A Day in the Life with Sheriff Dan Carlyle by Mary Ellen Hughes

Scene of the Brine‘Morning. Dan Carlyle, here, sheriff of Cloverdale. That’s in upstate New York. For a small town, we’ve had a rash of murders, lately. More than our share, I’d say, and it seemed to pick up around the time Piper Lamb opened up her pickling shop here. Not that I’m blaming her. Not at all. It’s just that the timing seems odd.

Of course, a pickling shop is kinda odd, too, when you think of it. A whole shop of pickles and preserves? But I’m not complaining. It’s great-tasting stuff, plus it gave my little girl a job. Amy finished cooking school around the time Piper’s Picklings opened up, and she’s one super-cook, if I say so myself. Since Amy could only find part time work in A La Carte restaurant’s kitchen, picking up extra hours at Piper’s Picklings was good for her. And she loves fixing all those pickles with Piper—and selling them—just as much as I enjoy eating them.

But the downside is Amy gets too close for my comfort to these murders that have been happening, what with Piper jumping in to prove that the people I’m looking at real close are innocent. I’ve had some serious talks with both the young ladies about that. But I could see it going in one ear and out the other. So far it hasn’t put Amy in any danger, thank the Lord, but Piper’s had a few close calls.

Right now I’m off to deal with yet another murder. It looked like a natural death at first, but it’s turned into a homicide case. What do you want to bet that Piper gets involved, somehow? I wouldn’t take that bet if I were you ’cause the odds are pretty good she will. Unless. . .

Piper and that young Christmas tree farmer, Will Burchett, have been looking pretty cozy lately. Maybe they’ll be too wrapped up in each other to think about other things like murder. Except, from what Amy tells me, Piper’s Picklings has practically turned into News Central, with customers rushing in with the latest bulletins. Burchett can’t be with Piper 24/7, much as I’m sure he’d like to be, so Piper’s going to have her curiosity piqued all day long. One way or another—count on it—she’s going to get involved.

Maybe I’ll be lucky and someone will step forward right away with their hands up and admit they did it. Think that’ll happen?

In my dreams.

Okay, Piper. One way or another, here we go again. Just, please—for my sake—or for Will’s sake—be careful!

Scene of the Brine is the third book in the “Pickled and Preserved” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, February 2016.

Piper Lamb has to take a break from jarring her delicious pickles and preserves to blow the lid off a poisoner. . .

Business is booming at Piper’s Picklings in Cloverdale, New York. But not all is sweet in the life of Piper’s number one customer and friend, local caterer Sugar Heywood. Sugar is dating wealthy realtor Jeremy Porter, but his family doesn’t approve. After their unscrupulous accountant finds some dirt on Sugar, the family quickly urges Jeremy to throw her out like rotten fruit.

Things are further spoiled after the accountant is found poisoned, and all evidence points to Sugar’s son, Zach. With the Porter family determined to avoid scandal, it won’t be easy for Piper to preserve Zach’s innocence. And after someone falls victim to a poisoned jar of some of her brandied cherries, Piper’s got a peck of trouble to deal with herself. . .

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All comments are welcomed.

About the author
Mary Ellen Hughes is the national best-selling author of the Pickled and Preserved mystery series, which began with The Pickled Piper and License To Dill and continues with Scene Of The Brine. A Maryland resident, Mary Ellen’s previous books include the Craft Corner mysteries: Wreath Of Deception, String Of Lies, and Paper-Thin Alibi. Visit her at www.maryellenhughes.com, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Scene of the Brine. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 12, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!


  1. I love that the author is from Maryland, my state of residence! And the “pickled” series sounds intriguing!

  2. Sounds like a great book! I am looking forward to reading it and catching up on the series. Thank you for the giveaway.

  3. Really looking forward to this. New series, new author. Always an exciting event. Funny it’s a pickling shop. Was just telling a friend yesterday to not throw away the pickle juice. It’s a great sub for vinegar. Am so looking forward to a new series. Thanks for the heads up

    • That’s funny, Della. I just yesterday saved the dill pickle juice from a jar. I’ve always dumped it out, but I’ve read how it is good to drink a bit for health reasons. Also, it is good for making salad.

  4. This is sure to be another interesting book! Thanks for the heads up, Dru. 🙂 Thank you Mary Ellen for the chance to win a copy.

  5. I had some friends who were Christmas tree farmers! I bet this book would bring back plenty of great memories.


  6. I love the “day in the life”, it adds a nice few from a different perspective. I just realized that I’m a book behind in this series, I had better get on that.

  7. I really do like the “day in the life” also. It really pulls us into the story. Thanks for another great post and the chance to win.

  8. I love pickles, especially with some spicy Nashville-style chicken. Just reading about this makes me want to go out and order some–can’t wait to read thi.

  9. If it’s pickled, I love it! This series will definitely go on my TBR list! Thanks for the giveaway Dru!

  10. Sounds like a great title to add to my cozy challenge list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  11. I love it when books that I love to read also teach me things about which I am interested, in this case, of course, pickling. I look forward to this book and getting my hands on some new recipes.

  12. Sounds like a great addition to this series. I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. I read the first in the series and enjoyed it, although I don’t like pickles. I do want to read more in this series. I enjoyed her Craft Corner mysteries. I also read an earlier mystery by her in another series that I got through an interlibrary loan.

  14. I’m really looking forward to this book, Mary Ellen. This is one time you SHOULD judge a book by its cover- it’s gorgeous! Thanks, Dru, for sharing this book & author with us.

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