Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bran New Death - Series Premiere

By: Merry Wynter
From: Merry Muffin Mystery Series
Author: Victoria Hamilton
Book 1 Title: Bran New Death
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2013

I've always been a city girl, though at 39 I guess I shouldn't say 'girl' anymore. My hippie feminist mother would have been horrified. I wish she were still around to be horrified, but i lost her and my beloved grandmother a long time ago, and my father a long time before that.

Anyway, I love New York City; it's vibrant and hip and fun, and noisy and messy and awful, all at the same time. It has pockets of brilliance and giant swathes of dreadfulness. I've been to a lot of cities in the world and loved many of them for different reasons, but New York City is home.  

However, fate has determined that for the time being, I belong in the 'wilderness' of upstate New York in my inherited castle near a town that is weird and yet homey. Is that strange, that I find the oddity of the Autumn Vale townees endearing? I'm lucky that Shilo Dinnegan followed me to Wynter Castle, because it would be a whole lot lonelier without a friend to share the weirdness with.

I'd be happier, though, if someone didn't keep digging up the castle grounds, as happened on a night early in my stay...


From Bran New Death...

This was exactly what I had been concerned about. If it was Binny or her brother (doing the digging), I wanted them to know this was not acceptable, and without a thought for my safety, I flung open the pantry door and bolted outside int the dark, toward the roaring machine. The interior light showed some jerk in the driver's seat manipulating the gears and digging.


As I was crossing the wide open space between me and the Bobcat, I saw something—some creature, a streak of orange by the light of the excavator—launch into the open compartment at the operator. There was an unearthly screech, a howl of pain, and then the man bolted from the driver’s compartment and stumbled toward the woods, pursued by the animal. I followed as well as I could in slippers and a housecoat, but I tripped, went down hard, and by the time I clambered to my feet, all I could see was the fellow disappearing into the woods.

“Merry! Where are you?” Shilo was at the door, backlit by the overhead light.

I limped back to the door of the butler’s pantry and gasped, “Call the cops!”

Shilo had her cell phone, and dialed 911—she got a connection, miracle of miracles, maybe because it was the middle of the night—and told the operator we were at Wynter Castle, and what happened in brief. We then we sat in the kitchen with the door locked, and waited. And waited. Long enough that the excavator sputtered to a stop, out of fuel, I suppose. Gradually my anger and panic turned to just anger at the lackadaisical attitude of the local constabulary, so when the sheriff’s car finally pulled up to the castle, I strode outside to the lane.

As Virgil Grace climbed out of the car, I stormed over to him and said, “What exactly is the point of coming now, an hour after the hole digger left?”

“Pardon me for not coming immediately, Miss Wynter, ma’am,” he said, with a laconic, weary edge to his voice. “But I had a domestic, and trying to convince a beaten, frightened woman to file charges against her drunken boyfriend took precedence over a phantom hole digger.”

In the light from the open doors I could see that he was smeared with blood, scratches across his cheek near his hairline, and he looked exhausted. “Okay, all right. You’re here now,” I said. I told him what I had seen, and we went to look at the machine.

The sheriff played his flashlight over the Bobcat, and noted some blood on the seat. “Well, whatever that animal was, it sure left a mark!”

I looked at the scratches on the sheriff’s cheek and down at the drop of blood and said, “It sure did!”


I have my suspicions as to who is responsible, but do you think the very handsome sheriff could be the culprit? I just don't know, but I'm determined to find out, and before anything awful happens. You don't think anything awful will happen... do you?


Important... for a limited time you can pre-order Bran New Death at for just $4.79!! Check it out: Bran New Death at

Check out Victoria Hamilton online:
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Twitter: @MysteryVictoria

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Expert muffin baker Merry Wynter is finally ready to turn her passion into a career.  But when a dead body is found on her property, she’s more worried about cooking up an alibi…

Merry is making a fresh start in small-town Autumn Vale, New York, in the mansion she’s inherited from her late uncle, Melvin. The house is run-down and someone has been digging giant holes on the grounds, but with its restaurant-quality kitchen, the place has potential for her new baking business. She even has her first client—the local retirement home.

Unfortunately, Merry soon finds that quite a few townsfolk didn’t like Uncle Mel, and she has inherited their enmity as well as his home. Local baker Binny Turner and her crazy brother, Tom, blame Melvin for their father’s death, and Tom may be the one vandalizing her land. But when Tom turns up dead in one of the holes in her yard, Merry needs to prove she had nothing to do with his death—or her new muffin-making career may crumble before it starts...


  1. I'm so excited to begin a new series with you!!! I love your books and am looking forward to this one as well. :) I pre-ordered it as soon as I found out I could. Keep up the great writing and I'll keep reading them.

    1. Thanks, Sue, I really hope you enjoy the book as much as I loved writing it!

  2. This looks like a wonderful series! Looking forward to reading it!
    Im on a Book tour for "Bran New Death" next month! =)

  3. I've ordered this book and am excited to get it. I'm also thrilled that a character shares my name.


  4. I have pre-ordered at bookdepositoy months ago, and hope it arrives soon :)