Muffin But MurderFirst off, only my dearest friends call me Pish. My given name is Percival Ishmael Lincoln. When I was little I couldn’t even say my own name and introduced myself as Pish, and it stuck. Let me tell you, Pish was way better in the school I went to than Percival or Percy would have been.

And a day in the life? Back when I was working I could have told you at any hour of the day what I was doing. As an investment counselor or financial advisor, whatever you want to call my past profession, I was up at five, then shower, shave, etcetera, and coffee at the table by the window in my condo overlooking Central Park, or on the terrace balcony if the weather was suitable. Then, dressed in a proper suit and tie I would walk to work.

I spent my days reading the business news, meeting with clients, doing statistical analysis of the day’s stock sales, and so on, until it was time to go home, around six or so. Most days I had dinner out with friends and on the weekend I would go to parties: the Hamptons, Manhattan, Cape Cod… wherever there was a party, I would go. Or the opera; I adore the opera, everything from light operettas, like Gilbert and Sullivan to heavier pieces, like Mendelssohn.

What about a love life, you ask? I don’t talk about that; it’s intensely personal. In my line of business discretion was everything.

But to the present: one day my special friend Merry Wynter, widow of the most talented photographer I have ever known, Miguel Paradiso, packed up and disappeared from her tiny Manhattan sublet. I was worried, but when she phoned me a couple of weeks later and told me she had finally gone to visit her inherited castle and had some questions for me, I was relieved. Merry is a doll, but she does tend to avoid trouble instead of facing it head on. Her tackling her inheritance at long last was refreshing. I was so intrigued I showed up on her doorstep with information, and a request… I desperately wanted to stay in the castle for awhile.

And that’s where I’ve been ever since, in a wonderful old castle, surrounded by kooky Autumn Valers and with ideas teeming for a new book on financial scams (I forgot to mention; I write books, too) based on the trouble at the Autumn Vale Community Bank, and just having a grand time! I wasn’t here when the murder occurred, thank heaven. Poor Merry… she had her hands full. I expect things will settle down now, though she is insisting on trying to have a party to promote and sell the castle.

But as for me… I no longer have a ‘normal’ day, and that’s wonderful! I have found a surprisingly simpatico soul in Janice Grover, wife of the troubled bank’s manager. Janice, a zaftig cutie who favors muumuus and mai tais, is funny and smart and delightfully odd.

Merry is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with the deliciously handsome sheriff, whose mother, Gogi, has become her new best friend, and Shilo, both of our adored little ‘sister/daughter’ is falling for the attractively plain Jack McGill, real estate agent and Jack of all trades. I think you can tell I’m having the time of my life, though Merry keeps trying to thank me for staying. Thank me? Heavens, she couldn’t bust me out of the castle with dynamite, and if I can figure out a way she can keep her inheritance, I will.

Thank you for letting me talk about life in Autumn Vale, and Merry Wynter. I hope you all visit! Come see the castle. I guarantee you’ll never want to leave!

About Muffin but Murder
When Merry Wynter unexpectedly inherited a castle in the wilds of upstate New York, she took some time to adjust. After living in New York City it was culture shock to wind up in a castle a few miles away from small town Autumn Vale. However… far from being lonely, as she first feared, her best friends Shilo Dinnegan (a former model) and Pish Lincoln, (a retired financial advisor who now writes books on financial scams and con artists) have joined her at Wynter Castle.

It is clear that she can’t afford to keep such a huge building, even if it is her ancestral home. It must be sold! She has an upscale party to promote Wynter Castle to would-be buyers who may be able to take the place and turn it into a hotel or inn, but the post party clean-up reveals an awful discovery; one of her ‘guests’ turns up dead in a most gruesome fashion. With Pish holding back secrets, her exasperated attraction to Virgil Grace, (the broodingly handsome sheriff of Autumn Vale) growing stronger, and a supposed cousin with a possible claim on the inheritance plaguing her daily, Merry has her hands full.

But murder comes first. Who is the guest, who killed him, and why? And how is she going to keep Virgil from arresting Pish?

You can read more about Pish and his friends in Muffin but Murder, the second book in the “Merry Muffin” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Bran New Death. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on July 31 for the chance to win a copy of Muffin But Murder. (US entries only, please.)

About 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 Merry Muffin Mystery series, Victoria writes two other mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series (Book 4, No Mallets Intended debuts November 4th) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series (written as Amanda Cooper) which debuted with Tempest in a Teapot, June 3rd, 2014.

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