An Eggnog to Die For
An Eggnog to Die For (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
by Amy Pershing
About An Eggnog to Die For
An Eggnog to Die For (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Publisher : Berkley (November 9, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593199162
ISBN-13 : 978-0593199169
Digital ASIN : B08VRGNFST
Professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a simple Christmas list: a quiet holiday at home with her dog and a certain handsome harbormaster; no embarrassing viral videos; and no finding dead bodies. Unfortunately, she’s got family visiting, she’s spending a lot of time in front of the camera, and she’s just stumbled over the lifeless body of the town’s Santa Claus.
Plus, Sam’s plans for Christmas Eve are getting complicated. There’s the great eggnog debate among her very opinionated guests. There’s the “all edible” Christmas tree to decorate. And there’s her Feast of the Five Fishes prepare. Nonetheless, Sam finds herself once again in the role of sleuth. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa—but can she pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?
About Amy Pershing
Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before leading employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago she waved goodbye to Wall Street to write full time. An Eggnog to Die For is the second of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef who retreats home to Cape Cod where she finds herself juggling a new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie,” a complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, a ginormous puppy and a propensity for falling over dead bodies. Kirkus Reviews gave An Eggnog to Die For a starred review, saying, “A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens.” A Side of Murder, the first of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries, which Elizabeth Gilbert called “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read,” was the first book in the series. The third, Murder Is No Picnic, will be published in May 2022.
Q&A With the Author
When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?
There is an old saying that “the difference between a writer and a madman is a publisher.” It’s certainly true that until you see that contract on your desk, you do question your sanity a bit. And although I considered myself to be a writer from the moment I first conceived of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries and put pen to paper, I was not entirely sure I would ever be a published author. However, recently I realized that even if I were never to have another book published, I would keep writing nonetheless because I love the process of bringing characters to life and watching all the crazy, wonderful things they do. So, I guess that makes me a true writer!
What advice do you have for a new writer?
You’ve heard this before, but really listen this time: Write what you love. If you don’t like reading dark thrillers, you will be miserable trying to write one. But if you love cozy or traditional mysteries, that might be a genre for you to explore.
Also, ask for criticism from your agent/editor/friends/writers’ group, not praise. Of course your book is wonderful. But maybe it sags in the middle. Maybe that one character is simply not believable. Maybe you need to cut your masterpiece by a quarter (I am a firm believer that any piece of writing is better when cut by a quarter). You need to know these things. And act on them.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Because I write twisty mysteries that require clues strategically scattered and all loose ends tied up, I always start with a detailed outline of about 30 pages before I even start the real writing. The outline process is no fun at all, but the writing – that is pure joy. I love my characters. In particular, I love my heroine, Samantha Barnes. Sam is definitely not perfect. But I so enjoy spending time with her.
What is your favorite part of this story?
There are many books (including the first in my series, A Side of Murder) that quite rightfully extol the beauty of Cape Cod in the summer. Sun, surf, sand, sailing. Lobster rolls. What’s not to like? But it was a rare treat for me to bring to life the Cape in the winter, especially during the holidays. Here’s Sam’s take: “There was something magical about a small New England town like Fair Harbor over the holidays. Pine garlands looped along white wooden fences, candles shining in the windows of four-square captain’s houses, wreaths with big red bows on the front doors of modest Capes, little wreaths with smaller bows on the dormer windows—it never changed, and it never failed to lift my heart.”
Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why?
Because An Eggnog to Die For is a holiday mystery, I had the opportunity to bring in Sam’s friend Jenny’s boys, whom Sam calls the Three Things. These kids are a hoot. Here, for example, are the results of their contribution to Christmas cookie decorating: “Well, I can’t say the cookies were exactly beautiful, but they certainly were eye-catching. The boys’ overall approach seemed to be “more is more.” Red hots and silver balls elbowed each other for space on the same little angel. One frog appeared to be wearing solid gold lamé. Rainbow confetti encrusted Evan’s dog cookie.”
Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?
Well, An Eggnog to Die For is a murder mystery. So I had to have a killer. And, as a rule, killers are not pleasant people to spend time with. But I needed to make that killer believable and, to a certain extent, make their actions understandable (if not forgivable). So I had to spend time with the killer. This is the part that always makes me wonder why I write murder mysteries. And then I grin and tell myself, “Amy, it’s a nasty job, but somebody has to do it.”
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