Quiche of Death

Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
by Mary Lee Ashford

About Quiche of Death

Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (July 21, 2020)
Print Length: ~254 pages

When editor Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer went into business creating cookbooks, they found a sideline as amateur sleuths. Now a bitter family grudge could leave a fatal aftertaste…


At Sugar & Spice Community Cookbooks, the friends and business partners have secured a tasty new commission: producing a cookbook for the Arbor family. The Arbors have made their fortune in quiches, and Sugar and Spice have been invited to a weekend gathering where all the siblings, along with crusty matriarch Marta, will be in attendance. But it’s soon clear that this trip will come with a hefty slice of drama.


Theo, the only grandson, arrives with his flaky fiancĂ©e, Collette, who quickly stirs up trouble . . . and is found dead the next day. As the investigation unfolds, secrets—and recipes—are shared, and Sugar and Spice realize just how messy and murderous the situation may be. As another family member falls ill, can they solve the case without getting egg on their faces . . .and a target on their backs?

* Includes delicious recipes! *


 “Quiche me, you fool.”

The demand was followed by hoots of laughter as the sister—Jezzie, I think her name was—leaned into her spouse for a smooch. He hesitated but obliged.

I smiled at the boisterous group who clearly shared some inside joke about quiche and kissing. The warmth of the table and the sibling love melted my heart like butter on a biscuit. Taking a sip of water, I glanced over at Dixie, who sat across from me at the huge oak table.

She rolled her eyes.

“What?” I mouthed.

Dixie shrugged. Jezzie had perhaps a teensy bit too much wine, but still: When did my best friend and business partner get so darn stuffy? Maybe it was the inside-joke part that she found off-putting.

But we did know quiche was the family’s stock-in-trade, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch to figure out the expression had something to do with the Arbor family’s food business. After all, that was why we were here.

Families Are Complicated

Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway from the Sugar & Spice Mysteries (Quiche of Death)

Hello, Sugar Calloway here. No one, not even my mama, calls me Rosetta. If you’d have asked me five-years ago where I saw myself going, I would have probably answered that I pictured a nice steady climb up the corporate ladder. I sure wouldn’t have told you I pictured myself living in a small Midwest town creating community cookbooks.

But that’s exactly where I find myself and I have to tell you it’s just perfect. When my editorial job at a glossy food magazine was eliminated, I thought it was the worst day of my life. The worst. I sure did not want to head back home to where my southern mama and her sisters knew just what I needed to do with my life. But then I got a call from Dixie Spicer who I’d met when the magazine had done a feature on state fair blue-ribbon winning bakers. To make a long story short (and I’m from the south so you’d better believe I can tell a story the long way) we partnered up to create a publishing company that produces community cookbooks. Sugar & Spice Cookbooks.

Which brings me to families…

I’d made the choices I made to avoid my family. Dixie, on the other hand, stayed close to home. She lives only a few miles from the farm where she grew up with her brothers and a big loving extended family. Whatever they’re like, big or small, close-knit or distant, rich or poor, our families shape us in all sorts of ways.

Now, usually our clients at Sugar & Spice Cookbooks are groups or organizations looking to put together a collection of recipes as a fundraiser. But recently we were contacted by a member of the Arbor family who were interested in a cookbook of old family recipes. The family fortune had started with a recipe for quiche and grew into a large frozen food business. They had planned a family reunion type gathering at a bed & breakfast owned by one of the siblings and had invited Dixie and me so we could collect recipes and anecdotes for the book. It seemed like a great plan…

But even when people are on their best behavior (and in this case not all were), family dynamics are complicated. And before the weekend had barely begun, we had an uncooperative matriarch, a misbehaving French poodle, and a dead body.

We’d intended to pick out some recipes, jot down some family stories, and head back home to St. Ignatius, but instead we found ourselves in the middle of a murder investigation.

About Mary Lee Ashford 

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries.

In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.

Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.

She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a past board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of AmericaKiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter for writers’ groups.

Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university-level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.

She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and cat, Zoey. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

Author Links 

Website –  https://maryleeashford.com/

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/maryleeashford1

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/maryleeashford

Instagram –  https://www.instagram.com/mary_lee_ashford/

BookBub –  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/mary-lee-ashford

Pinterest –  https://www.pinterest.com/maryleeashford/

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/maryleeashford

Purchase Links – AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboGoogle BooksApple Books 

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