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Daisy Bateman Books In Order

Publication Order of Claudia Simcoe Books

Murder Goes to Market (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Daisy Bateman
Author Daisy Bateman (Alameda, California) is a cheese enthusiast, mystery lover, and a world-renowned expert in Why You Should Buy That.

Her educational background is in the field of molecular biology from UC Berkeley and Caltech, and she works in biotech, in what passes for normal life. She lives in Alameda, California with her cat and husband, only one of whom regularly wears a tuxedo.

The first fiction Daisy ever remembers writing is when she was seven years old and her little brother was just born. It was for some school assignment and it was about this princess who was living in the castle with her parents the queen and king, but then they found another baby and they quit loving her. It meant she had to go and live out in the woods with the “gentle creatures of the forest”. She has no memory of this work at all, however it apparently made quite an impact on Daisy’s mom, when the teacher showed it to her.

What got her started in writing was a love of the characters and stories she brought to life and the desire to see them live for others. What keeps her writing is just sheer bloody-mindedness.

“Murder Goes To Market” is the fifth book she has written, and the second that found a publisher, with the first having its imprint shutting down before the book was actually published.

While she was writing it, she loved creating the characters and getting to see each of them come to life while they developed over the course of her story. She also tried her hardest to make the food as real as she possibly could.

Daisy keeps herself focused by setting a timer for a half hour and forcing herself to stay with it until the alarm has gone off.

The biggest influence on her writing is Charlotte MacLeod, who is the pioneer of the modern screwball mystery. During her preteen years, she first read her books, and it was the bigger-than-life supporting characters made a huge impact. Dorothy Gilman, for her pacing and the idea that anybody (in their own way) could be an action hero, is another influence. Terry Pratchett just for being incredibly funny.

Daisy believes her work style is chaotic neutral. Which means she attempts writing outlines out, but she does them quite badly. Then she makes things up as she moves along, then deletes a ton. This isn’t a technique she recommends others use.

She starts with the plot, since in a mystery the plot needs to be the central component. Inside this structure, she attempts to allow the characters to drive all of the action.

She loves all of the characters in the novel, but Betty is probably her favorite. She is the best friend and confidante of Daisy’s protagonist, who is ready with with a sympathetic ear and a glass of wine, even if she doesn’t always agree with the choices Claudia makes.

The idea for “Murder Goes to Market” came from Daisy’s own love of discovering interesting and new artisan foods, as well as their makers. She had been to various marketplaces carrying them; particularly the Ferry Building in San Francisco (a lot bigger than Claudia’s marketplace). She found herself enjoying the idea of having all these interesting things and people together in a single place and all of the stories you could locate there.

Some of her favorite research she did was when she went to the California Artisan Cheese Festival and signed up for all the things that looked fun. She did a cheese tasting class, she toured cheese makers and other artisan food producers, and one about the qualities of the different sorts of milk (goat, sheep, cow). She found it was a splendid way to see just how the sorts of businesses she writes about are run, as she also eats cheese and meets some baby goats.

The town the novel is set in, San Elmo, is based on Bodega Bay, where Daisy’s family has been going to since she was a little kid. San Elmo is just a bit bigger town, however, because Bodega Bay is just a bit too small to host a recurring series of murders.

“Murder Goes to Market”, her debut novel, was released in the year 2020, and is from the cozy mystery genre. If you had queried Claudia Simcoe (a computer programmer) what she expected to happen from her leaving San Francisco for the coast of California so she could open a farm-to-table marketplace, “assembling her own mismatched group to investigate murder” wouldn’t have been her first guess.

Lori Roth is one of the market’s tenants. At least she was until Claudia learned that the hands making her ‘hand-dyed’ textiles belong to the overseas factory workers, and terminated her lease. However, her hopes that this is going to be the last that she sees of this problem tenant are wrecked when she shows up at the marketplace the very next morning to discover Lori dead. She was hit over the head with a jar of pickles and strangled with a cheese wire.

The chief of police believes Claudia looks to be an easy pick to be the murderer, and closes down the marketplace to put the pressure on her. Claudia has zero choice but to solve this mystery on her own. Relying on the technological skills from her prior life and some help from her new quirky friends, Claudia races to save herself and her business before the murderer adds her to the region’s artisanal and local murders.

Daisy’s warmth, wit, and charming depth of descriptive power do not only jump off the page, but welcome you into the company of such fantastic characters you never want to leave. This is a lively and deliciously fresh take on a cozy mystery that feels so real you can almost hear the gulls and smell the sea. Daisy delivers a setting (in San Elmo, California) that you wish you could visit, an endearing amateur sleuth to root for, and a puzzling whodunnit.

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