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.
If I weren’t so SERIOUSLY over-booked I would ask for an ARC! Perhaps a review copy?
I am reading Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle right now. I’m on the last 20 pages. Great book! I have read all the Jake Tiptree books. Love them!
I love reading books based in Maine. I love Maine, spent quite a few vacations there. What is not to love, except maybe the winters.
Welcome to the blog, Sarah, and congratulations!
I have read Sarah Graves ( fix it ) series , but now I Am loving ( Death by Chocolate ) series !
Love the characters and love the location !
Look forward to more !
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE SNICKERDOODLE sounds absolutely amazing! I know that it’s now on my TBR list and I can’t wait for the opportunity to read it.
Love the combination of traditional and quirky. Sounds kind of like me. 🙂 One of our bucket list trips was a couple years ago going to Maine for a couple weeks. We went up the entire coastline and then explored the interior of the state. Reading this book would be like going back for a short and very interesting visit. And we can’t have a delightful cozy without a murder or two can we? 🙂
So hoping there are recipes included too. We love Snickerdoodle cookies. In fact, that is our 16 year old chihuahua furbaby’s name. I must have been living under a rock because I’ve never heard of a chocolate version. You had me at “chocolate” anything though.
2clowns at arkansas dot net
I’m excited to read your latest book, I’ve read all the Jake and Ellie books! I love Jake’s grit and determination in repairing her old home and her adventures with Ellie. Congratulations and keep writing, please!
Any book about chocolate it’s going to be good! And now I’m off to Google what a jitterbug is- Spam is made right here but I’ve never heard of that recipe and now I need to know.
I have been a huge fan of Sarah Graves since she first began writing her Home Repair books! I always felt I could relate to Jake and Ellie – they always felt like the friend’s next door. The books have intriguing plots and great characters. Even the town of Eastport (which I always say I will visit some day!) seems like a character in the way it is described. Love the new series – which is more like a cozy one. Honestly, I’m looking forward to hanging out with Jake and Ellie again and being entertained by Sarah Graves’s vivid imagination (never mind the yummy recipes!).
First off, congrats to Edith and Sherry on their Agatha nominations!
We have a store named The Chocolate Moose here in Pittsburgh. It’s one of those places I have to stay out of for the sake of my waistline.
Personally I think chocolate and murder go along just fine – but I’m weird that way.
Thank you so much, Liz!
Hi, everyone, and thanks again to the wonderful Wickeds for having me here! Today in Eastport it’s foggy and chilly – great day to be inside reading and eating snickerdoodles. And I’ll try to scare up that recipe for jitterbugs later —
Hi, everyone, and thanks to the wonderful Wickeds for having me here! It’s foggy and rainy in Eastport today, a perfect day for staying indoors, reading, and eating snickerdoodles. I’m loving all your comments so far – and I’ll try to find that recipe for jitterbugs!
Oh! And before I forget, that wonderful photograph of Eastport’s boat basin at night is by Don Dunbar at easternmaineimages.com –
Awesome!!! I so look forward to your cozy chocolatey murder mystery…a quaint town, two sister sleuths, a chocolate-themed bakery… and murder…all the words to entice me…they push all the right buttons for sure.
I agree that some of the food you describe would best stay in the pages of your book rather than on a plate I am supposed to eat.
Thank you for sharing your writing with us!!
Any book with chocolate in it is going to be good! I’m excited to read this book! Love the book cover!
You had me at chocolate. Congrats on the new book!
Love Sarah Graves. I have read all the Home Repair Series and love Lizzie Snow books. Didn’t know about the Chocolate Series. Thanks for the introduction! Congrats!
Welcome to the Wickeds, Sarah! You know I love to good Maine book, and yours are really good.
Oh, Sarah — dried fish dinners? That’s one I never encountered when I lived in New England. Your new books sounds great — you are an inspiration to all authors!
I’m with Sherry on the dried fish dinners – that’s a new one for me, and in the ‘ewww’ category. lol
I’ve really enjoyed the new series transplanting Jake & Ellie into the chocolate shop and can’t wait to read “Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle.” Great cookie idea, too. 🙂
I love everything Sarah Graves writes. You can’t go wrong with quirky, chocolate, and murder. All you need is a cat! I’m weird, but the dried fish dinner sounds intriguing.
And congrats to Sherry and Edith on the Agatha nominations. Good luck to you both
Thank you so much!
It sounds like a fabulous book. Anything that has to do with chocolate has to be a winner. Thank you for sharing your time and your talent. God bless you.
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