Maple MayhemMost of the time my life in Sugar Grove, NH is pretty sweet. My business is thriving, my family is happy and I enjoy great health. Generally, life here is pretty low stress. There aren’t really any traffic jams. Our idea of a crime wave involves too many people disregarding leash laws and letting their dogs roam loose. Even trips to the post office are free of the sorts of aggravation and strife I’ve heard people from other towns complain about.

So when I have a day or a week when nothing seems to be going my way I can’t really complain. Like my grandmother always says, if life were fair, I’d have a whole lot less. Even though I bear her words of wisdom in mind and do my best not to gripe, I can’t help but say this week has been a doozy. It started with a parking ticket courtesy of my former boyfriend Mitch. Before he could even hand me the citation, I noticed someone had keyed a threatening message into the paint job of my car, which had just come back from the repair shop.

From there, things went down hill like a runaway toboggan on an ice-covered slope. Faster than you can say “pass the maple syrup” I found myself threatened by the local curmudgeon, got lectured on my love life by my older sister and received a disturbing phone call from my mother who claims to be psychic.

I’d like to be able to honestly report that things got better as the week went on but that would be a lie. And I try not to lie. Whenever I do I end up overtaken by primness, like a Victorian spinster who suddenly comes upon a group of skinny dippers.

The truth of it was that I ended up being volunteered to chaperone a group of elementary schoolers on a winter camping trip and tracking a saboteur bent on ruining my plans for an agricultural cooperative. I wish I could say the worst thing that happened was finding a fellow sugar maker’s dead body but that wouldn’t be true either.

In the end though, I was grateful to be alive and living in my favorite place in the world surrounded by my favorite people. Because, despite the unusual week I had arguing to the contrary, my life really is pretty sweet.


You can read more about Dani in Maple Mayhem, the second book in the “Sugar Grove” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Drizzled with Death.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on July 29 for the chance to win a copy of Maple Mayhem. (US entries only, please.)

Meet the author
A nearly life-long resident of the Granite State, Jessie naturally adores black flies, 98% humidity, killing jessieCfrosts in August and snow banks taller than the average grandmother. When not working on her next murderous adventure she enthusiastically combs the beach, designs bento lunches and throws parties. She delights in mentoring young writers at local schools. Jessie lives with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children in a village so small most other New Hampshire residents have never heard of it. Her debut mystery, Live Free or Die, was the 2011 winner of the Daphne DuMaurier Award for Mainstream Mystery.

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