Island Confidential

New Down South Cafe Mystery and Character Interview: Silence of the Jams

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In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect…

It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!


Island Confidential: Aloha Amy, and welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Amy: Hi! It’s nice to meet you. I’m Amy Flowers, and I own and operate the Down South Café. We’re gearing up for Independence Day. In Winter Garden, that means a town-wide celebration! Since the café also kind of serves as a bakery—because the closest bakery outside of Winter Garden is about a twenty-minute drive away—I’ve been baking extra cakes and pies so patrons can come in and buy them for their individual celebrations. A lot of reunions take place around the time of the Winter Garden Independence Day Festival. You might not know this about me, but I love to dance. I’m not really good at it, and I prefer a nice slow dance to a fast dance, but swaying in the arms of a handsome man is just wonderful. And I know just the man I want to dance with…if he asks me to the dance, that is.

Which character in Silence of the Jams do you get along with the best?

Amy: I guess I’d have to say that the person I get along with best is my mother. She and I lived on our own for a long time—my dad left when I was just a little girl—and we’ve always gotten along really well. I think I always recognized the sacrifices she made for me, and I’ve always appreciated her. I know it takes some kids at lot longer to come to that realization than I did, but I’m glad I came to that conclusion at a young age.

Which other character do you not love so much?

Amy: Oh, my goodness! Have you got the rest of the day? George Lincoln gets on my last nerve. That man is impossible. First, George tried to get Pete Holman to sell the café to him instead of me. I didn’t have a problem with that. In fact, I encouraged Pete to get the best deal he could. But Pete knew that George was planning on tearing down the café and putting a bed and breakfast on the site, and Pete didn’t want that. He wanted something of the café his grandfather had built to remain. And so he sold it to me, and my friend Roger helped me renovate it. You’d think that would be the end of it, right? Not for George Lincoln! He still comes in two or three times a week to tell me how poorly the restaurant business is doing, what my odds of going broke are, and trying to get me to sell out to him. No matter how many times I tell him no, he just keeps on asking. If I had a parrot, all the poor bird would know how to say would be, “No, thank you, Mr. Lincoln. I’m not interested, Mr. Lincoln.”

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author, Gayle?

Amy: I like Gayle pretty good. But since this is just between you and me, I’ll tell you, she tends to procrastinate. You can get her off track with a single email, and she’ll neglect her work for hours. She’s like a racoon or a crow—show her something shiny, and off she goes. “Oh, my goodness,” she’ll say. “Did you see that puppy video on Facebook? Wasn’t that the cutest thing? And, I meant to get right on those edits, but then I saw a sale that just during the lunch hour. I didn’t buy anything, but you never know, right? So then I saw the Google doodle for William Shakespeare’s birthday. [Sigh] William Shakespeare…well, you can’t ever know too much about him, can you? So, I clicked through and—” And that’s when I interrupt her and say, “You know, Gayle, maybe old Bill was so prolific because he didn’t have the Internet to distract him from his work.”

What’s next for you?

Amy: Well, I love to support the local farmers in the area, and I’ve been talking with Stuart Landon about selling some of his honey on consignment in the café. I think that will be a good business decision for both of us. Don’t you?

Readers: Find out in HONEY BAKED HOMICIDE, coming in December!


About The Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com

Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  


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