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Cozy Prizes Friday: Bookmarked for Murder

Let’s get on the bus with Nana Jo and the residents of Shady Acres and go do some gambling! V.M. Burns is back with another great Mystery Bookshop Mystery! Don’t forget to scroll down and enter Valerie’s giveaway and to read my review!

 

About Bookmarked for Murder

Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series

Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .

After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it’s a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver’s seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .

 

My Review:

Bookmarked for Murder is the second book I’ve read in the Mystery Bookshop Series, and it was like visiting family. I love Nana Jo and the crowd from Shady Acres. I loved Irma with her hooker heels and way of finding a man to flirt with and another resident who seems to be knitting all the time. The main character, Samantha, is not only escorting the group to go gambling, but she also runs a mystery book store and is busily writing a regency mystery novel. During the bus trip, a gentleman who was writing about the death of Robert Kennedy is found dead. Sam, along with her detective boyfriend, set us on a journey to find his killer. There were several times I laughed out loud while reading this book.

About V.M. Burns

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:

Website: http://www.vmburns.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vmburnsbooks/

Twitter: @vmburns

Purchase Links – AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundBooks-A-MillionHudson BooksellersKobo
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Cozy Prizes Friday: Favorite Recipes From Cozy Writers

As we all begin to think about delicious holiday dishes right around the corner, this week’s visiting cozy is a cookbook! Not only that they sent along a couple of recipes! One for Fido and one for you!

Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes

What happens when 128 cozy mystery writers get together to do a cookbook? You get more than 220 recipes that are as varied and interesting as an amateur sleuth’s day job.

Regional recipes come from every part of the United States and England — a couple find their way from Australia and Italy, too — and from diverse times. There are recipes from people looking to keep gluten out of their lives, eat vegetarian, or make a treat or two for their furry four-legged friends. And yes, there are recipes that appeal to the sweet tooth, lots of them, in fact.
There’s no mystery about what happens when cozy writers get together. They bring the wit, inventiveness, and adventure found in their books right along with their recipes.
The recipes are introduced by their authors and linked to the writer bios in the back of the book.
You can look up your favorite cozy writer and see which recipes are their favorites; they’ll tell you what the recipe means to them. Or you can enjoy a dish and then link to the recipe’s author’s biography and books.
Either way you enjoy the cookbook, you’re sure to find great new recipes to make and terrific new cozy authors to read.

What would a cozy mystery be without pets? And what would Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes be with something for those pets? Fortunately Sparkle Abbey and Laurie Cass (Bookmobile Cat Mysteries) shared some of their favorites for the book. Here’s a dog treat.

My Review:

This is a giant cookbook! With 128 cozy writers contributing there are plenty of recipes to whip up. What I liked about this recipe collection was that you get a little insight into each cozy writer’s fictional world. Great recipes like Artery-Clogging Clam Chowder and even treats for your pets. This is a big effort and a great addition to any recipe collection.

Caro’s Good Dog Treats

From the Pampered Pets mystery series by Sparkle Abbey

Carolina Lamont, animal lover and former Texas beauty queen, moved to California after a very nasty and public divorce. With eleven-thousand dogs – more dogs than kids – Laguna Beach seemed like the perfect spot to open a pet therapy business. And it had been, up until she had to catch a killer by the tail. Whether dealing with misbehaving canines or murder suspects, Caro always keeps a few of her homemade dog treats on hand. Here’s Caro’s recipe:

First, preheat your oven to 350° F.

In a big bowl, combine all the ingredients with just enough water to make it the consistency of cookie dough.

1/2 cup of creamy unsalted peanut butter

1 cup oat flour

1 cup brown rice flour (Caro uses organic)

1 egg

1 tablespoon of honey

1/2 cup finely grated carrot (Dogbert , Caro’s dog, loves carrots)

Optional: You can also add cooked bacon, a bit of grated cheese, or other ingredients for flavor, but don’t add too much or it will mess with the consistency of the dough, and cause your treats to fall apart.

Once you’ve got your treat dough all stirred up, put it between pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to about ¼ inch thickness. Then cut the dough with a cookie cutter. You can use whatever shape strikes your fancy. Caro often uses dog bone shapes of different sizes. Next, put them on a regular cookie sheet and bake them between fifteen and twenty minutes or until they’re golden retriever brown.

Let them cool and then put them in an airtight container. You can store your Caro’s Good Dog treats for about a week (or you can freeze them for later use) but keep an eye on them. There are no preservatives, so watch out for spoilage.

This makes a couple of dozen treats so there’s plenty to go around. Please share them with your dog.

Laurie Cass contributed a recipe cozy cats will love.

Catnip Burgers

From the Bookmobile Cat Mysteries by Laurie Cass

Although Minnie’s favorite recipe is a take-out menu, she does occasionally make a foray into the kitchen to cook up treats for Eddie. Catnip burgers are his favorite, not that he would ever say so to Minnie…

4 oz. sausage or ground beef

3 tablespoons oatmeal

2 tablespoons catnip, finely chopped

1 egg

Knead ingredients together thoroughly and shape into 4 flat patties.

Broil on high heat until the outside is crisp, 8-12 minutes. Turn often to make sure they crisp up evenly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cut cooled patties into cat bite-sized pieces and serve.

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Cozy Prizes Friday: The Body on the Train

How about a weekend trip to London by train in 1929! This week we’re going historical with a little intrigue and an overabundance of rhubarb. That’s right. Rhubarb. I’ve included the book description and my review of this British mystery and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this blog and enter my giveaway. You could use that $20 gift card from Amazon!

Book Description:

Frances Brody’s eleventh Kate Shackleton mystery is sure to delight readers of Rhys Bowen and Jacqueline Winspear.

Two murders. A one-way ticket to trouble.

And it’s up to Kate to derail the killer.

London, 1929. In the darkness before dawn, a railway porter, unloading a special train from Yorkshire, discovers a man’s body, shot and placed in a sack. There are no means of identification to be found and as Scotland Yard hits a dead end, they call on the inimitable Kate Shackleton, a local sleuth, confident her local knowledge and investigative skills will produce results. But it’s no easy task.

Suspicion of political intrigue and fears of unrest in the Yorkshire coalfields, impose secrecy on her already difficult task. The murder of a shopkeeper, around the same time, seems too much of a coincidence. The convicted felon was found with blood on his hands, but it’s too tidy and Kate becomes convinced the police have the wrong man.

By then it’s too late. Kate finds herself in a den of vipers. The real killer is still at large, and having tinkered with Kate’s car, nearly causes her to crash. Not only that, but Scotland Yard has turned their back on her. As Kate edges toward the shocking truth, she’s going to need all the strength and resourcefulness she can muster to uncover this sinister web of deceit.

My Review

This is the first book I’ve read in this series. It is 1929 and a body has been found on the rhubarb train. There are so many factors that figure into the mystery including a  children’s home, a mine, the Ryder Cup, rhubarb farmers and an interesting cast of detective helpers. I enjoyed the pace of the story. I was never quite sure just who to trust. Nicely done!

Giveaway!!!!

Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Murder Can Mess Up Your Masterpiece

As a creative person, I thought of getting a little trailer and going from book show to book show. In Murder Can Mess Up Your Masterpiece, Rose Pressey shows how it can be done!

Where would you go if you had a little pink trailer and were pursuing your dream career?

Be sure to scroll down and read my review and there are only a few days left on my giveaway! ENTER NOW

Book Description: Artist Celeste Cabot welcomes the chance to show her paintings at a craft fair in her hometown of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where she and her Chihuahua, Van Gogh, can park her vintage Shasta trailer and sell her creations, too.
 
Unfortunately, her sales take a hit when a customer returns a painting, claiming it’s haunted. When a fellow vendor discovers images hidden in Celeste’s artwork—and a ghost pays her a late-night visit—she’s shocked to realize she has psychic abilities. After the grumpy manager of the craft fair is found with a knife in his neck, Celeste’s brushes with the paranormal may help fill in the picture—and make sure the wrong person doesn’t get framed . . .

My Review:

I really enjoyed this quirky little cozy mystery about an artist who travels around in a trailer exhibiting her art at craft fairs. She is at her first craft fair in a cute little pink trailer that her family has helped her fix up and so the reader gets to meet her parents and brothers and aunts and it is a delightful escape . As she meets other exhibitors while living near them in their trailers a murder occurs and there are so many suspects and reasons why they could have committed homicide. She had me guessing to the end and I especially liked the paranormal element that comes through in her paintings . This is a fun mystery and easy to read. 

Enter My Giveaway

Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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Cozy Prizes Friday: A Cup of Holiday Fear

Halloween is officially over so let’s talk Christmas. I feel like Hallmark where it seems to be Christmas all year long. We are starting out the season with a new Bakeshop Mystery from Ellie Alexander. Its Christmas time in Oregon and Torte Bakery is running at top efficiency thanks to the leadership of Jules Capshaw and her mother. The entire town is putting on an incredible Christmas celebration. When Jules treats her staff to a Dicken’s themed dinner at the Winchester Hotel, they discover everything is not so perfect in this land of holiday enchantment. Get ready for plenty of Christmas description to get in the mood for the holiday season. My favorite character was definitely Lance, the theater owner.

Here is the book description:

Ashland, Oregon, looks as pretty as a postcard this holiday season. The halls are decked, stockings hung, and eyes are all aglow—mostly thanks to the buttered rum. Jules Capshaw and her staff at Torte are busier than ever. . . still, even the town’s most in-demand bakers need to take a break. So Jules invites everyone to celebrate at the local Winchester Inn’s Dickens Feast, a six-course extravaganza with Yorkshire Pudding, Christmas goose, and all the trimmings. But as the weather outside becomes frightful, things inside turn less delightful when one of the guests ends up as dead as Scrooge’s doornail. Now it’s up to Jules and her helpers to make a list of suspects—and check it twice—to try to find out who’s naughty, who’s nice, and who’s guilty of murder…

Pick up this book on Amazon

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Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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My Review:

What better way to prepare for the holidays than in a busy bakeshop? I enjoyed the magical pre-Christmas atmosphere the author created as well as a murder mystery puzzle to solve. The plot moved along at a good rate but at times was slowed by the act of cooking, but there were mouthwatering recipes that were added to the book. I did have an idea who the murderer was early on, but the placement of clues and red herrings was excellent. I would highly recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a Christmas cozy.

Cozy Prizes Friday: Fatal Cajun Festival

I love Fall! Time for festivals and in the case of the Fatal Cajun Festival plenty of Cajun food and pralines. Scroll down to read my review of Fatal Cajun Festival and be sure to scroll down and enter my giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card.

Book Description:

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Ellen Byron cranks it up to eleven in the fifth fast and funny Cajun Country mystery.

Louisiana B&B owner Maggie Crozat kicks up her heels at a country music festival–but she’ll have one foot in the grave if she can’t bring the killer of a diva’s hanger-on to heel.

Grab your tickets for Cajun Country Live!, the pickers’ and crooners’ answer to the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Maggie Crozat, proprietor of the Crozat Plantation B&B, plans to be in the cheering section when her friend Gaynell Bourgeois takes the stage with her band, Gaynell and the Gator Girls.

The festival’s headliner, native daughter Tammy Barker, rocketed to stardom on a TV singing competition. She has the voice of an angel…and the personality of a devilish diva. But Maggie learns that this tiny terror carries a grudge against Gaynell. She’s already sabotaged the Gator Girls’ JazzFest audition. When a member of Tammy’s entourage is murdered at the festival, Tammy makes sure Gaynell is number one on the suspect list.

Gaynell has plenty of company on that list–including every one of Tammy’s musicians. Posing as a groupie, Maggie infiltrates Tammy’s band and will have to hit all the right notes to clear her friend’s name.

You can find this book on Amazon!

My Review

4 Stars

Time to visit the big jazz festival in Ellen Byron’s latest installment of her Cajun Country Mystery Series. Not only are there delicious pralines but the winner of a television singing show and her entourage will be appearing. She’s a hometown girl who is feeling her stardom. This mystery is a delightful escape to all things Cajun with sexy cops, tipsy grandmothers and an interesting homicide investigation. I received this book through Net Galley and have left an honest review.

Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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Autumn Cozy Giveaway Logo A cup of hot chocolate, a good cozy mystery, and a warm fire. Enter for your chance at some cozy cash- a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Buried in the Stacks

Two things I love–libraries and stories about hauntings! We’ve got a winner with this one. Evelyn the ghost has some new information coming out about her death in Buried in the Stacks and we have a character interview with the investigative librarian, Carrie Singleton.

Don’t forget to scroll down for the giveaway!


Buried in the Stacks: A Haunted Library Mystery
Crooked Lane Books (September 10, 2019)
Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin’. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?

In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople. When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.

As the new Sunshine Delegate, Carrie heads to the hospital to visit her cantankerous colleague, Dorothy, who had fallen outside the local supermarket. She tells Carrie that her husband tried to kill her–and that he murdered her Aunt Evelyn, the library’s resident ghost, six years earlier.

And then Dorothy is murdered–run off the road as soon as she returns to work. Evelyn implores Carrie to find her niece’s killer, but that’s no easy task: Dorothy had made a hobby of blackmailing her neighbors and colleagues. Carrie, Evelyn, and Smoky Joe the cat are on the case, but are the library cards stacked against them?

You can find Buried in the Stacks at these retailers

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...And now a few words from our favorite fictional librarian…Carrie Singleton

Please tell us about your latest adventure.

I helped solve the murder of a fellow librarian and exposed a group that was planning to use a day center for the homeless as a front for their greedy exploits.

Do you have any friends/sidekicks helping you out?

Evelyn Havers, who haunts the library where I work, sometimes helps me, though she also holds back information when her relatives are involved. My best friend Angela, who also works in the library, is often a sounding board for my ideas. So is my boyfriend, Dylan.

Do you have any special skills to fight crime?

I’m persistent and don’t hesitate to ask questions—which occasionally gets me into trouble. As a librarian, my research techniques are quite good, and I’ve recently joined a local group to suss out some suspects .

Are you a full-time detective or do you do something else?

I am the head of programs and events of the Clover Ridge Library in Clover Ridge, CT.

What are you most frightened of in this story?

I am frightened when a car follows me home one night from a meeting that some of the suspects attended.

If I were to choose an actor or actress to play your part in a movie, who would that be? Do you see any other characters in your story as actors or actresses that our readers might know?

I think Natalie Portman would do a great job playing me in a movie.

Do you have other mysteries you would like to tell us about? Is this the first book in the series, or have you cracked a few other cases?

BURIED IN THE STACKS is the third book in the Haunted Library mystery series. In DEATH OVERDUE, the first book in the series, I solve a cold case after a retired homicide detective dies while giving a program about a woman who was murdered fifteen years earlier. In READ AND GONE, my father, a professional thief visits me for the first time in years and is soon accused of murdering the local jeweler. I clear my father and find the real murderer.

Do you have any final words you would like to leave with our readers?

My life is filled with work and people I love; taking care of Smoky Joe, the library cat, and spending time with Dylan. Whenever a mystery or a murder crops up in the beautiful village of Clover Ridge, CT, I find myself smack in the middle of the investigation.

Let’s give your author a chance to speak. Anything you would like to add?

I think Carrie has said it all. She’s doing a terrific job as Clover Ridge Library’s head of programs and events and she’s become quite an accomplished investigator.

 

About Allison Brook

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

Author Links

Website: http://www.marilynlevinson.com

My Amazon page: http://amzn.to/K6Md1O

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.levinson.10?ref=ts&fref=ts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/161602.Marilyn_Levinson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarilynLevinson

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marilev/

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Happy Cozy Mystery Day!

It’s National Cozy Mystery Day today and to kick it off I am posting my Fall 2019 Giveaway! Enter to win a $20 gift card from Amazon so you can snuggle up with a few new cozies!

Autumn 2019 Cozy Giveaway

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Autumn Cozy Giveaway Logo A cup of hot chocolate, a good cozy mystery, and a warm fire. Enter for your chance at some cozy cash- a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

This contest is no longer accepting entries.

Cozy Prizes Friday: Mulberry Mischief

Woo hoo hoo! Time for a Fall cozy full of mulberry and evil spirits! Love it and love this cover! So get your pumpkin spice on and check out Mulberry Mischief! Don’t forget to scroll down and enter Sharon’s giveaway!

Congratulations to CAROLYN, the winner of my 2019 Summer Giveaway. Watch your inbox!

About the Book

Mulberry Mischief (A Berry Basket Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series

Autumn has arrived on the shores of Lake Michigan, but Marlee Jacob, proprietor of The Berry Basket, is feeling a chill for other reasons …

With the Harvest Health Fair in full swing, Marlee makes sure to stock up on elderberry products for cold and flu season. But this year there’s also a run on mulberry when an eccentric customer wants to use the dried berries to ward off evil forces. True, it’s almost Halloween, but something else seems to be spooking Leticia the Lake Lady, Oriole Point’s oddest resident. She believes someone plans to kill her—and the ghost. Only mulberries can protect them. Marlee doesn’t take her fears seriously until a man named Felix Bonaventure arrives in the village, asking questions about a mysterious woman.

The next day, Marlee finds Bonaventure dead on Leticia’s property—shot through the heart with an arrow made of mulberry wood. And Leticia has disappeared. Marlee soon learns the Lake Lady has a deadly past that is connected to the famous Sable family who are in town for the health fair. A bunch of clues start to come together—and figuring out what’s going on puts Marlee in a real jam …

Includes Berry Recipes!

Available at these online retailers – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

About Sharon Farrow

Sharon Farrow is the latest pen name of award-winning author Sharon Pisacreta. A freelance writer since her twenties, she has been published in mystery, fantasy, and romance. Sharon currently writes The Berry Basket cozy mystery series for Kensington. The series debuted in 2016 and is set along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline where she now lives. She is also one half of the writing team D.E. Ireland, who co-author the Agatha nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mysteries.

Author Links –

WEB PAGE http://sharonfarrowauthor.com/

FACEBOOK @SharonFarrowAuthor

TWITTER @SharonFarrowBB

BOOKBUB @SharonFarrow

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Silent Night, Deadly Night

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Getting together for the holidays with old friends can be fun…and stressful especially if there is a murder involved. Yes! It’s a Christmas mystery! I love these yuletide stories! It’s kind of like the Hallmark Channel went a little dark.    We have a special visitor today, a character from Silent Night, Deadly Night who is beginning to regret getting together with her old college friends. Don’t forget to scroll down and enter Vicki’s giveaway!

About the Book


Silent Night, Deadly Night
4th in Series
Berkley (August 27, 2019)

Residents of Rudolph keep the spirit of Christmas alive year-round—but their joy is threatened when a group of grinches visits the town, in the charming fourth installment of the Year-Round Christmas series.

It’s the week before Thanksgiving, and Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is preparing for a weekend reunion of her mother’s college friends. But when the group of women comes into Merry’s shop, Merry is met with frosty attitudes and cold hearts.

The women argue amongst themselves constantly, and the bickering only intensifies after one of the friends is poisoned. With her father’s role as Santa in danger due to his proximity to the crime, Merry will need to use all of her investigative gifts to wrap this mystery up and save Santa and her favorite holiday.

You can find Silent Night, Deadly Night at these online retailers:  AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

About the Author

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, the Year Round Christmas mysteries and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series.

You can find Vicki Here!

Websitewww.vickidelany.com

Facebookwww.facebook.com/evagatesauthor;

Twitter: @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor

Instagram: vickidelany

A Visit with Aline from Silent Night, Deadly Night

It’s Thanksgiving in America’s Christmas Town

By Aline Steiner Wilkinson from the Year Round Christmas Mysteries by Vicki Delany

I’m beginning to regret inviting my five friends from college for a reunion at my home in Rudolph New York

They are not, to put it mildly, getting on very well.

Plus it’s the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I know how important Thanksgiving is to my eldest daughter, Merry.

Merry owns a charming little gift and holiday decor shop called Mrs. Claus’s Treasures on Jingle Bell Lane in Rudolph. Christmas, for Merry, is all about work. The lead-up to the holiday season, the busy holiday shopping hours themselves, and then the equally busy post-Christmas sale season. She sees Thanksgiving as her final chance to take a deep breath and relax before plunging into the frenzy of the season. So I try to do the full, traditional thanksgiving meal. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and Brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce. Two types of pie for dessert. Of course, I don’t do ANY of that cooking by myself. Noel, my husband, does most of it, and I shop at Victoria’s Bake Shoppe for the desserts, bread rolls, and condiments. I never quite got into the domestication thing, not with my career as a soloist at the Metropolitan Opera and on stages around the world.

Back to the matter at hand. My college reunion.

We haven’t all been together since we graduated (or left in some cases) college more than forty years ago. I’ve visited Constance in California, Ruth in Rochester, had lunch with Barbara and Genevieve in New York City when I’ve been performing there. I haven’t seen Karla in all those years, but she’s the one who works hard to keep us all in touch. Karla’s the glue, so to speak, that holds our group together with news of babies and grandchildren, moves, marriages and divorces, career changes.

All those years ago, we were all planning a career in the performing arts. Only Genevieve and I stuck with it. Genevieve had a role in a few low-budget movies, achieved some small and fleeting success in a soap opera in the 1990s. I was fortunate enough to be able to pursue the career I loved before retiring the height of my career and settling down in Rudolph, New York, to teach voice.

Now, they’re here. All of them. Visiting me in Rudolph while Noel’s away on his annual fishing trip to Florida. The timing isn’t good – the weekend before Thanksgiving, but that was the only time our schedules matched. Somehow, without quite knowing what I was doing, I invited them here.

The whole miserable bunch. I guess I’d forgotten that they never really got on. Personality clashes, petty jealousies, income disparities. And a lot of resentment that appears to not only have not been forgotten over the years but to grow, ready to be unleased the moment they set eyes on each other.

Tonight we’re having pot luck. Everyone is making their speciality. Hoping my guests won’t bicker too much with strangers in our midst, I invited (more like ordered) Merry and Vicky Casey to come to dinner.

Sigh. Oh, well, only a weekend to get through. And then they’ll be gone their separate ways, Noel will be home, and we can have the traditional big Thanksgiving dinner Merry loves so much.

First, this blasted pot luck to get through.

Find out if the pot luck dinner is a success in SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT the fourth Year Round Christmas mystery by Vicki Delany, coming August 27 from Berkley.

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