Bio: Robbie (Roberta) Jordan is a twenty-eight year old chef and carpenter living in South Lick, Indiana. She was born in Santa Barbara, California, but has now lived in Indiana for nearly five years. She learned carpentry from her late mother, Jeanine, and used her skills to renovate an old country store into a breakfast and lunch restaurant. She was briefly married but it didn’t work out. Her father is an Italian professor, Roberto Fracasso, who lives in Pisa.
How did you first meet your writer? I met her back in 2014 when she started writing about me.
Want to dish about him/her? She seems to like to complicate my life, which isn’t really fair. On the other hand, she’s a really disciplined writer, and she loves where I live
Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book? No idea! It’s crazy, isn’t it?
Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you? At one point I really want to go search in the woods for a missing guy. She kept saying, you have to have someone with you! I tried everybody, and finally convinced my friend Phil to keep me company. But when he had car trouble and couldn’t make it, I told her I had to go anyway.
What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere? I love a good hilly bike ride almost as much as I like a really challenging crossword puzzle!
Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters? I adore my Aunt Adele, and have grown fond of Lieutenant Buck Bird, with his folksy speech and infinitely large appetite. My hunky boyfriend Abe O’Neill isn’t bad, either, and I don’t know what I’d do without my young co-chef Danna Beedle.
Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about? I love listening to opera – my dad is Italian, after all – and I’d love to take voice lessons some day so I could sing along better. Maddie has no idea!
If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do? I’d ride my bike to the lake (in the summer) with a cozy mystery and a beer in my saddlebag.
Tell us about your best friend. Lou Perlman is my bff. We ride together, and can talk about anything. She’s super smart, about to get her PhD in sociology, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t also full of fun.
What are you most afraid of? I’m afraid of losing any more family. I already lost my mom, and only found my father recently. I don’t have any siblings – well, except for my Italian half-sister and half-brother – and I’m terrified that something bad will happen to Adele or to Roberto, my father.
What’s your author’s worst habit? Frankly, she’s not the best housekeeper around. I guess because she writes three books a year she just doesn’t have time.
How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change? I love my life. I’m happy with Abe, my store and restaurant are doing well, and living in a small town like South Lick is the best. I’d rather not run across any other dead bodies or encounter any more murderers, though.
Describe the town where you live. South Lick is a small town nestled in the hills of southern Indiana. We have a lovely century-old Town Hall and library, and several Art Deco buildings. The town used to have a mineral springs spa – the “lick” in the name refers to the minerals in the water – and a casino back in the early 1900s. I can walk nearly everywhere and also get out onto country roads within minutes. It’s perfect.
Describe an average day in your life. I get up and run the restaurant five or six days a week until we close at two-thirty. I play with my tuxedo cat Birdy, go for a bike ride, and do a puzzle if I don’t have a dinner date with Abe.
What makes you stand out from any other characters in your genre? I’m a Californian transplanted to the Midwest, and I don’t know of any other cozy protagonists who love cooking, carpentry, and crosswords like I do.
If you could be “adopted” by another writer, who would you choose? Why would I want to be adopted? Maddie’s the best author around!
Will you encourage your author to write a sequel? You bet! She’s already written the fifth and sixth books in the series, and she’s hoping for a contract extension for more.
An earlier version of this interview appeared at A Blue Million Books.
As Robbie arranges a breakfast-themed cook-off at Pans ‘N Pancakes, visitors pour into Brown County for the annual maple extravaganza. Unfortunately, that includes Professor Connolly, a know-it-all academic from Boston who makes enemies everywhere he goes—and this time, bad manners prove deadly. Soon after clashing with several scientists at a maple tree panel, the professor is found dead outside a sugar shack, stabbed to death by a local restaurateur’s knife. When an innocent woman gets dragged into the investigation and a biologist mysteriously disappears, Robbie drops her winning maple biscuits to search for answers. But can she help police crack the case before another victim is caught in a sticky situation with a killer?
Includes Recipes for You to Try!
Author bio: Maddie Day writes the popular Country Store Mysteries and the new Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Edith Maxwell, thisAgatha- and Macavity-nominated author writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction. She is president of Sisters in Crime New England, lives north of Boston with her beau and two senior cats, and blogs at WickedCozyAuthors.com and elsewhere. Find information about all of her writing at https://edithmaxwell.com/