by Sandra Murphy
& Lorie Lewis Ham
This week we are reviewing the latest Cheese Shop mystery by Avery Aames, Clobbered by Camembert, and going Behind The Book to find out from Avery how this book came about. At the end of the interview are details on how to win your own copy of Clobbered By Camembert.
Clobbered by Camembert by Avery Aames
Reviewed by Sandra Murphy
The cast of characters is expanding in Providence, Ohio where Fromagerie Bessette is located. It’s commonly known as The Cheese Shop.
This episode takes place during the Winter Wonderland faire. Charlotte’s ex-fiance, Chip, shows up with Kaitlyn Clydesdale, do-gooder and not-so-nice person who used to not only live in town but was friends with Charlotte’s mother.
Kaitlyn’s not in town for long before making enemies right and left. She’s buying property, indulging in a little blackmail and moving full speed ahead to make a big city out of the quaint town—all motives for murder.
Also back in town is Matthew’s ex-wife, Sylvie. Bent on spicing up the love lives of the townspeople (with the exception of Matt and his fiancé), Sylvie causes tongues to wag about her wardrobe and her gift for gossip.
Rachel, the Amish girl who came to work for Charlotte and stayed, has her own love life to think of. She and beekeeper Ipo are in love. When Ipo is the main suspect in Kaitlyn’s murder, Rachel goes wild and with the help of Charlotte investigates.
Visiting Providence is like going home again, only to a better home that you ever had—with Grandmere as mayor, Matt as wine expert, Charlotte passing out tastings of cheeses, the girls singing in the choir, and Sylvie wearing lingerie as outerwear in the coldest of temperatures, you’ll wish you’d grown up in Providence.
Warning—you’ll be craving cheese and individually wrapped slices or cheese in a can just won’t do after reading this book. There’s also a cliffhanger ending and recipes included for yummies like Pancakes with Gouda and Figs or Sweet Potato Nutmeg Quiche.
Behind the Book Interview with Avery Aames:
Lorie: How did you come up with the idea for the plot for Clobbered by Camembert?
Avery: My parents, like Charlotte’s, are deceased. I wondered what I would feel like if a woman who said she knew my mother came to town and promised to fill me in on some details, and suddenly she was murdered, and it turned out she wasn’t such a likeable gal. That seems suspenseful to me: the mysteries and secrets that need to be uncovered. And I thought I would throw in a little mix-up in the romance department. I was inspired to use the setting of the Winter Faire when I was in New York last year at the holidays and went to the faire in Bryant Park. It sparkled like glitter and there was so much lovely energy with fabulous aromas of chocolate and coffee and candy.
Lorie: What kind of research did you need to do?
Avery: Lots of cheese research. I tasted lots of cheese, and I contacted my cheese monger pal, Marcella, to make sure that the cheeses I put in the book were available during the winter months. Then I did a lot of online research of Ohio and weather during that time, fairs and festivals going on in the surrounding areas, and I studied a little about ice sculpting, ice hockey, tours, and more. And I baked. I did lots of baking.
Lorie: Do you come up with the recipes yourself?
Avery: Yes, all the recipes are mine. I might go online for inspiration, but I tweak and make them all personal for me. I love to cook and experiment. I do that weekly on the blog I share with other mystery writers: Mystery Lovers Kitchen. My husband is very thankful.
Lorie: What are your future plans for this series?
Avery: So far I’ve been given a five-book contract. I’m just turning in book 5, which won’t come out for two years. The next book (I now go to a yearly publishing date) is February 2013, followed by February 2014. I’m hoping for more in the series. We’ll have to see. The books are selling well so far. I’ll have a new series under my own name, Daryl Wood Gerber, starting mid 2013. That’s hush-hush right now.
Lorie: We won’t tell a sole lol. How do you feel about the rising popularity of eBooks?
Avery: I feel that eBooks are a way of the future. There will still be readers who love to read a paper book–me. I’ll read occasionally on an eReader, but I truly prefer holding a book and turning the page. I find an eReader works well on a treadmill when I’m working out, or at the beach when the light can be harsh and the wind kicks up. But otherwise, give me paper. I think it will be harder to market for oneself. The big hitters, like Patterson, Ludlum, Evanovich, and Child will all find their market, but for midlist writers, it will be much more difficult and we’ll have to rely on word-of-mouth and social networking referrals.
Check out a past interview with Avery & a review of Lost and Fondue here in KRL.
To enter to win a copy of Clobbered By Camembert, simply email KRL at email@example.com with the subject line “Cheese”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 3, 2012. U.S. residents only.
If you love mysteries, why not check out Left Coast Crime: Mystery Conference in Sacramento, March 29-April 1, 2012. Registration is only $225 & day passes can be purchased for $75 for Friday and Saturday panel sessions. Registration information can be found at the conventionwebsite, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.