Category Archives: A DAY IN THE LIFE

a place where characters give you a glimpse into their day

A Day in the Life with Herr Georg Wolfsburger as told to B.B. Haywood

Town In A Cinnamon ToastProprietor, Black Forest Bakery
Cape Willington, Maine

Hallo! Wie geht’s? My name is Georg Wolfsburger. You may have heard of me. I own the Black Forest Bakery in the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, located on the rocky Down East coast. Many of you I have met around town, and I’m sure some of you have been into my shop, where I bake the most delectable cakes and German pastries in New England. But the sticky mess in which I currently find myself has nothing to do with my bakery.

In just two day’s time, I will be marrying the love of my life and apple to my strudel, the lovely and energetic Maggie Tremont. I can’t even begin to describe my happiness to you! I’m looking forward to the wedding more than anything else in the world. There’s just one minor problem at the moment. Last evening, at our wedding rehearsal dinner, our best man, Julius Seabury, went missing. Much to my surprise and regret, he was later found dead and—dare I say?—possibly murdered! A friend of mine, blueberry farmer Candy Holliday, discovered his body at the English Point Lighthouse and Museum, in the second-floor archives, which is full of musty old books and documents. Needless to say, it was a great shock for us all.

As if that isn’t tragic enough, it appears that Julius was killed by a knock on the head with one of the bottles of champagne I personally ordered for our upcoming wedding celebration! Talk about popping a cork! The police might even think I did it! Gott in Himmel! Can you imagine?

With the loss of Julius, my best friend and best man, and with my upcoming wedding just two days away, and with a possible murderer running around town, and with ongoing preparations to open the bakery for the summer season in a few weeks’ time, I have so much on my mind that it’s just spinning like a top! Not to mention the fact that I have a wedding cake to bake for my own wedding! But before I can do that, I need to find out who took that bottle of champagne from its case without anyone’s knowledge, and why it was taken to the museum and used to strike down my best man.

If you know me, then you know I’m normally a reserved, stay-out-of-trouble man, but in this case I feel that I need to take immediate action. I have to find out what happened to Julius in order to save my wedding. Thankfully, I have Candy Holliday to help me solve this mystery. As you might know, she has quite a bit of experience with this sort of thing. It’s a case we’ll try to solve together.

The clues, as expected, are mysterious. Why was there sand on the bottoms of Julius’s shoes? What was he looking at through his binoculars? Why did he seem so distressed in his final days? Was someone after him? Did it have anything to do with the town’s founding families, like the Sykes and the Pruitt families? And, most important, what the heck is this thing called Foul Mouth?

It will take all our combined efforts to get to the bottom of this mystery. I admit that I’ll never be the sleuth Candy has become, but I will do my best to sharpen my investigative skills! I’ll don my green felt Tyrolean hat (complete with feather) and get out there to solve this crime. Only then will I have peace of mind. Then the beautiful wedding I’ve planned with my darling Maggie can take place, so we can both live happily ever after.

Town in a Cinnamon Toast is the seventh book in the “Candy Holliday” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, February 2016.

About Town in a Cinnamon Toast

The author of Town in a Sweet Pickle brings back Candy Holliday, a blueberry farmer with a green thumb for sleuthing.

The much-anticipated wedding of local resident Maggie Tremont and popular baker Herr Georg has stirred up the usually quiet coastal town of Cape Willington. To make sure the wedding of the year goes off without a hitch, the participants gather at a pre-wedding dinner—everyone, that is, except the best man.

Worried, Candy, the maid of honor, goes looking for him, finally tracking him down to the upstairs archive rooms at the English Point Lighthouse and Museum. There’s only one problem: he’s dead, struck over the head with a bottle of champagne, the same exclusive brand that was ordered for the dinner. Before the wedding plans fall flat, Candy rushes to find the murderer, unearthing a conspiracy that could spill over into the whole town.

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All comments are welcomed.

NOTE: Town in a Cinnamon Toast was published on Feb. 2, 2016, by Berkeley Prime Crime, and available in both print and as an ebook. Other titles in the New York Times bestselling series include Town in a Sweet Pickle, Town in a Strawberry Swirl, Town in a Pumpkin Bash, Town in a Wild Moose Chase, Town in a Lobster Stew, and Town in a Blueberry Jam. Large print editions of the books and an audiobook of Town in a Blueberry Jam are also available. For more information on the series, visit

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of Town in a Cinnamon Toast. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 16, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

Annabelle Starkey and Mickey Paxton by Zoe Burke

No Gun IntendedLet me tell you about the leading man in my life, Michael Thomas Paxton, though everyone calls him Mickey. He used to be an NYPD detective, but now we have our own detective agency, partnering with our best friend, Luis Maldonado. He’s an ex-cop, too.

As for me, Annabelle Starkey, I drew the lucky card when I met Mickey a couple of years ago. It was pure happenstance, and even though I unknowingly led him into a mash-up of murder and mayhem, he somehow fell in love with me.

I still find that wondrous. Mickey and I do have lots in common—for instance, we love the movies. He once told me, “You are exceptionally odd,” which I recognized right away as a quote from A Beautiful Mind, and I came right back at him with the movie’s line: “I bet you’re very popular with the girls.” We’re cinematically copacetic.

But we’re very different, too. He’s contained, thoughtful, doesn’t reveal too much too soon. In fact, I’m certain there’s more to him than even I know. I, on the other hand, tend to blurt out immediately everything that comes to mind.

Mickey is rich. His parents died in an accident when he was only 25, and they left him a pile of money. It was newly earned—Mickey grew up working-class, until his plumber father invented a pipe sealant, the patent for which paid out big time. So Mickey doesn’t have airs, if you know what I mean. He’s a solid, straightforward, no-nonsense kind of guy. Except when we’re yucking it up. He needs yucking. He’s wound pretty tight from those years of being a New York City cop.

I suppose that’s why he’s attracted to me. I know I can be flighty and impulsive, and while those qualities have, admittedly, gotten us into some scrapes, I do have good instincts. Mickey has told me that, lots of times.

Just last night, in fact, I told him I thought it was time to go to bed. He complimented me on my instincts.

Mickey quickly became part of my family. My parents, Jeff and Sylvia, live in Portland, Oregon, and they treated him like a son from the get-go. In fact, they knew he was in love with me before I figured it out. They’ve helped us out a lot, even though I’ve brought trouble to their door twice. Mom told me early on that Mickey was “a goddamned keeper” and I better not “screw up and end up with some loser twitbrain instead of him.” Mom is very expressive in her use of the English language. Dad, he’s more like Mickey. Big heart, usually quiet, generous to a fault.

These days, we’re back in our Chelsea flat in Manhattan, having just spent a harrowing week in Portland. It was supposed to have been a relaxing visit with the ’rents, but it played out more like a Ridley Scott movie—no aliens, but plenty of bad guys.

Here’s what happened: I arrived a few days before Mickey, ready to settle in for a week of chilling out, when I discovered my backpack had been switched for one holding a gun—a gun linked to a murder.

My infallible instincts told me that this could not be good.

I didn’t know if I had been set up or was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Portland PD wasn’t sure, either—they were figuring me as some sort of criminal. Then a frantic young woman got in touch with me, claiming the gun was hers. And besides all of that, I spotted the man who sat next to me on the plane twice, on the streets of Portland. Was he stalking me?

So, I was freaked out but held it somewhat together until Mickey and Luis arrived. That’s not to say I was lost without them. But I do better with them around. We’re a good team. We complement each other. I don’t pretend to be an Olivia Benson clone, but with my partners, I think the three of us could solve any Law and Order crime that fell into our laps. Whenever Mickey and I don’t see private eye to private eye, that’s when Luis steps in. He keeps us on track.

I’ll leave it to you to find out more about the Portland caper.

But one last word about Mickey: every morning he makes me coffee, tells me he loves me, and insists that my hair looks great. He can be overly protective, but he’s always on my side, and by my side.

Mickey’s my rock.

And I guess you could say that I’m his roll.

No Gun Intended is the second book in the “Annabelle Starkey” mystery series, published by Poisoned Pen Press, January 2016.

Meet the author
Zoe Burke lives in Portland, Oregon. She has written several children’s books as well as her Annabelle Starkey mysteries. She is also the vice president and publisher of Pomegranate Communications, an art book publishing company, and she enjoyed a brief singer/songwriter career as Katie Burke in the 1990s. Visit Zoe at

Giveaway: Win a copy of each of Zoe Burke’s Annabelle Starkey mysteries—Jump The Gun and No Gun Intended! Since Annabelle is such a movie nut, in 50 words or less, tell us what your favorite movie is and why. Leave your comment below. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 15 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

A Conversation with Trixie Matkowski by Christine Wenger

Silver Bullet
From The Desk Of Trixie Matkowski, Owner

It's A Wonderful Knife

Hello Everyone!

I’d like to tell you about my recent visit with my friend, Dru Ann. She asked me about my day as we sat in a booth in the back of my diner. It was the middle of January, and I was having a great day in spite of the blizzard raging outside. I always have a great day because I live in little Sandy Harbor where everyone knows everyone. Where else can I experience New York’s snow belt from a front row seat?

I’m here to tell you that the snow belt was alive and well and dumping snow as Dru Ann and I caught up on the comings and goings of our respective family and friends.

I told her about last Christmas and the fact that I was the Christmas pageant director at the Community Church after the original pageant director was found dead in the church’s kitchen. I had broken my leg falling down the stairs on Thanksgiving night, but luckily my friends and relatives helped me get through all my catering commitments along with my commitment to the Sandy Harbor jail, courtesy of Deputy Sheriff Ty Brisco.

As we looked out the window, Dru commented that the snow was falling so hard and thick, it seemed as though we were looking through a gauzy curtain. We could barely see the outline of my “Big House’, which is what I call my big farmhouse. I call it that not because it’s a correctional facility, but because it’s a big house! Even though Dru Ann lives in another part of New York State, she’s never experienced “real snow.”

Dru Ann was about to fly back home, and we were worried about the drive to the airport. However, in exchange for four cherry hand pies and a jumbo cup of coffee, Karen Melott, one of our two snowplow drivers, was going to drive Dru Ann to the regional airport in the town’s brand new Snowblaster Pro 567A, a hulking yellow plow and sand spreader that sounded like a jumbo jet.

Only in Sandy Harbor could you be driven to the airport with such class!

Dru Ann wondered about my lack of sleep. “Trixie, you seem so busy. Do you have enough help here?” I explained that my diner is open 24/7/365, and I’m the chef on the graveyard shift: midnight until eight in the morning. But during most of that week, I was working a double shift since Juanita, my day chef, went to Tucson, Arizona, to see her nephew’s new baby.

I always have events to plan, too. February, of course, is loaded with Valentine parties, and with this being a leap year-I have several Sadie Hawkins events scheduled. That’s when the ladies ask the guys out, and the residents of Sandy Harbor always love that. Dances, luncheons, bowling, blind dates-most all the clubs and organizations got into Sadie Hawkins invites and fundraisers-including church bingo!

I would be sponsoring an evening where the ladies ask the men out to dinner at the Silver Bullet, and the men have to wait on the women, eat with them, and then have to pay for the meals! All tips (and my profits) were going to the library for new books.

Karen came all too early with her snowplow to pick up Dru Ann, so we quickly hugged and vowed to keep in touch.

And now you-like Dru Ann-have been updated on the happenings in Sandy Harbor and a day in the life of Trixie Matkowski—me!

It’s nothing but work, work, work!

And I love every second of it!

Have a fabulous 2016!

~~ Trixie ~~

It’s A Wonderful Knife is the fifth book in the “Comfort Food” mystery series, published by Obsidian, February 2016.

All Trixie Matkowski wants for Christmas is a break—just not the broken leg she got after slipping on some ice. With Sandy Harbor alive in the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s the busiest time of the year at Trixie’s Silver Bullet Diner. There are millions of things to do, including cater the town’s annual Christmas pageant and community dinner with some delicious holiday comfort food.

But the festivities turn into a bit of a turkey after Liz Fellows, the director of the pageant, is found with Trixie’s butcher knife in her back. Now Trixie must help the police arrest the scary gentleman—or lady—guilty of the crime if she hopes to get herself off the naughty list.

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All comments are welcomed.

About the author
Christine Wenger is the national bestselling author of the Comfort Food Mysteries, including Macaroni and Freeze and Diners, Drive-ins, and Death. She has worked in the criminal justice field and is thrilled to bring the beauty of upstate New York to life in this series. Visit Christine at, and on Facebook.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of It’s A Wonderful Knife. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 12, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life with Sheriff Dan Carlyle by Mary Ellen Hughes

Scene of the Brine‘Morning. Dan Carlyle, here, sheriff of Cloverdale. That’s in upstate New York. For a small town, we’ve had a rash of murders, lately. More than our share, I’d say, and it seemed to pick up around the time Piper Lamb opened up her pickling shop here. Not that I’m blaming her. Not at all. It’s just that the timing seems odd.

Of course, a pickling shop is kinda odd, too, when you think of it. A whole shop of pickles and preserves? But I’m not complaining. It’s great-tasting stuff, plus it gave my little girl a job. Amy finished cooking school around the time Piper’s Picklings opened up, and she’s one super-cook, if I say so myself. Since Amy could only find part time work in A La Carte restaurant’s kitchen, picking up extra hours at Piper’s Picklings was good for her. And she loves fixing all those pickles with Piper—and selling them—just as much as I enjoy eating them.

But the downside is Amy gets too close for my comfort to these murders that have been happening, what with Piper jumping in to prove that the people I’m looking at real close are innocent. I’ve had some serious talks with both the young ladies about that. But I could see it going in one ear and out the other. So far it hasn’t put Amy in any danger, thank the Lord, but Piper’s had a few close calls.

Right now I’m off to deal with yet another murder. It looked like a natural death at first, but it’s turned into a homicide case. What do you want to bet that Piper gets involved, somehow? I wouldn’t take that bet if I were you ’cause the odds are pretty good she will. Unless. . .

Piper and that young Christmas tree farmer, Will Burchett, have been looking pretty cozy lately. Maybe they’ll be too wrapped up in each other to think about other things like murder. Except, from what Amy tells me, Piper’s Picklings has practically turned into News Central, with customers rushing in with the latest bulletins. Burchett can’t be with Piper 24/7, much as I’m sure he’d like to be, so Piper’s going to have her curiosity piqued all day long. One way or another—count on it—she’s going to get involved.

Maybe I’ll be lucky and someone will step forward right away with their hands up and admit they did it. Think that’ll happen?

In my dreams.

Okay, Piper. One way or another, here we go again. Just, please—for my sake—or for Will’s sake—be careful!

Scene of the Brine is the third book in the “Pickled and Preserved” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, February 2016.

Piper Lamb has to take a break from jarring her delicious pickles and preserves to blow the lid off a poisoner. . .

Business is booming at Piper’s Picklings in Cloverdale, New York. But not all is sweet in the life of Piper’s number one customer and friend, local caterer Sugar Heywood. Sugar is dating wealthy realtor Jeremy Porter, but his family doesn’t approve. After their unscrupulous accountant finds some dirt on Sugar, the family quickly urges Jeremy to throw her out like rotten fruit.

Things are further spoiled after the accountant is found poisoned, and all evidence points to Sugar’s son, Zach. With the Porter family determined to avoid scandal, it won’t be easy for Piper to preserve Zach’s innocence. And after someone falls victim to a poisoned jar of some of her brandied cherries, Piper’s got a peck of trouble to deal with herself. . .

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All comments are welcomed.

About the author
Mary Ellen Hughes is the national best-selling author of the Pickled and Preserved mystery series, which began with The Pickled Piper and License To Dill and continues with Scene Of The Brine. A Maryland resident, Mary Ellen’s previous books include the Craft Corner mysteries: Wreath Of Deception, String Of Lies, and Paper-Thin Alibi. Visit her at, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Scene of the Brine. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 12, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

It’s All About the Cheese with Charlotte Bessette by Avery Aames

For Cheddar or WorseOccupation: Cheese Monger at Fromagerie Bessette

I love cheese. Especially cheddar cheese. There are so many varieties. From mild to sharp, smooth to gritty. Did you know that most cheddars start out white or pale yellow? Did you know Cheddar originated in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, South West England? Cheddar Gorge, to be exact. It’s a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills near the village and is the site where Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton (Cheddar Man, about 9,000 years old) was found in 1903. How cool is that?? Jordan and I visited the area on our trip to Europe—you know Jordan and I got married, right? Anyway, the caves in the gorge provide ideal humidity and temperatures for maturing cheese. Jordan’s farm has caves created with the Cheddar Gorge in mind. Actually, Jordan used to own and operate the farm, but now his sister runs it; he’s moved in with me and started up a restaurant and, well, there’s so much for you to catch up on.

But, first, why am I waxing rhapsodic about cheddar cheese? Well, get this! We’re finally hosting a cheese festival in Providence. We—the town. It will run a whole week. Never one to shy away from setting up too many activities, my grandmother, the town’s mayor, has enticed a number of local restaurants to offer cooking classes or specialty dinners. She has also encouraged the farmers to hold creamery tours and wine tastings. Isn’t that fabulous? And we’re going to have a cheese competition. I’ll be one of the judges. Fun, right? The town’s bed-and-breakfasts and hotels are all booked!

Meanwhile, my friend Erin, who owns Emerald Pastures Farm is holding what she’s calling a cheese brain trust. She has invited about twenty people to participate, including a few cheese makers, distributors, journalists, Jordan, and me. Jordan is invited because he knows the art of affinage, which is the careful practice of ripening cheese (those caves I mentioned), and I’m tagging along because I understand the marketing side of cheese.

We’re going to be staying at the inn on the farm, which will be like a mini-vacation. Romance, cheese tasting, and no tension. Heaven! At least, I hope it will be heaven. Nothing should go wrong. There shouldn’t be any surprises. I really hate surprises, don’t you?

Except I did learn there is one surprise guest. She’s a cheese maven, and I’m a big fan of hers, but I hear some people are not so enamored with her. I hope everyone can be civil. I really want Erin to have a successful event. She’s such a good soul.

I shouldn’t be worried, right?

For Cheddar Or Worse is the seventh book in the “Cheese Shop” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, February 2016.

It’s time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio, and Charlotte Bessette’s cheese shop is packed with homemade specialties. Meanwhile, her friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and one surprise guest—Lara Berry, pretentious cheese whiz, pompous bestselling author, and pungent critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation.

Even though any love for Lara by her friends curdled long ago, Charlotte is surprised when the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin’s inn. Accusations start flying, but the one laying blame on Erin strikes Charlotte as a crock. Now, to clear her friend’s name, Charlotte has to sift through Lara’s ex-lovers, former business partners, and unforgiving enemies to find a killer before Lara’s past casts a tainted pall on the festival’s future.

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All comments are welcomed.

Check out the trailer:

About the author
Avery Aames is the nationally bestselling author of A Cheese Shop Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. The first, The Long Quiche Goodbye, won the Agatha Award for “Best First Novel.” Avery is the pseudonym for Daryl Wood Gerber. Daryl writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries. Daryl also created the format for the popular sit-com, “Out of this World” and has won awards for her screenplays. Both Avery and Daryl like to read, cook, and garden.

Visit Avery or Daryl at Avery & Daryl also blogs at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen – a blog for foodies who love mysteries.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of For Cheddar Or Worse. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 11, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!