Book Shower — Murder at the Blue Plate Cafe by Judy Alter

11 Apr
Turquoise Morning Press

Turquoise Morning Press

The Book Stork has arrived for Judy Alter!

When twin sisters Kate and Donna inherit their grandmother’s restaurant, the Blue Plate Cafe, in Wheeler, Texas, there’s immediate conflict. Donna wants to sell and use her money to establish a B&B; Kate wants to keep the cafe. Thirty-two-year-old Kate leaves a Dallas career as a paralegal and a married lover to move back to Wheeler and run the café, while Donna plans her B&B and complicates her life by having an affair with her sole investor.

Kate soon learns that Wheeler is not the idyllic small town she thought it was fourteen years ago. The mayor, a woman, is power-mad and listens to no one, and the chief of police, newly come from Dallas, doesn’t understand small-town ways. Kate is  suspicious of Gram’s sudden death, “keeling over in the mashed potatoes,” as Donna described it, and she learns that’s not at all what happened.

When the mayor of Wheeler becomes seriously ill after eating food from the café, delivered by Donna’s husband, Kate is even more suspicious.  Then Donna’s investor is shot, and Donna is arrested. Kate must defend her sister and solve the murders to keep her business open, but even Kate begins to wonder about the sister she has a love-hate relationship with. Gram guides Kate through it all, though Kate’s never quite sure she’s hearing Gram—and sometimes Gram’s guidance is really off the wall.

Cozy MysteryAdd to Goodreads

Available now as an e-book from Amazon, Smashwords and Turquoise Morning Press. Print to follow soon!

Congratulations to author Judy Alter on her latest novel, Murder at the Blue Plate Cafe!

Judy, have a glass of virtual champagne and tell us about your new arrival!

Thanks for having me, Nancy. My newest mystery, Murder at the Blue Plate Café, introduces Kate Chambers who has inherited her grandmother’s café in a small East Texas town and returns to run it. But instead of the small-town peace and quiet she expects, she finds murder and intrigue. 

What did you feed your muse during the book’s development?

It’s the food mystery I’ve always wanted to write and, I hope, the first in a new series.

Did you experience any complications during the growth of this book?

Writing this book wasn’t as difficult as some others I’ve done, because events seemed to unfold of their own accord. But maybe because there’s a lot of me in Kate—wannabe restaurant owner, food and cooking lover, etc. 

What is your favorite feature of this book (ie. character, setting, plot, etc) and why?

Kate is my favorite feature of this book because she’s clearly front and center and she grew in complexity as the story went along. But since Kate has a lot of me in her, I found her interesting because I wrote in my own likes and dislikes and feelings. Food is clearly my second favorite feature of the story. Oh, and then there’s Huggles, the dog….

Describe the perfect reader for this book.

The perfect reader for this book is a woman of any age who likes cozy mysteries without onstage violence and bloodshed. If she’s thirty-something, she’ll identify with Kate; if she’s older, she may relive her thirties and childless, single days. And she clearly likes food and reading about food. And she will appreciate the recipes at the end of the book.

Are you expecting any more books (wink, wink)?

My writing schedule is crowded these days: my fourth Kelly O’Connell Mystery, tentatively titled Danger Comes Home, will be out in July, followed in February 2014 by the second Blue Plate Mystery, Murder at Tremont House. After that there will be one more in each series and then, who knows? Texas is Chili Country is due out in Fall 2014, and I’d like to rework a mystery that’s been hiding in my computer for a while. Someday I hope to do a book about Scotland. I feel my Scottish heritage strongly and would like to visit there again, gathering material for a book. The future holds so many possibilities.

Thanks, Judy. We wish you much joy (and lots of sales!)

Judy AlterAbout the author:

An award-winning novelist, Judy Alter is the author of three books in the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries series: Skeleton in a Dead Space, No Neighborhood for Old Women, and Trouble in a Big Box. Danger Comes Home will be published in July 2013. With her most recent novel, Murder at the Blue Plate Café, she moves from inner city Fort Worth to small-town East Texas to create a new set of characters in a setting modeled after a restaurant that was for years one of her family’s favorites.

Before turning her attention to mystery, Judy wrote fiction and nonfiction, mostly about women of the American West, for adults and young-adult readers. Her work has been recognized with awards from the Western Writers of America, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame. She has been honored with the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement by WWA and inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame at the Fort Worth Public Library.

Visit Judy at or follow her two blogs at or Look for her on Facebook and Twitter.

8 Responses to “Book Shower — Murder at the Blue Plate Cafe by Judy Alter”

  1. kathleenkaskawrites April 11, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    This is one I’ve got to read: mystery, food, and Texas.

    • judyalter April 11, 2013 at 9:20 am #

      Thanks, Kathleen. I hope it lives up to your expectations. I loved working on it.

  2. Kassandra Lamb April 11, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    This book sounds good. Just added it to my TBR list. Best of luck with your book launch, Judy

    • judyalter April 11, 2013 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks, Kassandra. I hope you enjoy it enough to look also at my Kelly O’Connell Mysteries (some authors are shameful about promotion!)

  3. nancyelauzon April 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    This sounds like a book I would enjoy, also. I’ve been to Fort Worth, Texas, and I would love to go back!

    • judyalter April 11, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      Come back and visit, Nancy. I’ll take you on a mystery tour and show you where my Kelly O’Connell Mysteries are set.

  4. Lucy Burdette April 12, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    This sounds like so much fun Judy! Congratulations!

    • judyalter April 12, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Thanks, Lucy. Looking forward to Topped Chef.

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