An Excerpt with Robbie Jordan by Maddie Day

when-the-grits-hit-the-fanRobbie Jordan, here. I had a couple of intriguing discoveries while renovating the second floor of my Country Store restaurant, so I thought I’d share them with you. My boyfriend Abe came over to help.

Abe pressed his lips to my ear, sending a zing of heat through me. I turned to face him. “Seriously. If you keep that up, I can’t be held accountable for my actions.” I smiled. “Come on, let’s tear out some lath and plaster.”

He mock-rolled his eyes. “I love it when you talk dirty to me.”

“We’re going to get dirty all, right.” I’d tied a hot pink bandana over my hair to keep the dust out. I picked up a heavy flat pry bar from the pile of tools I’d laid on a drop cloth in the corner. “You can use this or a crow bar. Let’s start over there.” I grabbed a hammer, too, and headed to the back wall, the one overlooking my apartment. “It’s a shame to take off this wallpaper, but it’s going to have to go.”

The paper featured a background of tiny pink flowers with larger puffy bouquets at regular intervals. The covering was faded, stained, and torn, though. And I needed to rewire and insulate before installing new sheetrock. I pried off the window trim and then went to work on the wall. The wallpaper covered crumbling plaster that had been pressed into the inch-wide slats called lath. The screech of nails pulling out from the studs behind the lath grated on my ears.

A wide swath of plaster and lath came off all at once and I jumped back to avoid getting hit. As it fell, I saw an object drop down into the wall between the studs. Something black and odd-shaped, neither plaster nor lath. I peered into the cavity but couldn’t see it.

“What are you looking for?” Abe asked.

“I don’t know. Something got dislodged and fell down. I’ll find it when this section is cleared.” I kept prying and pulling, working down, even though it made more sense to work horizontally. When a coughing fit interrupted me, I went back to my tool tarp and grabbed a couple of white cupped face masks. I handed one to Abe.

“We should’ve been wearing these from the start. Plaster dust isn’t good for anybody’s lungs.” I slid the elastic over my head and pinched the little metal strip on the bridge of my nose, then resumed work. When I got down to about a foot off the floor, I peered in again. Part of the plaster had fallen into the cavity, so I dug that out and dumped it on the growing pile of refuse. Finally, I reached in and felt around.

“Aha.” I straightened, holding a ladies shoe in my hand. It was a small size, maybe a five, but definitely a shoe for an adult woman. A high heeled black shoe, with a chunky sole, cutout toe, and squared off three-inch heel that made me think of an elegant woman in a tailored suit swanning down a street. In 1947.

Abe pushed his mask down to his neck. “That looks sort of high fashion, doesn’t it?”

I pulled my own mask off my nose and mouth, too. “Yes, but fashion from a long time ago. I wonder if there’s another one.” I reached back into the cavity. What I came up with was an entirely different kind of shoe. Two, in fact. I dusted them off and showed Abe my find: two miniature pink moccasins, complete with a tiny star of beads sewn onto their tops. Baby’s first shoes. The leather, once smooth, had stiffened and the side of one was brown from water damage or another trauma. What was their long-ago story?


You can read more about Robbie in When The Grits Hit The Fan, the third book in the “Country Store” mystery series.

Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer?

Before she started hosting dinners for Indiana University’s Sociology Department at Pans ‘N Pancakes, Robbie never imagined scholarly meetings could be so hostile. It’s all due to Professor Charles Stilton, who seems to thrive on heated exchanges with his peers and underlings, and tensions flare one night after he disrespects Robbie’s friend, graduate student Lou. So when Robbie and Lou go snowshoeing the next morning and find the contentious academic frozen under ice, police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie is absorbing local gossip about Professor Stilton’s past and developing her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way . . .

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About the author
Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries; as Maddie Day, she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies and journals. She is President of Sisters in Crime New England.

A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, gardens (and wastes time as a Facebook addict) north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at Wicked Cozy Authors, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink Authors. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of When the Grits Hit the Fan. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends March 30, 2017. Good luck everyone!

When the Grits Hit the Fan is available at retail and online booksellers.

42 responses to “An Excerpt with Robbie Jordan by Maddie Day

  1. Linda Kuzminczuk

    Lovely cover! Story sounds intriguing…thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  2. Yippee Skippee…So happy Maddie Day’s new book is out! Love the cover of it! I love, love, love the other books in this series and can’t wait to read this one. Thanks so much dear Dru Ann and Maddie/Edith for the chance to win. God bless you girls!

  3. Oh how I loved this book!! I never get tired of looking at the beautiful cover. (I already read it so don’t enter me in the contest. I want someone else to win it and enjoy it).

  4. Another must-add to my WishList …..
    Thank you for the giveaway…..

  5. I’ve seen lots of advertising for this book in the last few weeks. I would love to read it. Thanks for a chance at a print copy!

  6. This is a great series, so excited for this new one! Loved the piece today–a good story in the making! Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. Waiting excitedly to get my copy at Jabberwocky in Newburyport at your double book launch on April 7!! Amazon just told me that the new Quaker mystery series book Called to Justice would get to me by April 4! Lots of good reading ahead!

  8. Julie Fetcho

    Love the cover.

  9. This looks like a good series to start while waiting for the next Quaker Midwife book. I loved the first one, so would probably like this series too. Good author!

  10. I enjoy all the series this author writes.

  11. Thanks for the chance. Sounds interesting.

  12. Most of us never have such discoveries when we renovate. Too bad.

  13. wendynewcomb

    This sounds like a fun read! Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  14. Thanks for this delightful feature and giveaway.

  15. Thank you for highlighting When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day. I love Maddie Day aka Edith Maxwell’s works and am sure I will enjoy this book too.

  16. Fantastic title! I want this book!

  17. This sounds exciting – lovely cover art, a funny title, spunky heroine and a great mystery. Can’t ask for more. Can’t wait to read!

  18. Sounds like a great read. Love the cover!

  19. I love the title–sounds like a great book to pick up and read.

  20. Story sounds intriguing, can not wait to read it.

  21. Friends run a country deli and restaurant so this interests me.

  22. Celia Fowler

    I love your Day in the life features Dru Ann, and enjoyed spending one with Robbie Jordan. i would love to win a copy of When the Grits Hit the Fan — congratulations on your book release, Edith!

  23. peggy clayton

    I love the cover and so love cozies especially one from Maddie Day. I would love to win a print copy and review on a few sites.

  24. Thanks for the chance to win. Love the title and blurb.

  25. Doward Wilson

    Love this series & author. Thanks for the chance to win.

  26. Love this series and am anxiously looking forward to reading this title

  27. Barbara Hackel

    This is such a fun series-and it appears more on the way! Thanks Dru Ann for today’s blog! Thanks Maddie for the chance to win a copy!! 🙂

  28. Thank you for the chance to win

  29. A favorite author but I haven’t started this series – yet! Thanks for excerpt and giveaway.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

  30. I haven’t started this series yet, but I have the first two in my TBR stack. Looking forward to reading the series.

  31. This title just slays me! Gotta love it! The series sounds like a good one and is on my TBR list. Thanks for the chance to win!

  32. Nice title. Old southern saying. Also a nice plot.

  33. On my library’s wait list for When The Grits Hits The Fan.

  34. The excerpt has me seriously intrigued. I already wanted to read the new book in this fun series, but now I have to. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy

  35. Sounds like a great book. I love the title.

  36. Sounds like a very gritty detective story! Thank you for the contest!

  37. Pauline Barlow

    It sounds like an interesting new series which I will have to read. With a cat on the cover, I wonder if there is a cat in this book.

  38. Vicki Highley

    I enjoy both series that Edith/Maddie write. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of When the Grits Hit the Fan.

  39. Great blurb. Book looks like a really great read. Thanks for the chance to get it sooner. Rather than later

  40. **** WINNER ****
    When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day is Linda Kuzminczuk
    Congratulations!

  41. Linda Holland

    I see I’m too late to win the giveaway but I’m looking forward to reading the book anyway. Need to put it on my look-for list.

  42. Oops! Too late! But I’ll still read it.