I’m thrilled to welcome foodie author, Jessica Thompson to my blog today. Jessica’s debut novel will be released on 29th September and is available for pre-order now. I can’t wait!
Guest Post for Jo Fenton – “A Caterer’s Guide to Love and Murder” – Jessica Thompson
A wedding caterer, a florist…and a dash of poison.
“Wow, this dough is sexy!”
As their wedded bliss starts to show signs of serious strain, Violet and her new husband, Jake, put their feelings aside to focus on catering a wedding that could make or break her career.
When murder ruins the rehearsal dinner, and her sister, Greta, the florist, becomes the prime suspect, Violet risks everything to clear her – and still deliver the beautiful wedding her new friend deserves.
But will she be in time before the killer dishes out seconds?
A Caterer’s Guide to Love and Murder is the first in a series of cozy mysteries with recipes.
While really a mystery, I would say that love is one of my major themes. Love runs through the novel, causing and solving problems all along the way. Love appears in many of its different forms – friendship, married love, parent love, grandparent love, unrequited love, sibling love, the love of two people determined to be together, and a little bit of lust and promiscuity. Love’s close cousin, hate, also plays a major role.
I think love is a necessary and unavoidable theme when you are exploring any group of people, but especially a group of family and friends at a wedding. There are always bound to be characters that are in new, delirious love, characters struggling to stay in love, and characters that are bitter from lost love.
Our main character, Violet, is a newlywed and still seeing fireworks with her new husband, but a glaring hole has appeared in their marriage. Jake wants to have kids and Violet isn’t so sure. She definitely isn’t ready, but needs to explore why if she wants to be able to figure out what she wants and make this decision. While solving this murder mystery and catering a killer wedding, she is able to expore how strange and complicated love can be. She gets to witness first hand how it can make people do crazy things. Good-crazy and bad-crazy.
Violet also gets to learn that love can grow to encompass more and how it doesn’t take away the love you already hold so dear.
Another, probably more obvious theme, is food! As a caterer, cuisine naturally comes up during the plot and dialogue, then a lot of those recipes appear at the end of the chapter that features them! I had recipes for ALL the food that was mentioned, but it was just too much. My publisher and I whittled it down to 18 of the best recipes. Dishes like Mini Mexican Street Corn made with baby corn that I’ll be showing how to make during my Instagram and Facebook live events on September 29th (release day,) and Chocolate Oatmeal Snickerdoodles that actually won a bake-off recently!
“A Caterer’s Guide to Love and Murder” also features my favorite recipe – a Thai beef salad that is my favorite food in the world! It’s called Nam Tok, or Beef Waterfall, and my recipe testers loved its limey balance of flavors and refreshingly minty strips of beef, cucumber, and onion.
These themes, love and food, start and end the book with two different Apple Strudel recipes, one easier and one more traditional. I’m especially proud of the opening scene and the closing scene portraying these themes and echoing each other, creating neat and tidy end caps to my plot-driven story.
Preorder “A Caterer’s Guide to Love and Murder” or get it on September 29th.
About the Author:
When Jessica discovered mystery novels with recipes, she knew she had found her niche. Jessica is an avid home chef and is active in her local writing community, including being a member of the Writers’ League of Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University but has always enjoyed writing and reading mysteries. Jessica is originally from California, but now has adopted the Austin, Texas lifestyle with her husband and two children.
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