Claus of Death by Moira Bates
Deep in the heart of Texas, where mayhem and mysteries roam—spend the holidays with the people of Baseless. Julia Jane Melvin is forty-something and fierce, and she’s throwing the party of the year in an attempt to get Baseless on the map—literally. She’s even hired “Santa to the Stars,” Ike Cumberland of Muleshoe, Texas. Poppy Price is a rising food-star, so she easily won the bid to cater. People come from miles around for her creations—and she is best friends with Julia’s son—no one else would do. When they promise attendees it will be an evening to remember, they mean it.
You can read more about Julia and Poppy in their respective series: MidLife Mysteries and Poppy’s Food Truck Mysteries, by Moira Bates. Moira resides in Texas with her husband and a menagerie of four-legged creatures. A long-time teller of tales, she finally decided to start writing them down.
What quirky Christmas tradition does your character do every year?
Julia Jane Melvin dresses the whole family—young adult children, cats, everyone—in matching pajamas. She is fond of flannel and fleece, which isn’t always a great fit with Christmas in Central Texas. But those who love her sweat it out (literally) and carry on the tradition. Poppy doesn’t have her own traditions—yet. That might change after this year.
What was your favorite or most memorable gift you got as a child?
When I was eight, my parents dropped me off at my grandparents’ house at Thanksgiving and told me I couldn’t come home until Christmas. (I still saw them every day, I just didn’t go to our house.) On Christmas Eve, my dad and uncles carried a mammoth package into the room. I wanted the Charlie’s Angels Townhouse for Christmas, but it was unavailable. Instead, my parents had spent weeks creating one for me—including handmade furniture, quilts to match the wallpaper in each bedroom, and a fireplace built from rocks and mortar. The gift I asked for would have been destroyed and forgotten in a few months; the one I got was played with by generations and still lives at my house.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
I have celeb inspo on my social media feed—Julia is definitely Kim Cattrall, and Poppy is Janine Turner, circa 1997.
Can you share an enticing (50 words or less) snippet that isn’t in the blurb?
Ben knocked gently on the door to Robby’s home office, but I pushed around him and rushed into the room. I don’t know what I expected to see, but it was not Santa reclining on the loveseat, scratching his… um… jingle bells… with chocolate staining his white beard.
How does this story connect with your other books or series? Claus of Death is a crossover story that takes place a few months after the first books in each series. My intention was to give readers a feel for the characters in Baseless and the kind of crazy shenanigans they get up to. The mystery itself is pretty easy to solve, but the people are hard to forget.