News Flash: Judith is the lucky winner of Laura Walker’s giveaway! Judith, please check your email.
Edith here, stunned at this heat at the start of June. But I don’t want to seem ungrateful. I have my health, a loving family, a career I love, and some special friends. Including Laura Jensen Walker, who has a new book out and is here to talk about gratitude! She’s even giving away a copy of Deadly Delights to a commenter. First, let’s hear about the book:
August in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, always means one thing: the annual baking contest. Picture The Great British Baking Show, writ Midwestern. Naturally, bon vivant baker-turned-mystery writer Teddie St. John has a pie in the ring. The white baking tent boasts an array of folding tables housing each entrant’s daily baked good. And at one of those tables sits the corpse of the lecherous head judge, his face half-buried in a delectable coconut cream pie with Teddie’s distinctive embossed rolling pin by his side…covered with blood. With the help of her friends, Teddie must concoct a recipe to clear her name–if the real killer doesn’t ice her first.
Thank you, Edith, and the rest of the Wickeds for having me back again as I celebrate my book birthday for Deadly Delights. My second Bookish Baker Mystery (the sequel to the Agatha-nominated Murder Most Sweet) is my third cozy and 20th book. Yes, twenty books—can you believe it? I can’t. Who’d have thought? My first book (a non-fiction humor book ala Erma Bombeck) released twenty-four years ago. After writing seventeen books in twelve years, however, I was burned out and didn’t think I’d ever write another book again.
Happily, after an 11-year writing sabbatical and working in state government cubicle world, I’m back—now writing mysteries and having a blast doing so. Who’d have thought?
Certainly not me.
Although I’ve been a mystery fan since my Bobbsey Twins and Trixie Belden childhood, I never dreamed I’d be writing in my favorite genre. Not this pantser. In fact, I’ll be honest—I was TERRIFIED to write my first cozy. What made me think I could write a mystery? Mysteries are all about plot and this seat-of-the-pants writer doesn’t plot. But… all those years of reading Phyllis Whitney, Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, and Diane Mott Davidson had an effect. The whodunits apparently seeped into my subconscious so that when I sat down to write, the plot unfolded with each word I wrote, and the story flowed naturally and organically. Evidently it wasn’t a fluke either. These recent reviews for Deadly Delights made this non-plotter’s day. (Actually, I shrieked with joy and ran down the hall to read them aloud to Michael):
“Lively characters complement the twisty plot.”
“Deadly Delights moves along at warp speed…[Walker’s] writing and story development is top notch.”
—New York Journal of Books
This pantser wrote a twisty plot! Best. Review. Ever. I’m astonished and grateful. Ever so grateful. In fact, I’m grateful for many things these days. At the top of my gratitude list is being fully vaccinated. Such a relief.
Other items on my grateful list include:
- Having friends and family over again
- A husband who cooks (and bakes)
- Our sweet dog Mellie. Most adorable dog ever.
- Being 29 years cancer-free this summer
- See’s Candy
- Our newly painted living room and dining room. (I love the pale sage green, but am never painting a ceiling again.)
- Pink peonies
- Being nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel
- Crisp cool cotton sheets
- The lovely and welcoming mystery community
- Our little house and garden—a sanctuary this past year
Readers: What about you? What are you grateful for? For a chance to win a copy of Deadly Delights, please leave a comment on the top three (or four) things for which you’re grateful.
Finally, I’d like to invite you all to my virtual launch of Deadly Delights TONIGHT (Tues., June 8 at 6 p.m. PT). Hope you can stop by as I talk to my friend and fellow Agatha nominee (for Best Historical) Catriona McPherson. (There will also be a giveaway of Deadly Delights.)
Here’s the link to register:
Thanks! I hope to see you there.
Laura Jensen Walker has loved mysteries since she read Trixie Belden in the fourth grade. A former journalist and the author of several books, including three cozy mysteries: the Agatha-nominated Murder Most Sweet; Hope, Faith, & a Corpse, and Deadly Delights, Laura lives in Northern California. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.