Guest Chick: Edith Maxwell and #giveaway

The Chicks are thrilled to welcome back renowned mystery author Edith Maxwell (aka/Maddie Day) and help her celebrate a momentous achievement: her twentieth published book! WOW. It’s the second in “Maddie’s” fab Cozy Capers Book Group series, and to mark the occasion, Edith is giving away not one but two books: a copy of book one in the series, Murder on Cape Cod and a copy of her twentieth book, the second in the series, Murder at the Taffy Shop. We’ll share winners in Monday’s post.

Take it away, Edith!

A Milestone Birthday, or How Did I Get to Twenty?

Ellen, thank you for inviting me back on the blog!

Can you even believe Murder at the Taffy Shop, freshly released this week, is Maddie Day’s and my twentieth published novel? I guess that’s what happens when one (that is Maddie and me) is under contract to write three books a year. They start accumulating.

And speaking of accumulating, I find myself awash in inventory, so I’d be happy to send one commenter a copy of the new book, and another commenter a signed copy of book one in the series, Murder on Cape Cod.

Murder at the Taffy Shop is also my fifth second-in-series, which presents an interesting challenge when I sit down to write number two. The first book made a big splash. How do I keep that momentum going?Who will be the new victim? What intriguing and confounding murder weapon can the new villain employ? Who else will come under suspicion for the crime, and why? (Also, how in the world have I pulled this off five times?)

I don’t plot very much. With the second book, I already have the world established. I know my protagonist, in this case bike shop owner and pathological neat freak Mac Almeida. We have a setting: Westham, a fictional seaside town on iconic Cape Cod. We know her parents live down the street at the UU church parsonage, and her brother and his darling little daughter live as caretakers in a lighthouse. And we have the wickedly meta premise of a book group that only reads cozy mysteries – of which Mac is a founding member – which means a built-in cast of sidekicks.

What I do plot is the victim and the method of death. A murder mystery wouldn’t be much without those, LOL. No spoilers, but the body drops in the fifth chapter. And then, as I’m fond of saying, I follow my characters around and write down what they do. If a fork in the road presents itself, I go for a walk. Ideas always arise about which direction to take.

After the first draft is done, it’s fixin’ time: making sure the puzzle works. Back-filling clues and  those lovely fake clues called red herrings. Making sure my protagonist is leading the action. That I’ve included her reactions (which I always know but sometimes forget to write down in my mad dash to finish the draft) and that I’ve included one or more senses in each scene. And so much more. We pantsers always have a lot to fix, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So the answer to how I could have twenty published novels (with at least five more on the way) is that the work makes me happy. I love my job and hope I get to keep doing it for a good long time.

Readers: What has been your favorite job? How about your least favorite? Also let me know if you’ve already read Murder on Cape Cod.

Book two in the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, Murder at the Taffy Shop, is set in August, full season on Cape Cod. When bike shop owner Mac Almeida heads out for a walk with her friend, she finds a horrified Gin staring at an imperious summer person, dead on the sidewalk in front of Gin’s candy shop, Salty Taffy’s. When the police find the murder weapon in Gin’s garage, the Cozy Capers book group members put their heads together to clear Gin’s name and figure out who killed the woman whom almost everyone disliked. After the killer later invades Mac’s tiny house to finish her off, Belle, Mac’s African Gray parrot, comes to the rescue. Murder at the Taffy Shop released March 31 in a paperback exclusive from Barnes & Noble.

Maddie Day – aka Edith Maxwell – is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in Linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha-nominated and bestselling author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She pens the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries and the Country Store Mysteries. As Edith she writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and award-winning short crime fiction. Maddie/Edith lives with her beau north of Boston, where she’s currently working on her next mystery when she isn’t cooking up something delectable in the kitchen. She hopes you’ll visit her on her web site, sign up for her monthly newsletter, and visit her as @MaddieDayAuthor on social media. 


82 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Edith Maxwell and #giveaway

  1. Favorite is what I do now, sewing doll clothes and seeing the reactions I get at craft shows. Least fave was in the olden days working at the local newspaper in the service department (kinda the go-fers of the paper, although the typing part was ok). I read and loved both these books. Kensington sent me a paperback ARC of the second awhile back, so since I hadn’t quite gotten to the first like I wanted to, I had the perfect excuse to finally read it, then the second. And I was able to keep my own second book paperback from B&N nice and untouched. Somehow those arc ones open easier and aren’t as hard to hold open. Loving the idea of these people reading cozies and how you mention a real life colleague in each one! I hope there are many more just like the Country Store series!

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I have pics on my site but not the blog site. I could FB message you the site link—I’m kinda remaking my doll clothes site so most of what’s up is pics from craft fairs


  2. Favorite Job: working in a library. Least Favorite: Tractor driving to scrape manure in a barn. Now I have a winery and usually spend my days pouring wine and telling ghost stories or writing murder mystery dinner theater. Looking forward to getting back to that.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed Murder on Cape Cod! My favorite job was tutoring at The Writing Lab in college. I helped fellow students with their academic papers. I actually preferred one-on-one instruction to teaching in front of the classroom, although I have many fond memories from those days, too.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Favorite job? Being a grad student, LOL. Least favorite? Probably all the other jobs I’ve had, but most noticeably being a secretary back in the 90s when I had to wear a dress and pantyhose to work every day. Seems archaic by today’s standards.

    No, I haven’t read Murder on Cape Cod but that’s why I like this blog so much. I’m here to learn about all the great cozy mystery series I don’t know about!

    Liked by 6 people

  5. I was a legislative correspondent for a Congressman on Capitol Hill, and that was an amazing job. There was definitely never a dull moment. Because of my sense of humor, I got to answer the odd letters we would receive. We had one constituent who would send postcards weekly with just one sentence on them, something like, “Stop spending money” or “What are you going to do about my neighbor’s cat.” We had the Library of Congress as a research tool and so many other great resources for getting information and being informed.

    Wow, Edith, twenty books! Congratulations!!!

    Liked by 7 people

  6. My favorite job — I was the Administrative Coordinator for the Planning and Development Services Department in my local City government. The job was so interesting, and everyday was different. The downside was some things became very political. I worked there for 25 years. I have read Cape Cod Murder loved it!

    Liked by 6 people

  7. My favorite job is being a librarian and my least favorite job was being a cashier for a big box store. I read Murder on Cape Cod and LOVED it! Thank you for the chance to win Murder at the Taffy Shop!

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Wow, Edith … such a great accomplishment! Congrats!

    My favorite job was raising my kids. My least favorite job was raising other people’s kids when I did home daycare for a couple of years. Suffice it to say, parents be wack. Had a lady show up drunk on my doorstep to pick up her kid.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’ve always said staying home with my boys was both the best and the hardest job I’ve ever had. In the scope of our lives, it was a short time, and so very valuable. Other people’s kids? No thanks, but blessings on those who can do it.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. My least favorite job would have been receptionist at a medical lab. People aren’t usually very happy to have to come in. My favorite job has been doing construction work with my dad. I have learned how to do a lot of things. I helped build a dining room from the foundation all the way to completion. I even learned how to install the glue-down wood floor inside. The only thing I drew the line at was doing the roof…. that was a little too high for me. Everything else high up could be done from a scaffold.

        Liked by 4 people

  9. My favorite job was being a Church/Pastor’s secretary. The contact with the parishioners was delightful. Least favorite job was working at a corner store. Only one person in the store and expected to check people out, cut meat/cheese, stock shelves and anything else. Can you say stressful.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Edith, what an eventful career! 20 books? That’s amazing! And life to boot! PhD in Linguistics, just wow!
    I don’t have either of your books. But I should know about these by now since I’ve read some of your others. Shame on me! Hopefully they are on Kindle, with be quarantined and all.

    My favorite job? Honestly? What I do now, auditor for you know where (shhh, don’t tell anyone)! I like helping people and teaching them about what they need to do to fill out that dreaded form each year.

    My least favorite job? Honestly? See the above paragraph. Because even though most take it in stride, there are some wack jobs out there, and I have to go unprotected.
    Like ‘underwear guy’, who answered the door when I was delivering a summons. All he was wearing was white underwear (I didn’t check out whether they were boxers or briefs because he was like, seriously old). And accused me of “violating his civil rights”.
    ‘Crooked lawyer’, who lost his license for over a decade. An investigation started after he refused to give a client her portion of a $600 settlement check. He filled out his form in magic marker, cut and pasted parts of various forms together, and told me (3 different times: over the phone, to my face, and in the appeal) “Not necessarily you, but the agency assumes if you are a certain color, married to a rich woman, you must be doing something illegal”. He was, but I was prohibited from contacting the ABA.
    ‘Bicycle drug guy’, who wrote in his appeal “Ms. Barker doesn’t have the capacity to understand how a business is run”.
    All true stories. I got a million of them!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. So excited to find out you and Maddie are one and the same. I had planned to buy first Cape Cod book at Left Coast Crime but we were shut down after one day. Fav job proofreading cozy mystery for Sisters in Crime author. Sorry to miss Cape Cod in June this year. Thanks for opportunity.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Congratulations, Edith!

    Favorite job? Gotta be writing. Least favorite? Probably working fast-food in high school I don’t control the menu board, folks. Just order your stupid sandwich and move on.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. My favourite job last 16 years, I was an educational assistant. Mt least favourite was working as a short order cook, lasted 1 day.😊
    I have not read the books but will look them up on my library website

    Liked by 4 people

  14. My favorite job was working in a college financial aid office and meeting many interesting students. My least favorite job was working in a cemetery office. It was way too quiet.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Favorite & only job was being a mother/baby nurse at a birthing center. I have read Cape Cod murder & am looking forward to reading Taffy Shop murder

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Favorite job? Least favorite job? I don’t know. They’ve all had their moments.

    I’m up to date on this series. It’s extra fun for cozy readers, so be sure to check it out.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. My favorite “job” was actually as a volunteer. I was among a group of women who sewed quilts for Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Did it for many years and only stopped when we moved away. Least favorite – medical secretary in the surgery department of a large hospital – hated those insurance forms!

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Edith, thank you so much for visiting us and CONGRATULATIONS! My favorite job is what I’m doing right now – writing mysteries. Least favorite? Handing out cigarette samples on Third Avenue in NY wearing a Styrofoam barber shop quartette hat.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Twenty books–wow! Congrats, Edith/Maddie on this amazing milestone! Thanks so much for visiting the Chicks today, and keep those books coming!

    Favorite job (other than being a mystery author)? I guess waiting tables, though there were many days when I loathed the work, as well. But I loved working with food and with all the people, and I was a damn good waitress.

    Least favorite? Working at a diaper service. Though even that job had some good parts: I liked taking the clean diapers from the drier and folding them, and they did pay me in cash…

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Congratulations on #20, Edith! What a milestone! Thank you so much for visiting–loved hearing about your writing process.

    Fave jobs: parenting, writing, teaching, working in a bookstore.
    Least fave (temp job that thankfully only lasted a few weeks): removing stickers from a package and putting new stickers on instead…all day long.

    Question: will you ever revisit the Dr. Lauren Rosseau mysteries? Loved those (and Murder on Cape Cod too).

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Fave jobs? My current ones: mystery writer and editor (I run a mystery-dedicated editing service called Kill Your Darlings). Worst? Where do I start? Two of them were in high school. I worked in a tiny, snobby CT dress boutique and got fired for being honest when customers asked, “So…what do *you* think?” I also worked in a rehab center, where my job was to get patients in and out of their wet bathing suits for aquatherapy. The patients and I all usually ended up in frustrated tears.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Welcome, Edith, and congratulations on such a fruitful, wonderful career as an author. Holy moly, 20 books is all kinds of amazing!

    My favorite job is being a writer, both as a mystery author and a copywriter. (Some may even say that my day job in advertising also means that I write a fair amount of fiction–ha ha!)

    My least favorite job was working at a lingerie store as a bra-fitter, not necessarily because of the work involved (I loved helping clients find the right size and feel their best!) but because of the rigors of retail. My feet ache just thinking about it!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Congrats, Edith — what a wonderful milestone in your career! Fave jobs: mystery author and newspaper reporter. Delivering phone books: Worst. Job. Ever. (And I once worked as a janitor!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Favorite job was as an in-home caregiver, although I missed the years in construction admin. Yes, I read the first book in the series and would love to read this! Thanks for the chance!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. My favorite job was working for a trucking company. I worked with a lot of great people there. My least favorite was working for a VP of a printing company. He was not a nice person.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. My least favorite job was about 40 years ago, with a collection agency,, I found a better job with in 2 favorite job being an EMT & the medical field. Stay safe all!!! nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com


  27. I haven’t read Murder on Cape Cod yet, but it’s on my TBR list and I love your other books, so it’s a must read for me. My lease favorite job was door to door sales of cheap artwork in wood frames. I lasted a week. My favorite job is my current one where I run a facility that makes OMRI listed biostimulants (like plant food and fertilizer only better) that heal the soil and help all things that grow.


  28. I like what I do, but I’d say my favorite job was my first, working as a librarian aide at my local library; it reinforced my love of reading! I haven’t started this series yet.
    Dm_richards (at) yahoo (dot) com


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