Victoria Hamilton is the bestselling author of several mystery series including the national bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She describes herself as a solitary being who can be coaxed out of her writing cave for brownies and cat videos. She started her writing life as Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of Regency Romances, paranormal historical and historical mysteries, and still has a soft spot for the Regency period. Double or Muffin is the seventh Merry Muffin Mystery.
Double or Muffin and conspiracy theories
Victoria said she likes to tackle real life problems and concerns in the Merry Muffin Mysteries. In Double or Muffin, one character has been believing in and espousing conspiracy theories.
“Gordy has gotten into perilous situations as a result. I think it’s something many people are dealing with right now, family members and friends who have been misled by apocalyptic and conspiracy theories like those promoted by Q-Anon. In Double or Muffin he is out of the cult-like group he had been in and my main character, Merry Wynter, helped by her former cop husband Virgil Grace, is figuring out how to reconnect with him. Let’s just say that in the book, Gordy finds redemption and – I hope – the path to healing.”
Getting cozy with opera singing
“Double or Muffin features an opera singing talent competition filming in Merry’s inherited home, an American castle in Western New York State. I do watch reality show singing competitions like American Idol and The Voice, but the true inspiration was a reality singing show in Canada called Bathroom Divas; the title is a reference to singing in the bathroom, as some do because bathroom acoustics make everyone sound better! I enjoyed the show so much, and invented a show called Opera DivaNation. The show runs into trouble at the hotel in Rochester New York, where they were taking place, and so for the last few days of filming move to Merry’s home, Wynter Castle! Of course it’s a mystery novel, so… shenanigans are afoot!”
The life she always wanted
Victoria hopes that her mystery novels help readers escape the stresses of their daily lives. “Life can be tough and I know from experience that a mystery can help you escape. I feel so fortunate that they buy, read and enjoy my books! I write four different mystery series and have achieved the dreams I had as a kid, which was simply to write and be published. My readers afford me the only life I ever wanted… writing for a living. My greatest pleasure comes from reading their lovely letters that tell me how my books affect them.”
Who knew research could be so much fun?
“A forensic dive into a mystery writer’s internet search history would be an interesting – and alarming – task! For this book alone I had to research: window washing, filleting knives, steroid use among singers, and – this was fun! – how to mount a camera on a cat’s back. Yes… a camera… on a cat. What I’d love to tell readers is, they would be surprised how much research actually goes in to writing a simple cozy mystery! And it’s worth every minute to give people reading enjoyment. (Who am I kidding?? I LOVE research. You tell me that watching videos of cameras mounted on cat’s backs isn’t fun!)”
Victoria added that she recently watched an old Jack Lemmon/Virna Lisi movie, How to Murder Your Wife. “The whole first long scene is interesting, if you are curious about what a writer might do in the name of research! However… I’m not that kind of writer. The wildest my physical research gets is going into the dark basement and figuring out if I can find my way around by touch alone! “
Learn more about Victoria Hamilton at www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com. Did you like this interview? If so, click here to read more Behind the Story interviews from your favorite authors.a Rafflecopter giveaway