Edith/Maddie here, in a month that doesn’t know what to do with its own weather.
The Wicked Authors are multi-published many times over by now, but we all started somewhere. I’m delighted to welcome Australian-Canadian Emily George to the blog with A Half-Baked Murder, her debut cozy mystery!
The book came out two weeks ago. Get a whiff of this fabulous blurb:
Formally trained pastry chef Chloe Barnes is opening a cannabis bakery. That’s not at all what the twenty-eight-year-old envisioned while living the dream in Paris with a hot fiancé and a Michelin star restaurant gig around the corner. But the rising “it girl” of choux puffs rethinks everything after a scathing food review and humiliating breakup make her long for home in sunny California. When her beloved grandmother falls ill, Chloe returns to quaint Azalea Bay to start over in the most satisfying way possible—concocting delicious edibles with her quirky Aunt Dawn.
Combining French luxury and THC, Baked by Chloe will take pot brownies to another level. That is, until a creepy past acquaintance rehashes old drama and shockingly turns up dead—landing Aunt Dawn as the number one murder suspect. Now, alongside her closest confidants, a stunned Chloe must alternate between budding entrepreneur and amateur sleuth to clear her aunt’s name, open the best bakery in town, and weed out the real culprit from a list of unsettling suspects!
Take it away, Emily!
I’m extremely lucky to have been surrounded by many amazing women in my life, so it’s no surprise I gravitate to writing characters with an army of smart, quirky, confident, and loving women in their lives, too! And what better genre is there for showcasing all these great women than cosy mysteries?
My debut cosy mystery features sleuth and baker Chloe Barnes whipping up some very “special” treats while solving crimes in her local hometown with the help of her bohemian Aunt Dawn and sassy Grandma Rose. So, I thought I might share some of the inspirations behind Grandma Rose in particular, because she was heavily inspired by my own grandmother.
In fact, Grandma Rose’s name was taken from my grandmother’s favourite flowers, which were always blooming in her front garden. They share an affinity for gardening and flowers, always wanting to bring a little colour to their streets. Both women have a fierce sense of family and an unshakable inner strength, having lost husbands in their fifties, and they have decades worth of hilarious stories about how they were clever enough to pull tricks on the people around them. They’re both mischievous and young at heart.
In A Half-Baked Murder we see that Grandma Rose has a huge weakness for animals, particularly dogs, when she and Chloe adopt an adorable little Chihuahua named Antonio. My own grandmother was a dog person, too. You could always find her sitting in her chair and reading with her dog, Lady, curled up by her feet.
Like my own grandmother, Grandma Rose is whip smart! She and her friends have a bi-weekly cards night (Euchre is the game of choice) and they take no prisoners. If you want to play with their crew, then you’d better be prepared to lose some coin.
Another area that I pulled inspiration from is that Grandma Rose is currently dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis. This is something that both my own grandmother (and my mother) experienced, and while it might seem a serious topic for a cosy mystery I really wanted to show how women band together to care for one another in tough times—like Chloe does in returning home to Grandma Rose, and how my own family did, not once but twice. Family is super important to me and it’s also integral to A Half-Baked Murder, especially since Chloe’s aunt is the number one suspect!
A Half-Baked Murder is a story with loads of heart. If you love a twisty murder mystery plot with a fun cast of characters, adorable small-town setting and lots of heartfelt relationships, then I hope you’ll take a chance on my debut cosy mystery. Huge thanks to the Wicked Authors for letting me chat to you all today.
Readers: Who is the person who has inspired you most in your life? I’ll give away a signed print copy (advanced reader edition) of A Half-Baked Murder (open to US and Canada only).
Emily George is an Australian author who writes modern murder mysteries. Like her sleuths, she’s an elder Millennial who grew up on a steady diet of late 90’s romantic comedies, Spice Girls songs and Babysitter’s Club books. When she’s not figuring out creative ways to kill people (fictionally, of course) she enjoys knitting, baking, playing video games, and listening to true crime podcasts. She resides in Canada with her husband.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanielondon/ (this is the correct link, I have both pen names under one profile)
International & other retailers: https://www.emily-george.com/a-halfbaked-murder