Saturday, July 25, 2020


I'm so happy to get to be a stop on the book tour for
Book 3 in the Sugar & Spice Mysteries
by Mary Lee Ashford

When editor Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer went into business creating cookbooks, they found a sideline as amateur sleuths. Now a bitter family grudge could leave a fatal aftertaste…

At Sugar & Spice Community Cookbooks, the friends and business partners have secured a tasty new commission: producing a cookbook for the Arbor family. The Arbors have made their fortune in quiches, and Sugar and Spice have been invited to a weekend gathering where all the siblings, along with crusty matriarch Marta, will be in attendance. But it’s soon clear that this trip will come with a hefty slice of drama.

Theo, the only grandson, arrives with his flaky fiancรฉe, Collette, who quickly stirs up trouble . . . and is found dead the next day. As the investigation unfolds, secrets—and recipes—are shared, and Sugar and Spice realize just how messy and murderous the situation may be. As another family member falls ill, can they solve the case without getting egg on their faces . . .and a target on their backs?

* Includes delicious recipes! *



1 lucky reader will win a wonderful prize package!

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

Winner will be chosen after August 3 at the end of the tour.

USA only

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.


LKBR:  Thank you for joining us today, Mary Lee Ashford.
MLA: Thank-you for having me!

LKBR: Please tell us a bit about Quiche of Death.

MLA: Quiche of Death is the third book in the Sugar & Spice mystery series from Kensington Books. In it Sugar Calloway and Dixie Spicer, best friends and business partners, have had some success with their cookbook business which got off the ground in Game of Scones (book 1) and Risky Biscuits (book 2). As this book opens, they have been commissioned to produce a cookbook for the wealthy Arbor family who made their fortune in quiches.
Sugar & Dixie have been invited to a weekend gathering where all the Arbor siblings plus Marta, the family matriarch, will be in attendance. But before they can get recipes collected and sorted, the get-together goes badly awry. Before the first day is over someone is dead and the local sheriff has been called.

By day two, Sugar and Dixie are collecting clues instead of recipes. And I don’t want to give anything away, but solving the mystery involves family feuds, fake identities, and a French poodle. (You knew I’d slip a pet in there somewhere, didn’t you?)
I hope readers have as much fun reading the book as I had writing it. Also, there are several recipes included, which I really enjoyed trying out. As you might imagine, there’s a quiche recipe. But there’s also a banana bread recipe and, one of my favorites, a very tasty chicken salad.

LKBR: What are you plans for this series?

MLA: I hope to continue writing the series as I feel certain Sugar and Dixie have so many more mysteries to solve. I have ideas fleshed out for three more books, but that’s always up to the publisher so we’ll see.

LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?

MLA: I’m currently working on the fourth book in the series which involves a cold case and the local historical society. No firm plans on a title or release date yet. And also, a couple of other projects, that will be quite a bit different from either the Pampered Pets or the Sugar & Spice series. But still mysteries and still fun.

LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

MLA: I’ve always wanted to write, ever since I could write. Does that make sense? Anyway, I guess since I was a child. One Christmas, I asked Santa for a typewriter and I still remember the thrill of waking up Christmas morning and finding that powder blue manual typewriter under the tree. I was SO excited!

I think it was a while though before I decided what I wanted to write. I’ve always read mysteries. From Nancy Drew to Trixie Belden, to my mother’s Agatha Christie books. So, you’d think it would have been an obvious choice. But it took me a bit to figure it out and then once I did to figure out that what I really wanted to write were cozy mysteries. I love light-hearted cozies and many days after a day of way too much reality, that type of book is just the escape I need. That’s the kind of experience I want to give readers with my books.

Now, it’s not that I’m oblivious to what’s going on in the world or that I’m not, at times, dealing with some pretty harsh realities myself. I just believe that sometimes what it takes for us to get up and join the fray the next day, is a comfy chair, a cat or dog, and a good book.

LKBR: Was getting your first book published everything you 
thought it would be? The feelings? The process?

MLA: It was everything and more! I’d been writing and submitting and learning the ropes for years before I published. I took classes, I attended workshops and conferences, and I improved. The rejection letters got better and more detailed and told me I was getting closer. But they were still rejection letters. (Did I just date myself by telling you they were letters instead of emails?)

I don’t regret the years of rejections. They made me tougher and they made me a better writer. The feedback I got helped me to continue to improve and work harder at learning the craft of writing.

Anyway, after years of waiting for “The Call” when the four-book deal offer came through on the Pampered Pets mystery series, it wasn’t a call. It was an email. But no matter. I cried. Happy tears.

LKBR: How did you handle it when changes were made to your first manuscript? I don’t have a thick skin, so I know how I would have felt.

MLA: I had no problem at all with changes to my first manuscript. Remember all those rejections? I have been lucky in that I’ve had great editors to work with and the changes have always been more of a discussion of revisions. Also, I’ve always seen the suggestions for changes as another part of the learning process. I always remember that we’re on the same side. We both want to put out the best book possible.

LKBR: What is your favorite part of being a writer?

MLA: This is an easy question but, that said, I still have two answers.

My favorite part of being a writer is the writing itself. I love the creative process. The plotting, the creating stories, bringing characters to life. I even love the revision process. In fact, I might love it most of all.

But I also have to add that the best part of being a publisher author is the readers! I love putting the story together, but there’s nothing like the thrill of having it touch someone else.

LKBR: Have you ever read a book that has stayed with you long after reading it?

MLA: Man, Lisa, I really struggled with this question. There are classics that stayed with me a very long time. The first that comes to mind is Lord of the Rings. I vividly remember the all-nighter it took to finish the series.

Mainly though, I’d have to say, what usually stays with me from a book is a character. I love reading books with unique characters. It’s inspiring to read books with characters who aren’t perfect but find a way to overcome obstacles.

LKBR: Why are reviews, good or bad, so important to authors?

MLA: Reviews are vitally important because reviews help other readers find our books.

As a reader (and all authors are readers first) a review helps me determine whether this is a book that’s right for me.

From the author perspective, reviews make our books easier to find in the massive number of books that are available to readers.
Some retail sites, such as Amazon, use the number of reviews to determine visibility on their site. Once a book has reached 50 reviews, the algorithm they have created gives it bump into higher visibility. High visibility translates to better numbers which can’t often make or break a series in terms of whether the publisher will continue it or not.

So, a very long way for me to say, readers we appreciate your reviews. It doesn’t need to be a book report, just a short review, is extremely helpful. And, to those of you who do take the time – thanks!

LKBR: On what sites do you recommend readers leave their reviews?

MLA: It’s helpful for readers to leave reviews wherever they can.  I always suggest readers first think about where they go to find out about new books and leave reviews there.

That might be some or all of the following:

Book buying sites: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

Book discovery sites: BookBub, Goodreads

Social media: Facebook groups related to specific genres such as mysteries

Any and all sites – it helps.

LKBR: If you could spend one hour with a reader, what would you want to talk about?

MLA: Books, of course!

If I could pick a reader’s brain, I’d want to know what books they’d recommend. As I mentioned earlier, I truly believe all writers are readers first. So, I’m always looking for a good book.

And then I’d want to know what it was that they loved about the books they’ve recommended. When I talk with friends about books, I find that not only do we not always make the same choices in books, we also don’t always look for the same thing. Or even if we’ve read the exact same book, we have different takeaways. I find that fascinating. Books are truly magical!

LKBR: Thank you so much, Mary Lee for letting us get to know you better!

MLA: Thank-YOU, Lisa! It’s been my pleasure.

Book 3 in the Sugar & Spice Mystery series sure was a tasty read to me!

Author Mary Lee Ashford sure gets series leads, Sugar and Spice, smack dab in middle of some sticky messes, and she has done so once again. But it sure is a lot of fun trying to help them figure it all out! Please note I said “trying”.

 Ms. Ashford was so many steps ahead of me in QUICHE OF DEATH that I didn’t think I’d ever figure it out. And, I didn’t. This author is brilliant at leading you into one direction while she’s finding two or three more other wrong turns to send you down. Seriously, bring your GPS!

Having read the first two books in the Sugar & Spice Mysteries, I had no doubt I was going to enjoy, QUICHE OF DEATH. And enjoy I did! I was so lost in this story, that thank goodness I was reading it on my Kindle, because I didn’t even notice day turning to night around me.

So well written and wonderfully plotted, you’re going to love your time spent reading, QUICHE OF DEATH.

About Mary Lee Ashford

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries.
In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.
Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.
She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a past board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of  Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter for writers’ groups.
Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university-level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.
She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and cat, Zoey. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

Author Links 

  Purchase Links

a Rafflecopter giveaway


July 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
July 21 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW
July 22 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 22 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 23 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
July 24 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 24 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
July 25 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
July 26 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
July 26 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – The Book Decoder - REVIEW
July 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
July 28 – Mysteries with Character - AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 28 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book - REVIEW
July 29 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
July 30 – Ascroft, eh? - CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 30 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
July 31 - Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 1 - Literary Gold - CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 1 - Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
August 2 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
August 3 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page (on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click"View web version". Then follow the above directions.


  1. Thanks, Lisa.
    Happy Saturday!
    Pat T.
    (Hope you’re feeling better.)

  2. Thank you for your review on "QUICHE OF DEATH" by Mary Lee Ashford and for being part of the book tour. Enjoyed reading the chat with Mary and most definitely can't wait for the opportunity to read this book on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. How fun that they print cookbooks. I know someone who did that for their mom.

  4. Welcome !! What a wonderful give a way. Thanks for the opportunity. This sounds like such a fun and great set of books. And they are about food. LOL A fun interview. I was just talking to my husband the other day about making a quiche. I have to go and buy a pan. quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net

  5. New author to me, and I really enjoy quiche.

  6. I really enjoyed the interview and love the premise of this series! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Thanks Lisa for your review of Quiche Of Death!!! nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com

  8. Thanks Lisa for this as this is a new author for me and I love to read a new author a month in print of course battling a disease and can only do print. Love the cover and stay safe peggy clayton ptclayton2 @