The Chicks are excited to welcome guest Chick Edith Maxwell, who shares a wonderful story about her very own Chicks. She’s even offering a giveaway.
EDITH: Thanks for inviting me to visit the Chicks! I’m happy to give away a signed hardcover of my new mystery, Mulch Ado About Murder, to one commenter here today.
My fifth Local Foods Mystery, Mulch Ado About Murder, came out recently. The series is set in a town nestled in the northeast corner of Massachusetts very much like West Newbury, where I raised my sons. It’s also where I ran and co-owned the smallest certified organic farm in the county, and where more than twenty years ago I wrote part of a first draft of A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die, book one in the series.
People who live in West Newbury, which I oh-so-cleverly disguised as Westbury, recognize all kinds of landmarks of the town: the Food Mart, Mill Pond, the rather grandly named Public Safety Complex, and Main Street.
While my boys were little, I was home farming and on a break from my hi-tech career, most of the friends I made in town were parents of my kids’ friends. I also met some awesome women early on when the town came together to build a Robert Leathers playground behind the ballfields. I started going to the meetings with my baby in a backpack. I met other moms as eager as me to wield a hammer for the community, and we built Action Cove.
One of those women held an Usborne book party a few years later. It’s like a Tupperware or Avon house party, except for sale are high quality children’s books by a British publisher. After we bought books, some of us lingered with wine and resolved to do something for ourselves. We batted around the idea of a book club, then somebody suggested a movie group. Bingo! The Flick Chicks were born.
We still, more than twenty years later, meet on a Friday night once a month or so at one of our houses to eat high-fat appetizers, drink wine, get caught up, and once in while we still watch a movie. We don’t critique the films or engage in analysis. It’s a friendship group, and by now only two of the original seven still live in West Newbury. Many of us are divorced and have moved elsewhere. But we value our connection from so long ago.
So when I decided I had to include a fictional version of the West Newbury Memorial Day parade – a small town classic – in Mulch Ado About Murder, I knew I wanted to give my long-time friends cameo parts. The woman on horseback, the one on the volleyball team, the girl scout leader, and the civil war re-enactor – these are my four dearest Chicks. You’ll have to read the book and see what else happens!
Readers: What long-lasting group are you part of? Do you have a movie group or book club you cherish? Maybe a church group or service organization you couldn’t do without?
Mulch Ado About Murder debuted May 30th (Kensington.) It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap when a fellow farmer is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching a set of rosary beads. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex-husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own visiting mother. Lucky for Cam, her nerdy academic father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing. Will he and Cam be able to clear her mom’s name before the killer strikes again?
Bio: 2017 double Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries; as Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies and journals, and she serves as President of Sisters in Crime New England.
A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, gardens (and wastes time as a Facebook addict) north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at WickedCozyAuthors.com, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors. Find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.