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Monday, March 16, 2020

Taffy, Anyone?


Debra, thanks so much for inviting me back to Writers Who Kill! 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H23AY8Kdx00

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?

Murder at the Taffy Shop releases March 31 in a one-year paperback exclusive from Barnes & Noble. Murder on Cape Cod, went to wide release on December 31, 2019 and is available in several formats wherever books are sold.



Agatha and Macavity finalist Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and award-winning short crime fiction. As Maddie Day she pens the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. With twenty books in print and more in production, Maxwell/Day lives north of Boston, where she writes, gardens, and cooks. Find her at EdithMaxwell.com and as @MaddieDayAuthor on social media.


28 comments:

Annette said...

Welcome back, Maddie/Edith!

I confess I'm not a big fan of taffy. I'm a chocoholic though, especially for Sarris chocolate, a local chocolate-maker. It's one of my biggest weaknesses.

Edith Maxwell said...

Sounds delish, Annette!

Kay Garrett said...

My favorite is licorice but love them all. When I was a kid we did pull taffy. Mom even made molasses taffy.
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Edith Maxwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edith Maxwell said...

That sounds good, Kay.

SandyG265 said...

We used to get salt water taffy at the shore when I was a kid. These days I prefer chocolate.

Edith Maxwell said...

Nothing wrong with a good piece of chocolate!

Robin Coxon said...

When I was young, every 4th of July there was a festival in a neighboring town. There were rides, games, and food. My favorite was the taffy booth. It was a booth with a machine that would stretch the taffy and then cut it into the bite size pieces and then they would be wrapped. It was a fascinating display to watch. I always left with a box of taffy for later. Banana was my favorite flavor.

Edith Maxwell said...

A portable taffy machine - cool.

Celia Fowler said...

My Grandparents had friends who always brought them back saltwater taffy from their East Coast vacations. We would eat it, and it was okay, but not a favorite candy. My Grandfather had those zebra-striped peanut butter candies that we all loved ~

cupcake58 said...

I'm not really a fan of salt water taffy. I tried it as a kid when we went to Montauk on vacation. I do love chocolate though and a local bakery has some really yummy candies. I like the chocolate peanut butter cups.
Margaret: scarletbegonia5858(at)gmail(dot)com

Kait said...

Grew up spending some summers at the Jersey Shore - a mecca of salt water taffy. Too sweet and sticky for my taste, even as a kid, but licorice was my favorite. I can remember seeing shop people at the tables hand pulling. Now THAT looked like fun! I'm sure it was hard, hard work.

Best of luck with the launch, Edith. Sounds like a delightful book.

Edith Maxwell said...

Celia, I love peanut butter candies.

Margaret - you cannot go wrong combining chocolate and PB!

Kait, thank you!

Anonymous said...

I love salt water taffy! Growing up we would go to the store on the boardwalk and watch the machine make delicious flavors. My favorites are strawberry and banana.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann

Edith Maxwell said...

I love it, too, Maryann.

Sheryl Sens said...

I remember my great grand made it a couple times with molasses. I do like the kind you can get at the store with a bit of peanut butter in the middle. Can't wait for your book!!! Thanks! nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Edith Maxwell said...

I love that kind, too!

Taylor R. Williams said...

I loved taffy as a kid, not so much as an adult - never really had a favorite, but maple sugar was one I really remember - can't wait to read this book - thanks for the chance to own it. trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

Edith Maxwell said...

Good luck, Taylor!

Alicia said...

I like the strawberry or peppermint taffy best. I don't see it a lot in my area though, and probably have less variety in flavors. Guess I'll have to read about it instead!
kozo8989@hotmail.com

Linda Herold said...

Salt Water Taffy brings back good memories for me! My family used to vacation at Santa Cruz, CA every August. There was a place on the boardwalk that let you watch them make the taffy and then you could buy it! We always brought some home!

diannekc said...

I like salt water taffy, especially the caramel apple taffy and banana taffy. I have never pulled taffy or seen it done.

diannekc said...

I like salt water taffy, especially the caramel apple taffy and banana taffy. I have never pulled taffy or seen it done.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

So glad to have you as a guest today.

Edith Maxwell said...

Alicia, I like the peppermint, too.

I love Santa Cruz, Linda!

Caramel apply sounds yummy, Dianne.

Thanks, Debra!

KellyL said...

I like banana taffy. I have seen it on the machines at the store, but have never tried to pull it myself. I can't wait to read your new book, the first one was great!

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Congratulations to Cupcake58 who won Edith/Maddie's giveaway!

Donamae Kutska said...

I remember Taffy on a long paper it was wide and long. You peeled it off. It was delicious. Banana and grape it all was yummy. Thank you for the chance