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Maya Corrigan Books In Order

Publication Order of Five-Ingredient Mystery Books

By Cook or by Crook (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Scam Chowder (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Final Fondue (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Tell-Tale Tarte (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
S'more Murders (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Maya Corrigan is an American author best known for a series of cozy detective mystery series known as the Five – Ingredient Mystery series. Her cozy mysteries are about ordinary people that find themselves caught up in crime and pursuing justice through courage and quick thinking. The mystery series is set in Chesapeake Bay town and has the lead character as a fitness café manager that also doubles up as an amateur sleuth. Maya Corrigan blends her love for detective stories and love for food in the series, set in Eastern shoreline of Maryland. Before becoming a crime fiction writer, Maya was a university professor teaching courses in drama, American literature, detective fiction, and writing at the NOVA Community College and Georgetown University. She is the winner of the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence for an Unpublished Suspense/Mystery, and the New England Readers Award in 2015. Besides writing novels, Corrigan has also written several short stories and non-fiction all as Mary Ann Corrigan, her full name. Over the years, some of her short stories have been included in popular anthologies over the years.

Even as her first novel was published only in 2014, she was always interested in writing from when she was a child, and completed her first novel when she was thirteen. Growing up she had two public libraries within walking distance of her home and she would spend at least two days a week in either one. Her friends used to act as the test ground and editors of her first novel as she would finish each chapter, and then read it to her friends for feedback. At the time, all she cared about was that she wrote something that made someone laugh, smile, and be entertained. She would later spend most of her years writing nonfiction works such as technical manuals and academic papers, being a professor. Nonetheless, her love for fiction would always draw her back to fiction and mystery writing. She had always been a mystery reader from the fourth grade where her teacher had bestowed a Nancy Drew collection upon her. Additionally, her mother used to bring home stacks of detective works from the library from writers such as Chandler, Hammett, Tey, Marsh, Sayers, and Christie. Therefore, the decision to write mysteries naturally came to her, as it is what she knows about best, having been honing her skills at mystery writing for over two decades. Some of her favorite modern mystery writers include Nevada Barr and Reginald Hill. When she is not writing and reading she loves to do crosswords, cook, do trivia, play tennis, and go to the theater.

The Five – Ingredient series of novels is about Val Deniston, a former cookbook publicist with a New York Publisher, who quit and moved to Chesapeake Bay in Bayport. She now lives with her feisty grandfather in an old Victorian home, while she runs the local fitness club, Cool Down Café. She has some memory loss though she is still haunted by a car accident in which she believes she may be culpable for injuring her former boss, a fact that continuously haunts her. Food is a very prominent component in the novels, even if the topic has nothing to with cooking. Corrigan asserts that food has always been part of her psyche as she sees food in everything she writes. For instance, one of the novels describes a room having chocolate dark woodwork and painted in lemon chiffon. Her fascination with writing mystery series that had a lot to do with food came about when she wrote “Delicious Death” one of her favorite short stories that she has posted on her website. As would be expected conversations about food, eating and cooking are prominent in the story that features a mysterious death. Most of the Five – Ingredient Mystery series are derived from that short story, even as most of the characters do not make an appearance in the novels. She published the first novel in the series, By Cook or By Crook in 2014, though the novel had already been a finalist in the Malice Domestic Contest for new writers of the mystery genre. She would later rework the novel to make it fit the cozy mystery genre before selling it to Kensington in 2014.

The first novel of the A Five – Ingredient Mystery series, By Cook or by Crook is an entertaining puzzle set in the small tourist town of Chesapeake Bay. It features a burnt out city girl, her feisty grandfather, a twist of humor, a dash of romance and a suspicious murder that makes for a great mystery narrative. After a car accident ended her career as cookbook publicist, Val Deniston has moved to the relatively small and quiet town of Chesapeake, away from all the glamour and chaos of New York. She lives with her grouchy grandfather in the Bayport area in Maryland, where she runs the local fitness club. Even as living in Bayport has none of the excitement or luxury of New York, it gives her the time and tranquility to complete the cookbook she has been planning to write for ages. However, when one her regular patrons at the club is murdered, Val finds herself in the thick of it, trying to make a plan to save her best friend that the killer has framed for the murder. As Val is involved in the investigations, her grandfather takes up kitchen duties, creating havoc by messing up food some of which only has five ingredients. Now Val has to juggle between ensuring that the old man does not mess up her business, while trying to unravel a murder mystery that has five suspects and only five clues.

Final Fondue is the third novel in the A Five – Ingredient Mystery series of novel by Maya Corrigan. Val Deniston finds her hands full helping her cranky grandfather prepare for Chesapeake’s centennial celebration while dabbling with recipes and running a fitness club and café. She has come to enjoy the quaint little town and hence when the offer to take up her old job as cookbook publicist in New York comes up, she declines. She decides that she will move back to New York once she has helped her grandfather make the best chocolate fondue dessert for the town’s cook-off festivities, a few weeks away. But things take a turn for the worst when she stumbles on a houseguest murdered, strangled to death in her house. It is now up to Val to prevent the killer from committing another murder, particularly when she finds out that the killer is still prowling the area looking for another victim.

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