Tuesday, January 30, 2018



You could call it the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was more like a Montana forest timber.

Just when Vangie Vale’s life was getting back to normal after a murder that rocked her little Rocky Mountain tourist town, she found herself in the middle of another murder... as the chief suspect.

Vangie stood shocked on the side of the curb as the sheriff stretched yellow crime scene tape around the front of her new bakery. Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Baker Kills Parishioner With Pudding. Vangie’s road back to good graces as a part-time pastor was bumpy enough already. This would be a road block. Can't have that.

Book Details:

Title: Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries)

Author: R.L. Syme

Genre: Cozy Mystery, 3rd in Series

Setting – Montana

Publisher: Hummingbird Books (January 4, 2018)

Paperback: 330 pages

Touring with: Great Escapes Book Tours



Derek Hobson is the biker boyfriend of the main character, Vangie Vale.

Derek, how did you first meet Becca?

I was in the very first book, The Murdered Macaron, where Vangie solved a murder with me.

Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?
Probably because my estranged wife was killed. Murder tends to play well in fiction.

Did you have a hard time convincing Becca to write any particular scenes for you?
Because she used to be a romance writer—or maybe still writes romance, I never really know—so she wants to write the kissy scenes. I keep trying to get her to cut those. I’d rather if those were for me and Vangie only. But . . . it’s her book.

True. What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

I like to work on cars. Bikes. Anything with an engine, really. And I like to be with Vangie, and she likes to watch Criminal Minds and stuff like that, which I’m learning not to hate.

Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?
Most of them are all right. Emma is probably the one I’m the closest to, besides Vangie. She’s Vangie’s best friend and works in the shop next door, so I see her the most. But all my guy friends from the mechanic’s shop don’t really make the page much.

That's a shame. Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
Probably that I want to be a dad. Someday. I don’t talk with Vangie about that. Yet.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Work on my bike. Work around the house. Or maybe take a nice long ride somewhere. The mountains around here are beautiful. Obviously, I’d rather take Vangie with me.

What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? 
Probably, they think I’m some kind of big jerk biker, but I kinda don’t care. The people I care about know who I am.

Tell us about your best friend. My best friend used to be my wife. Now, it’s probably Vangie. Kevin, from the shop is maybe a close second. But I’ve always been a guy with only a few friends. I like it that way.

What are you most afraid of?
Losing Vangie.

How do you feel about your life right now?
I feel good about my life. I bought a house in Saint Agnes. I feel like Vangie and I are doing well. I like my job. I’d rather work at Kevin’s shop more, but Vangie really isn’t ready to have me not be at the bakery most days. As soon as she can afford to hire more help, though, I’d like to be at the mechanic’s more.

If your story were a movie, who would play you?
Well, Becca thinks I look like Brock O’Hurn. I have no idea.

Will you encourage your author to write a sequel?
Oh yes. I assume we’ll be doing something in North Carolina, now, after Vangie finally told me about the business in Raleigh/Durham. I predict you’ll see me in many more Vangie Vale books in the future. Hopefully . . . all of them.


R.L. Syme is a USA Today best-selling author of small-town romance and cozy mystery. She writes small-town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy culinary mysteries as R.L. Syme. 

She is a writer of heroes and sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and baker of yummy delights, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things. She loves to connect with readers via social media.

Connect with Becca:
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