Love and Mystery
By: Victoria Hamilton
I started out my writing career as a romance author. Did pretty good, too! I wrote Regency romances, paranormal historicals, and historical mysteries that were actually labeled as romances. But my true love has always been mystery novels. That’s what I read, and now what I write.
Having read hundred of mysteries and yet as a writer of both romance and mysteries, I’m hyper aware of romance elements in mystery fiction. Particularly in so called ‘cozy’ or ‘traditional’ mystery, it almost seems that there has to be some romantic element. Most cozy protagonists are women, and they are usually single, widowed, or divorced.
Even the ones where the main character is happily married, the marriage is often the result of romance in the first few books of the series. The protagonist may start out single, widowed or divorced, but she met, fell in love with and married her significant other in the course of the series. A couple of my favorites are Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldy Schulz mysteries, and the Mary Daheim bed-and-breakfast series, and both started that way.
But then there are those who carry on the romance phase for quite a time. The ones I’m thinking of are Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson mysteries, where the triangle has been carrying on for many many books. She’s making it work, though I know Fluke has experienced a lot of criticism for the extended romantic triangle.
In my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries I was wary of that. Jaymie has a steady boyfriend, Daniel. She has a crush on Detective Zack, who makes her pulse race. She has recovered from the broken heart that Joel’s desertion left her with, and she is growing in so many ways, finally figuring out what she wants in her life. But… as a reader of romance, Jaymie is aware that she is often criticized as being unrealistic to want both the steadiness of a good fellow and the heart racing appeal of the sexy stud.
So with two good men in her life, what’s a girl to do? You may just be surprised.
I can confidently say, with books 4 (No Mallets Intended; November 4th, 2014) and Book 5, (White Colander Crime, November 2015) I will be breaking free of any worry about a love triangle, which I feel is unsustainable over the long run. How many men would put up with it? None that I know of, or at least none who are self respecting. A woman has got to choose at some point.
And Jaymie will. In writing No Mallets Intended I was as surprised as anyone at some of what happens, but it all fits now. I get Jaymie; she’s really not wishy washy in the slightest, she was just looking for that perfect match of reliable and sexy. I just hope – and I am nervous about this – that readers are going to be happy with the direction I go in. I trust that readers will let me know one way or the other!
About No Mallets Intended
Jaymie Leighton is excited and a little nervous about her current big venture, completely redoing the kitchen at Dumpe House—now the Queensville Historic Manor—in time for the December opening. But the house is mired in controversy, a challenge to the heritage society’s right to own it, and questions about the author hired to write a pamphlet detailing the Dumpe family history and that of the house.
None of Jaymie’s business, so she keeps her head down and her focus on the exact color right for the kitchen, and assembling all the accouterments, including a Hoosier cabinet! She’s also got lots to think about in her personal life with Daniel acting a little odd, and her friend Heidi dragging her in to the trouble between her and her fiancé, Jaymie’s former boyfriend Joel.
But a late night whack on the head with one of the antique mallets Jaymie has been cataloging for the society and a dreadful murder right on the house’s doorstep draws her once again into murder and mayhem. Jaymie faces her most cunning and dangerous opponent yet, but with Valetta by her side and the police chief’s approval, she must figure out whodunit before they do it again!
About the Author:
Victoria Hamilton is the author of three nationally bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.
Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!
TO THE MANOR DEAD
The Queensville Heritage Society is restoring the once-grand Dumpe Manor. While Dumpe relatives and society members use the occasion to dust off old grudges, Jaymie Leighton prefers to adorn the kitchen with authentic Depression Era furnishings. A collection of vintage wooden mallets found in the house is a perfect addition to her display, but one also offers a late-night intruder the perfect weapon to knock Jaymie unconscious before escaping.
Though the attack has everyone on edge, nothing is missing from the house. Perhaps it was merely a vagrant who thought the place was still abandoned. But when Dumpe Manor’s resident historian is murdered with a mallet from the same collection, it’s time for Jaymie to turn up the heat on the investigation before someone else becomes history.
Jennifer’s Review of No Mallets Intended
Review (3.5 Stars): In No Mallets Intended, Jaymie is helping to restore the Dumpe Manor with the help of the Queensville Heritage Society but with every project there has been its share of problems. Everyone is fighting over the rights to the property, how they are going to decorate it and Jaymie finds herself hit over the head with an antique mallet while working late one night. Before Jaymie has a chance to find any answers, she discovers the body of the visiting historian on the property with the murder weapon being another antique mallet from the collection that Jaymie found. There is something more to the Dumpe Manor and it looks as though someone is willing to kill to prevent those secrets from coming to light.
I have always been a big fan of the Vintage Kitchen mysteries and in this book, Jaymie evolves more as a character which was very nice to see. Her romantic relationship is on the rocks and Jaymie is finally deciding what she wants in her life and in a future partner. I enjoyed the updates of the people in Jaymie’s life and a new character that I hope we see more of in the future. No Mallets Intended was an engaging and thought-provoking mystery that will have you thoroughly entertained. Looking forward to the next wonderful mystery that Victoria Hamilton releases.
I’m excited to give away a copy of No Mallets Intended. This giveaway is for US Residents only. To be entered in the drawing by November 21st, please leave me or Victoria a comment below: