Growing up in Idaho, St. Patrick’s Day was more of a school holiday. Wear green if you don’t want to be pinched. Wear red if you want to be kissed. I would have been mortified if someone had even thought I wore red for that reason. But I knew that even then, I wasn’t good at keeping days and details in my head.

So when I went to Chicago for a weekend of writer events last year, I was surprised at the number of people there to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. They had a parade. People not only wore green, they painted their exposed skin green. Although in the frigid weather, I can only imagine that the only thing keeping them from frostbite was the amount of alcohol in their blood stream.

The party started the night before with people pouring into the hotel to check in for the weekend. I was meeting a friend for dinner. Our conversation focused on writing and publishing, but it was hard to ignore the number of green clad revelers in the restaurant. As we walked back to my hotel, she informed me I was staying in Chicago’s most haunted hotel.

Great, so if the parties didn’t keep me away, the ghosts would.

Thankfully, I got a good night’s sleep and walked the few blocks to the local university where the first conference was being held. Many people were heading to the parade as I headed inside to fill my mind with the business of writing.

At lunch, I found a small restaurant that wasn’t crazy crowded with drunk people. The streets were filled with lurching parade goers who were looking for their cars or a taxi out of the downtown area. The chaos filled my thoughts as families weaved through the party crowd on their way home.

When I returned home, I realized I’d mixed up my deadlines and put one book away to start another. The Saint Patrick’s Day novella. In a happy coincidence, I was given the atmosphere to set a party and parade in our favorite California tourist town. Of course, in South Cove, green bikinis are more comfortable to wear than in the chilly March Chicago. No frostbite possibility here. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an unfortunate death.

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Is it a family tradition?

 

Angie Turner’s restaurant, The County Seat, is conveniently located near a first-class farmers market—so her menu is full of fresh ingredients. But a visiting culinary professor has just had a taste of something very unhealthy. . .

Angie first meets Daniel Monet at a local mission, where she and her chef-in-training, Hope, are serving barbeque chicken poutine to the homeless. Monet is one of Hope’s teachers—but Angie’s boyfriend knows him from his youthful days in England. But soon, the bon vivant is no longer vivant. When Monet is found dead, with Hope’s prints on the wine glass next to him, it will be Angie who has to sauce out the real killer . . .

Praise for Lynn Cahoon’s Tourist Trap Mysteries

“Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s dream come true.” —Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries

“Lynn Cahoon has created an absorbing, good fun mystery in Mission to Murder.” —Fresh Fiction