Friday, November 12, 2021

Mudpie Interviews...Diogi from Amy Pershing's Cape Cod Foodie Mystery Series


Christmas is coming to Cape Cod, but when Sam Barnes finds a very dead Santa in a very hip restaurant, it’s up to her to sift out suspects who have been naughty vs. nice….

Professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a simple Christmas list: a quiet holiday at home with her dog and a certain handsome harbor master; no embarrassing viral videos; and no finding dead bodies. Unfortunately she’s got family visiting, she’s spending a lot of time in front of the camera, and she’s just stumbled over the lifeless body of the town’s Santa Claus.

Plus, Sam’s plans for Christmas Eve are getting complicated. There’s the great eggnog debate among her very opinionated guests. There’s the “all edible” Christmas tree to decorate. And there’s her Feast of the Five Fishes prepare. Nonetheless, Sam finds herself once again in the role of sleuth. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa—but can she pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?

Mudpie was very excited to have the opportunity to interview Diogi, the canine star of this series. We hope you enjoy meeting him!

Welcome, Diogi! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries?

Of course! You see, what happened was my human (also known as Samantha Barnes, the Cape Cod Foodie) had a bit of trouble in New York City, where she had been an up and coming young chef. Turns out her chef husband was the kind of guy who makes me want to bite someone. Him preferably. Anyway, they had a kind of sword fight with their chef’s knives and somebody put it up on something called YouTube, and suddenly Sam’s not a chef anymore.

So when she inherits her Aunt Ida’s house in Fair Harbor on Cape Cod, she comes home with her tail between her legs (I know exactly how that feels). In her new life she finds herself juggling a new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie,” a complicated love life (although what’s complicated about a harbormaster who takes us out for rides in his boat I do not understand), a posse of just-slightly-odd friends (including our neighbor, the librarian Helene Greenberg, who I wuv), Aunt Ida’s falling-down house, and me, a super-wonderful (in my humble opinion) puppy!

And, oh yeah, what Helene calls “a propensity for falling over dead bodies.”

Tell us about An Eggnog to Die For, the new Cape Cod Foodie mystery you star in. What’s that been like?

To tell you the truth, it’s a little confusing. People keep doing things that make no sense. Like Sam stumbling over a very dead Santa in a very hip restaurant and everybody getting all upset. I mean, if I leave one of my disgusting tennis balls on the floor and Sam trips over it, do we call the cops? We do not. We just throw the ball out the door and are done with it.

Also, completely out of the blue, Sam and her parents decide to bring a tree into the house. Did you ever hear of anything so silly? Everybody knows that trees do not belong in houses. I barked at it really hard, though, so I think we’re safe. Keeping my humans safe is a big part of my job.

And, to top it all off, the humans keep cooking what smells like incredibly delicious food (cookies and eggnog and a bunch of other yummy stuff) and then putting it where I can’t, ahem, sample it. What’s with that? I thought this Christmas thing was a time for sharing…

How did you come to live with Sam? And how did you get your … unusual … name?

Oh, it was complete “meet cute”! And my name is self-explanatory (read on!) This is how Sam explains it in our first adventure, A Side of Murder.

“I have a surprise for you,” Helene said. She put two fingers to her mouth and let out an ear-splitting whistle. A blur of fur came flying up the steep path that led down to the salt pond. I had a confused impression of a wet nose and large pink tongue in my face and enormous muddy paws on my chest.

I’d had dogs as a kid. I knew how this was supposed to work. “Down!” I shouted. Nothing. The creature continued to lick me to death.

“Down, Diogi,” Helene said calmly, holding up a dog treat that had miraculously appeared in her hand. In a nanosecond, the beast turned his attention to Helene and stood gazing fixedly at the dog treat. In this brief moment of calm, which I suspected was only the eye of the storm, I could see he was your typical Cape Cod mutt, part yellow lab, part whatever. Great water dogs, good with kids, gentle. This one was remarkable in no way except for his size. He was ginormous.

“You’ll have to forgive his manners,” Helene said. “He’s still just a puppy.”

“You mean he’s going to get bigger?” I yelped.

“Oh yes,” Helene said. “He’s still just a baby. But he’s a fast learner.”

She handed me a dog treat. “Tell him to sit. Diogi will do anything for a treat.” She pronounced the name dee-OH-gee.

“Thank you,” I said, taking the treat gingerly just in case the dog got over-excited and jumped me again. “That’s an … unusual … name.”

“It’s a joke,” Helene said, blue eyes dancing. “Dee, oh, gee. D, O, G. Get it? Dog! D, O, G!” She laughed delightedly as if hearing the joke for the first time. “It’s spelled D, I, O, G, I.”

I had to smile. “Is there a cat called C, A, T?” I asked.

Helene rewarded my wit with another peal of laughter. “Seeaytee,” she crowed. “That’s rich!”

I held the treat up and said “Sit, Diogi” in my firmest voice.

Diogi ignored the command, instead leaning against my leg with all his considerable weight. I gave him the treat anyway.

“I think your dog needs some more training,” I said to Helene.

“Well, we’re working on that,” Helene acknowledged. “But he’s not my dog.”

“Whose dog is he?” I asked.

“Why, he’s yours, Sam,” Helene said, as if the answer was obvious. “Diogi comes with the house.”

Can you give us any clues as to what's next for you and Sam?

I gotta tell you, I’m a little worried about that one. It’s called Murder is No Picnic and it comes out next summer. I know it’s got a lot about Cape Cod and something called the Fourth of July and food and cooking and family and friends and, oh yeah, a murder. But other than that, Sam is, for once, keeping her mouth firmly shut. But that’s okay, whatever happens, I’ll be there for her.

About the Author:

Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before leading employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago she waved goodbye to Wall Street to write full time. An Eggnog to Die For is the second of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef who retreats home to Cape Cod where she finds herself juggling a new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie,” a complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, a ginormous puppy and a propensity for falling over dead bodies. Kirkus Reviews gave An Eggnog to Die For a starred review, saying, “A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens.” A Side of Murder, the first of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries, which Elizabeth Gilbert called “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read,” was the first book in the series. The third, Murder Is No Picnic, will be published in May 2022.


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Mickey's Musings said...

Oooooo! This sounds like a good read.
Purrs, Julie

Elza Reads said...

Melissa! This was a BRILLIANT post! Just what I needed on this Friday afternoon. Even Elza approved of your clever interview with Diogi and of course we now want to take a look at the series.

Thanks for this! Have a wonderful weekend.

Elza Reads

Patricia T said...

My first thought was, “Mudpie is interviewing a dog?” :) Just goes to show what a professional she is! ;)
Happy Friday, Melissa and Mudpie!

Sandee said...

Love the Q&A. You're so smart, Mudpie.

Have a purrfect day and weekend. My best to your mom. ♥

pilch92 said...

Great interview. Sounds like an interesting story. XO

Brian's Home Blog said...

That was a really fun interview sweet Mudpie and the book really does sound like a good one!

Three Chatty Cats said...

Another great interview, Mudpie! And what a fun book. I love a holiday themed cozy.