Edith/Maddie here, writing from north of Boston.
NEWS FLASH: Amy’s winner is Kay Garrett, and my winner is Janet Alcorn. Please check your email, ladies!
And smiling at what we bring you today.
When I realized the fabulous Amy Pershing had An Eggnog to Die For, her new Cape Cod Foodie mystery, coming out a few weeks before Murder at the Lobstah Shack, my third Cozy Capers Book Group mystery, I invited her onto the blog. I thought it would be fun to do a mash-up, to have her Samantha Barnes and my Mackenzie Almeida meet up on Cape Cod! She loved the idea. What follows is mostly her creation, with a bit of tweaking from me.
When Sam Met Mac: A Thanksgiving Tale
“I knew this was a bad idea,” I said to Grumpy. Grumpy is my much battered and, well, grumpy pickup truck. He is, however, a good listener. “I don’t like riding bikes.”
The truth was, bikes don’t like me. The last time I’d ridden one, I was on my way to meet a killer. That time I’d only fallen off once. Which might have been a personal best.
And yet here I was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in front of Mac’s Bikes in Westham trying to wrestle my Aunt Ida’s bicycle out of the back of the truck for a “tune-up.” And all because when I’d asked my harbormaster boyfriend what he wanted to do for his birthday the Friday after Thanksgiving, he’d suggested a bike ride along the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
“If Mac can’t fix it,” my best friend Jenny had said, “then your next stop is the dump.” I was kind of hoping my next stop would be the dump.
But this Mac person had had other ideas. She’d wandered out of her shop when she’d spied me through the front window being bested by an inanimate object. She looked, with her head of short curly hair and friendly smile, like a very fit teenager, not the thirty-something owner of a successful business.
“Hi,” she said, “I’m Mac.”
I paused in my efforts. “Samantha Barnes,” I said. “Sam.”
“Samantha Barnes. I read about you on Wicked Local Cape Cod. Aren’t you the Cape Cod Foodie who solves murders?”
“Not at the moment, no,” I said, looking balefully at the bicycle dangling from Grumpy’s tailgate. Then I remembered something I’d read in the Cape Cod Clarion. Mac. Mackenzie Almeida.
“Aren’t you the Mac Almeida who solves murders?”
“Not at the moment, no,” she said with a laugh, and stepped over to the truck. “Here,” she said, “let me help.”
She deftly lifted the brute out of the back of the truck. “This is a classic,” she said, “What’s the problem?”
“I’ve got to go on a bike ride on Friday,” I said. Okay, whined. “But it’s pretty wobbly. Here, I’ll show you.”
And without further ado, I climbed aboard Aunt Ida’s bicycle and wove a half block down the sidewalk. At which point the front wheel promptly fell off. Followed by Yours Truly.
“Feeling better?” Mac asked as she poured me a cup of coffee inside the shop, which was stocked with new bikes, repair supplies, stretchy neon outfits, helmets, and more, with a workroom visible beyond.
“Much,” I said. “Nothing really bruised except my pride.”
“Good. I can fix that front wheel easily.”
“I can’t believe I’m going to have to ride that thing on Friday,” I said. Okay, whined.
“I take it you’re not one of those get-back-up-on-the-horse types,” Mac said.
“Not that horse.” I grimaced. “I wish I could look like I’m riding a bike, but that somebody else would actually take the reins, so to speak.”
“Yeah.” She nodded. “That’s the way I feel about Thanksgiving.”
“You don’t like Thanksgiving?” I was horrified. “Thanksgiving is all about food. What’s not to like?”
“I love Thanksgiving,” she said. “It’s the ‘you can bring a pie for dessert’ part I don’t like. The last time I tried to make a pie, it looked like your bike after the wheel came off.”
That made me laugh. “Not good,” I agreed.
“Why do they ask me to bring a pie for Thanksgiving?” Mac asked. Okay, whined. “You know how store-bought always looks, well, store-bought. And I refuse to ask Tim, my baker boyfriend. He’s already bringing two pies.”
“I’m not a good baker either,” I said. “But my friend Jillian covers for me. That’s why, before I came here, I stopped to pick up a couple of her fantastic pecan pies.”
And then we looked at each other like the great detectives we were.
Which is how it happened that Mac Almeida walked out of her shop that day with one of Jillian’s homemade pecan pies and I walked out with a gift certificate for the rental of a tandem bicycle.
And a Happy Thanksgiving was had by all.
Readers: Share a bicycling adventure – or mishap – you have had. Amy and I will each give away a copy of our new books!
Christmas is coming to Cape Cod, but when Sam Barnes finds a very dead Santa in a very hip restaurant, it’s up to her to sift out suspects who have been naughty vs. nice…
Professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a simple Christmas list: a quiet holiday at home with her dog and a certain handsome harbormaster; no embarrassing viral videos; and no finding dead bodies. Unfortunately she’s got family visiting, she’s spending a lot of time in front of the camera, and she’s just stumbled over the lifeless body of the town’s Santa Claus.
Plus, Sam’s plans for Christmas Eve are getting complicated. There’s the great eggnog debate among her very opinionated guests. There’s the “all edible” Christmas tree to decorate. And there’s her Feast of the Five Fishes to prepare. Nonetheless, Sam finds herself once again in the role of sleuth. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa—but can she pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?
Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before sitting down to write the Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series, including A Side of Murder — which Elizabeth Gilbert called “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read” — and An Eggnog to Die For — which Kirkus Reviews gave a starred review, saying, “A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens.” The third book in the series, Murder Is No Picnic, will be published in the summer of 2022.
Follow Amy on her website: AmyPershingAuthor.com,