I'm pleased to welcome Debra Sennefelder to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Debra writes the Food Blogger Mystery series. THE UNINVITED CORPSE is the first book in the series and is being released today!
Kathy: While I write a mystery blog, Hope Early writes a food blog. What is Hope's favorite aspect of blogging and what's her least favorite thing.
DS: Hope loves to feed people, she’s been doing it for years with friends, family and colleagues and now with her food blog she can feed so many more people when she shares her recipes. She struggles with photography, it’s an area she definitely needs to work on.
Kathy: Hope had an embarrassing stint on a reality baking show. Do you enjoy watching baking shows on TV? Do you have any favorites? I adore the Great British Baking Show.
DS: I love the Great British Baking Show. I also enjoy all of the baking competition shows on Food TV, my favorite are the cupcake episodes. It’s amazing how creative those bakers are.
Kathy: Hope does lots of recipe testing. Do you enjoy trying out recipes? Or do you create dishes off the cuff? Do you even like to cook yourself?
DS: Yes, to all of the above. I enjoy trying out new recipes, taking an old favorite and tweaking it. I like to cook very much but my passion is baking. I’ve always loved to bake.
Kathy: In THE UNINVITED CORPSE Hope attends a spring garden tour. I enjoy going on local garden tours. Do you?
DS: I’ve been to a few garden tours. We toured a beautiful garden up in Newport, Rhode Island a few summers ago. It was breathtaking. To be honest, I’m not much of a gardener and that’s probably why the first crime scene in the book is the home of a garden tour. Now that I have more time, I’ve been able to do some new plantings and I actually enjoyed it. So, maybe this city gal will become a full-fledged gardener someday.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
DS: So many things. The community, how the amateur sleuth navigated her way through the murder investigation and her relationships with those around her as she dug further into the mystery, the cast of characters, the mystery itself. I believe the amateur sleuths in cozies are strong woman with a lot of guts and determination.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
DS: Not currently. I’d written a few romantic suspense manuscripts and I had a few chicklit short-stories published over the years.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
DS: The Food Blogger Mystery series opens when former reality TV star Hope Early thought her biggest problem was driving traffic to her food blog, but discovering two dead bodies and clearing her sister of their murders have Hope trading her Google analytics for amateur sleuthing. When there’s an attempt on her own life, Hope has no choice but to uncover the murderer before she becomes the next corpse du jour.
My second series, debuting in January 2019, finds Kelly Quinn’s plan to revamp her grandmother’s clothing consignment shop hitting a snag when a psychic customer’s vision links a discounted dress to a murder. Skeptical she investigates the mystery dress, stumbles on a dead body. Now Kelly is under suspicion for murder, superstitious customers are afraid of her inventory and she needs to find a murderer because orange may be the new black, but Kelly looks so much better in turquoise.
Kathy: .Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
DS: Hope is my favorite character and that’s because I’m in her head the entire book and I know the character very intimately. I adore all of the other characters, even the not-so-nice ones.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
DS: No, not really. I’d wanted to write a culinary focused series because I do enjoy cooking and baking and then realized I could make the protagonist a food blogger and be able to draw off of my own experience.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
DS: I’d always wanted to be a published author for as long as I can remember.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
DS: Great question. Katherine Hall Page, Kate White, Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
DS: I KNOW WHAT YOU BID LAST SUMMER by Sherry Harris.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
DS: Aside from baking, I enjoy reading, shopping (now I guess it’s called research for my second series) and exercising.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
DS: Plain Greek yogurt, eggs, pesto and Parmesan cheese.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
DS: Yes. I’ve turned in the second Food Blogger mystery, THE HIDDEN CORPSE, to my editor and just finished the first draft of the third book, untitled at this time. I’ve turned in the first book of the Resale Boutique mysteries to my editor and I’m currently writing the outline for book two.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
DS: I get to tell stories. I’m truly blessed to have the best job ever.
THE UNINVITED CORPSE by Debra Sennefelder
The First Food Blogger Mystery
Peaches McCoy wasn't the only uninvited guest to attend Audrey Bloom's garden tour and book signing, after all Claire talked her sister, Hope, into bringing her along. But Peaches was the one most of the other guests disliked and Peaches was the one who became the corpse. With the detective in charge honing on on Claire as the killer, Hope feels she has no choice but to save her sister and figure out who killed Peaches herself.
THE UNINVITED CORPSE introduces us to Hope Early, a former magazine editor who claimed her 15 minutes of fame as runner up on a reality baking show. Now she's returned home to Connecticut where she's working as a food blogger. Hope is tenacious, if somewhat of a wimp. Unsure whether to risk exploring her feelings for her old friend, the current chief of police, she's certain to pick up after you and try to fix things. It's this maternal instinct and desire make everything just right that drives Hope to get involved with the murder investigation, despite being warned off by the police. She's also urged on by two likable characters, Jane and Drew. Most of the characters are not very likeable, however, this does make for some very good suspects and villains, but it also made me wish Claire would be found guilty!
Despite not having an affinity towards most of the characters, I did enjoy the book. Debra Sennefelder was able to draw me into her world with vivid descriptions and excellent pacing.