Hi y’all. It’s Lulu here. I’m so glad you showed up! My friend Cherry gave me a new recipe for a breakfast casserole and I’m just taking it out of the oven. It sure will taste better now that I’ve got someone to share it with me. Here you go—it’s got hashbrowns, eggs, sausage, and cheese…it’ll stick to your ribs and get you ready for the day! I have a feeling I’m going to have seconds.

Just have a seat, hon. I’ve got to do just a few things to get the restaurant ready for the lunch crowd. Nope, thanks, I’ve got it covered—just putting out some clean tablecloths and fresh rolls of paper towels on the tables. Oh, and I’ve got to call Buddy back—the Back Porch Blues Band is playing here tonight.

Why don’t you take a little nap in the rocker while I’m getting the dining room set up? I just love closing my eyes on the porch right under the ceiling fans. And the sounds from Beale Street kind of lull me to sleep. I steal a few winks out here every day. Especially before my family gets to the restaurant.

My family? I love them, I really do. But somehow, lately, they’ve seemed to find trouble…or maybe trouble is finding them. Whatever is happening, I wish it would stop. I’ve had more dealings with murder than I ever thought possible. Yes sir, one thing this restaurant isn’t, is dull. Things stay hopping over here.

My guests are interesting sometimes, too. That’s right, we like to think of them as guests, not customers. Most of them we just love–and some of our regulars are practically family. I’ve even got pictures of the regulars up on the walls alongside Elvis and BB! But every once in a while, we’ll have some trouble with our guests. Not often! But when it happens, things really heat up around here. And I don’t think it’s because of the barbeque pit.

So just close your eyes for a few minutes and relax. I’ll be back in a little while because…well, mercy, it’s almost time for another meal. I’ll bring you out a plate of ribs and spicy corn muffins in a jiffy…
You can read more about Lulu in HICKORY SMOKED HOMICIDE, the third book in the “Memphis BBQ” mystery series. The first book in the series is DELICIOUS AND SUSPICIOUS.

Riley Adams is the pseudonym for Elizabeth Spann Craig. Riley grew up in Anderson, South Carolina, where she spent most of her childhood in the county library, staggering out with books by the armful. Her magazine articles have appeared in both England and the United States. She’s the mother of two and currently lives in Matthews, North Carolina. Between juggling room mom duties, refereeing play dates, and being dragged along as chaperone/hostage on field trips, she dreams of dark and stormy nights beside stacks of intriguing mysteries with excellent opening lines. Visit Riley at www.mysteryloverskitchen.com.

** To celebrate the release of HICKORY SMOKED HOMICIDE, I’m giving away one copy of the book, thanks to the publisher. To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address in the comment box with your comment. This is only open to US addresses at the publisher’s request. Contest ends on November 3rd at 6pm EST. Winner will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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