a-frying-shameI first want to say a big “thank you” to Dru for inviting me here again to chat with everyone. I’m Talia Marby, owner of a deep-fried eatery in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. I’m thrilled to be back here, except . . . well, I’m afraid there’s been another murder! I often hear people say that “three times is the charm.” Well, for me, three times was a curse.

It all started when I entered a cooking/baking contest sponsored by a national food conglomerate. Not that it was my idea. Crystal Galardi, co-owner of the recently opened Fork and Dish, talked me into it. The contest was sponsored by Steeltop Foods, whose CEO claimed to have ties to the Berkshires. That in itself was odd, since no one seemed to remember him. Anyway, the company arranged to have the contest held at our town’s annual summer festival. For my entry, I chose my mini deep-fried apple pies—a dessert I’d been testing on all my family and friends. Made with rounds of pie dough filled with scrumptious Cortland apples, sugar, and spices, they’re positively delectable when they come out of the deep fryer. Sprinkle one with powdered sugar and you’ve got yourself a yummy dessert!

I ended up being one of six semi-finalists, an honor I would later regret. I didn’t win the contest, but that wasn’t the bad part. Only a few hours after Norma Ferguson was awarded first prize for her flaky-top chicken stew, she was found dead—and not of natural causes.

Poor Norma. I’ll never forget her expression that day after her name was called. She’d sat there, frozen, as if her feet were glued to the makeshift stage. She looked like someone who’d been sentenced to the guillotine instead of a woman who’d just won a cool twenty-five grand. Not long after she accepted the prize money, she was found in her cooking station, dead. It was almost as if she knew a killer was on her trail . . .

Thinking about it makes me shiver all over again. The worst part is that the police have set their sights on the wrong person—someone I know could never have committed murder. I’m trying to prove it, but everywhere I turn I bump into a roadblock. The main roadblock being one Detective Patti Prescott, who thinks I poke my nose where it doesn’t belong. Luckily, I have some terrific helpers in the eatery, so I can sneak away every so often to try and track down the real killer.

If you’re in the Berkshires, stop by Fry Me a Sliver and enjoy a deep-fried treat. The ambiance is cozy, the AC is pumping out chilled air, and the deep fryer is sizzling. And as for the local gossip . . . once again it’s all about murder.

You can read more about Talia in A Frying Shame, the third book in the “Deep Fried” mystery series.

A cooking contest becomes a fry to the finish in the new Deep Fried Mystery from the author of Out of the Dying Pan.

Fry another day.

The town of Wrensdale is abuzz with excitement when Steeltop Foods sponsors a contest to promote its new Flavor Dial. With a $25,000 prize at stake, Talia Marby, owner of Fry Me a Sliver, hopes her mini deep-fried apple pies will win her the money to pay off the recent renovations on her restaurant.

But when Norma Ferguson wins with her flaky-top chicken stew, the tensions dial up even more. After Norma is found dead at her cooking station, the police suspect a losing contestant got a bit too hot under the collar. Now Talia must work to catch the killer before another cook gets burned . . .

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About the author
Armed with a degree in Criminal Justice, Linda Reilly once contemplated a career in law enforcement. But life took a twist, and instead she found her niche in real estate closings and title examinations, where the dusty tomes in the Registry of Deeds enticed her into solving mysteries of a different sort. Retired from her day job, Linda lives in New Hampshire with her husband, where she loves solving mysteries of the cozy type. When she’s not pounding away at her keyboard, she can usually be found prowling the shelves of a local bookstore or library hunting for a new adventure. Connect with Linda at lindasreilly.com, on Facebook, on Twitter and on Pinterest.

All comments are welcomed.

A Frying Shame is available at retail and online booksellers booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of A Frying Shame. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends April 7, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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