an interesting life. She is married to a gay man and now that their daughter is grown it may be the right time for her to make some changes. The problem is that her mother-in-law and her husband own the restaurant she manages and she can’t imagine doing anything else. She is also very close to her mother-in-law. They all live above the restaurant too.
Georgie is not really shocked her husband has disappeared, he’s done it before but always comes back within one one two days. When he doesn’t return and she finds he left his cell phone behind she knows something is terribly wrong. She also starts receiving some strange messages. She doesn’t want to worry her mother-in-law so she starts to do a little investigating on her own.
Add to this a “Ghost Squad” looking for paranormal activity at Bonaparte House and a dead restaurant owner floating in the river and you have everything you need for a fantastic cozy mystery.
There is a lot going on in this first installment of the A Greek to Me Mystery series. I may have figured out part of the mystery early but the huge twist near the end was totally unexpected. To say more would give too much away.
I can say that Ms. Hardy has created some excellent characters. We really get to know Georgie and Sophie. Spiro not so much but I am confident he will be just as engaging. I believe the author has just scratched the surface of where she can take these characters. She has all the ingredients needed to whip up several tasty mysteries. I am really excited for book #2. “Opa!” pass the Ouzo!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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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.”