By Angie Georgeff
It is always exciting to take delivery of new books. I love getting that first glimpse of a new novel by one of my favorite authors, but I also take pleasure each month in reading the titles of the books in our standing order shipment of large-print cozy mysteries. The most recent trio were Sofie Ryan’s “A Whisker of Trouble” (a Second Chance Cat Mystery), Kate Carlisle’s “Deck the Hallways” (a Fixer-Upper Mystery) and Lucy Burdette’s “Killer Takeout” (a Key West Food Critic Mystery).
I suspect that the hardest part of writing a cozy mystery is coming up with the perfect title. It has to suit the premise, of course, and authors seem to earn extra credit if their title can make you laugh, groan or—better yet–do both. Puns and double entendres seem to be their stock in trade, which makes me think my brother-in-law, with his predilection for puns, seriously missed his calling.
Jacklyn Brady’s “Piece of Cake” mysteries boast my all-time favorite set of titles: “A Sheetcake Named Desire,” “Cake on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Arsenic and Old Cake,” “The Cakes of Wrath,” “Rebel without a Cake” and “The Cakes of Monte Cristo.” Rita Lucero, a pastry chef with a bent for sleuthing, pursues her passions from Zydeco Cakes, an upscale bakery in New Orleans. Given the delectable setting, it’s no surprise that the novels promise the lagniappe of “delicious recipes.”
From reviews that I have read, I gather that reading Brady’s novels can be hazardous to your waistline. I certainly can sympathize, since I have enjoyed Cajun cooking since my days living on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. And I have loved cakes since I first tasted one!
It probably was my grandmother’s yellow cake with smidgen icing. That was the cake which my grandfather always requested for his birthday. I wish I could replicate my grandmother’s scrumptious caramel icing, but with a name like “smidgen” you know there is no recipe. Sadly, my smidgens are just not the same as hers.
Even though the winter solstice is still two weeks away, meteorological winter arrived with the month of December. We all know what that means! Every year at about this time I want to mention that in case of snow or ice, the library may open late, close early or even be closed all day, so if the flakes are flying, please call us at 743-6533 to make sure we are open before you venture out.
Also remember that even when Unicoi County schools are closed, we may very well be open. As long as our staff can safely get to and from work, we will be here, ready to serve you. In any case, we won’t penalize you if your books or DVDs are a day late because of the weather, so enjoy the snow, but don’t take chances.