Tag Archives: Amanda Cooper

A Day in the Life with Sophie Taylor by Amanda Cooper

The Grim SteeperThe Perfect Day

It goes without saying that the perfect day doesn’t involve murder. It’s not that it’s happened a lot, but it has been a weird year. First there was the woman who died in Mrs. Earnshaw’s tearoom next door to Auntie Rose’s, and then there was the lady who died while Nana and Laverne were in Butterhill at the teapot collector’s conference, and now. . . well, I won’t talk about that yet.

I was asked about a ‘Day in the Life’ kind of thing. Day in the Life— like there are any two alike? Okay, so maybe I’ll just talk about my perfect day. It involves food, both cooking and eating; I’ve worked in a lot of restaurant kitchens and even owned one. Nothing beats having total control, and that’s what Nana gives me in the kitchen of Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. I love making up new soups, sandwiches, biscuits, scones, cookies, all kind of treats. There’s a creative buzz I get from it.

It also wouldn’t be a perfect day without a chat with Nana, and my godmother, Laverne. Those two ladies, in their eighties and seventies, respectively, give me so much more hope for the future than even my friends or parents. They have so much get up and go, though Laverne complains all the time that her ‘get-up-and-go got up and went’.

After the tearoom closes for the day and I’m done cleaning up so Nana doesn’t try to do it all alone, I love getting together with my Gracious Grove pals, the most normal bunch of friends I’ve ever had. Growing up in boarding schools I had friends, but they lived all over the world, so it wasn’t like I could call them to hang for a while. I can do that here. I don’t think I’ll ever get my mother to understand why that’s important to me. She prefers the kind of friends she meets while in Tahiti, or Paris, or Milan.

And then there’s Jason; he’s my first love, the boy I fell hard for while visiting Nana in Gracious Grove, the guy my mother broke me up with when I was sixteen, and the kind she wants to steer me clear of because he’s not a doctor or lawyer or entrepreneur. He’s a college teacher of English lit, the last thing I ever would have thought he’d become. But it suits him, his new academic role. You know, I don’t think I ever got over loving him. I hope to learn if he feels the same. Maybe some perfect day I’ll get up the nerve to ask him.

And the perfect day ends in my little attic bedroom above Auntie Rose’s, watching true crime shows and petting Pearlie Girlie, Nana’s beautiful Chocolate Point Birman cat. The next perfect day starts and ends the same way; that’s what happens when you finally figure out where you’re meant to be.

And the latest dead body? Yikes. . . don’t ask. Poor Jason; it doesn’t look good for him. I just hope it wasn’t the tea that did the vic (as they call the victim on cop shows) in. I think I’m going to have to get involved. . . again. To find out what happens, read The Grim Steeper!


The Grim Steeper is the third book in the “Teapot Collector” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, February 2016.

The national bestselling author of Shadow of a Spout invites readers back to the Finger Lakes town of Gracious Grove for more tea and murder. . .

Mid-October in the charming Finger Lakes town of Gracious Grove means it’s time for the annual Fall Fling Townwide Tea Party. The highlight of the festivities is a roaming tea-tasting, which includes a stop at Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. Sophie Taylor would like to share her enjoyment of the event with her sort-of boyfriend, English teacher Jason Murphy, but Jason’s dean has accused him of falsifying grades to help an athlete at the local college. Steamed and stressed, Jason shows up the night of the party with bags under his eyes.

But the dean shows up under Sophie’s Japanese Maple later that night, murdered, and now Jason is suspected of far worse than fudging grade reports. It’s up to Sophie, her Nana, and their friends the Silver Spouts to pore over the clues to find out who really decided to teach the dean a lesson.

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About the author
Amanda Cooper, aka Victoria Hamilton is the author of three bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Victoria HMysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, as well as the Teapot Collector Mysteries. 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, and the company of friends. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!

To learn more about Amanda Cooper, aka Victoria Hamilton visit these social media links:
Amanda Cooper/Victoria Hamilton Mysteries
Amanda Cooper/Victoria Hamilton Facebook
Teapot Collector Mysteries Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter

Giveaway: Amanda Cooper is giving away one copy of The Grim Steeper with a bookmark to one reader who comments here! This is open to Canadian and US addresses. The giveaway will end February 22, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

Day in the Life of Thelma Mae Earnshaw by Amanda Cooper

Shadow of a Spout(Owner/Proprietor of Belle Epoque, the finest tearoom in Gracious Grove, NY, despite what some folks think.)

Day in the life, huh? Finally someone asks after my day. No one wants to listen when I talk about my gout, or my lazy employee, Gilda, or how Rose Freemont, that woman next door stole my beau 60 odd years ago, but all of a sudden you’re interested.

Alrighty, what can I say? I wake up and spend the first ten minutes looking for my teeth, my glasses and my cane. Not that I use the cane all the time, but it sure does make it handy to whack Gilda if she’s lagging behind. About then Gilda finally gets her lazy butt out of bed and into the kitchen downstairs in Belle Epoque… that’s my tearoom, and a sight nicer than Rose, next door’s, I have to say. Or it is when I can make Gilda clean the place proper. You’d think with her living here now she’d be up and at ‘em. I get her to make some tea and breakfast, while I have a peek out the window at Rose’s place, next door, to see what she’s up to.

Sometimes I call Cissy, my granddaughter, who runs her bookstore, Peterson’s. She’s a good girl most of the time. I just wish her brother, Phillip, was half as reliable.

Anyway, my day, right? You still want to know? Well, then I think about my part investigating that murder that happened in my own tearoom back in May. Never will get the credit I deserve, but that’s just the way of the world. Then I get Gilda to get some stuff out of the freezer to thaw and bake, and we get the place open for business! I sit by the cash and take the money while Gilda bakes and serves and then cleans up while I try to figure out if we did better than Rose.

I hafta admit, her Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House is real pretty, and I just might have to hire someone else to help out Gilda, since my pins aren’t so reliable any more. I’m getting on a bit. God and I will hafta have a talk about that. At the end of the day I pray for another murder to happen, only not at my place, at Rose’s, so her place can become known as the tearoom where a murder happened, not mine. I guess that’s not exactly true; I don’t really want anyone to die.

And then I go to bed and watch old movies, unless I have to hobble next door for one of those Silver Spout teapot collector meetings. I don’t know why I was so jazzed to join up with them, Rose and Laverne and the rest, all fussing about how old their teapots are, or how valuable. Even if my teapots mostly come from the thrift store, they’re just as good!

That’s my day, and thanks for asking. Now. . . who do I hafta bribe for a cup of tea?


You can read more about Thelma in Shadow of a Spout, the second book in the “Teapot Collectors” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Tempest in a Teapot.

About Shadow Of A Spout

Avid teapot collector Rose Freemont takes a break from her Victorian tea house only to find a new mystery brewing elsewhere. . .

Leaving her home in Gracious Grove behind her, Rose is off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector’s Society. Her granddaughter Sophie is minding the tea house while she’s away. Rose is eager for tough cookie Zunia Pettigrew to appraise a prized antique teapot she believes may be a holy water vessel from China.

But when Zunia declares the pot a fake, Rose is really steamed. After Zunia’s found dead beside Rose’s dinged-in teapot, Sophie must rush to her grandmother’s aid and find the real killer—before Rose is steeped in any more trouble. . .

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on April 20 for the chance to win a copy of Shadow Of A CozyToteShadowSpout and a “Cozy Up To A Good Mystery” tote bag. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Amanda Cooper is the pseudonym for bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton. She writes the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and the Merry Muffin Mysteries as Hamilton, in addition to the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper.

Cooper’s long time love of mystery novels started at age twelve when her mom handed her an Agatha Christie book and said ‘Read!’. Thousands of novels later Cooper is still reading. And writing.
Victoria H
But besides those two favorite pastimes, Cooper also enjoys collecting vintage kitchenalia, old books, teacups, teapots and other ephemera. Perfume is her secret addiction. She likes to cook, hates to clean, and enjoys time spent with friends chatting over wine or tea. She loves crafts, loathes boredom, and her guilty pleasure is ‘reality’ TV, which she knows is largely fake but enjoys anyway.

Cooper thinks that people are the most interesting study of all, and more than anything, she loves to hear from readers, not just about her books but about anything and everything.

To learn more about Amanda Cooper and the Teapot Collector Mysteries see these pages:

Website | Facebook – Victoria Hamilton | Facebook – Teapot Collector Mysteries | Pinterest

My Musing ~ Shadow of a Spout by Amanda Cooper

Shadow of a SpoutShadow of a Spout by Amanda Cooper is the second book in the “Teapot Collector” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2015

Leaving her home in Gracious Grove behind her, Rose is off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector’s Society. Her granddaughter Sophie is minding the tea house while she’s away. Rose is eager for tough cookie Zunia Pettigrew to appraise a prized antique teapot she believes may be a holy water vessel from China.

But when Zunia declares the pot a fake, Rose is really steamed. After Zunia’s found dead beside Rose’s dinged-in teapot, Sophie must rush to her grandmother’s aid and find the real killer—before Rose is steeped in any more trouble.

I like it. Sophie is on the case when her grandmother becomes the prime suspect in a murder. I love that we got different perspectives from several of the characters which created a mystery that led to plenty of suspects with motives and it was fun untangling all the puzzle pieces from the clues presented. Some surprising twists came at me and heightened the suspense in this fast-paced drama that quickly became a page turner. With a lovable cast of characters and a comfortable tone, this was a great read and I’m looking forward to the next book in this fabulous series.

Tempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper

Tempest in a TeapotTempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper is the first book in the new “Teapot Collector” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, June 2014

Tucked away in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York is the charming town of Gracious Grove, where time moves slowly, gossip spreads quickly, and the scones are to die for.

When her fashionable Manhattan restaurant goes under, Sophie Taylor retreats to her grandmother’s cozy shop, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Teahouse, where serenity is steeped to perfection in one of her many antique teapots. The last thing Sophie expects is a bustling calendar of teahouse events, like her old friend Cissy Peterson’s upcoming bridal shower.

Not everyone is pleased with the bride-to-be’s choice of venue—like Cissy’s grandmother, who owns a competing establishment, La Belle Epoque, and has held a long-simmering grudge against Rose for stealing her beau sixty years ago. Tensions reach a boiling point when Cissy’s fiancé’s mother dies while sampling scones at La Belle Epoque. Now, to help her friend, Sophie will have to bag a killer before more of the guest list becomes a hit list.

I enjoyed this nicely developed whodunit that had me quickly turning the pages as I had to know who was doing what to whom. The pace was very comfortable and I love how each chapter flowed into one another. The author did a good job with the mystery keeping me guessing throughout most of this story with plenty of suspects and there were a few surprising twists that I didn’t see coming. Sophie is very likable and I love that she’s come back; more different from when she left several years ago…the hint of what was back then as opposed to what is now was a recurring theme throughout this light drama. Boasting a diverse cast of secondary characters, who I can’t wait to know more about, and good dialogue, I’m looking forward to the next book in this fresh new cozy series.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

A Day in the Life of Sophie Rose Freemont Taylor by Amanda Cooper

Tempest in a TeapotI’m home! Or what I think of as home, Gracious Grove, New York, the prettiest town in the prettiest region, tucked in among the Finger Lakes! My family has homes all over the place – New York, the Hamptons, Miami – but my grandmother’s modest home in GiGi, as locals call the town, is more home to me than any of them.

So, how did I end up living with my grandmother? It all started with a failure. I had my lifelong dream come true, first. I was barely twenty-six when I got the funding and opened my own restaurant, In Fashion, in the garment district in Manhattan. The next three years were a whirlwind, but then it was over. After a great start we fell victim to competition, personnel problems, investor problems and… my inability to make my vision work.

Enough about that. I’ve moved to Gracious Grove to stay with my Nana and help her in her tearoom, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. When I was a kid I stayed there often, and my greatest thrill was helping Nana dust her impressive collection of teapots. She has hundreds, and they are lined up on bureaus, sideboards and shelves in the tearoom. My own interest in them started then, and I now have a wonderful collection of my own, mostly art deco and art nouveau.

So… my day used to start with a visit to the fish market and garden market for the freshest fish and produce, then a meeting with my cooking staff at In Fashion; it was hectic, no breathing space, and I fueled myself on cups of strong coffee. But now, back in the slower pace that is Auntie Rose’s I get up, wander downstairs and have coffee with my grandmother and godmother, who are drinking tea, of course. Laverne Hodge, my godmother, is also my grandmother’s only employee at the tearoom.

Then I start my day doing whatever needs doing and trying to take some of the work off my Nana’s shoulders. I’m working right now on planning a tearoom wedding shower. Nana decided to hand over control of Cissy Peterson’s event to me, but what do I know about showers? I’ve been so busy working since I finished school that I’ve never even gone to one. I think I’ll just do a little tea talk, and let Cissy’s matron of honor, Gretchen, plan the rest.

I do want Cissy to have fun. She was my friend whenever I came to stay in Gracious Grove, and happens to be the granddaughter of Nana’s neighbor and frenemy, Thelma Mae Earnshaw. Can that woman hold a grudge? Decades later and she still claims Nana stole her beau, aka my grandfather.

Anyway, there is no normal day right now, while this is all so new to me, but as long as I can help, I guess I’ll be all right. I’m hoping to reconnect with my boyfriend from my teen years, Jason Murphy, but I broke his heart and don’t know if he’s going to trust me, or if he’s even interested.

Oh, did I happen to mention that Nana’s next door frenemy Thelma also has a tearoom? She’s holding an engagement tea there for her granddaughter because her nose is bent out of shape over Cissy having her wedding shower at Nana’s. Cissy’s soon-to-be family-in-law seems to be even more dysfunctional than the usual, but hey… what could go wrong?

I hope I don’t regret saying that.


You can read more about Sophie in Tempest in a Teapot, the first book in the new “Teapot Collector” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. Book is available at retail and online booksellers.

Tempest in a Teapot

Sophie Taylor, failed restaurateur, chef and teapot collector, is at loose ends in Manhattan until she decides on the spur of the moment to return ‘home’ to Gracious Grove and her grandmother’s tearoom, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House. Her grandmother, Rose Freemont, aka ‘Nana’, welcomes her with open arms and Sophie settles in to find her groove cooking again, even if it is ‘only’ tearoom fare. At the same time she reestablishes friendships with her childhood buddies Dana and Cissy, and her first love, Jason Murphy.

Life in Gracious Grove is not usually as spirited as it becomes when there is a murder at the tearoom next door, the establishment of cranky octogenarian Thelma Mae Earnshaw. Despite Thelma’s irascibility, Sophie feels compelled to help figure out who killed a local socialite with a baked goodie at Thelma’s tearoom, Belle Époque. Too soon the danger strikes close to home with an attack on her Nana, and Sophie races the clock to figure out what is going wrong in the pretty little town of Gracious Grove.

For more on Tempest in a Teapot and the Teapot Collector Mysteries, visit the series’ Facebook page.

GIVEAWAY
Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on June 9, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Amanda Cooper is the pseudonym of bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton. She writes the Vintage Kitchen DonnaSMysteries and the Merry Muffin Mysteries as Hamilton, in addition to the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. Cooper’s long time love of mystery novels started at age twelve when her mom handed her an Agatha Christie book and said ‘Read!’. Thousands of novels later Cooper is still reading. And writing.

But besides those two favorite pastimes, Cooper collects teacups, teapots and other ephemera. Perfume is her secret addiction. She likes to cook, hates to clean, and enjoys time spent with friends chatting over wine or tea. She adores crafting, loathes boredom, and her guilty pleasure is ‘reality’ TV, which she knows is largely fake but enjoys anyway.

Cooper thinks that people are the most interesting study of all, and more than anything, she loves to hear from readers, not just about her books but about anything and everything.

Learn more about Amanda Cooper, her alter ego Victoria Hamilton, and all her mystery series at: www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com


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