featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Our Book Club Friday guest today is mystery author Cricket McRae. As a girl, Cricket was as much a fan of Nancy Drew as of Laura Ingalls Wilder, so it's no surprise that her contemporary cozy series features a soap maker with a nose for investigation. To learn more about Cricket, stop by her website or blog.

Cricket has generously offered a copy of her latest release to one lucky reader who posts a comment to the blog this week. Welcome, Cricket!
  -- AP

Thanks for inviting me to be part of your Book Club, Anastasia.!

Right now I'm all a-twitter that my new Home Crafting Mystery, Something Borrowed, Something Bleu, was released yesterday to good reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal. It's always such a thrill to hold the newborn for the first time. 

This is the fourth in the series. In it, Sophie Mae Reynolds returns to her home town of Spring Creek, Colorado when her brother's eighteen-year-old suicide note comes to light. The tragic past spills violently into the present as she tries to figure out why her brother killed himself. In between tracking down killers, dealing with a cranky eleven-year-old girl, and dodging a tornado, Sophie Mae battles to keep her mother from taking over her wedding plans. 

Each mystery in the series features a different colonial home craft as the backdrop to murder and mayhem -- the sorts of skills people once had to have in order to survive. Sophie Mae has a handmade soap business and always offers information about making bath products. But she's also interested in other home crafts. So far she's preserved food and learned to spin yarn.

As you can guess by the title, Something Borrowed, Something Bleu involves cheese making -- and homemade butter, yogurt, and kefir. I've included recipes for simple fresh cheeses, and supply sources for cheese and yogurt cultures on my website (www.cricketmcrae.com). I also blog about food, books, the writing life, gardening, and fiber arts at Hearth Cricket (www.hearthcricket.com).

As a fellow crafter I enjoy the variety of fun and useful information Anastasia provides on this blog. I'm so looking forward to Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun!

Thanks for stopping by, Cricket!

Blog readers, if you’d like a chance at winning a copy of
Something Borrowed, Something Bleu, all you have to do is post a comment to the blog. One of you will be the lucky winner. -- AP


Deborah Blake said...

This sounds like a fascinating series. I have done a little spinning and weaving (my grandmother was a master weaver) and live near the Cooperstown FArmer's Museum, where they have an entire village set up and often do demos of old crafting techniques.
I will definitely look for your books. Congrats on the new release!

Chris V. said...

Cricket the new relese sounds great, and as always a terrific cover. congratulations!!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Looking forward to reading this one! Best wishes for a successful release!

Janet said...

I am eager to go to your blog to try out some of the recipes. I love to make it and avoid buying it. Thanks.

jeff7salter said...

I apologize that I'm not already familiar with your previous books ... so this question may sound ignorant.
From the title and the 'set-up' it seems as though you rely on humor to accompany Sophie through her activity. But with the major topic of her brother's suicide investigation, it sounds like it has a somber tone (in part, at least).
If I'm correct that some of Sophie's action / reaction has a humorous touch, how do you balance that with the serious stuff?

Debby Buchanan said...

Cricket, just visited your website to see the first 3 books in the series -- all look great! I'm looking forward to reading the entire series, starting with LYE IN WAIT and ending with SOMETHING BORROWWED, SOMETHING BLEU.

Kathy said...

As a crafter who does many different crafts, I like the fact that you feature a different craft in each book. Looks like I'll be adding four more titles to my summer reading list.

Pat Batta said...

I'll be interested in reading how Sophie keeps her mother from taking over her wedding, as my character will be having the same problem with her prospective mother-in-law in my next book.

Good luck with the series. Sounds fun.

Pat Batta

Crystal said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, looking forward to it coming out at our local bookstore.

Cricket McRae said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for your comments, and thanks to Anastasia for inviting me to post today.

Deborah, I've done very little weaving. Perhaps that will be next on the list.

Thanks for your kind words, Chris, Elizabeth and Crystal.

Janet, look for several "milk craft" recipes on my site soon. Ricki Carroll has agreed to let me post some of hers, and she also donated a beginning cheese making kit that I'll be giving away on my blog in the next week or so if you want to stop by and enter.

Jeff, that's a great question. I don't try to write funny (it would probably turn out badly), but Sophie Mae's voice and interactions with other people often have a humorous edge even though she's looking into something as serious as her brother's death. It helps that my books are what I consider "contemporary cozy" in that they often deal with issues and circumstances that very gentle, traditional cozies may shy away from.

Debby, that's terrific! I'd love to hear any feedback you might have.

Kathy, it's always nice to meet a fellow crafter.

And Pat, I'll look forward to seeing see how you handle the same situation. Sophie Mae and her mother, Anna Belle, have an interesting relationship because they are very much alike. If you want to know more about Anna Belle, two days ago I posted an interview with her and Deb Sharp's "Mama" on my blog.

pennyt said...

Hi Cricket - I've read two of your previous books and as a "cozy fan" am looking forward to reading the newest one. Thanks for the fun interview.

Kathleen Ernst said...

Can't wait to get my hands on this one! Congrats on the new release.

cynthia said...

Hey Cricket! We met briefly at one of the many mystery conferences (I can't remember which one, but I'm a librarian in Hawaii). Congratulations on the new book!

Marilynne said...

With every book a craft project. That's interesting. We are becoming multimedia specialists, aren't we?