My name is Jakob Müller. I’m a farmer, so you’d think this time of year I’d just be finishing up my busiest season, but actually, since I farm trees—Christmas trees to be exact—I’m now in my busiest season. I also run a store called The Junk Stops Here, and I have a large German family with a father who has some health issues and a mom who’s getting older. And I have a little girl—my precious daughter, Jocelyn—who has the busy schedule of most eight year olds, with school, and seasonal pageants coming up, as well as fitting in the tumbling group she belongs to and the singing lessons she begged to take.
One evening a couple of weeks ago, as I was doing the dinner dishes, the most beautiful girl, Jaymie Leighton, banged on my door in a panic. She was in trouble, and I was able to help. I fell instantly into like, and I think it’s rapidly advancing into love.
But I have an eight year old daughter, so I have to be careful who I bring into her life. She loved Jaymie immediately; they bonded over Jocie’s photo album. So now I need to fit one more thing into my busy days. . . time with Jaymie. Time to see if what we feel can become something more. I have a sneaking suspicion my and Jocie’s lives have changed forever. . . for the better.
Anyway… my day: it starts early. I’m up at five thirty or so doing the books for the tree business and store. Then I get Jocie up by six thirty: breakfast, dishes, washing up, teeth clean, dressed neatly and school. I go to the store most days, but I do have a business partner and a couple of employees, so it’s not all on me. This time of year I have to get back to the farm by lunch and choose trees to cut for those who just want to pick up a ready cut tree. I also tag trees with information on variety and height, maintain the growing area—we put down mulch on the paths between the trees to make it neat—and coming soon I’ll be working most afternoons and evenings selling trees to cut-it-yourself folks.
But still. . . I hope I can make time to see Jaymie, and I hope she can make time to see me! She’s as busy as I am, working a half dozen jobs, volunteering at the heritage society’s new historic house, family and friends. And murder; somehow, some way, there always seems to be a murder to investigate! And Jaymie, so smart, capable and independent, always comes through.
Frohe Weihnachten from a Christmas tree farmer to you!
You can read more about Jakob in White Colander Crime, the fifth book in the “Vintage Kitchen” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is A Deadly Grind.
About White Colander Crime
In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Mallets Intended, the Heritage Society is re-creating a perfect Victorian Christmas—until good tidings go bad. . .
Queensville has great expectations for their Dickens Days festival. A tourist-trade boom means a big turnout for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor and for Jaymie Leighton, food columnist and vintage cookware collector, a chance to promote the manor and give away homemade goodies. At the end of a long day of festival fun, Jaymie discovers the battered body of local woman Shelby Fretter.
Shelby predicted her own murder in journal entries—and all clues point to Cody Wainwright, the troubled son of Jaymie’s beleaguered newspaper editor. But considering the entire Fretter family had its share of dirty secrets, Jaymie’s not convinced by the case against Cody. With twists all over, she’s going to have to work like the Dickens to wrap up this investigation before Christmas—especially with the real killer ready to kill again.
INCLUDES A RECIPE!
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Giveaway! Open to Canadian and US addresses: Victoria is giving away a copy of Vintage Kitchen Mysteries Book #4, NO MALLETS INTENDED and Book #5, WHITE COLANDER CRIME. Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on December 4 for your chance to win. Good luck everyone!
About the author
Victoria Hamilton is the author of three bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.
Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!
For more information about the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Victoria’s other mystery series, check her out online:
Victoria Hamilton Mysteries at www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com
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