Thursday, October 24, 2013

Scariest Cookie Ever

by Olivia Greyson and Maddie Briggs, the Cookie Baking Sleuths from The Cookie Cutter Shop Mysteries, by Virginia Lowell.

“This will be the Halloween party of the millenium.” Maddie announced as she danced around the Gingerbread House kitchen. A dusting of sugar sprinkles on her frothy red hair sparkled like tiny orange lights. “Far into the future, bards will weave haunting tales about the tasty and terrifying event about to unfold in this very store. It will be the most fantastic—”

“I get the point, Maddie.” Olivia filled a pastry bag with black royal icing and drew an outline around the edges of a pumpkin-shaped cookie. “I’m a bit worried about the terrifying part, though. I still think we should tone down the haunted house tour we’re planning to set up in the cookbook nook.”

“Don’t be such a poop head,” Maddie said. “I’ve loved haunted houses since the day I was born. All kids love haunted houses. Especially when there are plates of cookies in every nook and cranny.”

“Not all kids love haunted houses,” Olivia said. “I didn’t. Although plates of cookies might have helped me feel more at home.” Olivia decided to give her pumpkin a smile to soften the evil black eyes and the blood-red icing that trailed down from the stem. “I got used to them as I got older, but I never really enjoyed being startled by skeletons leaping out at me. Our recent experiences with murder victims haven’t helped, either.”

Maddie blacked out a tooth on a witch cookie. “I’ll admit, finding a murder victim hasn’t been fun and games for me, either, but I still love haunted houses. They don’t feel real to me. But I see what you mean. Being a Chatterley Heights citizen has been a bit traumatizing lately.” Maddie commandeered the red icing and painted bloody X-shaped eyes on a ghost cookie. “Do you think we should keep the little kids out of the haunted house? Now I’m starting to worry about the older kids, too. I mean, we have had a number of murders in Chatterley Heights. What if our recent murder rate has been giving kids nightmares? Maybe we should cancel the haunted house, or at least keep the lights on in the cookbook nook. Maybe your brother shouldn’t arise from the coffin wearing so much fake rotting skin.”

Olivia laughed, which made her black icing squirt in a jagged line across a tombstone cookie. “That would break Jason’s heart. Our problem is that we have no inkling how kids might react because neither of us has any kids.”

“Yet,” Maddie said.

“Well, I doubt it will happen in time for our Halloween party, so I think I’ll give Mom a call and see what she thinks.”

“You do that.” Maddie capped her pastry bag of icing. “Meanwhile, I’ll ask our readers for advice. What about it? Imagine you lived in Chatterley Heights. Given our recent murder rate, would you be worried that your child might be too frightened by a scary haunted house experience? Remember to factor in the cookies, because I’m pretty sure decorated cookies have a calming effect.”

The fifth book in the COOKIE CUTTER SHOP series now has a title! COOKIES AND SCREAM is awaiting a 2014 publication date. Meanwhile, visit Virginia Lowell at


  1. I think the kids will love it. They love to be scared.

    1. I think so, too. I adored haunted house exhibits when I was a kid. Nowadays, I worry about my blood pressure! Thanks!

  2. Replies
    1. I know, I love it! Can't take credit for it, though. My publisher has wonderful cover artists.

  3. I have never ever wanted to go in a haunted house as a kid, let alone as an adult. So no advice from me either. And no, not even cookies can tempt me.