Sunday, September 1, 2019



Val Deniston is catering the debut of Bayport’s newest bookstore—but the death of a customer is about to draw her into a real-life murder mystery . . .

Suzette Cripps has been occupying a spare bedroom at Val’s granddad’s house while she takes classes in this Maryland Eastern Shore town—but she’s always seemed a little secretive and fearful, and any talk about her past is a closed book.

After winning the costume contest at the Halloween-themed bookstore party, Suzette is mowed down by a hit-and-run driver—and Val and her grandfather start to wonder whether it was really an accident or if someone was after Suzette. Granddad is a little distracted by his new enterprise as a ghost-buster, but as Val talks to Suzette’s coworkers and fellow creative writing students, she grows more convinced that the dead woman’s demons weren’t imaginary—and that she needs to rip the mask off a killer . . .

Book Details:

Title: Crypt Suzette

Author: Maya Corrigan

Genre: Cozy mystery

Series: Five-Ingredient Mysteries, book #6

Publisher: Kensington (August 27, 2019

Print length: 297 pages

On tour with; Great Escape Book Tours



Q: If you could talk to someone (dead), who would it be and what would you ask them?
A: I’d like to talk to my grandmother who came to the United States around 1915 alone when she was a teenager to visit her sister, who’d arrived a few years earlier. My grandmother never went back to the old country. I’d like to ask her all the things I didn’t get a chance to ask before she died. I’d like to know what life was like back then for her a young immigrant who couldn’t speak the language. How did she get by? Where did she meet my grandfather?

Q: If you could step back into a moment or day in time, where would you go?
A: I just celebrated a very big anniversary, bittersweet because so many people who went to our wedding are no longer with us. So I would go back to my wedding day just to talk again to my  parents, aunts, uncles, and brother.

Q: If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?
A: I’d be a ballet dancer. I read a lot about ballet when I was around 10, practiced the five basic positions on my own, and longed to take lessons. My parents wouldn’t let me because they’d just bought a piano and signed me up for music lessons. They didn’t ask me if I wanted to play the piano, so I rebelled and refused to practice. Bottom line: I can’t either dance on my toes or play the piano.

Q: If you had to do community service, what would you choose?
A: I would teach English as a second language, something I have previously done and enjoyed. Teaching ESL, I always got great satisfaction from how quickly my students progressed from being tongue-tied to being able to communicate. 

Q: If you were on the Amazon bestseller list, who would you choose to be one before and one below you?
A: I’d like to be just after Agatha Christie and just before J.K. Rowling. Christie’s books are third on the list of all-time bestsellers, after the Bible and Shakespeare, and Rowling may well catch up to her.

Q: If you could choose a fictional town to live in what would it be and from what book?
A: Brigadoon, the Scottish village comes to life for one day every 100 years, from the Lerner and Loewe musical of the same name. What fun it would be to see how the world changes in a century.


5 favorite possessions:
things that hang on my wall:
    •    A pastel portrait done by a man in my father’s army unit during World War II. My father looks younger than I ever remember him being, which makes sense since I wasn’t born until after the war ended.
    •    A big oil painting I bought at a consignment shop is a surrealistic landscape of a desert with a trapeze platform, and two stone arches. I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean, but I like it.
    •    A screen print done by one of my students when I taught American literature at Georgetown University. It’s a contemporary image all in shades of blue with a silhouette of a fledging in the reeds at the bottom and a silhouette of a soaring bird in the sky. The student had it with her when she came to English class and asked for suggestions on what to call it. Someone proposed calling it “The Awakening,” after the title of the Kate Chopin novella we were discussing that day. The title was perfect, and I love the picture.
    •    An oil that my best friend painted from a photo she took of me and her husband as we walked toward her in a canyon at Arches National Park. That painting puts human life in perspective: I’m about an inch high compared to the red rock cliffs on either side of us which soar higher than the 20-inch canvas.
    •    A 1907 photogravure, an image produced from a photographic negative transferred to a metal plate and etched in. It shows a mature gentleman in an overcoat, top hat, and pin-striped pants with a book under his arm. The inscription on the picture reads: “His new book and his old hat.”

5 things you love about where you live: 
I live in a suburb of Washington, D.C., and love having
    •    public transportation
    •    a lot of museums to visit there (many of them free)
    •    terrific resident and visiting theater companies
    •    big old trees in my community
    •    the good bread I can buy from several shops within a mile of my house

5 favorite foods:  

    •    peaches
    •    cherries,
    •    passion fruit
    •    watermelon
    •    Honey Crisp apples
Obviously, I’m a fruit freak.

5 things you always put in your books:
    •    5 suspects
    •    5 clues
    •     5-ingredient recipes
    •    a key plot point tied to the title,
and (for every book except the first)
    •     a dinner party or other shared meal that gives my sleuth insights into the suspects and their motives
5 favorite places you’ve been: 
    •    Hawaii
    •    Italy
    •    Greece
    •    Spain
    •    the Florida Keys


Q: What’s your all-time favorite place?

A: Delphi, Greece

Q: What’s your all-time favorite movie?
A: Casablanca.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite author?
A: Jane Austen.

Q: What’s one thing that very few people know about you?
A: I took sewing lessons and bought a sewing machine when I was in graduate a school so I could make my own clothes. Because I grew up in New York and had temp jobs in the garment district, I was very fashion conscious. I mostly worked from Vogue patterns, which allowed me to create knock-offs of the latest designer fashions.

Q: What’s your favorite quote?
A: “When in doubt, cook something and eat it.”—Spenser, Mortal Stakes, by Robert B. Parker. If I get stuck on a sentence or paragraph I’m writing, I head for the kitchen. I don’t always cook when I get there, but I do eat. Filling the tummy clears the head.

Q:What’s your favorite candy bar?
A: Peppermint Patty

Q:What’s your favorite color?
A: Blue.

Q:What’s one thing you never leave the house without?
A: My watch—I feel naked without it.

Q:What book are you currently working on?
A: I am working on the 7th book in the Five-Ingredient Mystery series. It’s a holiday-themed book revolving around a Dickens of a Christmas Festival, with costumed volunteers dressed as Dickens characters, including the ghosts of Christmas present and future.

Q: What’s your latest recommendation for:
Food: Steamed hard-shell blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay
Music: the Beatles--then, now, and always
Movie: Hidden Figures about the unsung African-American women mathematicians at NASA
Book: The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
Audiobook: Anything by Bill Bryson read by Bill Bryson
TV: PBS Masterpiece Mystery
Miscellaneous: The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia


Maya (Mary Ann) Corrigan combines her passion for food and detective stories in her Five-Ingredient Mysteries:  By Cook or by Crook, Scam Chowder, Final Fondue, The Tell-Tale Tarte, S’more Murders, and Crypt Suzette. The series features a cafĂ© manager and her grandfather, the Codger Cook, who solve murders in a historic town near the Chesapeake Bay. Each book includes five suspects, five clues, and Granddad’s five-ingredient recipes. Winner of the New England Readers’ Award and the Daphne du Maurier Award in unpublished Mystery/Suspense, Ms. Corrigan has taught university courses in writing, American literature, and detective fiction.

Connect with Maya:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Amazon  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  B&N  |  Kobo Google Play 


  1. Thank you, Amy, for interviewing me and being part of the Crypt Suzette virtual book tour. I appreciate your support. ~Maya Corrigan