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Friday, September 6, 2013

Bran New Death by Victoria Hamilton Guest Post and Review


Book Details:
Genre: Cozy Mystery – New Series

Published by: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Number of Pages: 304
Expert muffin baker Merry Wynter is finally ready to turn her passion into a career. But when a dead body is found on her property, she’s more worried about cooking up an alibi…
Merry is making a fresh start in small-town Autumn Vale, New York, in the mansion she’s inherited from her late uncle, Melvyn. The house is run-down and someone has been digging giant holes on the grounds, but with its restaurant-quality kitchen, the place has potential for her new baking business. She even has her first client—the local retirement home.
Unfortunately, Merry soon finds that quite a few townsfolk didn’t like Uncle Mel, and she has inherited their enmity as well as his home. Local baker Binny Turner and her crazy brother, Tom, blame Melvyn for their father’s death, and Tom may be the one vandalizing her land. But when Tom turns up dead in one of the holes in her yard, Merry needs to prove she had nothing to do with his death—or her new muffin-making career may crumble before it starts…

My Review:

This was one of those books that once started, I couldn't hardly put down.  This book was great, one of the best I have read in a while.  Merry was an awesome character.  And the small town of Autumn Vale was really charming.  This book left me guessing the whole way through.  Victoria Hamilton gave teasers all the way through the book, but I didn't see the ending coming at all.  I was really sad to see the end of this book, I just wanted to keep reading about this charming town and it's quirky characters.  The ending definitely left me wanting more and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in this series. If you are looking for a great cozy, then this is the story for you.  It  has everything you expect in a great cozy, food, pets, quirky characters, and a small town.  Excellent job Victoria.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Victoria Hamilton Guest Post

Who Is Merry Wynter?
By Victoria Hamilton
When I create a character, sometimes I go in to the planning of the book/series knowing a lot about the main character and sometimes I’m exploring along the way. In this case, as the author, I already knew a lot about Merry from the very start. I knew that she was the widow of a photographer. I knew that she was plus-sized and had been a model and then stylist. I knew that her family background was a bit of a mystery to her. I knew she had suffered loss, and was left damaged but not broken by it.
I also knew that she was the kind of woman who inspires fierce loyalty from her friends, and yet isn’t aware of it until crunch time. Her voyage of discovery in the series will be internal as well as external. She is surrounded by family mysteries at Wynter Castle, and begins to get curious about her background. But she also embarks upon a journey into her grief, as a widow, and starts to question why she hasn’t begun to heal, even though it has been over seven years since her husband died in a tragic car crash. The answers to those questions are important to me as the writer, just as they are to the character I create.
I wonder, though, where did Merry come from? Why, in this case, did she spring almost fully formed into my mind. Or did she? Had I been working subconsciously on her for some time, and she rose to the surface, breaking free when I needed her?
I’m not sure I know the answer, nor am I sure I need to know the answer. All I do know is there is more I have yet to learn about Merry, and that she will talk to me as the time is right. It is not some mystical happening, it’s the writer’s internal work, my mind creating even as I go about my other tasks.
What I’m curious about is, do readers expect authors to know a lot about their character when they begin, or do they ‘get’ that it is often an voyage of discovery for us writing the book, as much as it is for you who read it? I hope it is a journey for both of us, and I say, bon voyage!
I do hope you enjoy the ride as much as I did.
Bran New Death, Book 1 of the Merry Muffin Mystery series by Victoria Hamilton, (Berkley Prime Crime) is out September 3rd!
About Victoria Hamilton
Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery Series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.
Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.
She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) Victoria writes two other mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series (Book 3, Freezer I’ll Shoot, debuts November 5th) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, June 3rd, 2014.
Victoria Hamilton:
Merry Muffin Mysteries page:
Twitter: @MysteryVictoria
Blog: Killer Characters the 21st of each month…

Purchase Links:
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  1. Thank you for the review, sounds like a good read.


  2. I enjoyed your Guest post! Im currently reading this book and really enjoying it!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Melina, Bran New Death sounds fun!

    Another book to add to my list...