Welcome Back Maya Corrigan! #giveaway

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

Website: https://mayacorrigan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mayacorriganbooks

Group blog: https://mysteryloverskitchen.com

Excerpt and buy links for A Parfait Crime: https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781496734594/a-parfait-crime/

56 Thoughts

  1. Welcome, Maya! The new book sounds fabulous, and how fun to pay homage to the Queen of Mystery. I haven’t read her in a very long time. Really should remedy that.

    1. Thank you, Edith. I enjoy her books even more than I used to, now that I know what goes into writing a mystery. ~Maya

  2. Oh, I love Agatha’s Hercule Poirot series, just all of them! Your book sounds really good, especially with the grandfather sleuthing as well.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Kathy. Granddad and his retired friends play a major role in A Parfait Crime. ~Maya

  3. Really enjoyed reading FIVE LITTLE PIGS.

    Thank you for the wonderful chance to win a copy of A PARFAIT CRIME, which is on my TBR. Can’t wait to read and review it.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Thank you for your comment, Kay. FIVE LITTLE PIGS is my favorite Christie. It’s not as well known as some of her other mysteries but it should be. ~Maya

  4. I have too many favorites to list just one but I offer this instead. On a trip to France when I was in high school, a copy of The Mysterious Affair At Styles in French was the first purchase I made at a tobacco stand in the train station. egoehner(at)roadrunner(dot)com.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Emily. I reread STYLES a few months ago and really enjoyed it. My book was in English, but I’ve tried reading Christie’s stories in a book I bought when I lived in Germany. She really translates well because her style is so conversational. ~Maya

  5. Big Christie fan. I have a tie for favorites: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. Have never seen “The Mousetrap,” but I’d love to.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Liz. NONE is a little dark for my tastes, but ORIENT EXPRESS is one of my favorites. Shortly after rereading it, my daughter and I binged on the 3 video versions of it. My favorite was the 1970’s film, and my daughter preferred Suchet’s Poirot version.

  6. I have loved and reread her books many times and i can’t think of a “best title” to name.
    fruitcrmble AT comcast DOT net

    1. Thanks for commenting. It’s hard to pick a favorite book with so many good ones to choose from. ~Maya

    1. And how wonderful that we have so many good mystery writers to choose from. Thanks for commenting, Shawn.

  7. Welcome back, and CONGRATULATIONS, dear Maya!!! The plot of your A PARFAIT CRIME is most intriguing and really caught my interest. In my case, I grew up in Chile with Agatha Christie books in Spanish and German, and my love for all things Agatha has only grown as I have (a young 74). I have so many “favorite” Christie books, but if I have to choose, I have to go with Murder on the Orient Express. I have also seen The Mousetrap in London and elsewhere several times, and will see it again, I hope. Thank you for the hours of fun you give us readers…and please continue finding new plots, which you will brilliantly write for us! Happy Thanksgiving! Luis at ole dot travel

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Luis. Several others who commented also named Murder on the Orient Express as their favorite. Good luck in the book raffle. ~Maya

  8. Welcome back to the Wickeds, Maya. I am a big Christie fan. She, along with Nancy Drew and Dorothy L. Sayers, is the reason I am such a mystery fan. I have seen The Mousetrap in London. A few years ago, when I was writing my Jane Darrowfield series, which I imagined as an updated, American Miss Marple, I reread several of Christie’s books. I still enjoyed them. It was research, but not at all like homework.

    1. Thank you for welcoming me to the Wickeds, Barbara. Years ago I read many Nancy Drew books and all of Dorothy Sayers’ mysteries. Rereading Christie has been a joy for me too. ~Maya

  9. Thank you for the chance. I love all of Agatha Christie books (except the one where Hercule dies). Ij guess my favorite would be And Then There Were None.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Hercule’s last mystery is a sad book. It’s not one I plan to reread. ~Maya

  10. The book sounds marvelous! I have never seen Mousetrap – definitely on my bucket list. Who could resist an ending that patrons keep secret from other theatergoers. I’ve never heard of anyone breaking the bond.

    Looking forward to reading A Parfait Crime, and recreating the parfait.

  11. I’m a big fan of Maddie Day and am currently reading her Murder on Cape Cod. I’ve read other books in the series but am now starting from the beginning. aprilbluetx at yahoo dot com

  12. Agatha Christie mysteries, Raymond Chandler, Veronica Heley. These bring me great enjoyment as they are well written and captivating. We saw Mousetrap many years ago and were enthralled with the performance.

  13. I love your books and of course Agatha Christie books. This new mystery sounds good especially with shades of The play the Mouse Trap in it.

  14. I am unable to select one particular book, but I can tell you that I love the Miss Marple series! Miss Marple is an old woman who is very ordinary in appearance, yet she manages to solve mysteries by observing people and by listening to a lot of gossip. She is a nosy old woman, and I love her!

  15. OH I love this kind of books & although you’re a new author to me, I would just love to red these books in Hardback or paperback.
    Hoping I Win.

  16. Maya, congrats on the new release! Like others, I can’t pick just one Christie favorite — I like all the Poirot and Marple mysteries. And I’m enjoying Sophie Hannah’s continuation of the Poirot novels, as well.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Tanya. Besides the Poirot and Marple books, I also like the mysteries Christie wrote without either of those two. There is a Tide, Sparkling Cyanide, and Towards Zero are ones I particularly enjoyed. ~Maya

  17. Congratulations on the new release! So hard to pick just one favorite Christie book. I loved And Then There Were None.

    Thanks for the chance!!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Dianne. I can understand why Orient Express is such a favorite. I love the films too. ~Maya

  18. I don’t need a copy of this book (I’ve already enjoyed it), but I’d say my favorite Christie is AND THEN THERE WERE NONE.

    1. Thank you for reading and reviewing the book. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE is a little dark for my tastes. I prefer it with the positive ending Christie gave it in her stage adaptation. ~Maya

    1. Thank you, Laurie. I believe And Then There Were None was voted Christie’s best mystery in a worldwide poll a few years ago. ~Maya

  19. I love Joanne Fluke and Lauren Elliott to name a couple. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

    1. I like the Miss Marple books too. Her understanding of human nature helps her solve mysteries, not just the clues. ~Maya

  20. I can’t wait to read A Parfait Crime. My all time favorite Agathia Christie book is Ten Little Indians (And then there was none)

  21. Congratulations! I’m looking forward to reading A Parfait Crime. I enjoy the Miss Marple books. Too hard to pick a favorite.

  22. I would love to win the book. Murder on the Orient Express and Then There Were None are two favorites of mine.

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