Time for a Fourth of July Mystery, so get those murderous sparklers out! Not only does the Fourth mean fireworks, but let’s throw in some delicious food with recipes included in the book. Murder is No Picnic features Sam, an unintentional You-Tube Star who is searching for a recipe for blueberry buckle. She is thrown into solving a mystery that hits very close to home. Scroll down to read more about Murder is No Picnic and to enter Amy’s giveaway.
About Murder is No Picnic
3rd in Series
Setting – Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Publisher : Berkley (June 7, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
The Fourth of July is coming, and for professional food lover Samantha Barnes, it’s all about the picnic. Okay, and the fireworks. And the parade. But mostly the picnic. What could be better than a DIY clambake followed by the best blueberry buckle in the world? Sam has finally found the perfect recipe in the kitchen of Clara Foster, famed cookbook author and retired restaurateur, and she’s thrilled when Clara agrees to a buckle baking lesson.
But when Clara dies in a house fire blamed on carelessness in the kitchen, Sam doesn’t believe it. Unfortunately, her doubts set in motion an investigation pointing to the new owner of Clara’s legendary restaurant—and a cousin of Sam’s harbormaster boyfriend. So, in between researching the Cape’s best lobster rolls and planning her clambake, Sam needs to find Clara’s killer before the fireworks really start….
Let’s Talk to Samantha Barnes from Murder is No Picnic
Please tell us about your latest adventure.
MURDER IS NO PICNIC is the latest in the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries series featuring yours truly Samantha Barnes (Sam to my friends), disgraced ex-chef and the world’s most reluctant YouTube star.
I never intended to live in books that had “murder” in the title. I just wanted to go back home to Cape Cod and lie low for a bit while my YouTube notoriety died down (long story, two chefs, one of them me, one my ex-husband, both with chefs knives, you get the picture). Next thing I know, I’m living in this Cape Cod Foodie series and falling over dead bodies right and left. And then finding out whodunit. That part’s kind of fun, I have to admit.
But it’s not always easy trying to balance my job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie” with a complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, a ginormous dog, and a propensity for falling over dead bodies.
In MURDER IS NO PICNIC, the Fourth of July is coming, and for me, it’s all about the picnic. Okay, and the fireworks. And the parade. But mostly the picnic. What could be better than a DIY clambake followed by the best blueberry buckle in the world? I’ve finally found the perfect recipe in the kitchen of Clara Foster, famed cookbook author and retired restaurateur, and I’m thrilled when Clara agrees to a buckle baking lesson.
But when Clara dies in a house fire blamed on carelessness in the kitchen, I don’t believe it. Unfortunately, my doubts set in motion an investigation pointing to the new owner of Clara’s legendary restaurant—and a cousin of my harbormaster boyfriend. So, in between researching the Cape’s best lobster rolls and planning my clambake, I need to find Clara’s killer before the fireworks really start….
Do you have any friends/sidekicks helping you out?
Oh, yeah! There’s that posse of just-slightly-odd friends that I mentioned above. Here’s how I describe them in MURDER IS NO PICNIC:
I love my friends. I love my organic farmer friend Miles Tanner, who looks like a gay Paul Bunyan. I love my best friend from childhood, Jenny Snow Singleton, who has three rowdy boys and is married to a high-powered lawyer but is growing her own videography business like the tycoon she secretly is. I love Jillian Munsell, who manages the local nursing home with immense efficiency and warmth and who is the best baker I have ever known (and as a onetime chef, I have known a few). I love Helene Greenberg, my sixty-something next-door neighbor and the town librarian, who wears T-shirts that say things like “I do a thing called what I want.” I even kind of love my friend/boss, Krista Baker, the editor in chief of the Cape Cod Clarion, who, when I complain that she can be a bit overbearing, dismisses me with a quick “I’m not bossy. I have executive leadership skills.” A reply which, I might add, she got from a tote bag my mother gave her for Christmas. Thanks, Mom.
So, yeah, I love them. Even Krista. Sometimes. But at that moment, I loved my blueberry buckle more.
And then, of course, there’s that ginormous dog I mentioned, named Diogi (as in D-O-G, get it?). He’s is your typical Cape Cod mutt, part yellow Lab, part whatever (given his size, perhaps Great Dane). He is loyal and well-meaning, but he is not particularly intellectual. The only commands he responds to are “shut up” (on occasion), “sit” (on occasion), “stay” (almost never), and “go find Helene” (always). And, oh yes, “sic ’em.” Don’t ask. On the other hand, his emotional intelligence is impressive. If you are feeling blue, Diogi is exactly what you need. First, he will lay his big head in your lap until you smile just a little bit, and then he will take you out for a nice long walk to cheer you up. It never fails.
Do you have any special skills to fight crime?
Absolutely not. Unless you count completely ignoring Helene when she tells me to be “very, very careful.” And a pretty strong conviction that as a general rule I don’t think people should get away with killing other people.
Are you a full-time detective or do you do something else?
I am definitely not a full-time detective. I’m just the Cape Cod Foodie. But it seems like I do have a knack for getting involved in murders. On my first assignment in A SIDE OF MURDER, I promptly found a dead body. (Sigh.) And then I did it again in AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR, when I stumbled over a very dead Santa in a very hip restaurant. (Sigh again.) And now I have to convince everybody that Clara Foster did not set her own house on fire…
What are you most frightened of in this story?
I think this excerpt might give you an idea:
I wasn’t particularly concerned when I didn’t see Diogi’s big yellow head hanging out of the truck window. He often took a snooze while I was running some errand or another. But my world changed forever when I opened the driver’s side door. The truck cab was empty, completely empty. As was the pavement outside the truck. No Diogi in the truck. No Diogi outside the truck…
Is there anything funny that happens to you or another character in this story?
If by funny you mean embarrassing, absolutely. Wait until you see me make a fool of myself on Antiques in the Attic. Another star turn by the world’s most reluctant YouTube star.
If I were to choose an actor or actress to play your part in a movie, who would that be?
Well, if anyone can find an actress who meets this description, I wish they’d let me know:
I stand six feet one and a half inches in my stocking feet, six two and a half in my chef’s clogs. I’m not exactly beautiful, especially when I’m sweating over a hot stove, but, as my grandfather used to say, I clean up nice. When I’m not wearing the standard black-and-white checked chef’s pants and double-breasted white jacket, I have a weakness for floaty dresses and dangly earrings.
9. Do you have any final words you would like to leave with our readers?
I would love it if you actually tried some of the to-die-for (sorry, please forgive the pun) recipes at the end of each of the Cape Cod Foodie books. Then invite your friends and family to sit down at your kitchen table, open a bottle of wine and enjoy! Because cooking for and/or sharing a meal with people you love is, in my opinion, one of life’s great gifts.
10. Let’s give your author a chance to speak. Anything you would like to add?
Well, what I’d actually like to add is a big old THANK YOU to my readers. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for buying my books and all your lovely reviews on Amazon and GoodReads! Thank you for patronizing local bookstores when you can! Thank you for loving Cape Cod! But most of all, thank you for taking Sam and the gang into your hearts.
About Amy Pershing
Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before leading employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago she waved goodbye to Wall Street to write full time. Murder Is No Picnic is the third of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef who retreats home to Cape Cod where she finds herself juggling a new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie,” a complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, a ginormous dog and a propensity for falling over dead bodies. Elizabeth Gilbert called the first book in the series, A Side of Murder, “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read,” and Kirkus Reviews gave the second book, An Eggnog to Die For, a starred review, saying, “A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens.”