Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour: Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: Shadow of a Spout (Teapot Collector #2) by Amanda Cooper

Avid teapot collector Rose Freemont takes a break from her Victorian tea house only to find a new mystery brewing elsewhere...

Leaving her home in Gracious Grove behind her, Rose is off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector’s Society. Her granddaughter Sophie is minding the tea house while she’s away. Rose is eager for tough cookie Zunia Pettigrew to appraise a prized antique teapot she believes may be a holy water vessel from China.

But when Zunia declares the pot a fake, Rose is really steamed. After Zunia’s found dead beside Rose’s dinged-in teapot, Sophie must rush to her grandmother’s aid and find the real killer—before Rose is steeped in any more trouble. 

Writing the Teapot Collector Mysteries
by Amanda Cooper (aka Victoria Hamilton)

As Victoria Hamilton I write the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries (Starring Jaymie Leighton and set in Michigan, along the St. Clair River) and the Merry Muffin Mysteries, (starring Merry Wynter and set in upstate New York).

You’d think that would be enough work, wouldn’t you? But I’m a greedy writer.

I’m often asked how I came to write the Teapot Collector Mysteries, and it’s an interesting story. One day a couple of years ago my agent received an interesting letter from an editor at Berkley. She passed it on to her writers, and I responded. The editor said she had an idea for a cozy mystery series set in a tearoom, and about a teapot collector group. It was to be set in a small ‘dry’ town in Maryland or along the Maryland seashore.

I responded immediately with interest. I love teapots and teacups, and had actually just enjoyed a summer outing to a tearoom where shelves and shelves full of diverse teapots were displayed. I loved it so much I took photos of every single teapot there, between three and four hundred.

To my absolute astonishment the editor replied that I was actually who she was thinking of when she created the series. I was so very pleased; writing mysteries was the dream of my life, and to be so blessed… I’m still overwhelmed to have three mystery series.

However… I’ve never been to Maryland, nor have I ever lived along the seashore. Tentatively, I asked if I could alter the setting, and was told yes. So I moved the series to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York; I’ve never been there, either, but I love the area and plan on going someday.

Now, I started with what is referred to as a ‘bible’, actually a synopsis by the editor with some detail: characters, names, facts, and a plot for three novels, each subsequent one a little looser in structure. Since I was actually signing on as a writer for hire, I needed to choose another pseudonym, and chose two family names, Amanda and Cooper. I kind of regret that now; if they ever replace me as writer of the series the name goes with it. Sigh. The things you realize in hindsight.

I am now in the process of writing Book 3, and still loving it! It’s been a blast very inch of the way.

Amanda Cooper is the pseudonym for bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton. She writes the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and the Merry Muffin Mysteries as Hamilton, in addition to the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper.

Cooper’s long time love of mystery novels started at age twelve when her mom handed her an Agatha Christie book and said ‘Read!’. Thousands of novels later Cooper is still reading. And writing.

But besides those two favorite pastimes, Cooper also enjoys collecting vintage kitchenalia, old books, teacups, teapots and other ephemera. Perfume is her secret addiction. She likes to cook, hates to clean, and enjoys time spent with friends chatting over wine or tea. She loves crafts, loathes boredom, and her guilty pleasure is ‘reality’ TV, which she knows is largely fake but enjoys anyway.

Cooper thinks that people are the most interesting study of all, and more than anything, she loves to hear from readers, not just about her books but about anything and everything.

To learn more about Amanda Cooper and the Teapot Collector Mysteries see these pages:

Killer Characters every 21st of the month:

Victoria Hamilton/Amanda Cooper on Facebook:

Teapot Collector Mysteries on Pinterest:

Traveling to have a teapot appraised, Rose and Laverne are excited for their trip to New York!  But when Rose is accused of having a not so fancy or expensive teapot, she's pretty steamed!  And she's not the only one!  When a fight breaks out amongst her fellow teapot aficionados, and the woman who accused Rose winds up dead, our pair of ladies finds themselves thrown in to quite the murder mystery! 

It's well written, it's fun, and boy, is it exciting!  This series has been a wonderful treat thus far.  I've truly enjoyed Rose and her helper, Laverne... as well as her granddaughter Sophie.  I just love visiting with them and I love all of the tea references (I have a small collection of teapots!) The author says she's hard at work on book number 3, and I simply cannot wait!  

Rating: 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All conclusions reached are my own.  

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