The Inspiration behind ‘One Taste Too Many’ by Debra H. Goldstein

“Write something new” is what agents and editors told me after my second would-be series became my second stand alone when its publisher folded. Great advice to an author who had been orphaned twice, but what should I write?

one taste too manyI knew I wanted to write something in the cozy genre, but I’d already exhausted the two traditional/cozy mystery themes that I was most familiar with. The main ones that were left – handicraft and culinary topics – were things I was neither interested nor skilled in. The reality is, unlike my sister who does everything from scratch, I buy already made arts and crafts things and I either eat out, bring take out in, or make dishes using prepared ingredients.

It’s not that I wouldn’t like to be more like my sister, but I never had an interest in pursuing these things. There were always other things for me to do. For example, while my sister shadowed my mother in the kitchen and learned to be a gourmet cook, I timed emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, saying “hello” to my father, and coming to dinner for when the commercials came on in the Perry Mason reruns I watched every afternoon. The more I thought about the contrast between my sister and myself, the more I realized there had to be other cooks of convenience out there.

And that is where I came up with the idea behind One Taste Too Many, the first book of my new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series from Kensington. Sarah is a cook of convenience like me. Some of her recipes include spinach pie made with Stouffers spinach souffle and Jell-O in a Can. Her twin, Emily, is a gourmet chef who has worked in many fine dining establishments. One Taste Too Many is the first of at least three Sarah Blair mysteries. Besides Sarah and Emily, they feature another major character – RahRah, Sarah’s Siamese cat. RahRah doesn’t have any magical powers, spoken thoughts, or secrets – he is simply a cat that Sarah and readers will love because he’s the real thing.


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Debra H. Goldstein is the author of the Sarah Blair Mysteries as well as Should Have Played Poker, a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery and the 2012 IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. A Judge, author, litigator, wife, step-mom and mother of twins, Debra is an involved community volunteer, MWA member, and serves as a national board member of Sisters in Crime, as well as being the SinC Guppy Chapter’s President.

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