Today Hope Early is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about The Corpse in the Gazebo, the latest novel in the Food Blogger mystery series.
Welcome, Hope. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Hi, I’m Hope Early, and I’m excited to tell you about THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO. It’s the fifth book in the Food Blogger series by Debra Sennefelder, which features me, the blogger behind Hope at Home. My series began not too long after I moved back to Jefferson, Connecticut, from New York City. I worked in magazine publishing, married and divorced, and also appeared on a reality baking show, The Sweet Taste of Success. I didn’t win the competition, but my time on the show definitely boosted my blog following. Yes, I do try to look on the bright side of things. Since discovering the first dead body at a garden tour/book signing event for a friend, I’ve been stumbling upon murders. It turns out, I seem to have a knack for sleuthing, much to the dismay of Detective Sam Reid. My family isn’t thrilled with my poking around murder investigations. But the case I’m definitely sticking my nose into in THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO is probably the most important case I’ll ever investigate because I’m the number one suspect. I still don’t know how that happened. Well, I do, but it’s still so unbelievable. I had this neighbor, Birdie Donovan, who disliked me. There was police activity on our street a few times because I had the unpleasant task of coming face-to-face with a killer or two. There was some arson over the past year or so. Little did I know, Birdie was circulating a petition through the neighborhood to pressure me to move. Well, when I found out, I confronted her. Looking back, it had been a mistake. As was trying to apologize with a basket of muffins. I don’t want to give too much away, but let me tell you that while trying to clear my name, I unearthed many secrets and possible motives for murder.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
I’m a lucky character. Debra does listen to my ideas. Though, in this book, she seemed to enjoy putting me through the wringer. But, in the end, I came out stronger, and I’m clearer about what I want to do in the future. Since I don’t want to give too much away, I can’t say any more than that.
How did you evolve as the main character?
Debra had been looking for a main character for her culinary themed mystery series. Turns out since I’m a food blogger, it made sense for me to become her amateur sleuth. It really was that simple. Right place, right job, right time.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
Sure I do! I love working with my best friend, Drew Adams. He’s so much fun, and he knows me so well, plus he’s a whiz at research. Then there’s Jane Merrifield. She’s a gem, but sometimes I feel she confuses me with her fictional mystery sleuth, Barbara Neal. And in this book, I got to work more closely with my sister, Claire Dixon. It was something I hadn’t expected, but Debra made it work.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
It’s like a rollercoaster. One minute everything seems great. I’m volunteering at Emily’s House, a center that helps women coming out of troublesome situations. And the next, I’m finding Birdie dead. Before I know it, Ethan drops a bombshell on me, which he follows up with…well, I don’t want to spoil it, but let me tell you, it came out of the blue, and then I’m face-to-face with a killer. Yeah, it was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
I hope they enjoy the story and that they reach out to Debra via email or social media when they finish reading the book. She loves to connect with readers, and she makes sure to pass along their comments to me. Thank you for visiting with me today.
Thank you for answering my questions, Hope, and good luck to you and your author, Debra Sennefelder, with The Corpse in the Gazebo, the latest book in the Food Blogger mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Debra Sennefelder: Debra is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.
Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018.In addition to writing the Food Blogger mystery series, she writes the Resale Boutique Mystery series. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.
Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.