Muffin to Fear
Series: #5 Merry Muffin Mysteries
By Victoria Hamilton
Berkley Prime Crime
Pub. Date: July 25th, 2017
In the world of cozy or traditional mysteries the home of the protagonist is generally a cute cottage, or an antique Queen Anne. I realize that I’ve never really explained where the idea for placing the Merry Muffin Mystery series in an honest-to-goodness American castle came from.
A little background: it was a few years ago. I had successfully launched the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries (Book #6, Leave It To Cleaver has just been released, June 23rd – see my website for details!) and I thought I could handle a second series. (Within a year I would have a second and third series!) I love reading mystery series, myself; I like revisiting characters I enjoy spending time with. It’s like meeting old friends every time I go to Santa Theresa and visit with the indomitable Kinsey Millhone, her feisty landlord, Henry, and hilarious friend-slash-bully-in-chief Rosie. So, I wanted to create another series, another ‘place’ in space and time.
I had recently had an idea that just popped into my mind; what would I do if I inherited a castle? Seems obvious; move to the castle, right? But I realized there was much more to it than just moving there. A building like that would require a whole lot of money thrown at it routinely! And for a city girl (the idea was starting to take shape, and the protagonist, Merry Wynter, was born!) who had been involved in the fashion industry, living in a huge castle near a small town in western New York State was not a natural fit.
But I needed more of a reason she couldn’t just sell Wynter Castle and take the cash. There were problems at the castle that required her presence and her commitment to fixing it up, then. And thus was born Wynter Castle, the quirky, isolated town of Autumn Vale, and the cast of kooky characters, as well as the family mystery of why Merry didn’t know her great uncle. Added to that was the mystery of how and why great uncle Melvyn Wynter died and why someone kept digging huge holes on her property, making the castle unsellable! It was like all these little pieces of the puzzle – what makes up the Merry Muffin Mystery series – were just floating in the ether, waiting for the series to cling to.
But I know much better than that. I think once the castle idea came to me, the rest began to take root and grow in the rich soil it gave me because it was the right idea at the right time. Trust me, I’ve had lots of ideas that came to nothing, and I think that was because they weren’t right for me, or they would have taken root.
And that’s how a series was born!
About Victoria Hamilton:
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!
Merry Muffin Mysteries Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MerrysMuffinsMysterySeries