By Liz, happy to welcome Sarah Graves to the blog today! Sarah’s new book has me dying for some chocolate – and she’s here to share some insights about her small-town Maine locale. Take it away, Sarah!
Murder in Small Town Eastport
A quaint town on an island off the coast of downeast Maine hardly seems a likely locale for murder. But Eastport’s a quirky place, so adding a fictional taste for deadly doings wasn’t a big stretch.
Eastport home cooking, for example, ranges from the sublime – think grilled salmon with Raye’s Mustard sauce, for instance – to the, well, let’s call it unexpected.
The first time I ate a ‘jitterbug,’ for example, I knew I had to have the recipe. It was tender, tasty, and different from anything I’d ever had, so imagine my surprise at finding that its main ingredient was Spam!
Then there was the night my hostess served a traditional downeast dried fish dinner. Turns out dried fish is also salted fish – thoroughly salted! – and when you serve it, you pour little bits of fried ham over it, along with the fat the ham fried in. I know people who love dried fish dinner, and because I’m the generous type from now on they may have my portion.
The biggest culinary surprise for me in Eastport, though, turned out to be the chocolate. Just down the bay – five minutes by boat, an hour by car – there’s a real, no-kidding chocolatier who makes the stuff from scratch.
The candy store in Eastport sells this utter ambrosia, and when I tasted it a chocolate-bomb of inspiration went off in my head: Eastport + chocolate + murder…delicious!
So that’s how two Eastport women, Jake Tiptree and Ellie White, interrupted their ongoing careers of snooping into bloody murder (in the Home Repair is Homicide series) to start The Chocolate Moose, a small chocolate-themed bakery on Eastport’s Water Street right across from the harbor.
In their new adventure, Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle, the pair try to help two active, athletic young teen sisters clear their brother of murder, while also saving the girls from being forcibly “civilized” (into high heels, makeup, and so on) by their bossy aunt.
But the tasks prove more daunting and dangerous than Jake and Ellie expected, and when Jake comes suddenly face-to-face with a human skeleton she wishes heartily that she were back in the Chocolate Moose, baking something good…
Because like I said, Eastport’s a quirky place, full of mayhem, mystery, and the occasional dried fish dinner. So if you come here – or read about it — be aware: only the chocolate is as harmless – and delicious! – as it may seem.
Readers, what do you think – chocolate snickerdoodles and murder sounds like a pretty awesome combo to me! Tell us what you’re looking forward to about this book.