You can’t keep a good turkey down!
In 2010, The Killer Wore Cranberry showed how funny murder and food could be.
In 2012, Untreed Reads presented a new installment of the worldwide, bestselling anthology (The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping) proving that this was a hilarious mystery anthology with legs. Drumsticks, to be exact.
It’s 2013 and Killer is back with all new crimes, all new capers and all new laughs that are guaranteed to make you forget the in-laws at this year’s holiday gathering.
Join all of these fantastic authors as they make your Thanksgiving holiday murderous and fill you with laughter: Barbara Metzger, Mary Mackey, Toni Goodyear, Barb Goffman, Herschel Cozine, Lesley A. Diehl, Big Jim Williams, Elizabeth Hosang, Randall DeWitt, Sharon Daynard, Sarafina Gravagno, Laird Long, Rhett Shepard, Warren Bull, Lee Hammerschmidt and Mary Patterson Thornburg.
This year Killer is also introducing great recipes from vegan cookbook author Lisa Wagner to accompany the stories. After all, you can’t have murder and humor on an empty stomach!
So loosen your belt, push out from the table a bit and get ready to devour some of the funniest crimes you’ll ever experience at a Thanksgiving table. There’s always Room for Thirds!
When my sister and I were little kids in the mid through late 1970s, time and seasons weren’t tracked by a calendar. Instead, we followed when a Charlie Brown special would suddenly appear as “A CBS Special Presentation” and sponsored by Dolly Madison (“Maker of neat-to-eat treats”). Together we’d each grab a pillow and curl up with shows such as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It gave us something to look forward to, and if the show was on the air we knew there was something special about to arrive in the form of decorations, family get-togethers and the wonderful smells of cooking.
Today, I look at The Killer Wore Cranberry in much the same fashion. This is the third outing for this incredibly popular series, and each year I receive more and more submissions than the previous year. The pattern is always the same. I start receiving emails asking when the window will open to accept stories, the submission process then opens up for the same dates as the year before and the finished project arrives almost always at the same time as the last installment. I may not have a pillow to curl up with when it happens, no fancy logo swirling on the television screen and no Raspberry Zingers in my hands, but I can pretty much set a calendar by The Killer Wore Cranberry. I know that when the book comes out, it’s time for that very special time of year that fills me with as much happiness as it did when I was a child.
I’m hoping that the feel of humor and mystery help create the same feeling of coziness for readers of this series. I’d like to think that they get just as excited as I do when this hilarious anthology comes out, and that it inspires them to get ready for the fun of the holiday season. And, hopefully provides them with some good alibis should they choose to whack someone over the Thanksgiving turkey. Hey, it happens.
If there’s one great lesson to be learned from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, it’s that sometimes it’s not about the family you’re given but about the family you make. Just as Charlie Brown is surrounded by his friends, The Killer Wore Cranberry: Room for Thirds allows me to sit down at a virtual table with mine. Barbara Metzger is one of those legends in the writing world who I can’t imagine not working with at this point, having released over twenty titles by her. Barb Goffman and Lesley A. Diehl have appeared in both of the other installments in this series, as has Laird Long in the first book and Herschel Cozine in the second. There’s Warren Bull, Lee Hammerschmidt and Elizabeth Hosang who I’ve had the pleasure to work with on other Untreed Reads projects. And then there are the new guests: Randall DeWitt, Sharon Daynard, Big Jim Williams, Sarafina Gravagno, Rhett Shepard, Mary Mackey, Toni Goodyear and Mary Patterson Thornburg. I’m so glad you’re here with us!
The other guest this year is Lisa Wagner, who I asked to come to dinner and bring some of her favorite Thanksgiving recipes to share with all of you. Killing people and stealing turkeys and all that is fine, but you really need to do it on a full stomach. Preferably, one that’s full of healthy and nutritious food. I hope Lisa’s recipes inspire you to try something new with your families. The other reason why Lisa’s appearance here is so special for me? She’s the sister that watched those Charlie Brown specials with me. We may be thousands of miles apart for Thanksgiving, but her recipes and her place in this book immediately take me back to when we were just kids watching cartoons and looking forward to the wonder of the holiday season.
So, Lisa’s about to make some pancakes for you and then Toni Goodyear is going to start off this Thanksgiving storytelling event. After that, please pass the mashed potatoes to your left, the stuffing to the right and get ready to be entertained by some truly hilarious crimes.
Meanwhile, I’m going to hunt down my remote and a box of Zingers. I’m pretty sure I hear the opening music of a certain Charlie Brown special.
J. Alan Hartman