I love my life, even though no day is like the last one. I have a half dozen ‘jobs’: fill in positions at several local stores, helping out at my neighbor’s B&B, my vintage basket business, and now as a food writer for the Wolverhampton Howler. I’m reasonably well organized, but every day in my date book has at least one entry, but usually two or three. Notations to phone in food orders for the vintage picnic basket business, where I’m supposed to be in the morning and afternoon, whether I’m doing breakfast for the B&B or filling in.
I’m busy all the time, but I don’t dare say so because my family seems to be convinced I live a life of leisure. Because I don’t have a nine to five job, if I tell them I’m busy there is always the subtle implication that I’m exaggerating. So when Mom asks in her weekly phone call ‘So what have you been up to?’ I just respond, ‘Oh, the usual.’ Then we talk about other things.
I do occasionally like to ‘get away from it all’, and for that, there is nowhere I’d rather go than our cottage. Life at the Leighton family cottage on Heartbreak Island – renting it out and maintaining it is another kind of ‘job’ I take care of – is certainly different, even though it’s only a ten minute ferry ride from Queensville. It’s peaceful there. Sometimes when I know I have to clean the place up for the next renters, I go out to stay overnight just because it’s so quiet. Rose Tree Cottage is quaint, a real cottage in every sense, and has no TV or internet access. So when I do stay there I mostly walk, read, visit friends and sit on the front porch, watching through the pine trees as the gleaming St. Clair River slips by. And I daydream.
What about? Oh, lots of things… how will my life look in ten years, or even five? Will I marry Daniel, my wealthy kinda-sorta boyfriend? Will Detective Zack ever decide he wants to sweep me off my feet and ride off into the sunset with me? Or will I be content with my pets and my good, comfortable, happy life? Hoppy, my three legged Yorkie-Poo, is always at my side on the island, but of course Denver, the crabby tabby, is content to stay at the house in Queensville, chasing chipmunks and protecting his backyard from marauding toms.
Somehow, lately, things keep happening though – finding two bodies in three months is a little much – and I sure hope that trend doesn’t continue. My next task is to oversee some work at the cottage, so maybe I will go and stay a couple of days, especially since Daniel’s parents are coming to his Queensville house to stay about the same time as my Mom and Dad are making their semi-annual trip north from Boca. Daniel wants them all to meet… Lord help me!
If Mom and Dad are staying at the Leighton Queensville house I will likely be better off at the cottage on the peaceful island because nothing ever happens on Heartbreak Island! Oops, did I just jinx it? I hope not. I’ll think happy thoughts and hope for the best. Doesn’t that always work?
You can read more about Jaymie in Freezer I’ll Shoot, the third book in the “Vintage Kitchen” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is A Deadly Grind. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.
About Freezer I’ll Shoot:
Trying to escape her overbearing mother, vintage kitchenware enthusiast and soon-to-be columnist Jaymie Leighton retreats to her family’s cottage on Heartbreak Island. While there she hopes to write an article about the Ice House restaurant, owned by good friends and neighbors, siblings Ruby and Garnet Redmond. Once and actual icehouse, the restaurant is charmingly decorated with antique tools of the trade, including a collection of ice picks.
One night, while working on her article, Jaymie overhears an argument, and, ever the sleuth, sets out to explore. But when she stumbles upon a dead body, her blood runs cold. It’s Urban Dobrinskie, whose feud with the Redmonds is no secret, and he’s got an ice pick through his heart. Now Jaymie’s got to sharpen her sleuthing skills to chip away at the mystery and prove her neighbors’ innocence – before someone else gets picked off…
Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of “Freezer I’ll Shoot” to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends November 22; US entries only per publisher’s request.
Meet the author
Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.
Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.
She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the “Vintage Kitchen” Mystery series Victoria also writes the “Merry Muffin” Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) and the “Teapot Collector” Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, out June 3rd, 2014.