fruitcrmble is the winner of Maya’s book. Watch for an email from Maya!
Maya and I have been on our writing journey together since before our first books came out a month apart in the fall of 2014. We met through the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime and were in a critique group together before our books came out so I’m delighted to welcome her back to celebrate the release of Parfait Crime! Look for a giveaway at the end of her post!
Maya: Thank you, Sherry, for hosting my guest post today. I’m delighted to visit the Wicked Authors again.
Agatha Christie mysteries were my comfort reads during Covid, when I couldn’t bear reading a downer. Despite whatever bad things happen in Christie’s books, the outcome is satisfying and restores order. Though I’d read most of her mysteries decades ago, I approach them in a different way now—less for whodunit than for “how Christie dunit,” how she set up her characters, clues, and red herrings. I also pored over her autobiography and two biographies, Laura Thompson’s and Lucy Worsley’s, to understand how Christie’s life and her mysteries intertwined.
With that heavy dose of the Queen of Crime, I decided to make one of her blockbusters part of my 9th Five-Ingredient Mystery, A Parfait Crime. Most mystery fans know that Christie is the bestselling novelist ever. She has also broken records as a playwright. The Mousetrap, which opened in 1952, still packs in audiences after 70 years in a London theater. It remains a popular show for community theater groups, like the one in A Parfait Crime.
My plot required a diverse group of people, who wouldn’t normally cross paths even in a small town. I brought them together in rehearsals for a Readers Theater production of Christie’s play. My murder victim and the suspects are in the cast, as are my sleuths—café manager Val and her energetic granddad.
I’ve seen The Mousetrap twice in London. I cringed in fear at key moments during the show and was thrilled by the surprise ending. To avoid spoiling the experience for anyone who hasn’t yet seen the play, I’ve revealed little about the plot and nothing about Christie’s culprit in my book. When my characters take a break from rehearsing, their conversations revolve around solving the murder of a beloved cast member.
Some suspects in A Parfait Crime, like those in Christie’s play, have buried their pasts and changed their names. And, like Christie’s characters, they all have secrets. One big difference: the deaths in The Mousetrap are clearly murders, but the killer in my book commits “perfect” crimes, leaving no trace behind. The police can’t find any compelling evidence of foul play. Enter the amateur sleuth to uncover the truth.
GIVEAWAY (U.S. only): To win a signed copy of A PARFAIT CRIME, leave a comment with the title of your favorite Agatha Christie mystery OR if you’re not a fan of hers, name a book by a writer you prefer.
About A Parfait Crime
Set in a quaint Chesapeake Bay town, the latest novel in Maya Corrigan’s Five-Ingredient Mysteries brings back café manager Val Deniston and her recipe columnist grandfather – a sleuthing duo that shares a Victorian house, a love of cooking and food, and a talent for catching killers.
At the site of a fatal blaze, Val’s boyfriend, a firefighter trainee, is shocked to learn the victim is known to him, a woman named Jane who belonged to the local Agatha Christie book club—and was rehearsing alongside Val’s grandfather for an upcoming Christie play being staged for charity. Just as shocking are the skeletal remains of a man found in the freezer. Who is he and who put him on ice?
After Val is chosen to replace Jane in the play, the cast gathers at their house to get to work—and enjoy Granddad’s five-ingredient parfaits—but all anyone can focus on is the bizarre real-life mystery. When it’s revealed that Jane’s death was due to something other than smoke inhalation, Val and Granddad retrace the victim’s final days. As they dig into her past life, their inquiry leads them to a fancy new spa in town—where they discover that Jane wasn’t the only one who had a skeleton in the cooler.
About the Author
Maya (Mary Ann) Corrigan writes the Five-Ingredient Mysteries set in a historical Chesapeake Bay town. The books feature a café manager solving murders with her live-wire grandfather, the Codger Cook. Each book has five suspects, five clues, and Granddad’s five-ingredient recipes. A Virginia resident, Maya has taught college courses in writing, literature, and detective fiction. When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, travel, trivia, cooking, and crosswords.
Links for Maya Corrigan
Group blog: https://mysteryloverskitchen.com
Excerpt and buy links for A Parfait Crime: https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781496734594/a-parfait-crime/