Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to bring you a Brand New Cozy Series today
and to welcome Edith to Escape With Dollycas!
Thanks so much for asking me over, Lori! My new cozy mystery, A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die, is set on an organic farm, and I wanted to share a bit of my own background in farming.
Twenty years ago I operated and co-owned a small certified-organic farm in northeastern Massachusetts. One of my specialties was garlic. I grew hundreds of bulbs of both stiff-neck and soft-neck (braidable) garlic.
It’s a fantastic crop. You plant it in late fall, when everything else is dying off for the winter, preferably on a nice sunny Indian-Summer kind of day. After the ground freezes in December, I mulch the beds with salt marsh hay, which prevents frost heaves.
In April the green shoots push up through the hay, and I harvest it in late July. I learned much of what I know about growing garlic from a great book, titled Growing Great Garlic.
Garlic has no pests in our area. It doesn’t need pruning or thinning. It feels like a free crop in the spring, because the work was done so long ago. I use lots of garlic when I cook, and it stores well. What’s to lose?
Here is a paragraph from my second Local Foods mystery, ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part, which takes place in the fall but will be out in early spring 2014. Farmer Cam Flaherty is planting her garlic. She has already split the garlic bulbs into cloves, selecting the fattest ones for planting and using the rest in her own kitchen. (Preston is her Norwegian Forest cat)
“She took the basket of cloves and a pitchfork to the field. She loosened a large bed that had held bush beans earlier in the season, so it was now rich in nitrogen from nodules on the legume roots, and covered it with several inches of finished compost. Kneeling, she pressed a clove, root side down, about an inch into the loose rich soil. The next clove went in four inches away. She continued that way along the length and width of the bed, every clove a hand’s width from its neighbor. Preston sidled by to visit and sat on a bale of salt marsh hay to watch her work.”
When you plant stiff-neck garlic varieties like German Red and Rocambole, the cloves grow in a single layer around a central stalk. Right around now in the season, the plants throw up a scape. It’s the stalk becoming an alien-looking pointy growth that loops around into a circle and then keeps growing. The scape ultimately wants to become a garlic flower, but that robs the bulbs of energy, so farmers clip them off with scissors. I like to saute them. These crunchy green stalks, either whole or chopped, provide a nice mild garlic flavor.
After the Equinox, the garlic starts bulbing underground. I harvest it when two-thirds of the leaves are yellowing, and lay it out first in the sun and then in a cool dry place to cure. Soft-neck garlic varieties, which grow in several concentric layers and don’t have the rigid central stalk, can then be braided.
What about you? Have you grown garlic? Do you have any varieties you prefer, or would you rather just shake a little dried garlic out of a jar?
About Edith Maxwell
Locavore Edith Maxwell’s Local Foods Mysteries published by Kensington let her relive her days as an organic farmer in Massachusetts, although murder in the greenhouse is new. A fourth-generation Californian, she has also published short stories of murderous revenge, most recently in the Fish Nets and Thin Ice anthologies.
Edith Maxwell’s pseudonym Tace Baker authored Speaking of Murder, which features Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau and campus intrigue after her sexy star student is killed. Edith is a long-time Quaker and holds a long-unused doctorate in linguistics.
A mother and former technical writer, Edith lives north of Boston in an antique house with her beau and three cats. You can find her at www.edithmaxwell.com and
A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die
(Local Foods Mystery)
Brand New Series
Kensington Books (May 28, 2013)
Hardcover: 272 pages
E-Book File Size: 502 KB
It’s the start of the farming season in Westbury, Massachusetts, and geek-turned-novice farmer Cameron Flaherty hopes to make a killing selling organic produce. A colorful Locavore Club belongs to Cam’s farm-share program. But when a killer strikes on her property, her first foray into the world of organic farming yields a bumper crop of locally sourced murder. To clear her name, Cam has to dig up secrets buried deep beneath the soil of Produce Plus Plus Farm. And when the police don’t make progress in the case, she has to catch a murderer whose motto seems to be, “Eat Local. Kill Local.”
An excellent debut!!
Cam Flaherty is a protagonist that is easy to identify with. She has come back to Westbury to take over the farm where she spent so many summers growing up. Just when her ideas starts to bear fruit a man is murdered.
Maxwell has surrounded Cam with more than a few suspects and friends that keep her strong as she fights to clear her name. These characters are really well fleshed out for the first book in a series. We learn a lot about their backgrounds which always makes the reader invested in their lives and the story. It also makes the book extremely hard to put down.
With issues like a local militia, some residents with immigration problems, and the localore way of eating many Westbury area residents are adapting makes this a very interesting story in addition to a well plotted mystery.
Edith Maxwell has firmly planted a great foundation for what I know is going to be a very tasty series!
Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?
Thanks to Edith Maxwell
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!
My Advance Review Copy and 1 Brand New Hardcover!!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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.”
New York Times bestselling author Caitlin Rother has written or co-authored eight books, including Poisoned Love (Kensington, December 2011), Dead Reckoning (Kensington, February 2011), Twisted Triangle (Wiley, 2009), Body Parts (Kensington, 2008), Deadly Devotion (Simon & Schuster/Pocket, July 2011), NYT bestseller My Life, Deleted: A Memoir (HarperOne, October 2011), and Naked Addiction (Dorchester, 2007).
Rother, a Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist with more than 310,000 copies of her books in print, has also been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and The Daily Beast. She has done dozens of TV and radio appearances as a crime expert on Nancy Grace, the Jay Thomas Show, E!, the Oxygen Network; Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record,” Investigation Discovery, “America at Night,” American Radio Network, XM and numerous NPR/PBS affiliates. Rother also works as a book doctor/editorial consultant and teaches journalism and creative writing at University of California, San Diego Extension. She has done dozens of TV and radio appearances as a crime expert on shows including Nancy Grace.
Her latest true crime project, Lost Girls (Kensington, July 2012), chronicles the rape and murder of two innocents, teenagers Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, by sexual predator John Gardner.
Kensington Publishing Group
The desperate search for two lost innocents, Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, led authorities to a brutal predator hiding in plain sight: John Albert Gardner, a convicted sex offender who could have been returned to prison several times over. Pulitzer-nominated writer Caitlin Rother delivers an incisive, heartbreaking true-life thriller about a case that galvanized its community, first by grief and goodwill, then by anger and injustice, as it came to grips with a flawed system that failed … and adopted a law that will forever change how we keep our children safe.
“I was out of control … I was aware of what I was doing and I could not stop myself. I was in a major rage … at my whole life and everyone who’s hurt me and I hurt the wrong people.” — John Gardner
Caitlin Rother is one of the best at writing True Crime stories! Her books grab you and hold on tight.
Chelsea King would have been 20 years old this year, she and I share a birthday, though I am much older. I know her family does not support this book but it does draw worldwide attention to a very flawed criminal and mental health system. It also shines a light on Chelsea’s Law and awakens parents everywhere to a very real problem. Every state should have similar legislation. We must protect out children in every way possible.
The events of this story rocked California and people around the nation to their core. Many have hit the review sites telling us not to buy this book. How are we supposed to learn about these predators if there aren’t books like this? Rother gives us an in depth study into one monster’s life, much more than we would ever get from a basic news article. I do not believe she wrote the book to hurt the victims. This is what she does, she is a excellent true crime storyteller. She researches and investigates thoroughly and makes this tragic story to a level we can all understand. I believe she has presented accurate information in an extremely well written tome. She delves into Gardner’s past for clues for his behavior but in no way condones anything he did.
Living in the Midwest this story was not front and center of my news watching or reading at the time like it was for those who live in California. Rother gives us a clear and concise account of the story. People reading this story may have their eyes opened to be aware of people’s behavior around them. This book shows us the people around the predator are usually blind to things that should raise red flags about an individual. It is hard for a parent or sibling to believe a member of their own family could commit such heinous acts. After reading a story like this a neighbor or co-worker may see behavior that needs to be brought to the attention of law enforcement. They may be able to act in advance and save a child. Laws that have been enacted to protect children may be more well known and a predator living too close to a school or park may be identified.
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.”