Cookies, cookies, cookies!By Erin Murphy, from the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz
“Live in the moment. Unless it’s unpleasant. Then, eat a cookie.” – the Cookie Monster
I’m not alone in considering the Cookie Monster one of the great American philosophers of the modern era, right? (Along with Yoda, Bruce Lee, and Lin Manuel Miranda.)
So when my mother suggested that I take over hosting the annual friends-and-family Christmas cookie exchange, now that she’s moved out of the Orchard homestead and Adam and I have moved in, I readily agreed. It’s a group of women gathering to share cookies for the season. What could go wrong?
Well, first, my cousin Molly showed up with Six-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies. (Here's the recipe, from Mystery Lovers' Kitchen.) They’re great, and they’re gluten-free, which I’m not but I know is critical to many people. The problem is, they’re not Christmas cookies.
And then, one of the guests didn’t show up. No call, no text, no Merrily. After the way her parents treated her on Decorating Day, I thought she needed a few new friends, and was looking forward to getting to know her better. Sheriff’s Deputy Kim Caldwell, my BFF since the 5th grade, assured me there was no reason to worry—Merrily was probably too embarrassed to come, since everyone knows what happened twenty years ago.
But I don’t care about that. I worried anyway.
And I was right.
Hand me a cookie, would you, please? I could eat the whole plate. Even the peanut butter cookies, because I am afraid this is one seriously unpleasant moment.
Talk to me about cookies, or Christmas, or philosophers for a chance to win a signed copy of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES (June 8, 2018, Midnight Ink). (US and Canadian addresses only, please.) Mr. Kitten will choose the winner on Wednesday, May 30.
From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available for pre-order now):
In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.
When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.
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