10 October 2013

Gingerbread, Murder and Rainy Days

Oh, I'm sure something will turn up, Sherlock. A nice murder. That'll cheer you up.
~ Mrs. Hudson, BBC’s Sherlock,” The Great Game”

In October, I am writing about all things autumnal: from art to spooky books, author interviews, recipes, and autumn-inspired writing prompts AND participating in the Two Pages-a-Day writing challenge.

he sound of the rain on the windows is a farmgirl’s version of ocean waves: soothing and calming.  The perfect melody to fit the rhythm of her country life.

Don’t get me wrong ~ rushing to catch a train or driving in traffic in a hard driving rain is no fun and certainly not Zen-like.  But if you are lucky enough to have a day off, a rainy autumn day in the country is the perfect day to curl up with a hot cup of tea, fresh warm gingerbread, a soft, fuzzy blanket, and a good book.

Preferably one with ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and the occasional dead body.

If you like the thought of gingerbread, but not murder and mayhem, fear not, dear reader!  You can just skip to the recipe below and read no further.

But if you’re like Sherlock Holmes (and me), then a nice grisly murder goes quite well with tea, gingerbread, and a rainy day.

The Body Finder Series by Kimberly Derting
Echoes of the dead.

They could be anything.  The smell of stale coffee grounds.  A swirling rainbow of colors.  The tinkling of a music box. 

A body only has an echo if the person was murdered.  And the murderer bears a matching imprint that he or she doesn’t know about.  But seventeen year old Violet Ambrose can sense them.  Both the murder victims and their killer.

Keeping a “gift” like hers a secret can be tough, but at least Vi can put it to good use by giving the victims’ families closure.  But if the murderer ever found out about what she can do, Violet may become the next victim, with an echo all her own.

And no one to hear it.

Why It Works
It’s difficult to find YA murder mysteries with complex characters and the right balance of teenage angst and psychological suspense.  Kimberly Derting nails it.  Violet is a typical teenage girl but with a dark secret.  And what teenager today doesn’t have one of those?  There were times when she made decisions that made me groan and rage, but then I had to remind myself that I was looking at the situation from a thirty-something’s perspective, not a seventeen year old’s.

Plus, I’ve never been able to find dead bodies.

But Derting doesn’t stop there.  The murders and the killers themselves are complex as well and could have been pulled from an FBI profiler’s files.  It is obvious Derting has done her homework, both in how a particular murder was carried out and the creep-tastic way the killer’s mind worked.

Some YA suspense books are so silly they make me roll my eyes.  But not this one.  Kimberly Derting’s masterful style had my heart racing and my adrenaline pumping until the very last page.

Pick up this series today.  It will definitely cheer you up.

Gingerbread Goes Great with Murder
Well, at least on a rainy day.  Here is a recipe straight from NYC favorite, Gramercy Tavern for you to enjoy.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

What murder mystery do you recommend on a rainy day?

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