A day in the life with Val Deniston by Maya Corrigan

My latest encounter with a murderer started when my grandfather came into the kitchen a transformed man. He looked as if he belonged in a fountain-of-youth drug ad, not at all like the man who’d welcomed me as a housemate a year ago. Only yesterday he’d resembled Santa Claus, with a fluffy beard, white curls fringing his head, and wire-framed bifocals slipping down his nose. Now he had shorter hair, a trimmed beard, rimless glasses with tinted lenses, and a tweed driver’s cap covering his bald spot on top.

I pointed my wooden spoon at him. “Who are you, and what did you do with the real Don Myer?”

“I got a new look for the New Year and a new client.” He sauntered across the kitchen as if on a runway in a fashion show. Then he shed his black wool car coat, hung it over his chair at the breakfast table, and showed me his shirt and pants—black, hip, and expensive.

“You look . . . fantastic, Granddad. What are you doing that requires a stylish wardrobe?”

“That’s confidential. I’m finally attracting the right type of business. No more tracking down runaway tabbies or stolen garden gnomes.”

I suppressed a smile. “With a business card that identifies you as a problem solver and sleuth, you have to be prepared for any challenge. Mrs. Smith was very grateful you found her cat.”

“She wasn’t grateful enough to pay me with cash, just cookies. I want to earn back some of the money I forked over for that online private-eye course. My client is paying my expenses and gave me an advance. Big bucks.” He adjusted the angle of his driver’s cap.

I turned the burner down as I digested his words. Hard to believe he merited upfront payment based on his dubious online training and a minor role in solving a murder or two. Granddad refused to tell me who was paying him and what he was supposed to do. I only hoped he wasn’t getting in over his head.

My hope was dashed later that afternoon. After parking at an outlet mall, I spotted a bearded man in a black coat and a driver’s cap at the other end of the mall’s sprawling parking lot. Granddad in his new clothes. Could he have been hired as a mystery shopper? A car turned into the lane where he was walking. He paid no attention to it. He staggered. Then he disappeared as if a stage trap door had swallowed him.


You can read more about Val and Granddad in The Tell-Tale Tarte, the fourth book in the “Five-Ingredient” mystery series.

It’s a cold January in the Chesapeake Bay area, but Cool Down Café manager Val Deniston has plenty to sweat over—like catering a book club event, testing recipes for her Granddad’s cookbook, and catching the author of a deadly tale of murder. The last thing Val needs in her life is an unsolved murder, especially when the victim, an actor famed for impersonating Edgar Allan Poe, happens to be dressed exactly like her Granddad. To keep an eye on Granddad, whose latest job takes him to the home of Rick Usher, a local author inspired by Poe, Val gets herself hired as a cook in Rick’s House of Usher. When she discovers the actor wasn’t the only one doing an impersonation, separating the innocent from the murderous becomes a real-life horror story. But Val must decipher a killer’s M.O. sooner rather than later . . . or she can forget about finding poetic justice.

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About the author
Maya (Mary Ann) Corrigan, lives outside Washington, D.C., an easy drive from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the setting for her culinary mysteries: By Cook or by Crook, Scam Chowder, Final Fondue, and The Tell-Tale Tarte. Her Five-Ingredient Mysteries feature a café manager and her grandfather. Each book includes five suspects, five clues, and Granddad’s five-ingredient recipes. Visit her website at mayacorrigan.com, for more about the series and for trivia about mysteries.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Tell-Tale Tarte (print copy for US entries, e-book outside the US). The giveaway ends June 27, 2017. Good luck everyone!

Buy Link

82 responses to “A day in the life with Val Deniston by Maya Corrigan

  1. Beverly Guy

    This sure does sound like a super duper awesome and exciting book! Love the cover!!! Thanks Dru for the chance to win!

  2. Pauline Barlow

    Val Deniston is certainly very busy without adding an unsolved murder. How does she have time to keep an eye on her granddad. She must find out who is innocent and who is not. It does sound like a must read for me.

  3. The Edgar Allen Poe connection has got me interested.

    • Hi Nadine, Thank you for commenting. Happy to hear that the Poe connection sparked your interested. I loved working his life and writing into the plot. I hope you enjoy the book.

  4. I need to start this series……
    Thank you for the giveaway…..

    • Thanks for commenting, Cyn. And good luck in the giveaway. BTW, the two previous books in the series are discounted on Amazon this month, and the e-book versions are $1.99 wherever they’re sold.

  5. I can hardly wait to read this next book in the series! And to see what recipes are in store for us!

  6. Granddad adds a lot of fun to solving mysteries in this series. He’s also quite sharp.

  7. wendynewcomb

    This sounds like a fun cozy, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  8. Hi Dru Ann. Thank you for hosting Maya Corrigan and her latest book on your blog. I always enjoy finding new books and your blog provides a great resource. Thank you too to Maya for the opportunity to enter for a chance to win a copy of her book.

  9. Barbara Hackel

    Sounds like another winner from Maya! I am anxious to know what Granddad is up to! Sure to be a great story. Thanks Dru Ann for today’s blog, and to Maya for her generous offer. 🙂

  10. It do look good. Most intriguing blurb. Looking forward to this book. Hope to read it sooner. Rather than later. Appreciate the chance to do so.

  11. Love the cover on this book. Makes me wish it was fall .
    xzjh04(at)gmail.com

  12. Thanks for this intriguing giveaway.

  13. I always enjoy finding a new to me author and I must go look up the other books in this series.

    • Hi Ruth, Thank you for commenting. You can check out the other books at a reduced price. The two previous books in the series are discounted on Amazon this month, and the e-book versions are $1.99 wherever they’re sold. Good luck in the drawing.

  14. celiawfowler

    Okay, I’m hooked! I love these Days in the Life, Dru Ann, and I would love to win a copy of The Tell-Tale Tarte!

  15. How much fun would this be to read: 5 items on clues, characters and recipe ingredients, and the cover art is cute. I get too confused when too many characters are introduced. A cafe owner and her grandfather – I like this idea and the mystery sounds intriguing.

  16. A new series for me! 5 +5 +5 = intriguing.

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

  17. Oooh! This sounds like a great series! Thank you for the opportunity to win this book!

  18. Sounds very intriguing….E.A. Poe, books and food….you have my attention!

  19. I love Mary Ann Corrigan! Thanks for the chance.
    cjreynolds52(at)comcast(dot)net

  20. This appears to be an awesome cozy mystery. I would love to read it.

  21. What kind of trouble has her grandfather gotten into? I’d like to read this book. Thanks for introducing me to a new author—and for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  22. Her grandfather sounds like he’s up to something, that’s for sure! Can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the chance to win!

  23. Kelli Jo Calvert

    This sounds like a great read! I love Cozies!!

  24. elainehroberson

    Clever title. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  25. Sounds like a fun read in this new to me series.

  26. Wow That sounds intriguing!

  27. Eager to discover what her grandfather is working on.

  28. This is a new series to me. I really enjoyed the description of the book and I would enjoy reading.

  29. What a beautiful cover illustration! Sounds like a fun book!

  30. judy grogan

    sounds great. thanks for chance

  31. Mary Jane H.

    I haven’t read any of these books. They are definitely being added to my TBR list!

  32. I love this book cover.

  33. Autumn Trapani

    This is a great premise. I would love to win. Thanks for the chance!

  34. it sounds so good!

  35. Karen Terry

    Sounds like a yummy read.

  36. Kay Bennett

    I love this series and have this one pre-ordered. Cant wait to read it.

    • Hi Kay, Thank you for commenting, for your kind words about the series, and for pre-ordering the next book. Pre-orders really help writers. A book often gains momentum if initial sales are good. I hope you like The Tell-Tale Tarte as much as you did the other books in the series.

  37. Love the sound of this next mystery. Looking forward to reading it.

  38. I’d like to know what happened.

  39. A tell Tale Tarte sound like a really fun reading experience

  40. This book looks interesting. I really like the way Val and Granddad interact. Thank you so much for the chance to win!

  41. Sandy McCarthy

    Thank you for the chance to win. Love cozy mysteries

  42. I’ve been wanting to read this one.

    • Hi Sandy and Cozynookbooks, Happy to hear you like cozy mysteries. When I read a cozy mystery, I know I will find a good puzzle and I won’t find a lot of violence. Thank you for commenting and good luck in the drawing.

  43. Linda Herold

    Love the book’s title! Very catchy! Thanks for the chance to win this cozy mystery!

    • Hi Linda, Thanks for your comment. The title isn’t just catchy, it has a real meaning in the story. The tart my sleuth serves at a book club dinner involves her and her grandfather into solving a murder. Good luck in the raffle.

  44. Jen Frederick

    I have been wanting to try this series. It sounds like an interesting read.
    Thanks for the chance to win and congrats on the new book.

  45. Hi Jen, Thank you for your comment. This month you can get some of the earlier books in the series on sale. The e-books of Scam Chowder and Final Fondue are available at $1.99 in any format. Also the paperback of Final Fondue, the book that comes right before The Tell-Tale Tarte, is discounted at Amazon. But you don’t need to read the earlier books to enjoy the latest one. It works as a standalone as well as part of a series. Good luck in the drawing.

  46. Sounds fantastic. I love the Day-in-the-Life posts, and you’ve done a great job with yours. Just enough information to entice us, enough of a cliffhanger to make this a must-read!!

  47. I am just getting into cozies, and this whole concept sounds like so much fun! Hope I’m the lucky winner! Jennifer

  48. Doward Wilson

    Sounds like another fun read in this great series.

  49. **** WINNER ****
    The Tell-Tale Tarte by Maya Corrigan is robeader
    Congratulations!