An interview with Lucy Resnick of the new Dewberry Farm mysteries, conducted by author Karen MacInerney. . .
Karen: So, Lucy. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Lucy: Gosh. . . I used to ask questions like that all the time when I was a reporter. It’s a bit weird being on the other side of the interview! Let’s see. I’m a single, thirty-something former Houston reporter who now lives in Buttercup, Texas with a bald poodle, several chickens, and an escape artist cow whose primary goal in life appears to be eating the geraniums outside the Town Hall.
Karen: A bald poodle?
Lucy: Poodles don’t make particularly good farm dogs – particularly if you have a lot of burrs on your property. Poor Chuck looked like a ball of Velcro after the first day on the farm. He looks a little odd bald, but he’s a lot happier.
Karen: And a cow who likes geraniums?
Lucy: I found out after I bought Blossom that her nickname was Harriet Houdini; she can slip through fences like water, and loves nothing more than a trip to town to graze on window boxes. She plowed through the geraniums in front of the Town Hall on one escapade, and I know she has her eye on the tomato plants outside the Red and White Grocery. Life with Blossom always an adventure.
Karen: You moved to Buttercup from Houston? Why?
Lucy: My grandparents owned a farm there when I was growing up, and it was my favorite place in the world. I learned to can peaches and bake pies at my grandmother’s side, and I’ve always been a bit of a closet homesteader (closet because that’s about the size of my balcony in my Houston condo; there wasn’t much room for tomatoes). When my grandmother’s farm came on the market, I decided that life was too short to spend the rest of my life investigating murders. Of course, I soon learned that even places like Buttercup aren’t completely immune to violence, but I love the life I’ve made for myself – even if it is a challenge keeping crops going in the Texas heat.
Karen: What is a typical day like for you?
Lucy: Mornings are my favorite time of day; the sun on the rolling hills is just beautiful, and I have to pinch myself to believe I actually live here! The first thing I do is head down and milk Blossom and take care of the chickens (and collect any eggs). In the morning, while it’s cool, I water and weed, harvest anything that’s ripe, and make sure everything’s humming along. In the afternoons, I might make a batch of soap, or put up some jars of jam, or I might head into town and help my friend Quinn out at the Blue Onion café – and catch up on gossip.
Karen: What’s something that nobody else knows about you?
Lucy: One Christmas, I made brown sugar fudge for all my friends and relatives, but misread the recipe and put in two teaspoons instead of a quarter teaspoon of salt. I figured it out when I tried a piece and just about choked – which was after I’d wrapped it all up and given it away.
Karen: What inspired you to chase your dreams?
Lucy: When the farm came up for sale, I almost chickened out, to be honest; it was a big, scary step. But I visited my old college roommate, Natalie Barnes, at her inn in Maine, and seeing the life she’d made for herself convinced me to take the plunge. I won’t say it hasn’t been hard at times, but it’s still the best decision I ever made.
Karen: What plans do you have for the farm?
Lucy: I’m thinking about adding some goats. And maybe expanding the peach orchard.
Karen: Have any favorite recipes?
Lucy: Here’s my brown sugar fudge recipe. Just make sure you limit the salt to ¼ teaspoon!
Lucy’s Brown Sugar Fudge
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Line an 8-inch square pan with wax paper. Combine the evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Let the mixture simmer, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 238° on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl. Add the vanilla and combine with a mixer. Add the powdered sugar in quarter-cup increments while continuing to beat with the mixer, until all sugar has been added and mixture is smooth. Spread the fudge into the pan and chill until firm.
You can read more about Lucy in Killer Jam, the first book in the NEW “Dewberry Farm” mystery series, published by Thomas & Mercer.
About Killer Jam
A big crime in a small town turns Lucy’s focus from life on a farm to solving a murder.
When Houston reporter Lucy Resnick cashes in her retirement to buy her grandmother’s farm in Buttercup, Texas, she’s looking forward to a simple life as a homesteader. But Lucy has barely finished putting up her first batch of Killer Dewberry Jam when an oil exploration truck rolls up to the farm and announces plans to replace her broccoli patch with an oil derrick. Two days later, Nettie Kocurek, the woman who ordered the drilling, turns up dead at the Founders’ Day Festival with a bratwurst skewer through her heart and one of Lucy’s jam jars beside her. . .and the sheriff fingers Lucy as the prime suspect.
Horrified, Lucy begins to talk to Nettie’s neighbors, but the more she gets to know the townspeople, the more she realizes she’s not the only one who had a beef with Nettie. Can she clear her name, or will her dream life turn into a nightmare?
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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on August 14 for the chance to win a print copy of Killer Jam. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.
About the author
Karen MacInerney is the housework-impaired author of several mystery series, including the Agatha-nominated Gray Whale Inn mysteries, the Margie Peterson mysteries, and the new Dewberry Farm mysteries. Killer Jam, the first in the Dewberry Farm mysteries, was released in July. You can find Karen at www.karenmacinerney.com or on Facebook.