Author Guest Post
Setting as Character
One feature that all my favorite cozy mystery series have in common is a setting that is as much a part of the story as the characters and the mystery plot. When settings are portrayed with the same detail and vibrancy as the main characters, they seem to come alive and have a personality of their own. Colorful, enjoyable characters will keep me coming back to a particular cozy series, but so will settings. The best combination is when both the characters and the community become so familiar that they feel like long-time friends, ones you miss if you stay away from them for too long. That's how my favorite series make me feel. It's almost like a sense of homesickness, one that leaves me eager to once again spend time in a particular fictional world.
As a writer, the concept of setting as character is one that's often on my mind. With my Pancake House Mysteries, I really wanted the small seaside town to draw readers in as much as the characters and plot. The town of Wildwood Cove was inspired by the beach where my family went on vacation each summer while I was growing up. To this day, that beach is one of my favorite places in the world and it's a source of many happy memories.
When I created Wildwood Cove, I wanted to inject the seaside town with the feelings those memories bring to me. I love the sound of ocean waves breaking upon the shore, the smell of salty air, the feel of soft sand beneath my feet, and all the other sights, smells, sounds, and sensations associated with a beautiful beach. I wanted to incorporate all of those things into the Pancake House Mysteries, to allow readers to feel like they're actually there on Wildwood Beach with the main character, Marley McKinney.
To do that, I drew heavily on my own memories and focused on Marley's senses, not just what she sees, but what she smells and feels whenever she's on the beach. Writing this series makes me miss the beach where I used to spend my vacations, but it also allows me to revisit it in a way, to remember all my favorite things about it.
My hope is that by using memories and sensations to give life to the setting and story, readers will grow as attached to Wildwood Cove as I already am. When I've been away from writing this series for any length of time, I miss Wildwood Cove in the same way that I miss the communities of the cozies that I love to read. Hopefully those who read The Crêpes of Wrath and the next books in the series will feel the same way.
Being a fan of cozies as a reader is important to my writing, because I know what I love in a cozy series, what draws me back to a series time and time again, so I know what I want to incorporate into my own mysteries. By putting as much life into the setting as I do into the characters, I hope that Wildwood Cove will become like a familiar friend to readers, and that they'll want to return again and again in the future.
About The Author
The Crepes of Wrath by Sarah Fox
Book 1: Pancake House Mystery Series
Publisher: Alibi / Penguin Random House Publishing
Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Format: eBook - 257 pages
Kindle - 6124 KB
Nook - 6 MB
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Buy The Book:
Amazon - US
Amazon - CA
Barnes & Noble
Penguin Random House Publishing
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.
When Marley McKinney’s aging cousin, Jimmy, is hospitalized with pneumonia, she agrees to help run his pancake house while he recovers. With its rustic interior and syrupy scent, the Flip Side Pancake House is just as she pictured it—and the surly chef is a wizard with crêpes. Marley expects to spend a leisurely week or two in Wildwood Cove, the quaint, coastal community where she used to spend her summers, but then Cousin Jimmy is found murdered, sprawled on the rocks beneath a nearby cliff.
After she stumbles across evidence of stolen goods in Jimmy’s workshop, Marley is determined to find out what’s really going on in the not-so-quiet town of Wildwood Cove. With help from her childhood crush and her adopted cat, Flapjack, Marley sinks her teeth into the investigation. But if she’s not careful, she’s going to get burned by a killer who’s only interested in serving up trouble.
My Book Review:
In The Crepes of Wrath, the first book in the Pancake House Mystery series, author Sarah Fox weaves an intriguing cozy mystery tale that follows the amateur sleuth adventures of Marley McKinney, when she tries to solve the murder of her cousin Jimmy Coulson.
Set in the quaint seaside coastal town of Wildwood Cove, Washington, Marley took a leave of absence from her legal assistant job in Seattle to help run her cousin Jimmy's Flip Side Pancake House while he is in the hospital recovering from pneumonia.
Marley's life is turned upside down when Jimmy's dead body is discovered on the rocks at Myler's Point on Wildwood Beach. Jimmy had self-discharged himself from the hospital that morning, only to wind up murdered on the opposite side of the cove from his house. With the help of her childhood crush Brett Collins, Marley embarks on a search for clues into the identity of Jimmy's murderer in order to clear his name before she becomes the next victim.
The Crepes of Wrath is an intriguing whodunit tale that has enough quirky characters, witty banter and humor, drama, secrets, a growing list of suspects, and surprising twists and turns, that will easily keep you guessing the identity of the murderer. You can't help but get caught up in the drama and calamity that ensues as Marley tries to solve her cousin's murder. Amy's amateur investigative adventure unfolds with a wonderful balance of comedy, drama, suspense, and sweet romance that easily kept me guessing, and left me wanting more.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I really enjoyed the author's rich description of the quaint seaside coastal town of Wildwood Cove, it's colorful townsfolk, and the mouth watering variety of breakfast and lunch food items that is served at the Flip Side Pancake house. You can't help but feel the salty sea air and wish that you could visit this charming coastal town and sink your feet into its sand and surf.
The Crepes of Wrath is an entertaining cozy murder mystery that will engage you to join in the crazy adventures and trials and tribulations that occur in Wildwood Cove, while providing you with a nice dose of charm and humor.
RATING: 4 STARS
Virtual Book Tour
August 16 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – INTERVIEW
August 16 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
August 16 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
August 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
August 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
August 18 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
August 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 19 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
August 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
August 19 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – SPOTLIGHT
August 20 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 21 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW
August 22 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
August 23 – Ashleyz Wonderland – REVIEW
August 23 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
August 24 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW
August 24 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
August 25 – Book Babble – REVIEW
August 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
August 27 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
August 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 28 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
August 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
August 30 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
August 31 – The Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT
August 31 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW