Hello! Welcome to the first issue of my first-ever newsletter! Don’t you feel special? Given that you signed up for this, I suspect you know who I am, but for those of you who are getting this because someone gave me your email as a prank, or because you are a confused woman in New Zealand who thinks your email is actually hers, a brief introduction:
My name is Daisy Bateman and I am, among other things, a mystery author. My first book, Murder Goes to Market, was released in 2020 and introduced to the world Claudia Simcoe, a former programmer turned artisan foods market owner who runs into some trouble when her worst tenant is murdered. The second book will be released at some point, the details of which being one of the things you can expect to get by continuing to subscribe to this newsletter.
What else is included in your subscription? Glad you asked! Aside from writing books, avoiding writing books, and absolutely dominating Candy Crush Soda Saga, the main things I’m good at are coming up with ridiculous plot ideas, and eating cheese. So that’s what I’m planning to offer you, on a bi-monthly basis: Three novel plots (largely genre) and one cheese suggestion. I don’t expect anyone to actually write a book based on any of these plots since they are, as previously mentioned, ridiculous. But in my experience, sometimes it’s the ridiculousness that frees you to think of the actually good plot. A lot of writing is just getting out of your own way, and nothing stops perfectionism from shouting down the muse like giving it a giant mosquito to deal with.
Or something. Anyway, if nothing else, the next time someone asks, “where do you get your ideas?” you can just airily wave your hands and say, “Oh, I get a newsletter.”
The cheese suggestions, on the other hand, are deadly serious.
And Then There Were Gnomes (Cozy Mystery)
Little Odense, an island off the coast of California, is home to one of the oldest Danish communities on the West Coast. It is also home to about 5000 gnomes, the product of the famous local industry. But a newcomer has arrived in town, a rebel gnome-maker whose designs include a heavily-armed gnome militia and some gnomes whose vices go well beyond the traditional tankards of beer. Scandal follows, and when his pieces begin vanishing from the few gardens that will display them, the designer hires Hannah Christina Anderson, the town’s only, and severely under-employed, private investigator, to get to the bottom of the thefts. But when one of the designer’s most vocal critics turns up dead, she has a case on her hands that gnome-one could have expected.
Fathers’ Group (Domestic Suspense)
Being a stay-at-home dad hadn’t been Rick Hardy’s plan for his life, but now he wouldn’t trade it for the world. Instead of an unfulfilling career as a software sales rep, he gets to watch his daughter grow and learn every day, and if he does have to deal with the occasional diaper blowout, it’s not the worst thing he’s ever taken from a boss. The one thing he was missing was the camaraderie of his old workplace, which is why he’s happy to find a father’s group in the new suburb he and his wife have moved to. The other dads seem like great guys, as excited about their kids as they are about football, but there’s something that doesn’t seem quite right. Is it the way the local high school teams never seem to lose? The mysterious disappearances clustered around the bowling alley? Or maybe it’s the satanic rituals that happen every other Wednesday, which he’s just been told it’s his turn to lead?
At a government lab in rural Louisiana, scientists are hard at work to create new strains of mosquitos that can stop the spread of deadly blood-borne diseases. But something goes wrong and the insects grow rapidly, quickly becoming thousands of times their original size. They escape their containment and vanish into the swamp, heading for the ocean on a route that will get them to New Orleans just in time for a little party called Mardi Gras, and the only thing standing in their way is a ragtag team of rogue etymologists and a citronella candle-maker who just got the product order of her life.
Now look, I love a good craft, artisan wheel, with a sense of place, a bit of funk, and the knowledge that real care went into making the cheese I’m eating. But I also love being able to go to any above-average grocery store and know that I can get something I will enjoy and which might, if I’m lucky, have truffles in it. Fromager d’Affinois is that cheese. It’s creamy, uncomplicated, widely available and, perhaps most critically, has a rind that’s mild enough for anyone to eat, so you don’t end up serving it to people and having it come back like it’s been hollowed out by a pack of cheese-gophers. Get some, eat some, and enjoy your summer.