A Day With Merry Wynter by Victoria Hamilton

Bran New DeathA normal day in my life? Right now there is no normal. Not too long ago I was assistant to a diva fashion model, and before that I was a stylist. I didn’t do hair, I didn’t do make up, I ‘styled’; that is, I coordinated a ‘look’ for a client. I love fashion and like dressing up, even if I am plus-sized. It’s all in knowing how to dress, no matter your size or shape!

But now that the aforementioned diva fashion model fired me? Now I’m trying to figure out how to spiff up an eighteenth century American castle so I can sell it. To make a long story short, my great uncle, Melvyn Wynter – who I didn’t even know was alive and hadn’t seen except for once when I was five – left me Wynter Castle in upstate New York. It’s an amazing property, but impossible for one person to look after or keep. I have to sell it, even though I’m really beginning to like the folks of Autumn Vale, the nearby town.

A side comment is needed here before I do any complaining; I know I’m lucky to have a castle left to me. But it’s kind of like being left a perfect, fabulous, historical diamond necklace; I can’t afford to keep it, and no one else can afford to buy it. So what do I do? I love it: can’t keep it: can’t seem to sell it.

Now, on to talking about life at Wynter Castle: the very first day I came to Autumn Vale I met Gogi Grace, and learned that she was the owner of a retirement home and that she wanted me to make muffins for them. I make fabulous muffins… carrot, bran, banana, chocolate chip, you name it, I make it. I am doing as she asks, of course; I have a feeling no one says ‘no’ to Gogi.

But I’m kind of wondering if the muffins are an excuse for her to come out to see the castle and maybe to feel me out, find out more about me. I understand that folks in town are wondering what I’m up to. There seems to be a certain amount of ill will and suspicion out there directed toward my great uncle. I am surrounded by mysteries. No one will talk about Melvyn’s death. No one will talk about why they think he killed his business partner, Rusty Turner and buried him on the castle property. Even Doc English, who was my uncle’s old friend, won’t say a whole lot.

By now I think you can see why there is no normal ‘day in the life of Merry Wynter’ in Autumn Vale. Wish me luck. Wish me a LOT of luck.


You can read more about Merry in Bran New Death, the first book in the new “Merry Muffin” mystery series by Victoria Hamilton, published by Berkley Prime Crime and released on September 3rd.


Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of BRAN NEW DEATH to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends September 11; US entries only per publisher’s request.


Bran New Death Synopsis: When Merry Wynter discovered that she inherited a genuine American Castle in the ‘wilds’ of upstate New York, her first reaction was to contact a real estate agent to sell it, sight unseen. Things were a little complicated, what with a lunatic employer making her life miserable. But after losing her job and with the castle not sold, Merry decides to trek to Wynter Castle to see what the problem is.

One barrier to selling is immediately evident; someone is digging giant holes on the property! Merry accuses local Tom Turner of being her late night gopher and warns him to stay off her property, or else, but it happens again. Merry storms out to confront whomever is doing the damage, but doesn’t count on finding a dead man at the bottom of the hole.

What is going on at Wynter Castle and in Autumn Vale? How can Merry convince hunky sheriff Virgil Grace that she is not the one who bashed the victim over the head?

Check out Bran New Death and Victoria Hamilton’s other series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries at Victoria’s website, on personal page Facebook, on Merry Muffin Facebook page or on Twitter.

Meet the author
Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.

Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.

She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Merry Muffin Mystery series, Victoria writes another mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series; Book 3, Freezer I’ll Shoot debuts November 5th.

41 responses to “A Day With Merry Wynter by Victoria Hamilton

  1. I love Victorias books, Bowled over is one of my favorite cozies ! When I heard she was starting a new series I was thrilled. I would love to win this , but I will buy it if I don’t !

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  2. I would love to try this one!

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  3. A cozy in a castle with a side of muffins. What could be more delicious?! I can’t wait to read this one ~

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  4. A castle…I love it and I also am very fond of cozies and also cozies with food! Dee

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  5. I’m interested in this character because of her former life as a stylist. Plus, any book mentioning food and I’m in. If there’s a dog involved, I’m going to have to go out and buy the thing!

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  6. I love the Vintage Kitchen mysteries so I know I will love this! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

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  7. I love cozy mysteries, castles , muffins and reading, lol, what more could I ask for. Oh yeah, to win the book lol

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  8. I’ve enjoyed Victoria’s Vintage Kitchen mysteries and can’t wait to read more about Merry! It’s a perfect time to think about muffins–in the fall, my baking gene goes into overdrive! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  9. Sounds like a very interesting read!

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  10. I just love castles even if they do get cold and drafty during the winter.
    I wonder if this one is based in fact? There are so many strange and wonderful homes dotting upstate NY.

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  11. Castles and food and mystery oh my Sounds great. Can’t wait to read and would love to win. Thanks for the chance

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  12. Stephanie Carr

    Aside from loving her name and the idea of the book–can’t wait to read!

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  13. Elaine Gajarsky

    Sounds like a good one !

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  14. Another one that sounds like a fun read. Thanks.

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  15. Since I have always wanted to live in a castle, I think this story sounds like one I will love.

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  16. Baking muffins in an upstate NY castle sounds wonderful

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  17. What a wonderful concept for a new series; cannot wait to get the book; love the Vintage Kitchen series too, Victoria/Donna Lea. We vacation often in Upstate New York so will be thinking of Wynter Castle next time we get to the Saratoga area. Loved the blog post/interview; great story/wonderful writing; Much success too.
    Thank you,
    Cynthia

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  18. You had me at “American castle.” Please put me in the draw. Thanks. judydee22002@yahoo dot com

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  19. An American castle—and muffins (hope there is a recipe—or many recipes)–I’m hooked.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  20. Ronda Morhaime

    This one is on my wish list. Thanks for the chance at a give away.

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  21. Adding this great book, to my reading list. Dru, thanks for introducing all these cozy authors & their books for us to read.

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  22. Dru, please put my name in the hat to win this book. I love this author, and would be thrilled to try this series. Thanks for the chance!

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  23. I have not yet read any of Victoria’s books. This one sounds very interesting.

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  24. Christine Keck

    I love cozy mysteries. Especially ones about food. I’ve gotten some of my favorite recipes that way.

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  25. I love the vintage kitchen series, but bad me, I haven’t read any more of her books. This sounds so good, and I am adding it to my tbr list. At the rate I’m going I will need a mainframe to get all of these great authors & their books listed. Thank you for the review and the giveaway.

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  26. I love the name Merry Wynter…can’t wait to read this one!

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  27. Never read a cozy set in a castle before. Sounds great, would to have some muffins to go with that!

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  28. Sounds like a great cozy mystery. Thanks for a great giveaway.

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  29. I love muffins and mysteries! This sounds like a series I would really enjoy!

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  30. I love Victoria’s Vintage Kitchen series and I love muffins, so this sounds like a good new series. Looking forward to reading this one too.

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  31. How neat, muffin mystery!! I would enjoy reading this book!

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  32. A castle, muffins, this sounds great. I have this on the tbr list. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  33. I loe the Vintage Kitchen series, so I am looking forward to this one,too.

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  34. Make that love.

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  35. Thank you so much, all, and I hope you enjoy Bran New Death, and the second book in the series, Muffin But Murder, coming out next August! I’m thrilled so many folks like the idea of an American castle… I based it on Beardslee Castle in Upstate New York!

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  36. I’ve actually already bought BRAN NEW DEATH, but I haven’t yet read it. I’ve been reading a book for the church ladies bookclub, but it’s almost finished.
    Should I win this copy, the one I purchased will go to another good home. 🙂

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  37. This book is enthralling. I’d love to read it.

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  38. Sounds like a fun read. Love titles…Freezer I’ll Shoot, too.

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  39. Thanks Victoria for telling us about Merry and her castle.

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  40. contest is closed.

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