I once heard someone say “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.” In my case, the saying is more like “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother, and your father, and that brother, and that brother and that brother and still that brother.” My name is Belfast McGrath – yes, like the city in Ireland – and if you haven’t gotten the message yet, let me just say that I come from a big, Irish family and what they lack in decorum, they make up for in musical talent and fierce familial protectiveness. My brothers and I form what is the core staff at Shamrock Manor, my parents’ wedding catering hall, with the “boys” – as they will be forever known – being our house band and me being our chef. It wasn’t always that way; I once had a great career as a chef in a trendy New York City restaurant. But now, I’m home and surrounded by a bunch of people with secrets to keep and stories to tell.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?
I never planned on coming back to Foster’s Landing, nestled next to the river in the Hudson Valley. But fate had other plans for me and they included a stop back home. That and the wedding of my cousin, Caleigh McHugh, put me smack in the middle of my family’s usual drama and one other thing I hadn’t counted on: murder. The poor dead guy was a wedding crasher, sure, and had gotten cheeky with the bride, most definitely, but did he deserve to die? How would I know?
No one’s talking.
But when they do utter a few words, every one is a lie.
As luck would have it, the love of my life, one Detective Kevin Hanson, is on the case. He is now one of Foster’s Landing’s finest even if I never saw that as his true calling. He’s doing great here in the Landing with his fancy job and devoted girlfriend but he doesn’t look all that happy to see me and I’m not sure why.
Lots to unpack, both emotionally and physically, and not a lot of time. Why?
I’ve got a wedding to cook for.
You won’t meet me officially until 5/31/16 but three lucky commenters – chosen at random – will receive an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Wedding Bel Blues, the debut in a new series featuring Chef Belfast McGrath.
Wedding Bel Blues is the first book in the NEW Bel McGrath mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Press, May 2016.
Are they tying the knot?
Belfast McGrath has spent the last fifteen years avoiding her big, bustling, brash Irish family. But when her five-star culinary career goes up in flames, she retreats to Foster’s Landing―where she’s immediately tapped as her cousin Caleigh’s maid-of-honor. It’s a perfect recipe for disaster. . .especially when Bel learns that the wedding preparations included Caleigh having one last one-night stand.
Or the noose?
When Caleigh’s lover plunges from the second-floor balcony during the reception, Bel can’t help but think his death was no accident. Soon Detective Kevin Hanson, who just happens to be Bel’s long-ago love, arrives on the scene―looking hotter than ever. Heartbreak and homicide hardly help Bel to feel more at home, but if she is going to make a new beginning for herself, including putting the past behind her, she must first steer clear of a cold-hearted killer.
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About the author
Maggie McConnon grew up in New York immersed in Irish culture and tradition. A former Irish stepdancer, she was surrounded by a family of Irish musicians who still play at family gatherings. She credits her Irish grandparents with providing the stories of their homeland and their extended families as the basis for the stories she tells in her Belfast McGrath novels.
Flash Giveaway: US entries only, please. The giveaway will end May 25, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!
All comments are welcomed.