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The Big Thrill Discusses IRISH MILKSHAKE MURDER with Peggy Ehrhart

An Irish holiday anthology of cozy mysteries featuring a trio of today’s top cozy mystery authors that will make other cozy anthologies green with envy.

St. Patrick’s Day is drawing near in Arborville, New Jersey and the folks at Hyler’s Luncheonette are getting into the holiday spirit with a new, limited-time, Irish-themed menu item—a festive green milkshake appropriately named, “The Leprechaun.” It’s a hit, until a patron is felled by one of the frothy concoctions during a sheep parade through the town. Now, it’s up to Pamela Paterson and her Knit & Nibble knitting club pal, Bettina Fraser, to catch a murderer and put a stop to the shear madness . . .

In advance of their St. Patrick’s Day wedding, Tara Meehan and Danny O’Donnell are off to the Aran Islands with their bridesmaids and groomsmen for a joint hen and stag party. The weekend kicks off with the ferry trip to Inis Mór, as the passengers enjoy boozy milkshakes on board and entertainment from a pair of famous Irish-dancing twin brothers. But faster than Tara can say “Oh, Danny Boy,” a murder shamrocks the boat as someone’s spiked shake turns out to be their final round. Stuck in a rural island cottage, while a storm rages outside, Tara must find the Celtic killer before her luck runs out . . .

Spring in Santaland means two things: the elves have more leisure time and iceball season is in full swing! To celebrate, April Claus’s friend, Claire, whips up some minty milkshakes for her bustling ice cream shop, Santaland Scoop. But when the St. Paddy’s promotion makes one elf the target of a decidedly unlucky strike, Mrs. Claus and her friends must figure out if the attack was a failed hit job, a crime of passion, or an extremely unfortunate accident . . .

Author Peggy Ehrhart recently spent time with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest cozy mystery, IRISH MILKSHAKE MURDER.

Peggy Ehrhart

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?

Actually I was recruited by my publisher, Kensington, to join two other Kensington authors in contributing St. Patrick’s Day-themed novellas to IRISH MILKSHAKE MURDER.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?

My novella in the IRISH MILKSHAKE MURDER novella collection features Pamela Paterson, who is also the protagonist in my full-length Knit & Nibble mysteries. She is an associate editor for a craft magazine and founder and mainstay of her town’s knitting club. I created her for the series with the idea that a knitter also versed in the details of fiber arts and crafts of all kinds would make a great amateur sleuth because she could use her particular expertise to recognize and interpret clues overlooked by the police.

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?

My readers tell me that my cozy mysteries with their small-town setting, appealing characters, and puzzling but not scary plots are a great respite from the craziness going on in the world.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

I’m about to start another St. Patrick’s Day-themed novella for Kensington. This novella will appear in a collection titled IRISH SODA BREAD MURDER.


Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor with a doctorate in Medieval Literature. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), were published by Five Star/Gale/Cengage and feature a blues-singer sleuth. Peggy is currently writing the Knit & Nibble mysteries for Kensington Books. Her amateur sleuth, Pamela Paterson, is the founder and mainstay of the Arborville, New Jersey, knitting club, nicknamed Knit and Nibble. Knitmare on Beech Street is book #10 in the series. Peggy herself is an avid crafter, dating from her childhood as a member of the 4-H Club in rural Southern California. Peggy is a longtime member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She regularly attends mystery-writing conferences and participates in conference panels. She also gives talks on mystery fiction at libraries and other venues in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.