Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Maddie Day is back with a new Country Store Mystery!
I am so happy she could drop by for a visit today!
Strangled Eggs and Ham
(A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day
Welcome to Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a native Californian transplanted to Massachusetts. I live on the New Hampshire border near the coast with a man who makes me laugh, am a long-time Quaker, and have two fabulous adult sons (and now a wonderful daughter-in-law). I love avocados, bourbon, dark chocolate, and ripe sun-warmed tomatoes. As someone who was always the youngest and shortest in her class, I know how to stand up for myself. I’ve had several careers, but writing crime fiction full time is my favorite.
What are three things most readers don’t know about you?
- I worked as an auto mechanic in my early twenties.
- I make gorgeous and yummy apple pies people clamor for, and darn tasty cheesecake, too.
- I was an exchange student in southern Brazil for a year when I was a young seventeen year old.
What is the first book you remember reading?
That’s a hard question because it was a heck of a long time ago. First book I read on my own? Probably a Dick and Jane reader. The Cat and the Hat came out when I was five, so that might have been it. But to really remember, I’d have to say Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. I read straight through the series and then read it again.
What are you reading now?
Barbara Ross’s series debut Jane Darrowfield Professional Busybody and Liz Mugavero’s Tell Tail Heart. They came out last week and I’m loving them both!
What books have most inspired you?
I am a huge fan of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries. Her storytelling is compelling and her characters are deep and real.
What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?
It’s what I like to read! And if I’m going to spend much of every day at a job, I might as well be immersed in stories I love.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
I write best at my laptop in my second-floor office. It’s all mine and has a door that closes. The three windows to my right look out on our street so I can monitor the goings on, and behind me is an upholstered rocking chair for brainstorming with pen and notebook. To my left is a futon couch for emergency naps. All my reference books are an arm’s distance away, with pictures of my family in every direction and my framed Agatha Award nominations on one wall. It’s perfect.
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
Everywhere and nowhere. Tidbits of news stories, an odd character I might spy in a restaurant or a new murder weapon I’ve read about. Mostly from my hyperactive imagination.
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
I’ve written elsewhere about getting stuck in the middle in every single book. Honing that perfect first line is also a challenge and I haven’t always come up with one – but sometimes I do.
What do you think makes a good story?
Any good story needs compelling, richly drawn characters. It needs conflict and change. It needs a setting that enhances the tale. In addition, a good mystery needs a puzzle to be solved, misdirection, and a satisfying resolution. A cozy needs justice restored to the community in the end.
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
None of them IS me, of course, and I’m now a lot older than the protagonists I write. In the Country Store Mysteries, Aunt Adele and I might have most in common. She’s practical, no-nonsense, caring, and loves dangly earrings – and bourbon. She pitches in to help when needed, but has a rich life of her own as a seventy-something. I seem to be aging faster than she is, so I’m catching up fast.
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
I’ve only heard of one other mystery series set in Brown County, Indiana, and none that features a chef who is also a carpenter, bicyclist, and puzzle master.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Country Store mystery #8 is due August 1, and “Christmas Cocoa and a Corpse,” my novella in Christmas Cocoa Murder, releases at the end of September. As Edith Maxwell I’ll be writing Quaker Midwife #6 next, and Judge Thee Not, #5, also comes out in September.
Thank you, Maddie, for visiting today!
Keep reading for my thoughts about Strangled Eggs and Ham.
Robbie Jordan’s rustic country store is growing in popularity. But when a dead body appears, it turns out that Robbie’s home-style cooking attracts hungry customers—and murder!
While Robbie scrambles through breakfast orders for her expanding clientele at Pans ‘N Pancakes, tempers run as high as the sticky August heat in South Lick, Indiana. Real-estate developer Fiona Closs plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County, and not everyone can see the sunny side of the imposing proposition—including Robbie’s furious Aunt Adele, who doesn’t waste a minute concocting protests and road blockades. When tensions boil over and a vocal protester is silenced forever at the resort site, Robbie ditches the griddle to catch the killer. But if slashed tires are any indication, she’ll need to crack this case before her own aunt gets served something deadly next . . .
Includes Recipes for You to Try!
We’re back in South Lick, Indiana where it isn’t just the weather that is making people HOT!
Fiona Closs is pressuring the South Lick relevant committees to approve her plans to build a luxury resort on a beloved scenic hilltop just outside of town. Robbie’s Aunt Adele is leading the charge to stop the project in its tracks. Robbie’s B&B lodgers even join the cause. When one of the protestors is killed at the site for the proposed resort Robbie gets fired up and is determined that killer will rot behind bars. She really turns up the gas when her aunt looks like the killer’s next target.
I have such a clear picture of Pans ‘N Pancakes in my mind that as soon as I open up a new book it feels like I am walking across the porch, through the front door and plopping myself at a corner table so I can just sit back and relax with a bird’s eye view of everything happening in South Lick. Robbie’s shop is a popular place and all the key players come through its doors at one time or another. The restaurant’s regulars are fonts of information too.
Ms. Day introduces the new characters and gives them substance before the crime takes place. She also gives a little background of the recurring characters for new readers of the series. She is truly an expert at character development.
Robbie Jordan is an excellent protagonist. She has a huge heart and she often wears it on her sleeve. She is also smart and resolute. As in a previous book, she is shorthanded at the restaurant but that doesn’t keep her from asking questions or making her puzzles to find the killer. She has grown so much over the course of this series as have all the others in the regular cast. With her beau out of town, she had one less sounding board but I loved that Robbie caught herself before making one of those TSTL (too stupid to live) decisions and even commented on it.
Adele is another strong character with her fingers in almost everything going on around her. This time I was really impressed at the way she was open to listening to her opposition. It may not have changed her mind but she did give them a chance.
We are kept on our toes by the author too. She sets a very fast pace and she gives us a small heap of suspects. There was an abundance of twists and I always enjoy following Robbie’s lead and the way she organizes her thoughts. The story really builds to an exciting ending.
Robbie Jordan has become quite a home in her adopted community. I have enjoyed each of her adventures/investigations. I can’t wait for more.
You can’t go wrong with a book by Maddy Day or her other pseudonyms. She always pens a wonderful whodunit!
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More About Maddie Day
Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.
As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).
You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.
Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play IndieBound
Coming June 30, 2020
Exclusively at Barnes and Noble
Find books written as Edith Maxwell here.
Praise for Strangled Eggs and Ham (A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day
This series is totally fantastic!!!
Robbie runs the cutest store and I really wish I could eat there.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day is a wonderfully woven tale of politics, development, mystery, and murder in small-town Indiana.
~Baroness’ Book Trove
Exciting, fun, engrossing, surprising . . . I could go on and on with positive adjectives to describe just how much I loved STRANGLED EGGS AND HAM.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Strangled Eggs and Ham is an enticing cozy mystery with the friendly town, quirky residents, tantalizing food, good gossip, and one nosy parker out to solve a perplexing puzzler of a whodunit.
~The Avid Reader
The plot is multi-dimensional and the “voice” progresses through the pages at a steady pace. Great weekend read!!
~Reading is My SuperPower
The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story right from the very start. South Lick, Indiana, seems like a fun place to visit, even with all of the murders.
I love this series, it is one of my favourite places and people to visit . . . this series is very character based, the mystery is well-written and woven into the story maintaining a great pace.
~Carla Loves To Read
One of my favorite cozy mystery series’, Country Store Mysteries consistently delivers engaging mysteries, multiple storylines, and wonderful characters.
Phew! Maddie Day has done an excellent job of raising the temperatures in South Lick and the tensions in her book! 8 out of 5!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog
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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.”