Friday, October 22, 2021

Kids Say the Darnedest Things @AmyPershing

LUCY BURDETTE: I loved our guest Amy Pershing's first book and we are delighted to welcome her back to tell us about #2. Take it away Amy!

AMY PERSHING: More years ago than I care to count, I began reading Martha Grimes’s Richard Jury mysteries and fell in love.  Not with New Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury (sexy as he is) or his aristocratic friend Melrose Plant (adorable as he is) but with the children that Jury and Plant encounter during the course of their investigations.  There’s usually at least one clear-sighted youngster enlivening each book, and Ms. Grimes handling of Jury's and Melrose’s interactions with them is at once unsentimental and hilarious.



Which may be why in my Cape Cod Foodie series, I get such a kick out of writing about the relationship between my sleuth, Samantha Barnes, and her best friend’s little boys, also known as Thing One, Thing Two and Thing Three (ten, eight, and six years old, respectively). The boys do have names (Ethan, Eli, and Evan, respectively) though Sam often cannot remember them. In AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR, being a holiday book, the boys make a number of appearances, which made me soooo happy. Here are just a few instances:


The Scene:  Santa Claus arrives in Town Cove by boat:

Coming around the curve from the narrow, reed-rimmed estuary that leads into Town Cove was the Harbor Patrol’s Grady White with Santa Claus standing in the bow, resplendent in his plush red suit and an enormous white polyester beard. As the boat nosed its way up to the dock, he waved one white-gloved hand and the kids in the crowd went wild. All except Evan Singleton.

I like this kid a lot. He is serious and thoughtful and seems much wiser than his six years. Also, he has no filter. He says whatever he is thinking. While his brothers rushed forward to catch one of the candy canes that Santa was now tossing to his adoring fans, Evan stepped back, surveying the scene solemnly. There was a temporary hush when Santa raised his hand for silence, presumably so the crowd could hear him ask the obligatory “Have you been good boys and girls?” But before he could say his line, Evan took the opportunity to pipe up, high and clear, “Santa Claus has a nose like a potato.” Awkward.


The Scene: Sam and Jenny take the Three Things bowling:

Just renting the shoes was an ordeal, as each boy had strong feelings about what color he wanted. Evan, who at six had already established a firm no-negotiation policy, wanted red shoes to match his hair. Eli, at eight a devoted follower of the International Candlepin Bowling Association, wanted black shoes like the current Hall of Fame champion. And Ethan, at ten the oldest of the three and therefore the coolest by law, said he “didn’t give a poop” as long as his shoes weren’t the same as either of his brothers’. Thank god for the red and blue model.


The Scene: The boys arrive to decorate holiday cookies:

At just that moment, an unholy din broke out in the driveway.

“That must be the little darlings now,” I said.

A volley of joyful barks joined the chorus outside, by which I gathered that Diogi was back from his walk.

Within minutes, the entire circus had invaded my kitchen.

“Auntie Sam! Auntie Sam!” Evan shouted. “There’s snow! Outside! Piles and piles of it!”

I don’t know when or how I became Auntie Sam to Evan. It made me feel about a hundred years old. But if my little friend wanted to call me his auntie, who was I to complain? If I was perfectly honest with myself (which I tend avoid at all costs), it made me feel, I don’t know, loved?

“And look what we’ve got,” Ethan announced, waving some kind of lime-green plastic contraption under my nose. I leaned away and on further inspection could see that the contraption was a semi-flexible plastic stick with a kind of cup on the end. Each boy had one, each in a different Day-Glo color.

“You’ve got toilet plungers?”

This was greeted with gales of laughter.

“Noooo!” Eli responded with all the disdain of an eight-year-old for the adult’s lack of technological knowledge. “It’s a snowball thrower.”

I looked at Jenny inquiringly.

“Early Christmas presents,” she explained. “The snow won’t last long. And, quite frankly, I’d give them a pony if it would give me an hour to myself.”

I’d like a pony,” I said automatically. But I knew I would never get a pony, no matter who I asked.

“You can’t believe how much farther you can throw with these things,” Eli the Info Kid informed me solemnly. “It’s science.”

“I’m sure it is,” I replied equally solemnly. “Now why don’t you guys go out and show Diogi how they work.”

As the boys trooped out, Diogi leading the pack, I said to Jenny, “There. My contribution to your sanity.”


The Scene:  The results of the holiday cookie decorating:

Well, I can’t say the cookies were exactly beautiful, but they certainly were eye-catching. The boys’ overall approach seemed to be “more is more.” Red hots and silver balls elbowed each other for space on the same little angel. One frog appeared to be wearing solid gold lamé. Rainbow confetti encrusted Evan’s Diogi cookie.


The Scene: Christmas Eve’s Feast of the Five Fishes

My parents have an unaccountable fondness for the Three Things. It may date from the time we were all at the Singletons for dinner and Jenny had tried to convince Eli that the greens he was refusing to eat were “superfood,” and Eli had said flatly, “Well, I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” Hard not to love that kid.


How about you?  Do you find it hard not to love the kids in the books you write/read? Do you have favorites? (And there’s a copy of An Eggnog to Die For waiting for one lucky commenter!)


AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR, coming November 9 and available for preorder now



Christmas is coming to Cape Cod, but when Sam Barnes finds a very dead Santa in a very hip restaurant, it’s up to her to sift out suspects who have been naughty vs. nice…


Professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a simple Christmas list: a quiet holiday at home with her dog and a certain handsome harbormaster; no embarrassing viral videos; and no finding dead bodies. Unfortunately she’s got family visiting, she’s spending a lot of time in front of the camera, and she’s just stumbled over the lifeless body of the town’s Santa Claus.

 

Plus, Sam’s plans for Christmas Eve are getting complicated.  There’s the great eggnog debate among her very opinionated guests.  There’s the “all edible” Christmas tree to decorate.  And there’s her Feast of the Five Fishes to prepare. Nonetheless, Sam finds herself once again in the role of sleuth. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa—but can she pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?



About the author: Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before leading employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago she waved goodbye to Wall Street to write full time. An Eggnog to Die For is the second of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef who retreats home to Cape Cod where she finds herself juggling a new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie,” a complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, a ginormous puppy and a propensity for falling over dead bodies. Kirkus Reviews gave An Eggnog to Die For a starred review, saying, "A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens." A Side of Murder, the first of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries, which Elizabeth Gilbert called “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read,” was the first book in the series.  The third, Murder Is No Picnic, will be published in May 2022.

82 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your new book, Amy . . . it will be fun to see how Sam manages all those Christmas tasks while tracking down the Santa killer . . . .

    Oh, goodness, I do love kids in the book I read [Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird” immediately to mind; Jack in “Room”]. Thing One, Thing Two, and Thing Three are adorable [and the bowling shoes episode is just laugh-out-loud funny] . . . .

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    1. Scout! I love Scout. There's a girl who doesn't suffer fools gladly.

      The bowling shoe incident came right out of a birthday bowling party for my older son, who refused to wear the same shoes as his brother. (They also refuse to like or hate the same foods -- ie, Thing One likes only the whites of eggs, hates the yolks, while Thing Two loves the yolks, hates the whites. This was all part of their evil plan to drive me c-r-a-z-y.)

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  2. Amy, congratulations on your new novel and welcome to Jungle Reds! I want to read your books now that I know more about your books. I love seeing children in novels and these kids are beyond adorable. Kids do say the darn things and these one liners made me laugh.

    This reminded me of a children's story about a young child saying the emperor has no clothes.

    Diana

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    1. You're absolutely right, Diana! I hadn't made the connection to the emperor has no clothes, but that's a classic example of truth from the mouth of babes.

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  3. I've read some kids that were very annoying. But most of the time, they are fun.

    Congrats on the new book!

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    1. I think you just described my kids, Mark -- sometimes very annoying but most of the time fun ;)

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    2. My guess is I just described almost all kids. :)

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  5. AMY: Welcome back to JRW and congratulations on the upcoming release of Cape Cod Foodie mystery #2!

    Like you, I loved the quirky, strong (often orphaned) young ones in the early Richard Jury books. But similar to Mark, it's a mixed bag for me whether having kids in books as background characters works or is needed in the story.

    From those snippets you provided for book #2, it seems like Jenny's 3 boys have distinct personalities and quirks that will make me laugh and provide good background and breaks for Sam while she solves the mystery. I also love how they are called Thing 1,2,3 by Sam!

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    1. Sorry, I redid my original post since I saw a whopper of a typo in the last paragraph. That's what happens when you visit and post to JRW first thing in the early morning without coffee!

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    2. Ahahahaha! Been there, done that!

      And you're right about using the Three Things as comic relief when things get a bit grim. I also like the way Sam is, in spite of herself, coming to like the little devils...

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    3. Agreed, I think Sam will start to like them as she gets to know them better. And a Christmas-time story has to have Santa and the 3 E's. But I do have a soft spot for DIOGI!

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  6. Yay, Amy! Waving hi with excitement because I already love this series. So many congratulations.

    You're making me realize I haven't had children - yet - in my Country Store series. A little way down (up?) the Cape from the Three Things, though, my Cozy Capers books have five year old Cokie, my protag's niece, and she is so much fun to write. Play date with our fictional kiddos one day? They could solve the crime!

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    1. Let me amend that. There is a teenager, Sean, in the Country Store books. By now he's sixteen and Robbie's stepson. (How could I have forgotten him?)

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    2. Well, first of all, Edith, THANK YOU for the kind words! And second, we'd all like to forget the teenagers in our lives (and if they're in our books, they're in our lives) sometimes...

      I think you do Cokie brilliantly and I expect she and the Three Things would be hilarious together. Let's do it!

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  7. Amy,

    Congrats on the upcoming release of An Eggnog To Die For. I'm really looking forward to reading it as I quite enjoyed the first book. Are you planning any distanced signings, just curious.

    I'm trying to think of a kid character that I like but off the top of my head I can't come up with one. But I'm thinking of a consequential character rather than one who just happens to exist and pops up every once in a while with no real tie to the main plot. Ooooh wait, I like Ellie from Edith's Local Foods series. That's one.

    I'm sure there are others but now that I need to remember them, I can't.

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    1. I had so much fun writing 14-year-old girl scout Ellie! Glad you like her, Jay.

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    2. I'm so glad you liked A Side of Murder, Jay. I did some wonderful outdoor,in-person book signings at a few stores on Cape Cod over the summer, but given all the uncertainty going into the colder months, I don't think that will be happening for An Eggnog to Die For. Sigh.

      If I had to name my favorite kid character in the mystery genre, it would have to be Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce. Brilliant and caustic, Flavia takes no prisoners.

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    3. YES to Flavia de Luce! A unique young protagonist.

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    4. Edith, I like Danna in the Country Store mysteries as well, but while she's her mom's kid, she's not a kid.

      Amy, that's a bummer about no book signings but I'm not entirely shocked. But I figured it didn't hurt to ask.

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  8. I love this series and the kids scene had me laughing. I like that the scenes are not intrusive, but rather a relief from looking for a killer.

    There were a few books with kids that I loved and one is in my head but can't remember the title but the kid's name was Cookie.

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    1. Thanks so much, Dru! If I've made you laugh, I've done my job! As you say, the kids are there to lighten up the tale.

      I bet you're thinking of Edith's Cokie in Edith's Cozy Capers series. (see above)

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  9. Amy, welcome back to JRW and hurray on the publication of An Eggnog to Die For! I loved A Side of Murder. I am just such a sucker for stories with old flames reignited! I am waiting for this book!

    I'd have to say that my favorite kids in mysteries are Kit and Toby. They aren't just props or diversions, they help define the main characters in Deb's books. The relationships that the kids have with all the other members of the cast, tell much about each of those people, too. The difference between Duncan's family and Gemma's is stark, especially when Charlotte joins the crew.

    It's great that Jenny's boys will have more chances to shine in Eggnog. It will be fun to see how your three Things add humor to your Christmas mystery.

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    1. "Old flames reignited" -- can I steal that great phrase from you, Judy?

      Okay, first of all, Debra Crombie is my HERO. The Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels just get better and better -- deeply textured, compulsively readable and totally relatable. What a series!

      Hope you love An Eggnog to Die For (and the Three Things contribution to the madness)!

      And, yes, that wonderful blended family! I have loved Kit and Toby from the moment they each made their first appearance in the series. (I also enjoyed Viv Holland's eleven-year-old daughter, Grace, in A Bitter Feast.) Honestly, nobody does family better than Deb.

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    2. I agree about Kit, Toby and Charlotte. They are also my favourites.

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    3. Me, too, I also love the family interactions in Debs' books.

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    4. Yes! Kit, Toby, Charlotte. And I look forward to reading about Clare and Russ's little guy as he grows.

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    5. Oh, you are all so nice!! Thank you!!!

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  10. I loved the first book in your series, Amy, and already have the second book on pre-order. Can't wait to read it. As a woman with no children, I can completely relate to Sam's ambivalence about the Three Things, but at 6:30 am, I am fresh out of sharable stories involving children. I'll leave that to you.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoy Sam's ambivalence, Gigi. I have to confess, now that my boys are grown and have long since left the nest, I'm finding I'm a little ambivalent myself about other people's kids ;)

      But here's just one example of how adorable (she says modestly) my kids are/were:
      Nick was five and just learning to read, which meant he had to read EVERY SINGLE road or store sign out loud as we drove by.

      One day, we were waiting for the light to change near our local deli. Nick takes a look at the sign in the window and says slowly, working it out, "Pizza, hot dogs, sand, sand..." and gives up.

      I glance over at the sign. "Sandwiches," I say.

      "Sandwiches?!" he says in disbelief. "That's how you spell sammitch?!"

      I didn't have the heart to tell him that spaghetti isn't spelled bisgetti.

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  11. Congratulations, Amy! I like reading kids in books if (like you) they sound like *kids* not miniature adults. It's easy for me to spot authors who are trying to write kids without ever having the experience of being around them.

    And your comment to Edith above about forgetting teenagers made me snort. There were times when my two were teenagers that I'd gladly have forgotten about them. LOL

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    1. Liz, believe me, I get it. At one point my 17-year-old, who had been teenagering the life out of me, came into my room and said, "Hey, Mom, sorry I was such as a**hole." And I said to him, "That's okay. I figure it's the Universe's way of making sure my heart doesn't break when you go off to college." (And yet it did.)

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  12. I love the scenes you posted Amy and I’m looking forward to read your new book.
    More than once did I choose a book because there was a child ( especially a young one ) in it.

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    1. How great, then, that the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries have THREE!

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  13. Amy, thanks for the morning laughs! As someone with no children but nine nephews, I can relate to little boys! I'll definitely be picking up An Eggnog to Die For as soon as I catch up with the first book. And yes to Richard Jury, Melrose Plant, and the children with which Martha Grimes peoples her books. My favorite is Abby in The Old Silent. And love the animals in those books, too.

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    1. Nine nephews?! That's about eight nephews too many...

      And you're absolutely right about the animals in Martha Grimes' books. The woman is a genius.

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  14. Amy, I loved your first book so I'm sure I'll love this one too. Kids in books are fine as long as they are kids, speaking real kid-speak, not snark like so many are on TV.

    For no reason I was just reminded how my son, maybe 4 at the time, was with me as I drove to the window at the bank. drive up on my side," he told me, "so I can get money too." And there was the time my 3 year-old-granddaughter noticed I had put on lipstick. Her wanting to do the same thing was very apparent. She studied my lips for a few moments and then said "we could kiss." You just have to love the things they come out with!

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    1. Well both of those kids just made my day. Can I steal both those stories and use them in my books?

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  15. Amy, congratulations on the new book! It sounds like a lot of fun... well timed. And I DO enjoy well written kid characters

    It's not easy to write good kids without resorting to streotypes, and I always feel like I can sense when the author hasn't really been around children--if you write them into a scene you can't just have them go silent for great long stretches because kids do... not... go... silent for long stretches. Especially not the 6-and-under set, and cute very soon bleeds into annoying. Hard to manage when you're trying to build suspense. But good for misdirection.

    Some of the authors whose kid-characters I've admired: Robert Dugoni and William Kent Kruger. And of course Deb's Kit, Toby, and Charlotte. Wondering what Julia thinks about having Clare get pregnant...

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    1. Not only do they not... go... silent, they follow you into the bathroom and just keep talking at you.

      I'm with you on William Kent Kruger -- the twelve-year-old Cork in Lightening Strike was wonderfully done. I confess to not having read Robert Dugoni, though now that I've done my research on Goodreads, it becomes clear that I have been remiss.

      And I, for one, am delighted that Clare got pregnant.

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  16. Congratulations on your upcoming release! I used to make homemade eggnog until my salmonella-fearing mother put a stop to it. I write about teenagers, their whims, foibles, dirty laundry, and "before bed" pizzas, because dinner was, like, three hours ago.

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    1. Have I got an eggnog recipe for you! Check out my post on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen on Oct.31 for Halloween Eggnog. No salmonella problem there!(And you can skip the pumpkin spice if you want to go classic.)

      I hope you also write about how teenagers at a rule like to get up at the crack of noon...

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  17. You are not going to believe this, but a friend's three grandchildren are named Ethan, Eli and Evan. Brothers, and they live in California (no snow for them). And I always get them mixed up.

    Congratulations on the new book, Amy. It sounds like you're having fun writing these wild boys! Which means it will be fun reading about them.

    Flavia de Luce is my hands-down favorite. I also enjoy the complex parental/child relationships Faye Kellerman writes about in her Decker-Lazarus mysteries. There are hers, his, and theirs, and the reader sees them all growing up throughout the series, including one becoming a police detective like Peter Decker.

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    1. That is so amazingly weird. I suggest you call them Thing One, Thing Two and Thing Three for convenience.

      Flavia is THE BEST. And you're right about Faye Kellerman's Decker/Lazarus mysteries, which I've always loved.

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  18. Congratulations on the book! When I read a series, all the characters become very real but especially the kids and the pets.

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    1. Well, all I can say is the Three Things are very real (as in a lot of trouble) but also a lot of fun! And I think you'll love Samantha Barnes' ginormous puppy, Diogi.

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  19. I love that Carl Rose cartoon, too~-what a classic! (And I say that spinach line all the time.So funny!)
    My grandson is Eli, and he is equally adorable. I have two favorite kid characters of my own--Penny, the nine-year-old in the Charlie McNally books, preteen and funny and trying to handle a divorce and a dead fish; and in Her Perfect Life, 7-year old Rowen, who loves poetry and penguins and is testing her mom every minute of the day.
    Congratulations on your book--long may you write, so we can go to the Things' weddings!

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    1. I've always wanted to know who did that New Yorker cartoon! My mother had it on our fridge for ages. Also, just googled Carl Rose, and did you know that E.B. White wrote the caption? (Just another example of the rabbit hole that is google.)

      I have a confession to make. I tend to avoid thrillers with children in them because I am so afraid that something awful will happen to them. But I held my breath and read Her Perfect Life anyway (because I ALWAYS read your thrillers), and I'm SO glad I did. Rowen is my kind of girl!

      And now I have to go back and read the Charlie McNally books because I somehow missed those (maybe because you wrote them during the financial crisis and I was working 24/7 for, of all things, a financial services company). So that's something to look forward to!

      And you are officially invited to the Three Things weddings! Because they will be a hoot.

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  20. Amy, you know how much I've been looking forward to this book (preordered ages ago!) I love the Three Things and imagine you have a blast writing them. I love writing all three of the kids in my series--but they are so different. However, my most recent Favorite Kid is in a book called Rosalyn Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall, the heroine's eight-year-old daughter, Amelie. She is a hoot!!

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    1. Deb (if I may), You have been so incredibly supportive of my work! And how do I repay you? I misspell your name in my response to Judy (above). That's just the kind of friend I am...

      I will never be able to touch you for writing about kids, but I'm glad that you enjoy the Three Things. To tell the truth, I love them, too.

      So I just looked up Rosalyn Palmer Takes the Cake (GREAT title) and do you know what I did? I just bought it right then and there. So thank you for that (among so many other things).

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    2. Oh, I'm so glad! I loved this book and am always recommending it. I love British Bake Off and it's set in a fictional version, so that and the adorable, funny kid helped make it a winner for me!

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    3. Amy, I'm reading Stanley Tucci's memoir (thanks, Gigi, for lending!) and am astounded by his accounts of what he ate as a kid. I think I'll have to consult you as to what I should be feeding my fictional boys. (Mom of a girl, here, and am astounded by how much boys eat, lol)

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    4. I need to get my hands on Tucci's memoir! I so want to see his TV food series, but it's on some streaming channel that we don't have. Sigh.

      As to feeding fictional boys, it pretty much comes down to pizza, bisgetti (see above) and waffles. Lots of each. Also, oddly, my boys loved artichokes. Go figure.

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  21. I guess I haven't read a lot of books that have kids in them, but the ones that do I liked. I've read more that have animals, which can be like our kids sometimes!

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    1. I totally agree! We just had our "grandpuppy" visit us for a week, and let me tell you, it was just as much work (and fun!) as having a toddler in the house!

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  22. Amy, reading these excerpts has sold me - I'm ordering AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR. I don't even care about the mystery - I could read about Samantha and the Three Things all day.

    The thing that makes children so interesting in fiction is that, in some way, they're a slightly different species from adults. I mean, we were all children, but once you leave Neverland, as it were, their thought processes and emotions are always a bit of a mystery.

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    1. Thank you, Julia! I'm so glad you enjoy spending time with Sam and the Three Things. And I love how you describe children as being a slightly different species. I think that explains how fascinating (and unknowable) they are.

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  23. Talk about sass and fun! What great excerpts. I'll be off to Amazon in a minute, but first, I need to thank you for a memory. My mother came from a sprawling French/Italian family the first generation of which were farmers. Raise your own workforce. My great aunt was great with most of the names, but for some reason couldn't remember my brother's name. She called him Thing! Oh, yes, we also celebrated Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Five Fishes. Bring on the salt cod!

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    1. Raise your own workforce. Well, that made me laugh out loud!

      My father was incapable of remembering his three sons' names, particularly if they were doing something like trying to set fire to the cat. At which point, he would yell, "Johntimdan, you cut that out right now!"

      And I LOVE salt cod!

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  24. Congratulations on the next book in the series. While I am very much like Sam towards kids in real life, I do enjoy kids in books very much. The Three Things make me giggle a lot. aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Well,you can always walk away from kids in books. In real life, they just follow you around...

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  25. Love it, Amy! Those boys are human tornadoes with mouths. Remembering the old TV show "Kids Say the Darndest Things" I'd be shaking in my boots if I were their mother. I'm always fascinated by the kids in Martha Grimes's books and their reactions to Jury and Plant. Especially Plant! With all the noise and enthusiasm the 3 Things remind me of the kids in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

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    1. "human tornadoes with mouths" !!! Can I use that? And I loved Kids Say the Darnedest Things! Even when I was a kid...

      Yes, Plant definitely has a way with kids. Maybe because in a way he's never really grown up himself?

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  26. The kids are perfect!

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  27. Fantastic, Amy! I loved your first book and can't wait to dive into book 2. Your three Things (LOL!) are spot on, and I adore having kids pop up in mysteries because they ground the sleuths with some truth bombs and a shot of reality. Well done!

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    1. My apologies, Jenn! I see that my reply to you wasn't a reply at all but a separate comment below. Put it down to newbie nerves ;)

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  28. Thanks so much for the incredibly kind words. All I want to do now is get on the phone and tell my besties that the author of Wait for It and the Cupcake Bakery mysteries liked my book. But instead I will pour myself a glass of wine and THEN call and tell them that. Because celebrating.

    You are so right about "truth bombs." My boys had an unerring sense of when to drop one. Quinn once asked a particularly unpleasant neighbor of ours if she was a witch. Awkward.

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  29. No kids or pets here so I enjoy reading about them. I liked your first book so am looking forward to reading this one.

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  30. I really enjoy kids in books. They truly do say the darndest things. I am reading A Side of Murder right now and I am enjoying the three things.

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  31. Actually I prefer animals in books versus children!

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  32. Well, you're in luck, Linda, because the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries feature Diogi the wonder dog!

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