I’m Janice Grover, wife of Simon Grover, the manager of the bank. When we moved to this little town 20 or so years ago – Autumn Vale, in western New York, in case you don’t know – I swore to myself I was never going to toe the corporate wife line again; all those Manhattan cocktail parties talking to people I loathed, trying to help my husband climb his way up the corporate banking ladder. I didn’t know back then that his ladder was always going to be descending to a lower floor. He’s not a dumb guy, but some people are born with no filter, some are born a little wild or weird, and some people (lookin’ at you, Hubby!) are born with naiveté in their bones. He’s so naïve he thinks people are telling him the truth. He was always going to be taken advantage of, and several people in his banking circle did just that, using him as a ladder rung on their climb to the top, while pushing him down.
And so we got transferred to Autumn Vale, New York, what his snickering co-workers called a ‘podunk’ town.
But I couldn’t have been happier when Simon was appointed manager of the Autumn Vale Community Bank. We moved here with our young boys and I dedicated myself to getting big and crazy. Simon and I are both large people and I figure, I’m never going to disappear in a crowd so why not be who I really am? That’s when the name for my business, Crazy Lady Antiques & Collectibles, came to me. I found my niche, but even that was getting kind of boring after a few years, I have to say.
And then. . . Merry, Pish and Shilo showed up. It was happy days for me, even though Simon and I went through a rough patch when we found out he’d been taken advantage of (Again!) by someone he trusted. In truth, he’d gotten lazy even by Autumn Vale standards, so he needed the kick in the pants to make him brush up on his banking skills. We’re pretty close to retirement anyway, but at least, with Pish’s help (that guy is a financial genius!) Simon has been given a second chance to go out with dignity.
But we’re supposed to be talking about a day in my life, right? For the last while that has been taking care of my antique store almost every day. It doesn’t get a whole lot of walk-in foot traffic, admittedly, but that may all change if what Merry and Pish have planned comes to fruition. I can’t talk about it, but some of the most interesting things I’ve done lately have involved helping them find props for operas. I’m hoping that will continue, and maybe even more. Then when my shop day is done, it’s home with Simon, dinner and TV, or some event at Wynter Castle. It’s a simple life.
But now. . . Merry invited that ghost hunting reality show to the castle. . . or actually Pish did; he’s such a pushover, in his own way. I’ve played a fortune teller at town events before, and I have all the gear, including a crystal ball and tarot cards, as well as my latest find, an old Ouija board with a handmade planchette. So I’ve been invited by the show producer to come to the castle and hold a séance. I’m going to see what comes of it. Maybe I’ll actually get on TV! That would be a hoot. Those ghost hunters are interesting folk, but they sure do quarrel a lot. The whole town is abuzz with excitement, though!
I just hope we don’t have any eeevil spirits coming through tonight!!
You can read more about Janice in Muffin to Fear, the fifth book in the “Merry Muffin” mystery series.
In the latest from the national bestselling author of Much Ado About Muffin, newlywed baker Merry Wynter has some unwanted guests looking for ghosts at Wynter Castle. . .
While Merry is distracted by her quickly planned marriage to Virgil Grace and a blissful honeymoon in New York, her friend Pish invites the ghost-hunting crew from the TV show Haunt Hunt to investigate Merry’s home, Wynter Castle. Merry soon discovers that not only is the crew out of sync, there are so many feuds and squabbles, it’s a miracle they get a show produced at all.
It all goes from bad to worse when the show’s psychics claim to have contact with people murdered on Merry’s property. When two cast members are found dead, Merry and Virgil must figure out who’s picking off the Haunt Hunt team before their hard-earned happily ever after is cut short.
Includes delicious recipes!
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About the author
Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of two bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.
Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything. . . except writing!
All comments are welcomed.
Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy of Muffin to Fear, a bookmark, a Cozy up to a great mystery! pen and fridge magnet! Open to US and Canadian addresses only! The giveaway ends July 31, 2017. Good luck everyone!