Character Q&A With Marley McKinney by Sarah Fox

Marley McKinney is the owner of The Flip Side pancake house in Wildwood Cove, WA. She’s joining us today to help us get to know her by answering a few questions.

What do you love best about Wildwood Cove?

 There’s so much that I love about this town, but most of all it’s the people and the environment. The friends I’ve made since I moved to Wildwood Cove are the best ones I’ve had in my life and there’s such a great community feel. Then there’s the town’s beautiful location. Wildwood Beach has been my favorite place in the world ever since I was a little girl. I love living right by the ocean where I can hear the waves crashing and smell the saltiness in the air. If I need to relax or clear my mind, the beach is the best place for me to go.

What’s your favorite part of running a pancake house?

 Again I’d have to say the people. My employees have become good friends of mine and so have many of The Flip Side’s regular customers. Of course, there’s also the food! The Flip Side’s chef, Ivan, works magic in the kitchen and I never get tired of taste-testing his creations.

Following that line of thought, what’s your favorite dish on The Flip Side’s menu?

 That’s a difficult question to answer! I have so many favorites, including the maple pecan sticky rolls, the apple cinnamon scones, the pumpkin waffles, and the strawberry banana crêpes. But if I have to pick an absolute favorite, I’d say it’s the pumpkin pie crêpes. As a seasonal item, they’re only on the menu from October through December, so I always make sure to get my fill. They’re topped with whipped cream and they’re so delicious that my mouth is watering just thinking about them!

You have a tendency to get involved in murder investigations and other mysteries. What drives you to do that?

 In part, my curiosity. My boyfriend has joked that my curiosity is an incurable condition, and I think he’s right. I can’t help myself. Unsolved mysteries drive me crazy and I can’t stop thinking about them. If I have a friend or loved one connected to the mystery, that makes it even harder to forget about. If there’s a chance that I can help a friend get closure or clear their name if they’re under suspicion, it’s pretty much impossible for me to sit around doing nothing.

Speaking of mysteries, do you enjoy reading mystery novels? If so, who’s your favorite author?

I love reading mysteries! My favorite way to spend some quiet time is sitting on the beach with a good book or curling up on the window seat in my bedroom with a cup of tea and a mystery to read. I have several favorite mystery authors, but the top one is definitely Agatha Christie. There’s a reason she’s known as the Queen of Crime!

Thank you to Marley for answering these questions. I know she’d love for all of you to stop by The Flip Side pancake house for a visit!


When a murder case from the past heats up again, it’s up to Marley McKinney to sort through a tall stack of suspects in the latest Pancake House Mystery. . .

Although it’s a soggy start to spring in Wildwood Cove, the weather clears up just in time for the town to host an amateur chef competition. Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, already signed up to volunteer, and chef Ivan Kaminski is one of the judges. But when Marley visits her landscaper boyfriend Brett at the site of the Victorian mansion that’s being restored as the Wildwood Inn, she discovers something else pushing up daisies: human remains.

The skeleton on the riverbank washed out by the early-spring floodwaters belonged to eighteen-year-old Demetra Kozani, who vanished a decade earlier. While the cold case is reopened, Marley must step in when some of the cook-off contestants fall suspiciously ill. Stuck in a syrupy mess of sabotage and blackmail, it falls to Marley to stop a killer from crêping up on another victim. . .

Includes pancake recipes right from The Flip Side menu!

“Readers will cheer this brisk, literate addition to the world of small-town cozies.” —Kirkus Reviews on Wine and Punishment