Tag Archives: Victoria Hamilton

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!

Buy Link

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.

Buy Link


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

My Musing ~ Much Ado About Muffin by Victoria Hamilton

Much Ado About Muffin by Victoria Hamilton is the fourth book in the “Merry Muffin” mystery series. Publisher: Penguin Random House, August 2016

Much Ado About MuffinIn this fresh mystery from the national bestselling author of Death of an English Muffin, baker Merry Wynter comes to the aid of an innocent woman accused of murder.

When muffin baker Merry Wynter sees an innocent woman accused of murder, it’s dough or die. .

Opera singer Roma Toscano may have a crippling case of stage fright, but she certainly is stirring up drama in Autumn Vale, New York, as she prepares for an upcoming performance at Merry’s Wynter Castle. With her flamboyant style and flirtatious personality, Roma attracts fans as well as critics, including the town’s postmistress—and Merry’s bitter foe—Minnie Urqhart.

But Roma and Minnie’s heated rivalry goes cold after Merry discovers Minnie dead at the post office. While every clue seems to be another ingredient in the investigation of Roma, Merry thinks the case is half-baked, and she’s eager to get her mitts on the real killer. .

More character-driven getting to know more of them. A good murder mystery that kept me intrigued in all the possibilities of discovering who murdered Minnie. It should have been easy, but the author kept me on my toes giving hints that lead to a number of persons of interest. I love how the author used the town and the goings on to ferret out the killer with great aplomb. The interactions among the characters were entertaining and I enjoyed the dialogue as well. Merry is a likable heroine and I like how she takes the bull by the horn in her quest to solve this puzzling murder. The author does a great job in supplying me with the visuals to see the town as Merry does and the narrative to how the character’s lives are impacted by the recent events. All the characters presented in this book play a pivotal role and the bonus that Merry is settling in her new home and that ending truly enhanced the telling of this tale. This was an enjoyable read and I had a fun time with the residents of Autumn Vale and I can’t wait to read the next book in this terrific series.

A Day in the Life with Merry Wynter by Victoria Hamilton

Much Ado About MuffinEven without the murders that have happened, (too close to home!) I’d have to say it’s been a crazy year. I moved into my inherited castle (who ever thought I’d say THAT??) in western New York State, met a bunch of folks in Autumn Vale, made friends, had the great good fortune to have my two best friends from NYC move here with me, and found a kinda-sorta business supplying the villagers with muffins.

I do love to bake muffins.

But what all that craziness means is, there is no ‘day in the life’. There are days, multiple, no two the same. I get up and usually let Becket out; he is the ginger cat I also inherited from my uncle. I bake muffins, take them into town to distribute, and basically try to figure out how I can keep my giant white elephant of a real American castle.

My ideas so far?

1 – Turn it into a hotel or bed and breakfast, except. . . I’m not really a hospitality kind of gal, and I like my privacy. Pish (one of my best friends) is really much more the hospitality type, but this is not his white elephant to be saddled with.

2 – Keep it basic and rent it out as a movie set whenever I can; that is cool, it pays well, and it’s only a pain for a couple of weeks. However. . . how often can I count on that? It’s not steady money.

3 – Do a bit of reno and rent out Wynter Castle as a wedding/event venue. This could work. I’d need a couple of bathrooms added on the main floor, and to finish the upstairs bedrooms, but I do have a huge ballroom, large dining room and a commercial kitchen. On the other hand, the grounds are kind of blah; it need gardens or something to make picturesque places for photos.

Other than try to figure out how to keep my inheritance, I usually spend some part of each day working on the rooms, have dinner with Pish, and. . . oh, well, yes, there is the deliciousness that is Sheriff Virgil Grace, son of my new Autumn Vale friend Gogi Grace. There is him. So far a flirt-mance, but I can always hope there is more to come.

And that’s me and my days. What it all comes down to is, I really do need to figure out what to do with my castle.

*Edited to add. . . Merry Wynter here again. I wrote this a couple of months ago, and some stuff has happened since then that has, again, changed my day-to-day life. I can’t get into it, but I’ve related the whole story in Much Ado About Muffin. . . There’s a lot to say! Hope you read it!

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Much Ado About Muffin is the fourth book in the Merry Muffin mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, August 2016.

In this fresh mystery from the national bestselling author of Death of an English Muffin, baker Merry Wynter comes to the aid of an innocent woman accused of murder.

When muffin baker Merry Wynter sees an innocent woman accused of murder, it’s dough or die. . .

Opera singer Roma Toscano may have a crippling case of stage fright, but she certainly is stirring up drama in Autumn Vale, New York, as she prepares for an upcoming performance at Merry’s Wynter Castle. With her flamboyant style and flirtatious personality, Roma attracts fans as well as critics, including the town’s postmistress—and Merry’s bitter foe—Minnie Urquhart.

But Roma and Minnie’s heated rivalry goes cold after Merry discovers Minnie dead at the post office. While every clue seems to be another ingredient in the investigation of Roma, Merry thinks the case is half-baked, and she’s eager to get her mitts on the real killer. . .

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About the author
Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of three bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling Victoria Hauthor 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!

Connect with Victoria at her website, Facebook, Merry Muffin Facebook page, Pinterest and Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Much Ado About Muffin. U.S. and Canadian residents only, please. The giveaway will end August 15, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life of Jakob Müller by Victoria Hamilton

White Colander CrimeMy name is Jakob Müller. I’m a farmer, so you’d think this time of year I’d just be finishing up my busiest season, but actually, since I farm trees—Christmas trees to be exact—I’m now in my busiest season. I also run a store called The Junk Stops Here, and I have a large German family with a father who has some health issues and a mom who’s getting older. And I have a little girl—my precious daughter, Jocelyn—who has the busy schedule of most eight year olds, with school, and seasonal pageants coming up, as well as fitting in the tumbling group she belongs to and the singing lessons she begged to take.

One evening a couple of weeks ago, as I was doing the dinner dishes, the most beautiful girl, Jaymie Leighton, banged on my door in a panic. She was in trouble, and I was able to help. I fell instantly into like, and I think it’s rapidly advancing into love.

But I have an eight year old daughter, so I have to be careful who I bring into her life. She loved Jaymie immediately; they bonded over Jocie’s photo album. So now I need to fit one more thing into my busy days. . . time with Jaymie. Time to see if what we feel can become something more. I have a sneaking suspicion my and Jocie’s lives have changed forever. . . for the better.

Anyway… my day: it starts early. I’m up at five thirty or so doing the books for the tree business and store. Then I get Jocie up by six thirty: breakfast, dishes, washing up, teeth clean, dressed neatly and school. I go to the store most days, but I do have a business partner and a couple of employees, so it’s not all on me. This time of year I have to get back to the farm by lunch and choose trees to cut for those who just want to pick up a ready cut tree. I also tag trees with information on variety and height, maintain the growing area—we put down mulch on the paths between the trees to make it neat—and coming soon I’ll be working most afternoons and evenings selling trees to cut-it-yourself folks.

But still. . . I hope I can make time to see Jaymie, and I hope she can make time to see me! She’s as busy as I am, working a half dozen jobs, volunteering at the heritage society’s new historic house, family and friends. And murder; somehow, some way, there always seems to be a murder to investigate! And Jaymie, so smart, capable and independent, always comes through.

Frohe Weihnachten from a Christmas tree farmer to you!

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You can read more about Jakob in White Colander Crime, the fifth book in the “Vintage Kitchen” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is A Deadly Grind.

About White Colander Crime

In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Mallets Intended, the Heritage Society is re-creating a perfect Victorian Christmas—until good tidings go bad. . .

Queensville has great expectations for their Dickens Days festival. A tourist-trade boom means a big turnout for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor and for Jaymie Leighton, food columnist and vintage cookware collector, a chance to promote the manor and give away homemade goodies. At the end of a long day of festival fun, Jaymie discovers the battered body of local woman Shelby Fretter.

Shelby predicted her own murder in journal entries—and all clues point to Cody Wainwright, the troubled son of Jaymie’s beleaguered newspaper editor. But considering the entire Fretter family had its share of dirty secrets, Jaymie’s not convinced by the case against Cody. With twists all over, she’s going to have to work like the Dickens to wrap up this investigation before Christmas—especially with the real killer ready to kill again.

INCLUDES A RECIPE!

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No Mallets IntendedGiveaway! Open to Canadian and US addresses: Victoria is giving away a copy of Vintage Kitchen Mysteries Book #4, NO MALLETS INTENDED and Book #5, WHITE COLANDER CRIME. Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on December 4 for your chance to win. Good luck everyone!

About the author
Victoria Hamilton is the author of three bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the Victoria Hbestselling 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!

For more information about the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Victoria’s other mystery series, check her out online:

Victoria Hamilton Mysteries at www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com
Victoria Hamilton on Facebook
Vintage Kitchen Mysteries on Facebook
Vintage Kitchen Mysteries on Pinterest.com
Twitter: @MysteryVictoria

Day in the Life of Librarian Hannah Moore by Victoria Hamilton

Continue reading

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