Book Nerd Guest Post
Photo Credit: Murphy KormanAmy Korman is a former senior editor and staff writer for Philadelphia Magazine, and author of Frommer’s Philadelphia and the Amish Country. She has written for Town & Country, House Beautiful, Men’s HealthCosmopolitan. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family and their basset hound. Killer WASPs is her first novel.
Ten Random Facts about Killer Punch by Amy Korman,
from Witness Impulse/HarperCollins For Jeanbooknerd-thank you!
In Killer Punch, the third book in the Killer Wasps mystery series from Witness Impulse/HarperCollins, antiques dealer and part-time sleuth Kristin Clark is working on a makeover of her small-town store in Bryn Mawr, PA, when news breaks that a valuable painting has been stolen from Honey Potts, the town’s fearsome grande dame.
Kristin and her friends Bootsie, Sophie, Joe, and Holly hope the thief is the annoying and bossy Eula Morris—their high school nemesis and Bootsie’s chief rival in the town tennis tournament—but could the pricey canvas have been grabbed by celebrity chef Gianni Brunello? In the meantime, the stakes are high in the hotly contested Bryn Mawr Tomato Show, where Eula might have violated a key rule of the veggie competition. And will Sophie ever get her missing Gucci sandal collection back from her shoe-stealing ex? The Killer Wasps are on the case!
1. Killer Punch’s title is a reference to a potent concoction featuring Paul Masson Peach Brandy whipped up by Kristin's friend Bootsie, who comes from a family of boozy tennis players, and served at a launch party for Kristin’s freshly redecorated antique store, The Striped Awning. In real life, this boozy brew would send you running for the aspirin. It's strong stuff!
2. The actual Bryn Mawr, PA is a large, bustling suburban town, but in Killer Punch it's more like Mayberry or St. Mary Mead, where all residents know each other (and each other’s secrets, in the tradition of timelessly fabulous Agatha Christie village mysteries).
3. Eula Morris, who’s the co-chair of the Tomato Show, is also an amateur painter who buys old portraits at local vintage markets and paints over the existing artwork—prompting Kristin and her friends to examine Eula’s canvases to see if she took the missing Heifer in Tomato Patch. Back in the 1990s, a lucky shopper bought a $4 painting at a market outside Philly and found a first-printing copy of the Declaration of Independence inside the frame. The rare document later sold for $2.4 million!
4. Gruff, salty older ladies like the local heiress Honey Potts are always my favorite characters in mysteries and in movies. They can say and do anything! Think Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey.
5. Kristin and her friends end up at Caesar's in Atlantic City when they need to sneak documents from a part-time blackjack dealer named Chad and run into a Mafia restaurateur there named Lobster Phil. They also watch a male revue and hit the bars. I've never actually done any of those things, but I did once see comedienne Whitney Cummings at the Tropicana, just down the A.C. Boardwalk.
6. If there was a restaurant outside Philly like Gianni Brunello's fancy pasta place set in an old firehouse, it would be a huge hit. Italian food is always a home run in Philly!
7. New Jersey residents take true pride in their tomatoes, and if you’ve ever had the good luck to buy some Romas or San Marzanos from a roadside Jersey stand, you’d agree that this state knows its produce. (Their corn is amazing, too!) In Killer Punch, the super-competitive Eula Morris is so intent on winning the annual Bryn Mawr Tomato Show that she’s been sneaking over to Garden State to grow Early Girls. As Kristin’s nosy friend Bootsie observes when she trails Eula to her secret Jersey greenhouse: “Obviously, any vegetable grown east of the Delaware River is going to win. The soil over here is unbeatable!”
8. What detective could function effectively without his or her sidekick? Since Kristin doesn’t have a Hastings, she has all four of her BFFs to help her out.
9. In every Killer Wasps book, Bootsie McElvoy needs to take at least one road trip and wear one stolen uniform: In Killer Getaway, she posed as a housekeeper at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach; in Killer Punch, she “borrows” a Pack-N-Ship staffer’s boxy polo shirt and Bermuda shorts to pose as a store manager intent on getting info about a new Mega Wine Mart slated to be built in Bryn Mawr. Bootsie is always happy if she’s making up fake names and driving hundreds of miles a week in her trusty Range Rover.
10. Mega Wine stores don't exist in Pennsylvania, since the state has its own liquor stores, and a huge warehouse of booze wouldn't be legal. If restrictions ever eased up, though, I believe a store like Mega Wine Mart would be the biggest thing in PA since Target!
Antiques dealer Kristin Clark is ready for summer: Her friends—Holly, Sophie, and Bootsie—have been busy party-planning for the annual Tomato Show at the country club, and plotting to beat long-time nemesis, Eula, in the tennis tournament. Plus, Kristin’s now serving a famously potent Peach Punch every Thursday at her store, which will definitely lure in customers!
But when a prominent pastoral painting, a key piece of décor for the big event, disappears from the Club, everyone’s a suspect, and Kristin and her friends start sleuthing. Could the annoying Eula have stolen the pricey painting? And, is Eula violating Tomato Show rules by growing her Early Girls in the unbeatable New Jersey soil?
Meanwhile, their village is in an uproar about an unsightly new Mega Wine Mart slotted to go up in a local forest (though everyone’s excited about the cheap booze). And will July be the month their decorator buddy Joe finally proposes to Sophie—if she can get her Guccis back from her shoe-stealing ex, and finish her divorce? The Killer Wasps are on the case!
And now, The Giveaways.
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