Welcome to the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery) by Mary Lee Ashford. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, spotlights, reviews and more!
Quiche of Death
by Mary Lee Ashford
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Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
3rd in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (July 21, 2020)
Print Length: ~254 pages
When editor Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer went into business creating cookbooks, they found a sideline as amateur sleuths. Now a bitter family grudge could leave a fatal aftertaste…
At Sugar & Spice Community Cookbooks, the friends and business partners have secured a tasty new commission: producing a cookbook for the Abbott family. The Abbotts have made their fortune in quiches, and Sugar and Spice have been invited to a weekend gathering where all the siblings, along with crusty matriarch Marta, will be in attendance. But it’s soon clear that this trip will come with a hefty slice of drama.
Theo, the only grandson, arrives with his flaky fiancée, Collette, who quickly stirs up trouble . . . and is found dead the next day. As the investigation unfolds, secrets—and recipes—are shared, and Sugar and Spice realize just how messy and murderous the situation may be. As another family member falls ill, can they solve the case without getting egg on their faces . . .and a target on their backs?
* Includes delicious recipes! *
“Quiche me, you fool.”
The demand was followed by hoots of laughter as the sister—Jezzie, I think her name was—leaned into her spouse for a smooch. He hesitated but obliged.
I smiled at the boisterous group who clearly shared some inside joke about quiche and kissing. The warmth of the table and the sibling love melted my heart like butter on a biscuit. Taking a sip of water, I glanced over at Dixie, who sat across from me at the huge oak table.
She rolled her eyes.
“What?” I mouthed.
Dixie shrugged. Jezzie had perhaps a teensy bit too much wine, but still: When did my best friend and business partner get so darn stuffy? Maybe it was the inside-joke part that she found off-putting.
But we did know quiche was the family’s stock-in-trade, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch to figure out the expression had something to do with the Arbor family’s food business. After all, that was why we were here.
Guest post: Cozy Cats, Playful Pups and Murder
In addition to writing the Sugar & Spice Mysteries for Kensington Books, I co-write the Pampered Pets cozy series from Bell Bridge Books, which features two cousins, one a pet therapist and the other a pet boutique owner. So, as I’m sure you can tell, cats and dogs were pretty much a given for that series.
But when I started working on the Sugar & Spice mysteries, I didn’t necessarily think about pets being a part of the books. It’s a culinary series after all. But, those rascals just sort of snuck in.
You see, I’m a sucker for animals in books. I guess strictly speaking, in real life, too. But it’s the books we’re talking about right now. I believe having pets in a story makes it more realistic. And those canine, feline, or other animal characters help us get to know the human characters in the story.
First off, whether someone chooses to have a pet or not tells us a lot about them. If they don’t, why not? Maybe they don’t like animals. Maybe they wish they could, but live somewhere that doesn’t allow pets. Or maybe they had a bad experience at some point in their life.
If they do have a pet, how they came to have this particular pet tells us even more about them.
Was it a search for just the right cat or dog? A desire for a particular breed? Or are they, like me, an adopter of strays and a supporter of animal rescue shelters? All those choices shed some light on the character’s background, their personality, and what’s important to them.
And then there’s the other characters in the book. How do they react to the pets? And, just as important, how do the pets react to them? It’s certainly true that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat animals.
When I started writing the Sugar & Spice mystery series, I gave Sugar a cat, Ernest, and Dixie, a dog. Dixie’s dog, Moto, is a mixed breed she adopted from the local rescue. And Ernest, is a six-toed tabby who adopted Sugar. She didn’t plan on having a cat, but…now she does.
In Quiche of Death there’s another animal character, a poodle named Frenchie. And, oh boy, does how each of the characters react to Frenchie tell us a lot about them!
Bottom line, no matter whether I’m writing about a pet-therapist (Desperate Housedogs) or a cookbook publisher (Game of Scones, Risky Biscuits, Quiche of Death) you’re probably always going to find pets in my stories. They’re not only a great way to reveal things about characters, they also so much fun to write!
About Mary Lee Ashford
Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries.
In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.
Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.
She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a past board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter for writers’ groups.
Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university-level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.
She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and cat, Zoey. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.
Website – https://maryleeashford.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/maryleeashford1
Twitter – https://twitter.com/maryleeashford
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mary_lee_ashford/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/maryleeashford/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/maryleeashford
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