Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers, educational writing, marketing consultant work with authors, and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her eight cats. Learn more about Jodi and her books at her website.
Seasons Greetings! I started prepping for the holidays back in July of 2020 by playing carols loudly in our home, streaming holiday reruns, and setting up a small tree in the corner of my office. I love the holidays, but this was to get myself in the mindset to write a holiday book for my series. While I’ve always enjoyed the research part of any of the writing that I do, this book was special in that I got to go back in time to learn about the origins of the tiny village where I reside, the Underground Railroad, and delve into many sites, articles, and books on different cultures and religions that hold celebrations and events in December.
It was interesting to see the role Ohio played in the Underground Railroad, especially along the Great Lakes leading to Canada. In my research, what I was most inspired by was that other people didn’t work to save the enslaved people, they saved themselves. This idea wasn’t emphasized in history class in school. The bravery, determination, faith, and resolve that I read about left me with the utmost respect. I learned so much from reading books like Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and Under the Quilt of Night, both written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by the brilliant James E. Ransome. Yes, I am aware these are kids’ books, but stories with illustrations always draw me in. I read them in combination with books like A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir by Jason Diakite and it helps me connect with the material more than my high school history book that was taught to me by white men.
While I don’t fancy myself to be much of a history buff, I do love those cold case shows and books that involve a dated murder to solve. There’s something about getting justice for those that never received it that appeals to me. What I found most interesting about writing a cold case story was how all of my characters remembered the past so differently while being positive their version of the truth was the correct one. Talk about things we can all relate to!
Yuletide Cast of the Iron Skillet takes Jolie and Ava on their first cold case adventure when they stumble upon tunnels dug below the village of Leavensport, a buried skeleton, a bag of teeth, plus an unexpected villain redeems himself and the double-wedding everyone was waiting for gets turned upside down!
Welcome to Leavensport, Ohio, where DEATH takes a DELICIOUS turn!
Yuletide Cast of the Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet Mystery, Book 5.5
Holiday folly—LITERALLY! Alongside a murder comes another new little addition to the human race in Leavensport, Ohio. Not to mention a broken-off engagement, a double wedding, and buried bones in the village chapel cellar. The Martinez family is back in town to observe Nochebuena with Ava as the Tucker family gears up for their Christmas feast. Leavensport community center is abuzz with preparations for the village multi-cultural shindig until the discovery of an old unresolved crime casts a dark shadow over the town. Will Jolie and Ava solve their first cold case in time to save the holiday celebrations—and will they both survive it?