From the best-selling Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery series by Virginia Lowell
Now, let me begin by saying that I am very proud of my daughter, Olivia. She and her best friend, Maddie, run a successful shop, The Gingerbread House, where they concoct the most exquisite, creative, and delicious decorated cookies ever seen in Chatterley Heights, Maryland. Last year, I gained an entire pound from wanton indulgence in those lovely cookies. I’ve doubled up on my yoga, running, tai chi, kung fu, tap dance, and ballet to shed that pound. At four foot eleven, I can’t afford to go above one hundred pounds.
However, Livie rolls her eyes at me when I don’t get to the point at once, so I will. It’s Livie… I worry about her. She works so hard in her store, and now she’s trying to invent new cookie recipes for Maddie and Lucas’s huge engagement party. Not only that, Livie insists on baking and decorating all the cookies herself! She was like this as a little girl, always dreaming up ambitious projects that would take several lifetimes to complete.
And then she gets herself embroiled in murder investigations, usually at the most inopportune times… like during the town’s two hundred fiftieth birthday. Well, she helped resolve that mess in When the Cookie Crumbles, but now she and Maddie have found a body on the porch of The Gingerbread House. (Check out One Dead Cookie, due in 2013).
Give me a moment to meditate and center myself.
There, I feel much better. I am one again with the mystery of life and have recommitted to my own most pressing personal goal: occupying Congress. Meanwhile, I suspect Livie will again need my help to solve this new mystery. She turned down my offer to infiltrate the Police Department, which would have been such fun, but she depends on my gift for knowing virtually everything that goes on in Chatterley Heights. People talk to me. I think of myself as a modern-day Miss Marple, if Miss Marple had once lived in a commune.
Livie is in her early thirties, a strong and competent woman, well able to take care of herself. She has Maddie, not to mention her special friend, Sheriff Del Jenkins. Their relationship is proceeding at a glacial pace, but I do not prod. I am not that kind of mother. Besides, I’m too busy with my crazy quilting group, my reading group, the League of Women Voters, macramé, drawing, and losing that pesky pound. But if Livie needs me, I would suspend even yoga to be there for her.
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