Tag Archives: Beyond The Page

A day in the life of Becca Leighton by Victoria Hamilton

Age 16 in 1984

I’m pretty sure every parent on the face of earth says it just once: “You’re so lucky; these are the best days of your life! Enjoy them!” Being a teenager. . . yeah, it’s a bucket of laughs.

So, my life? Right now it consists of school and babysitting my infant sister, Jaymie. While other kids get to go to football game, the movies, bowling, on dates, I go home right after school so I can babysit Jaymie so that Dad can work and Mom can get some sleep.

And that’s about it. I mean, I’m not complaining, right? Or. . . I guess am. I love my little sister. She’s so cute, a bundle of pink, squirming baby. She smells so good right out of the bath, I just want to smoosh her little face. And I want to help, because I’m worried about my mom, who isn’t well right now and just doesn’t have the patience for Jaymie when she’s crying, and for my dad, who always looks so worried.

But as for my life? My friends are all mad at me for not doing stuff with them, and even Delores Paget, my summer friend, who I went to ride horses with whenever I got a chance, is distracted and half the time not speaking to me. She’s hung up on Brock (I know, right? Brock Nibley? Eeuw to the max!) and there’s something else worrying her. I wish I had time to find out, but maybe it will all straighten out by the new year. Dad says nothing bad lasts forever, and he’s optimistic it’ll all work out with Mom and Jaymie and everything. He’s trying to get Mom to agree to have Grandma Leighton come stay with us for a while to help look after Jaymie. That would help so much. Trouble is, she and Mom don’t get along all the time.

But. . . maybe. I hope so. ‘Cause right now, a day in the life of Becca Leighton, age 16? Blech. Check on me in a few years.


You can read more about adult Becca in Leave It To Cleaver, the sixth book in the “Vintage Kitchen” mystery series, coming June 23, 2017.

Jaymie Leighton, planning a big event in her own life along with her sister, Becca, is distracted by the 33-year-old mystery of two missing local teens, schoolmates of Becca’s. It’s a very odd trip back in time and gives her a glimpse of her sister’s life as a teenager when Jaymie was just an infant. But some of the secrets she uncovers may have devastating repercussions in the families of her best friend in the world, Valetta Nibley, and others close to her!

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About the author
Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of nationally bestselling romance author Donna Lea Simpson. She now happily writes about vintage kitchen collecting, muffin baking and dead bodies for Berkley Prime Crime in the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mystery series. Besides writing about murder and mayhem, and blogging at Killer Characters, Victoria collects vintage kitchen wares and old cookbooks, as well as teapots and teacups. Victoria also writes the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper!

For more information, visit victoriahamiltonmysteries.com and sign up for the newsletter, or find me on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a limited edition “Cozy up to a great mystery!” mug, pen, fridge magnet and bookmark. US and Canadian entries only, please. The giveaway ends June 23, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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My Musing ~ Leave It to Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton

Leave It to Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton is the sixth book in the “Vintage Kitchen” mystery series. Publisher: Beyond the Page, June 23, 2017

In the brand-new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of White Colander Crime, someone with an old grudge decides it’s time to bury the hatchet . . .

Vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton has agreed to help her sister clear out the house of a deceased older neighbor, and she’s thrilled at the prospect of discovering antique kitchenware and other treasures—until she opens a vintage trunk in the cellar and finds the remains of a teenage girl with a cleaver buried in her skull. When the body of a second girl is found just days later in a nearby river, the clues all indicate that the crimes are connected—and that the culprit’s motives are hidden in the past.

Jaymie just wants to cut and run, but the victims were both high school classmates of her sister when they disappeared, and that makes Jaymie the perfect person to help the local police investigate the killings. As she dredges up old memories and even older rivalries and jealousies, her list of suspects grows. But Jaymie knows she’ll have to whittle it down to just one, and fast, because someone has decided to cut their ties to Jaymie—in the most fatal of ways . . .

Includes a vintage recipe!

I love this story where the past and present collided in the staging of this well-executed story. The mystery was tightly woven keeping me immersed in all that was happening from the discoveries of the bodies, to the recollection of the past and to the present where a killer lurks in plain sight. I like how this was set up with a slew of suspects and clues that had to be deciphered the more Jaymie dug deeper into the evidence that would eventually lead to the killer’s identity. The author had a way with the narrative bridging the gap between the decades and putting me in the middle of both time periods which felt rather comfortable not losing any steps in this storyline. Boasting a great cast of characters, engaging dialogue with a small-town atmosphere, this is the best book in this fabulous series and I can’t wait to see where we go next with Jaymie and her friends.

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FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.