A Day in the Life of Piper Lamb by Mary Ellen Hughes

The Pickled PiperMy first day at the Cloverdale fair went great. I’d taken a booth to advertise my new shop, Piper’s Picklings, which I’d set up after my move to Cloverdale in upstate New York, and it was definitely working. Maybe it was my unique (and expensive!) pickle barrel, designed to look like the old fashioned ones that used to be in general stores. It held my home-made dill pickles, floating in brine, and people could pick out their own with a pair of tongs—which lots of them did! I knew my dills would go great with the fair’s lunches of hot dogs and hamburgers.

But I also had jars of plenty of other pickles—from bread and butters and pickled cauliflower to pickled watermelon rind and zucchini—for people to buy and take home, and those were selling like, well, like hotcakes. With every sale, I explained the process of pickling and encouraged newbies to give it a try. My new shop carried everything they’d need, along with scads of recipes for all things pickled and preserved.

I was in seventh heaven, talking about my favorite topic all day long as well as getting to know lots of townspeople. I knew a few already, having spent many childhood summers at my aunt and uncle’s nearby farm. But Will Burchett had only recently moved to the area, and I met him for the first time when Aunt Judy sent me off to the fund-raising booth where he was flipping burgers. Those bright blue eyes of his definitely set off a few sparks, though I wasn’t sure I was ready for a new romance, having just broken off an engagement back in Albany.

Not everyone I met that day, though, was so likeable. One of the town’s councilmen, Alan Rosemont, got into an argument near my booth with a local musician that nearly came to blows. Alan looked a bit ridiculous, actually, because he was wearing his kilt, which sagged low because of his paunch. But at least he didn’t have his bagpipes with him. I’d heard he thought he was the town’s outstanding bagpiper, which might have been true since he was the town’s only bagpiper. But I’d also heard that he’d aggravated quite a few with his odd-hours practicing.

When the younger of the two combatants walked away—with clenched fists, to be sure, but still away—I thought the problem had ended. How was I to know that one of them would end up dead and ruining my precious pickle barrel to boot?

Not the greatest way to start off a new pickling venture, to be sure!


You can read more about Piper in The Pickled Piper, the first book in the new “Pickled and Preserved” mystery series published by Berkley Prime Crime. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY
Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on May 9, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of THE PICKLED PIPER. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Mary Ellen Hughes is the author of the Craft Corner Mysteries, including Wreath of Deception, String of Lies, and Paper-Thin Alibi, as well as the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, Resort to Murder and A Taste of Death. She lives in Maryland with her husband, who has long provided her with bounties of homegrown vegetables for preserving and pickling as well as unique inspirations for mysteries.

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38 responses to “A Day in the Life of Piper Lamb by Mary Ellen Hughes

  1. I have have read all her other books so I am happy to see she has a new series. Excited to read this.

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  2. Love trying new cozy series! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

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  3. I think this is a new author to me. What a way to start reading her books!

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  4. yays!!! another new series!!!!
    thank you for the heads-up & the giveaway!!!

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  5. Debbie Carnes

    This sounds great. I wish there was a store around that sold all that pickling . Would love to read this, is now on my TRL

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  6. I’m looking forward to this new series. It sounds terrific!

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  7. Barbara Jones

    I have enjoyed other books by this author so I know I will enjoy this one!

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  8. What a fun series. Thank you for the chance to win

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  9. I’d love to start this series!

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  10. I love getting in on the beginning of a new series. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  11. Ava Curtis

    Sounds great love to read thank you

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  12. If Mary Ellen’s new series is as charming as her craft series, we’re all in for a treat!

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  13. Kathy Gonzales

    I absolutely love the title, can’t wait to read this one !

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  14. Sound like a great cozy mystery

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  15. Jennie Knight

    What a unique setting, a pickle shop at the fair. Can’t wait to read.

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  16. My absolutely fav thing on earth are pickles and I am looking forward to reading this

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  17. staci nauert

    Looks like a different kind of read. A interesting fun read

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  18. I’ve never read this author. I would love to start with this book! Thank you!

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  19. Stephanie Carr

    Love stories with settings like this–I’D REALLY LOVE TO WIN.

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  20. I want to see how your precious pickle barrel gets ruined.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  21. What an interesting introduction to this book. Would love to read this story.

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  22. This book sounds like a good story and also funny. I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance.

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  23. carolee888

    Love bread and butter pickles, this cozy sound like a fun read. Thank you for the chance.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  24. Cynthia E. Blain

    Sounds like a series that I will definitely enjoy; anything regarding food is right up my alley. I have loved the other series by Mary Ellen and will be looking forward to ordering this new book as well. Thank you for the giveaway. What a cute cover too. Very inviting colors and graphics/pictures.

    Cynthia

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  25. I’m drooling, you had me at pickled, I can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  26. Kristin A.

    Sounds like a great new series!

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  27. kayekillgore

    Sounds like a fun new series.
    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

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  28. Barbara Tobey

    Food, reading…two of my favorite things.

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  29. Looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the great post and the chance to win

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  30. How rude to spoil a pickle barrel!

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  31. Can’t wait to see what kind of pickles! Loved my granny’s bread & butter pickles. Even though i learned from her, mine never turn out as good as hers! Thanks for the giveaway

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  32. Kavitha Perla

    Sounds like a good read.

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  33. Debra Woloson

    This sounds so fun & interesting. I have aunts and a grandmother who used to pickle their own pickles but I never have. I can’t wait to read this & find her other series also. Thanks for the review and the giveaway.

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  34. Stacie Amelotte

    Heard lots of good things about this series. Anxious to check it out. Would love to win. 🙂

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  35. I love that she’s passionate about pickling!

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  36. Anita Yancey

    It sounds like a fun read. I love the name of the book. Thanks for having the giveaway.

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  37. Karen Terry

    I love mysteries. I want to win.

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  38. contest is closed.

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