A Cheese Shop Mystery Author Avery Aames

It’s the fourth day of Fun With Food Week on my blog. Today, I’d like to welcome Avery Aames as my guest. Avery, author of A Cheese Shop Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, is the pseudonym for Daryl Wood Gerber. Daryl created the format for the popular sit-com, “Out of this World” and has won awards for her screenplays. She also writes short stories and suspense novels. Both Avery and Daryl like to read, cook, garden, and do amateur photography.

Daryl and I have known each other for awhile through the Sisters in Crime Guppies Chapter and it is a pleasure to hear of the success that she and her alter ego Avery have had. Below, her character Charlotte Bessette will tell us what she was doing 25 years ago. Charlotte is the Cheese Shop owner in The Long Quiche Goodbye, the first in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, by Avery Aames, Berkley Prime Crime, July 2010.

CHARLOTTE: Twenty-five years ago, I was eight-years-old, living in Providence, Ohio where I still reside, and I was driving my grandparents nuts. My grandmother would tell you that I had energy coming out my ears. Because she ran the local theater, she tried to channel my energy into creative endeavors like acting and dancing, but I didn’t take to them. Oh, sure, I was a pirate in Peter Pan and I did a bad version of a ballet in a whacky rendition of The Nutcracker, but I didn’t have a passion for the theater.

After school I loved hanging around Fromagerie Bessette–as the locals call it, The Cheese Shop. I’d drink in the aromas of Taleggio and Brie and hundreds of other cheeses and pester my grandfather with questions about how the cheeses were made. When I wasn’t at the shop or at school, I went climbing. The rocks out at Kindred Creek are incredible–craggy old things covered with moss. They’re slippery, but I liked the challenge. And I climbed trees. The hills of Holmes County are covered with interesting specimens.

My favorite tree stood on the back acres of the Vance farm. My best friend, Meredith, and I were always egging each other to climb higher. The white oak on her parents’ chicken farm was twice the size of everyone else’s. Her father said it was standing there long before the town of Providence came into being. As a student, I wasn’t bad. Around the age of eight-and-a-half, I fell in love with reading. Over the Christmas holiday, I read the entire collection of Nancy Drew books. I also read a book pressed upon me by my grandmother. A Wrinkle in Time. It left me with an odd sense of wonder about the world beyond. Even today, I get a chill thinking about the story. Twenty-five years ago was such an innocent time.

What a great story! And, A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favorite books also. To find out more about Avery, you can visit the blogs Mystery Lovers Kitchen, a blog for foodies who love mysteries, as well as Killer Characters. You may also read more about Avery’s books on her web site.

Check out The Long Quiche Goodbye on Amazon. Welcome to the grand opening of Fromagerie Bessette. Or as it’s more commonly known by the residents of small-town Providence, Ohio-the Cheese Shop. Proprietor Charlotte Bessette has prepared a delightful sampling of bold Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, delicious tortes of Stilton and Mascarpone, and a taste of Sauvignon Blanc-but someone else has decided to make a little crime of passion the piece de resistance. Right outside the shop Charlotte finds a body, the victim stabbed to death with one of her prized olive-wood handled knives.

Please post your questions and comments for Avery below. If you missed the earlier posts revolving around this week’s cooking theme, you can find them here:
Meet Norma Huss, author of Yesterday’s Body
Norma’s book excerpt and her recipe for Garlic Chicken with Peanut Sauce, Noodles and Vegetables
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today excerpt and recipe for apple French toast
Tomorrow, we’ll conclude the week with a look at the book Killer Recipes, a collection of recipes by mystery authors with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.

Send My Free Storybook Valley Welcome Kit

Get a sneak peek into Stacy's romantic comedy series set at a theme park. Includes sample chapters, princess tips, interviews, and more. You will also be subscribed to the Staycation newsletter, filled with book news, surprise bonus content, and perks for readers.

Powered by ConvertKit
Stacy Juba's Characters At A Crossroads Blog


  1. Thanks for joining us, Avery. We’ve been talking all week about food and recipes on the blog. Can you tell us more about the kind of things you blog about over at Mystery Lovers Kitchen? Do you have a favorite blog post there that you can share a link to?

  2. Nora-Adrienne Deret says

    Twenty five years ago it was my youngest daughter was 4 years old and my partner and I were working 2 full time jobs and a part time one to pay the rent, food, and tuition bills that Parochial Schools expect to collect. With 4 kids it was hard work. Thankfully it is now their turn to pay those same bills, and mortgages (which we never had).

    I loved reading Avery’s book and hope she has many years of success with this character.

    Avery, I hope you got some use out of that Kosher Cheese suppliers info I sent you.

  3. Nora-Adrienne Deret says

    Twenty five years ago it was 1985 and my youngest daughter was 4 years old

  4. Nora – I did get some use from your suppliers. And thank you for your good wishes for success. I’m thrilled with how many people have enjoyed reading The Long Quiche Goodbye. I feel so lucky to be able to write it.

  5. Mare Fairchild says

    25 years ago I was working two jobs as a single parent raising my 8 year old son. We would watch movies curled up on the couch with our respective woobies, we’d bake cookies, well I’d bake cookies and he and his friends would decorate them, I sat through countless Little League games and soccer practices and I still remember the coach’s startled response when I asked if athletic supporters came in specific sizes. LOL

  6. Another great post, Stacy!
    Charlotte, I enjoyed getting to know more about you. Your book is already on my wish list. I’m looking forward to reading it!

  7. Mare, wobbie? I’m thinking blanket? 🙂 Love the coach question!

    Darcia, lovely to see you here. I hope you get to read the book soon. Always consider asking your local librarian to stock it.


  8. Mare Fairchild says

    Darcia, yes, a woobie is an afghan. I had donated one to a charity benefit raffle when the initial unheaval in Afghanistan was going on and one of my bar patron’s suggested we call it a woobie, from the movie Mr. Mom, and it’s stuck with me all of these years. If I keep following Charlotte’s leads on cheeses I’m going to need a bigger woobie. LOL

  9. Stacy, I love blogging on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. All of us post a different recipe daily. We’ve found a wide variety of readers and fans. A recent post, for a special contest week, featured a recipe from The Long Quiche Goodbye. Here’s the link. Im posting from an iPhone, so I hope it works. Apple Pie Peanut Butter Sandwich. Enjoy.

  10. Charlotte (and Avery and Daryl), I loved reading your adventures. My baby was in high school 25 years ago, so no playmates for you from our house back then! But look how well you turned out. Cheese definitely agrees with you.

  11. Norma, aren’t you sweet. I have my grandparents to thank. And of course my passion for cheese keeps me busy and happy.
    ~Charlotte ( with help from Avery)

  12. Apple Pie Peanut Butter Sandwich sounds delicious! I love hearing everyone’s 25 years ago memories.

  13. It has been a delight hearing everyone’s stories. Thanks for sharing, and thank you, Stacy, for the opportunity.

    BTW, 24 years ago, I was pregnant with my lovely son. 🙂

    Best to all,

    Avery aka Daryl

Stacy Juba