by Olivia Greyson, purveyor of all things cookie and pursuer of killers, from THE COOKIE CUTTER SHOP MYSTERIES, by Virginia Lowell.
Visit Maddie and me in COOKIES AND SCREAM, our latest sleuthing adventure!
My father was an ornithologist, which would explain why his stories always seemed to relate to birds. Birds helped him understand the world. That’s what he used to say, anyway. When I was about ten, I watched from the dining room window while he strolled around the backyard, chatting with the chickadees or arguing with the robins. By thirteen, I’d begun to wonder if my dad was entirely sane, but Mom insisted he was sort of an academic type and that’s the way they are. Dad was loony, but in a nice way, so I accepted her explanation.
Now I wonder if genetics have caught up with me. It’s four a.m. I’m alone in the kitchen of my store, The Gingerbread House, baking lemon cutout cookies. Usually it’s Maddie (my best friend and business partner) who’s baking at this hour, but I’m caught up in a mystery and can’t sleep. Baking helps me think. Baking lemon cutout cookies helps just about anything.
Here’s the problem: We’ve had a murder in Chatterley Heights. I won’t give away the details except that the clues might be cookie cutters. Or at least, that’s what Maddie and I suspect. We just solved a mystery involving a valuable collection of antique European cookie cutters, but these are modern cutters that look well used. There are only three of them, and they were found under the victim’s body. The intriguing thing is, the three cutters are all bird shapes—an owl (with one dented ear); a parrot; and a red, plastic angry bird.
To Maddie and me, those cutters sure seem to be clues to something or other… maybe about the victim? Or why he was murdered? If the killer left them, perhaps the cutters can tell us something about him or her.
I’ve eaten several lemon cookies in bird shapes, but that hasn’t helped. Ideas are welcomed. We’re stumped.
Virginia Lowell is the author of COOKIE DOUGH OR DIE, A COOKIE BEFORE DYING, WHEN THE COOKIE CRUMBLES, ONE DEAD COOKIE, and COOKIES AND SCREAM.
Visit Virginia at www.virginialowell.com.