Tish Tarragon is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Of Mushrooms and Matrimony, the latest novel in the Tish Tarragon mystery series.
Welcome, Tish. 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.
OF MUSHROOMS AND MATRIMONY is the sixth in the mystery series named after me, Tish Tarragon, a literary café owner and caterer. (Think: cozy eating spot with a lending library and menu items named after book titles and characters) The story opens with me having been evicted from the café which also serves as my home and struggling to find a new space for my business as well as a place to live.
As if that’s not enough, while working on my last catering gig before officially closing up shop – a lovely book-themed wedding at Abbingdon Green Bed and Breakfast – one of the guests at the B&B is found dead in his room, a victim of mushroom poisoning. The victim, Gunnar Randall, was a controversial tv food critic, so suspects abound.
With my knowledge of food and cooking, and as an official consultant for the Hobson Glen Sheriff’s Department, it’s up to me to help solve the crime while simultaneously providing the bride and groom with the best day of their lives.
It’s a lofty goal, but I’ve managed to achieve since my arrival here from Richmond, VA over a year ago.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
My writer controls my story quite well, although every now and then I give her a surprise: a snippet of dialogue, an unexpected clue, or an odd plot twist. I like to keep her on her toes. 😉
How did you evolve as the main character?
I believe my creator had originally applied to a call for a veterinary mystery. Her sample pages were rejected by the publisher, but her agent so liked the main character – me but with a slightly different name! – that she asked her to rewrite the mystery with a different theme and setting. My author loves to cook, so she created a culinary mystery set around Richmond, VA, which was close to her home at the time.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
Oh, the entire town of Hobson Glen shares the spotlight in my mysteries, but especially dear to my heart is Sheriff Clemson Reade (for reasons I’ll allow your readers to discover) and my best friends from college, Julian Pen Davis and Mary Jo Okensholt.
Julian is the weatherman for Channel Ten news, but he also covers the occasional human interest story, like the Christmas Fair where the young actress, Jenny Inkpen was murdered. Mary Jo is the mother of two teens, which a fulltime job unto itself, but she also works at my café and for the Director of the library board.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Hobson Glen is a small town outside Richmond with a traditional Main Street and a bunch of kooky characters, the kookiest of which is Enid Kemper, an eccentric elderly woman who is never seen without her green conure, Langhorne, perched upon her shoulder. Then there’s Opal Schaffer, the local romance novelist and organic gardener who continually tries to get me to model for one of her book covers and my top baker and creator of delicious cakes, Celestine Rufus, who not only makes me look like a rock star, but dishes out some great advice.
Hobson Glen is a remarkable town and I love living in it. Via my work solving crimes, I’ve been able to visit the neighboring communities of Ashton Courthouse and Coleton Creek, but they’re not quite like Hobson Glen, which is why I’d love to continue to work and live here. There is a bar and grill building up for sale which would be a perfect location for my new café, but it’s far outside my budget. Ah well!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
Just that they should definitely check us out, if they’re a fan of culinary cozies with a deliciously darker side. There are even recipes included in my books! The wonderful team at Severn House Books does a terrific job of designing eye catching covers and making sure my adventures are fast paced and action packed. I cannot thank them enough!
Thank you for answering my questions, Tish, and good luck to you and your author, Amy Patricia Meade, with Of Mushrooms and Murder, the latest book in the Tish Tarragon mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Amy Patricia Meade: Author of the critically acclaimed Marjorie McClelland Mysteries, Vermont Country Living Mysteries, and Tish Tarragon Mysteries, Amy is a native of Long Island, NY, where she cut her teeth on classic films and books featuring Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown.
After stints as an Operations Manager for a document imaging company and as a freelance technical writer, Amy left the bright lights of New York City and headed north to pursue her creative writing career amidst the idyllic beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountains. After five years living in Bristol, England, Amy now resides in upstate New York. When not writing, Amy spends her time working for her musician husband, watching classic films, testing new recipes, belly dancing, and cleaning cat hair from her lap.