Murder at the Taffy Shop is the second Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery, and I’d love to send a commenter a signed copy after the books come in at the end of the month.
Here’s the scoop:
It’s August, full season on Cape Cod, with plentiful sunshine and tourists alike. When Mac’s Bikes owner Mackenzie Almeida heads out for her early daily walk with her friend, she finds a horrified Gin staring at Beverly Ruchart, an imperious summer person, dead on the walkway next to Gin’s candy shop, Salty Taffy’s.
Lots of people wanted Beverly gone. But when the police find the murder weapon in Gin’s garage, the Cozy Capers book group members put their heads together to clear Gin’s name and to figure out who killed the woman whom almost everyone disliked. Mac’s bike shop is vandalized one night, and when the killer later invades her tiny house to finish her off, Bella, Mac’s African Gray parrot, comes to the rescue.
Yes, Gin owns a candy shop. Stop drooling, all right? And yes, she pulls her own salt water taffy. Pretty much any coastal town in the US carries its own version of the stuff, from Seaside, Oregon to Newport Beach, California; Boothbay Harbor, Maine to Key West, Florida – I’ve sampled it in all but Key West…
|photo credit to Eric Schmuttenmaer - Downers Grove, USA|
I decided to set a few scenes inside Salty Taffy’s kitchen and knew it was time for research. When I was young – my mother had a major sweet tooth – I remember we made taffy once. It was a lot of work, and more than a lot of the sugary stuff was consumed by my older sisters and me, but it was fun. For this book I needed a peek into how professionals do it.
Check out this video and skip to minute 2 or so (unless you want to watch the whole thing). Isn’t it mesmerizing? I could look at that all day – if I didn’t have books to write.
Gin uses a big red machine like the one in the clip to do the pulling, because she also has fudge and truffles and all kinds of other treats to make. When I saw that machine, my imagination went nuts, thinking of all the mayhem it could do to someone. Because that’s what crime writers’ brains do, right?
In book one, Murder on Cape Cod, Mac uses the machine to great advantage to clear her and Gin of a threatening situation – and put a killer behind bars. Will the red taffy puller play a part in the new book, too? You’ll have to read it to find out!
Readers: What’s your favorite flavor of taffy? Have you ever pulled it by hand? If you don’t like taffy, what kind of locally made candy do you prefer?