Please welcome Karen Cino to Muse Monday. The only thing better than eating cookies is to read a fun cozy mystery where lots of cookie eating is involved.
Christmas cookies have only been made for Christmas. But in
the Cookie Cutter Cozy Mystery Series, amateur sleuth Connie brings those
cookies to you all year round. When Connie’s husband gets arrested, she
divorces him and goes to live at the fifty-five and older community down at the
New Jersey Shore. Fulfilling her childhood dream with best friend, Sara, she
starts her own cookie business out of an illegal kitchen they had built in half
of a two-car garage.
The cookies took off, not only in the book, but also in my
house. I try once a week to bake a double batch of cookies that I love sharing
with my family, friends and neighbors. Everyone loves the fact that they can
enjoy those special cookies all year long.
I came up with the idea for this series because of my love
of baking. And I thought it would be fun for two senior characters to not only
start their own business, but also get involved in solving crimes that take
place around the community they are residing in. This came from my years of
I love writing about the culinary arts and especially about
middle-aged women starting over. My characters are quirky, and they will make
you not only laugh out loud but make your mouth water with the baked goods.
Connie and Sara are preparing to bring
cookie samples for the men's club Thanksgiving dinner. An explosion at the
water towers sends the women running to the scene. After visiting Kent and
taking his order, Connie and Sara go down to the water tower to see if they can
find out what caused the explosion. A few hours later, while Connie and Brett
are at dinner, they receive a call that Kent is dead after eating Connie's
cookies. It is up to Sara to track down the killer to clear Connie of the
murder. Who said that two women sleuths living in a fifty-five and older
community can't get into trouble?
Acosta and Sara Mazza made a mad dash following Police Detectives Warren
Crawford and Brett Harper to the water tower where an explosion had rocked the
house. Since both men were athletic with long muscular legs, they reached the
tower quickly. Being totally out of shape, the women had to stop running to
catch their breath.
think you’re right in saying we need to go to the gym,” Sara said, gasping for
been telling you this since I’ve moved down here. I was never a runner, but I
used to walk five miles a day when I lived in Staten Island.”
waved her off. “Everyone is running toward the explosion. Let’s see if anyone
is running away from it. Maybe we can find a clue.”
no.” Connie waved her finger back and forth. “I’m not going down that road
again. We keep getting involved in these investigations, which lead to us
always getting ourselves in a dangerous situation. Maybe this time we can
not.” Sara took hold of her arm and pulled her forward. “I see Warren.” She
jumped up and down, waving, trying to catch his attention. “Come on, let’s make
our way to the towers.” Sara stepped in water and it splashed all over Connie.
“Where the hell did this come from?”
have no idea. It’s trickling down the path.”
shit. Water is gushing faster down the path. What the hell is going on?”
followed Sara as she weeded through the crowd of seniors. She couldn’t believe
Sara was dragging her into something else. Taking a quick glance at her watch,
time was of the essence as she had a meeting with Kent Steelburg, coordinator
of events for the Men’s Club, in less than a half hour.
trucks and three ambulances made their way with their sirens blaring. Connie
watched as the people moved to the right, standing in the dirt which had turned
to mud, to let the emergency vehicles through. Out of the corner of her eye,
Connie saw Sara’s friend Hannah standing in water which covered her ankles. She
snickered to herself, not particularly liking Hannah.
do you know what’s going on?” Carol called after her.
turned around and watched Carol walk through the water up to her. “Not at all.
Sara is probably talking to Warren, finding out what is going on. All I know is
that the explosion shook the whole house. Warren and Brett were over and we
dashed out the door.”
did I. I left the reception desk and knew I would run into you and Sara. Of
course, the usual cast
of characters are here. Funny how the only time they
move fast is when there is food and an incident taking place.” Carol slid a
cigarette out of her pocket and lit up. “I’m going to head back. Nothing good
is going on here except lots of water.”
waiting for Sara to return so I can go home.”
my husband looked anything like Warren with his dreamy olive eyes, I wouldn’t
be leaving his side either. I’ll catch you later.”
backed away from the crowd as the water slowed down to a trickle. The crowd
thinned out as she spotted Sara coming with Warren and Brett. Meeting Brett had
been one of the best things that happened to her. He was so unlike her ex who
had turned out to be what she called a “man-ho.” She was still on guard with
Brett, and wasn’t ready to give him her whole self. These past months had been
spent redefining what she wanted out of life. Going into the cookie/dessert
business with Sara had been something she had always wanted to do.
sweetheart.” Brett wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “Let’s get you home.”
blew up the water tanks. The first tank, the water just flushed out and the
second one, got a piece of metal stuck in it. The pressure caused the second
one to cave.”
is our water source,” Sara explained. “Whoever did this has just cut off our
it be someone sending a message? Because there was no reason whatsoever to do
that,” Connie said.
on you two,” Warren said, stopping at Sara’s driveway. “Don’t start reading
more into this. No one has gotten hurt or killed. Once the water completely
stops, the investigators will check out the tanks and find out the cause of the
intuition tells me someone is ticked off about something and this was their way
of paying them back,” Brett said.
had to be someone from management or the board of trustees. We keep getting
letters in the mail for the stupidest things. We already received the warning
letter about putting up Christmas decorations early,” Sara added.
“People are already getting
disgusted. What’s the difference if we put up our Christmas tree or lights
before Thanksgiving? It’s in our house. And they have the nerve to say if we
have our decorations up to keep our blinds closed. That’s such bull.”
that note we are leaving you ladies. I have paperwork to do,” Warren explained.
“I keep putting it off, but the boss wants it done by the end of my shift. So,
let’s hope this is the last call we have to go out on.”
have to get ready for my meeting with Kent Steelburg. I have the cookies done.
All I have left to do is sprinkle powdered sugar over them.”
What kind of cookies did you make?” Brett asked, licking his lips.
tarts. Kent specifically asked for them. He told me he had tasted my other
cookies. But for this men’s club event, he wanted to serve something different.
He talked about putting the cookies in a pyramid. I don’t think he realizes how
many cookies we’re talking about, especially since he wants others too,” Connie
luck. I’ll be back after my shift. I hoped we could grab dinner.”
great.” Connie stood on her tippy-toes and gave him a peck on his lips. “I look
forward to it.”
Warren stepped up to Sara
and hugged her. “I’ll see you later.”
Cino is a multi-published author who has been writing since she was fourteen
years old. She started her career by writing poetry, short stories and writing
articles for her high school newspaper. After reading Jackie Collin’s Lovers
and Gamblers and Jacqueline Susann’s, Valley of the Dolls, Karen
found her niche. Karen loves writing about local places that people can relate
loves the summer, loves the beach. Her previous books were written and took
place in various locations in Staten Island. Her Cookie Cutter Cozy Mystery
Series takes place at the New Jersey Shore.
is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Sisters in Crime and
Romance Writers of America.
Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008LCG31Y
Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Karen-Cino-296585170371401/