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!
~ Guest Post With Maddie ~
How Seasons Can Help a Story
The Country Store Mysteries are set in fictional South Lick, Indiana, which I plopped into the very real Brown County. The area is in the pretty, hilly part of the southern third of the state. Several decades ago, I spent five happy years in the county to the west earning my doctorate at the flagship Indiana University campus.
IU Bloomington is a school that every generation of Maxwells has attended and of which my great-great-great grandfather was one of the founders (also: my great-grandfather was first dean of the IU Medical school, my grandfather was captain of the IU basketball team in 1916, and my own father was an undergrad there). Think huge university in a small town. You can walk or ride a bike everywhere. People are friendlier and talk more slowly than in the northeast.
I’m a southern California girl, and I’d never lived in the Midwest before. I was amazed by the sight of snowflakes. I was dismayed by how the snow would partially melt during the day but freeze up at night, creating sidewalks that were sheets of ice. I remember loving the burst of spring flowers, the dogwoods and redbuds in bloom in the woods, all the color after the starkness of winter and all the green growth that flourishes with spring rains.
But summer was the season that made the biggest impression on me. Such dramatic storms! Truly epic thunderstorms would roll in from the west and we sometime sat on the front porch (every older house had a covered front porch) to watch the lightning show.
And the humidity! My father spent his first nine years in Indianapolis before the family moved to California, and I remember him telling us he would take a shower and immediately afterward feel like he’d never taken one. Yep, that, too. Temperatures were much hotter in the suburb east of Los Angeles where I grew up, sometimes hitting 115. But it was the proverbial dry heat, and it really isn’t that bad. So I knew I wanted to set one of the books in this series in a really hot sticky August. People get cranky when they’re uncomfortable. They can become unreasonable, with a short fuse.
A lot of people in South Lick don’t have air conditioning in their homes, and Robbie’s store doesn’t, either. What could possibly go wrong (says the mystery author rubbing her hands in glee)?
Readers: How do you deal with uncomfortable weather?
While Robbie scrambles through breakfast orders South Lick, Indiana, tempers run as high as the sticky August heat. A developer’s plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County infuriates opponents, who concoct 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 . . .
Maddie Day writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction. With eighteen novels in print and five more in production, Maxwell has been nominated for an Agatha Award six times. She lives north of Boston with her beau and two elderly cats, and gardens and cooks when she isn’t killing people on the page or wasting time on Facebook. Please find her at edithmaxwell.com, at the Wicked Authors blog, and elsewhere:
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).
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