News Flash: Terry Buckmore is our lucky winner! Terry, please check your email, and congratulations!
Edith here, wearing my Maddie Day hat, thrilled to announce my twenty-fifth book birthday with No Grater Crime, the ninth in the Country Store Mysteries!
Robbie Jordan’s Pans ’N Pancakes boasts delicious eats and the best vintage cookware finds in South Lick, Indiana. And now, for a limited time, there’s a new special featured on the menu—murder!
Ever since meeting the wary owners of an antique shop opening across the street, Robbie has been scrambling to manage weird incidences plaguing her café and country store. Pricey items vanish from shelves without explanation, a fully equipped breakfast food truck starts lingering around the area each morning, and loyal diners mysteriously fall ill. When an elderly man dies after devouring an omelet packed with poisonous mushrooms, Robbie must temporarily close down Pans ’N Pancakes and search for the killer with a real zest for running her out of business—or else.
Except … do you read any hint in there that the book ends with Robbie’s wedding? Yeah, no. I didn’t think so. It might be because my original plan was for Robbie and Abe to get married off the page after the book ended. Thank goodness Sherry read the manuscript before I sent it in. She said something like, “Cozy readers want to be invited to the wedding.” Oh!
Anyway, it was a perfect suggestion. I could do that. (Except I think I forgot to inform my editor, so nothing weddingish made its way into the official book blurb.) The manuscript was too short, as usual. I had included scenes of Robbie’s wedding planning mixed in with solving a murder, so readers already knew we were leading up to nuptials.
Last week I also realized I’d missed a great promotional opportunity by not focusing on the wedding in the lead-up to the release date. My dear friend Annette Dashofy, a brilliant yet low-key self-marketer, included a wedding at the end of ‘Til Death, her tenth Zoe Chambers mystery, which came out in June, 2020. I remember lots of fun pre-pub posts where Annette ran quizzes on what kind of wedding dress would suit Zoe, which one she would pick, and so on.
Darn! Did I do that? I did not. So I’m trying to remedy my lackluster promotional efforts right here, right now, today, on release day.
First, let’s talk dresses. Our hero, Robbie, has long been described as about 5’3″, with a small waist and hearty hips anchoring her bicyclist’s thighs. She wanted to find a dress to highlight her best attributes. What bride doesn’t want that? Aunt Adele and Robbie’s friend Lou went shopping with her.
The Indianapolis bridal shops seemed to specialize in either strapless numbers in satin with trains or overly fussy lace-trimmed gowns. I hadn’t liked a single one. We’d made a second trip to an international import shop Lou knew in Bloomington and found exactly what I wanted.
Did it look like this one from DavidsBridal.com? Not exactly, but close.
I ran my hands down the white embroidery on the scoop-necked bodice of the dress, which fit snugly but wasn’t too tight. The cap sleeves were embroidered in white, too, with tiny flowers and bells. The fine cotton of the skirt was gathered at the waist and fell to the floor, giving it a delightfully swish when I moved, and it even had pockets.
I did have a secret weapon when I was writing the wedding scenes – my son’s wedding three years ago. I loved the colors his bride Alison Russell picked. Dusty rose, deep blue, and gray are beautiful together and looked so tasteful. The outdoor venue in Potomac was perfect, with the trees behind in full leaf.
The bride and groom invited both their parents to walk them down the aisle, first Allan with his father and me, then Alison with her parents. In the book, Robbie’s Italian father Roberto and her Aunt Adele both walk her down the aisle – plus Adele’s dog, Sloopy.
I gave Robbie Alison’s blue shoes under her dress. The bride’s two attendants, Lou and Alana (oops, stole that name, too, from Alison’s maid of honor, on the right in the photo), wear blue in the book, but in whatever style they wanted – as did all the young women in Alison and Allan’s wedding party.
Alana and Lou hovered in their deep blue outfits. Alana, in an elegant sleeveless silk jumpsuit that complemented her short auburn hair, kept patting the pocket that held the ring box. Lou, wearing a square-necked simple dress that flattered her athletic figure, fussed with the flower wreath in my hair.
The wreath? That’s a little detail from my own modest wedding to Allan’s dad, many years ago.
The men in the story wear rose-pink silk neckties, as did the men in Allan’s wedding party.
Now you have a sneak peek into the very end of the book. The rest? You’ll have to read No Grater Crime to find out what happens!
Readers: Dish on your favorite wedding memory, color, or idea. I’ll send one of you a signed copy of the new book, plus a little swag.