Life hasn't sparkled too brightly for Bonnie Balfour over the past few years, but a heart-breaking divorce has brought her back to her small rural hometown of Bliss, Georgia, and things are starting to shape up.
The proud new owner of Bless Her Heart—a second chance dress shop and boutique on the town square—Bonnie thinks thirty-eight might not be too late for a fresh start in life after all.
Until a grouchy old widow turns up dead in a pile of donations meant for Bonnie’s shop, and the town’s new detective pins her to the top of his suspect list!
To save her shop, dream and reputation, Bonnie must coordinate clues and stitch together the truth about her innocence, but the unreasonably handsome detective and prying eyes of the local gossip mill are fast fraying her nerves.
When a series of anonymous attacks begin to hem her in, Bonnie fears the real killer is fixing to make her his next victim. Can this amateur sleuth measure up?
Cozy Mysteries are More Delicious with Food!
Everyone loves a culinary cozy. Myself included. There’s just something about the way this genre weaves food into the fabric of the stories, character and beloved small towns. From street fairs to shop grand openings, ice cream stands to coffee shops, food is everywhere, and readers can practically taste it!
I’m not an enthusiastic baker, but I love to eat, so writing cozies is the perfect outlet for me. I get to pretend to be amazing in the kitchen and consume everything I want, without ever gaining a pound. (I read cozies for similar reasons 😉 ) And unlike when I cook at home, the results on the page are always rich an delicious. An indulgence. A dream. And even non-culinary series, like my new Bonnie and Clyde mysteries, where my heroine, Bonnie, and her kitty companion, Clyde, run a second-chance shop, local cuisine is everywhere.
Aside from meals at Bonnie’s parents’ home or local cafes, Bonnie bakes at night to soothe her busy mind, and her neighbors deliver plenty of hot meals when they hear she’s gotten herself in trouble. And everything is prepared to perfection with heaping helpings of humor and love. In BURDEN OF POOF we get local favorites like spoonbread and cowboy casserole, hummingbird cake and pecan pie. Bonnie and Clyde are surrounded by all the foods I want to make. And eat! And they aren’t the only ones who enjoy the dishes.
Killers take advantage of the ever-present foods too. In cozies, the threats are often culinary, and my books are no exception. Characters don’t have to be poisoned to see confections in a new light. Like a milkshake thrown against a car or store window, or a cupcake smashed on a counter. And anything with a cream base, condiment or icing is doubly handy when a killer needs to leave a threat without giving away their handwriting. Smash a strawberry cheesecake and drag a finger through the topping. The possibilities are endless, and killers can be quite creative. Plus Clyde thoroughly enjoys helping clean up!
So, my new Bonnie and Clyde mystery series might not be based in a cider shop or seaside café, but that won’t stop the delicious, downhome cuisine from making a continuous appearance, with plenty of home baked sweets for dessert. And you can rest assured the refreshment table at Bless Her Heart will always be full. What’s not to like about that?
If you’re looking for a new cozy mystery series with small town hijinks, deep south charm, and a whole lot of delicious food, I hope you’ll give BURDEN OF POOF a try! My second-chance shop owner, Bonnie, and her kitty companion, Clyde are having a great time in Bliss, Georgia, and I know you will too. With names like theirs, what could possibly go wrong?
Thank you, again, Lisa, for inviting me over today! And for sharing your blog with me. I hope you’ll get a chance to meet Bonnie & Clyde soon, and that you’ll join them on their first sleuthing adventure in BURDEN OF POOF!
As a blog tour bonus, I’ve written a free prequel to the series so you can see where it all began in WHEN BONNIE MET CLYDE, available here:
About Julie Anne Lindsey
Julie Anne Lindsey is an award-winning and bestselling author of mystery and romantic suspense. She’s published more than forty novels since her debut in 2013 and currently writes series as herself, as well as under multiple pen names, for Harlequin, Kensington, Sourcebooks and Crooked Lane Books.
When Julie's not creating new worlds or fostering the epic love of fictional characters, she can be found in Kent, Ohio, enjoying her blessed Midwestern life. And probably plotting murder with her shamelessly enabling friends. Today she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Learn more about Julie at julieannelindsey.com