Showing posts with label Murder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Murder. Show all posts

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Deadly Fundraiser - Talk Radio Mysteries Book 4 - Mary Kennedy, Author



RHUBARB CAKE
(A Maggie Special)

2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
½ cup plus one tablespoon sugar
½ cup plus one tablespoon flour
1 – 2 tablespoons chilled butter
1 cup chopped fresh (or frozen rhubarb)
¾ tsp good quality vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract

Chop the rhubarb.
Beat eggs until light and fluffy. 


Gradually beat in sugar until thick. Add vanilla and almond extract. Beat in flour (don’t overbeat) 
Pour into greased 8 inch baking pan.   Arrange a layer of rhubarb on the top.  Top with dabs of butter.  The cakes do turn out better if you make one at a time, rather than doubling the recipe. I don’t know why.   Of course they can bake together.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.
When the cake is cool, dust with icing sugar.  The sweetness counteracts the tartness of the rhubarb.


A Deadly Fundraiser - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

When Christopher Morgan, the owner of Mayfair, passed away he left instructions that the house be preserved and donated to the Preservation Committee as a center for the art.  The Historical Society, along with the Preservation Committee decided to open the 1930's mansion for a "gala" to raise money for the planned Center for the Arts.  Cyrus Still, the station manager at WYME, liked to support community causes.  But it looked like Maggie and Vera Mae were the only WYME folks to show up from the station.

Maggie has a radio call-in show called On the Couch with Dr. Maggie.  She closed her psychology practice and moved to Cypress Grove to become a radio talk show host.  Vera Mae is the producer of her show and is in charge of scheduling guests and manning the phones as people call in to ask questions of the guests.  So, when this event took place, it was a good way to meet people and hopefully promote the show.

To allow everyone a chance to see the mansion for the last time before it was remodeled for the Center, the committee decided to have a scavenger hunt.  Maggie and Vera Mae were joined by a reporter pal, Nick Harrison, to search using the clues provided by the committee.  Things were going great until they went to the basement where many years before, housed a real 'speakeasy.'  While searching for their next object, Maggie placed a hand on the wall.  To her surprise, the wall slid open exposing a hidden room and a body.

I've read many of Mary Kennedy's books and she gets better and more entertaining with each.  Her books always give you a handful of suspects while keeping you in suspense as to which one was guilty.  As always she left this book with the possibility of another and I'm impatiently waiting for it to appear.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

'Til Death (Rockwell Return Files) - Jason Anspach, Author



Alice Rockwell's Perfect Pot Roast

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled into two pieces 
kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin
1 large carrot, chopped medium
1 celery rib, chopped medium
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 cup beef broth, plus 1 to 2 cups for sauce
½ cup dry red wine, plus 1/4 cup for sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig plus 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


1. Sprinkle pieces of meat with 1 tablespoon salt and and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Heat butter in heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add carrot and celery; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 cup broth, ½ cup wine, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme sprig; bring to simmer.

3. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season generously with pepper. Tie each piece of meat into loaf shape for even cooking.

4. Place meat on top of vegetables. Cover pot tightly with large piece of foil and cover with lid; transfer pot to oven. Cook  on middle rack until beef fully tender, 3½ to 4 hours, turning halfway through cooking.

5. Transfer roasts to cutting board and keep warm. Strain liquid through mesh strainer into 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Discard bay leaf and thyme sprig. Transfer vegetables to a jar. Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then skim any fat off surface. Add vegetables and beef broth as necessary to bring liquid amount to 3 cups. Blend until smooth. Transfer sauce to medium saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat.

6. While sauce heats, remove twine from roast and slice against grain into ½-inch-thick slices. Transfer meat to large serving platter. Stir chopped thyme, remaining ¼ cup wine, and vinegar into sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon half of sauce over meat; pass remaining sauce separately.

'Til Death (Rockwell Return Files) - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

S. Rockwell, Private Investigator
Returns and the Unexplainable Welcomed


When you think of 'returns' you normally think of someone sitting behind a counter helping people get their money back for items they either don't need or simply don't want.  At least that was how I've always looked at it.  That is until I read 'Til Death.  This is what I learned from reading this book:

'Returns' was the acccepted term used for dead folks who came back, usually due to sufficiently important unfinished business.  Who made the determination on who Returned or not was still a hot topic among theologians.

Sam Rockwell's PI business was to help these 'Returns' out so they could finish up their business and move on to better places upstairs.  He didn't deal with a large number of returns, but the few times a Return actually made his way into the office, they weren't exactly asking him to save the world.  Most cases were as simple as an executive returning to share the code for his wall safe with his business partner.  And that was the case until his mother calls to tell him his father had been murdered and his help was needed to find the killer.  Oh yeah, his father was a Return.  He told the people upstairs that he had information that was given to him to safe keep away from the Russians who would use it to destroy the US.

This book is so different from any I've ever read.  It has murder, suspense, and best of all humor.  Sam's task of finding out who killed his father and then who killed the killer, puts him up against some really rough people.  But you can't help but laugh as he deals with the Returns that pop up now and then, mainly his own father.  When I got to the end of 'Til Death I saw that book 2 was out.  It's titled 'Til Death: Second Impressions.  Yes I ordered it and can't wait to see where the Returns take Sam next.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Snow Storm - Bobby Nash, Author




Bobby's Chicken Strip Recipe
(My recipe for chicken strips, perfect for a day at the track or a picnic while reading your favorite novel. - Bobby)

I package boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins (or breasts you can slice into strips).
1 stick butter
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1 cup fine bread crumbs

Pre-heat oven 0 o 350 degrees.
Line baking pan with aluminum foil.
Spray with cooking spray of your choice (for non-stick)
Melt better in bowl (I use the microwave)
Mix Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in separate bowl
Place chicken in butter to coat
Place buttered chicken in Parmesan cheese/bread crumb mix.
Coat fully.
Place on tray.
Repeat until all chicken is coated.
Add light salt and pepper.

Bake for 16 minutes on 350 degrees.
Turn over at 16 minutes.
Add light salt and pepper (to taste)
Bake for an additional 16 minutes on 350 degrees.

Remove and let cool. 

Snow Storm - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

I got a call from a lawyer friend of mine.  I helped him track down some folks a few times and whenever he could, he tossed some business my way.  This one didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary.  This lady split with her husband and then she up and moves away, taking their now teenage daughter with her.  The dad, Anthony Mann needed someone to help find the kid so he could get in touch... I found the ex.  She changed her name, which was weird and set of a few alarm bells.  The daughter changed her last name as well.  At first I assumed the mother had remarried and the daughter had taken the new guy's name, but she never remarried.  Mom works for a manufacturing outfit based out of Texas and travels a lot for the job.  She owns a small home in Florida, but also keeps an apartment in Atlanta.  My guess is that's where the daughter's living these days.  I found out she was accepted to Georgia Tech.  I've not been there yet.  Something about this whole thing didn't sit right with me so I did a little digging into both the lady and her ex-husband before I did anything else.

Samson Brooks wasn't just someone Snow had worked with while undercover, he was also a close friend.  So, when he filled him in on his search for Katie Masters and informed him that her real name was Katie Manelli, Snow's ears perked up.  Turns out that she is the granddaughter of Antonio Manelli, one of the biggest mob leaders in the country.

As Brooks and Snow go to Atlanta to pick Katie up and take her to a safe place, they meet trouble of the mob kind. The problem is this mob isn't part of the Manelli family, but of their biggest rival the Roarke family.

In Snow Storm, you'll find bullets flying and plenty of action as Snow, Brooks, Snow's brother and grandfather all try to keep the two families from killing each other as well as Katie and her mother Pamela.  It has a few twists and turns that kept me reading not sure this could be accomplished.  I must say, this isn't a very lengthy book but it is one that I really enjoyed.  It also left me with enough information about Book 3 that I'm looking forward to diving into it soon.  I'll give you a hint - Daniella Cordoza will apparently be brought back into the story.  If you don't know who she is, read Book 1 - Snow Falls and you'll see why I'm excited about her appearance.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Death Overdue - Allison Brook, Author - Pre-Order Now!



Eggplant Salad


My mother used to make this when I was growing up. Since then I’ve added touches of my own ~~Marilyn Levinson


1 eggplant
2 T olive oil
2 t vinegar
¼ onion
½ red pepper
clove of garlic
2-3 T of sundried tomatoes or a small tomato cut up
fresh or dried basil
fresh or dried parsley
salt & pepper to taste


This is a mid-eastern dish. While many like to roast the eggplant over a flame, I prefer to bake it in the oven at 350 degrees after washing it and stabbing it a few times with a knife. Turn the eggplant over after 12-15 minutes  and continue to bake to complete the process. When the eggplant is soft to the touch, remove it and let it cool before preparing the salad. I usually put it in the refrigerator after it’s cooled and complete the process the following day.


Dice red pepper, sundried tomatoes, garlic and onion in a food processor with the oil and vinegar. Slice the eggplant down the middle, scoop out the flesh and add to food processor. Discard seeds and skin. Add basil and/or parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Don’t over-process. Some people like a smooth salad while others prefer a chunkier texture.

Serve as a vegetable or an appetizer with crackers. You can add whatever herb you like. Enjoy!

Death Overdue - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish


Carrie Singleton is back in Clover Ridge, Connecticut, spiked purple hair and all.  She’s staying with Great Uncle Bosco and Aunt Harriet, who offered her a home when her own mother wouldn't. As for her father—for all Carrie knows, he might be back in jail. But it’s time to move on. The job Uncle Bosco has wrangled for her in the Clover Ridge Library is boring and makes no use of her library science degree. Besides, much as she’s grown to love her aunt and uncle, she simply can’t stay in one place very long. She’ll soon turn thirty, and she’s held five jobs in as many states. it’s time to go.


The library director’s offer to be Head of Programs and Events comes as a shock. It would mean drastic changes in Carrie’s lifestyle. No more purple hair. No more black Goth outfits. No more running carefree.  She would have responsibilities. Others would be depending on her. She would have to grow up and fast.
The ghost of Evelyn Havers appears and urges Carrie to take the job. Evelyn worked in the library until her death a few years ago. At Carrie's first scheduled event, a retired homicide detective is murdered while talking about a cold case he claims to have solved. Carrie believes the two murders are linked. With Evelyn’s help she sets out to find the murderer.


Allison Brook is one author that I can't get enough of.  I've read everything she has written, I think, and have enjoyed them all.  When I started Death Overdue, I decided I knew who the murderer was after about 60 pages.  Yep, I was wrong.  I wasn't surprised when the truth finally came out, but by then I had about 6 suspects.  Finishing this book has left room for many more books to come. I can't wait to read them.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hide and Seek - Richard Parker, Author



Chunky Chicken Satay - serves 2

I've always loved this dish but my issue with it is that it's tiny.  I use 2 inch cubes of chicken thigh meat for this but feel free to use generous cubes of chicken breast. - Richard

Measurements don't need to be exact.  Adjust for your own taste and texture preference.

Marinade

1 lemon squeezed plust zest
5 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp sesame oil
2 heaped tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
2  cloves of garlic crushed


Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup creamed coconut
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Drop of warm water.

For marinade combine all ingredients and marinade chicken for a few hours - no longer as lemon juice will break it down.

For peanut sauce add warm water to creamed coconut and combine remaining ingredients. Add more warm water or oil to get correct texture.

Skewer chicken and grill until meat is white.  Dip and enjoy!


Hide and Seek Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Lana heard her boy scream and shot to the back door.  The'd taken her eyes off him for only a few moments but when she entered the sunny yard there was no sign of her child.  She bolted to where he'd been sitting and found the stranger's bare legs scrambling over the fence with a sack containing Cooper dangling from his fist.  She could see Cooper twisting inside.  He was hoisted up and out of reach and her panicked wail energized is.  If she didn't act fast, the stranger would drop over the fence to the private lane on the other side.  She restrained his ankle firmly with both hands and started trying to lug him back.  Lana grabbed his clammy calf and then slammed her body against his shoe to trap him there.  Digging her nails in, she bit the skin above his heel.  She heard him cry out and she clamped her teeth down as hard as she could.  She wanted to shout that she'd murder him before she'd let him take Cooper but she wasn't about to loosen her teeth on his ankle.

Lana saved her son that day but the fear that wouldn't leave her took it's tolls on her, changing her life forever.  No longer did the home she and Todd had scrapped ends to buy seem safe.  Their move to a fourth floor apartment helped some but she still checked every window and every door at least three times before going to bed.  Her obsession also took her to an internet site called Right Where You're Standing.  It used GPS to direct you to local murder scenes.  Here she did a search seeking only those where children had been taken and murdered. She had high hopes that site would find her find the perpetrator who tried to take her son.  It's now almost a year later and the police appeared to have given up their search leaving her to be the only one to pick it back up.  What she didn't know was the involvement her husband Todd had taken on with his own investigation.  His form of involvement was one that could prove to be very deadly, not just for himself but for Lana too.

Hide and Seek is a book that will not only have you watching your own children but it will also become a book that you'll keep telling yourself "just one more chapter."  Well, that "just one more chapter" turned into another and another for me.  It takes you on a very winding road that is actually full of surprises!  The trials that Lana goes through are more than most of us could endure.  And no, I'll not give you clues, other than to say that if you like a book that will keep you on the edge of your chair, you'll want to get your hands or Kindle on this book ASAP.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Skeleton in the Closet (Southern Ghost Hunter Series Book 2) - Angie Fox, Author



Mississippi Mud Brownies

Brownies:
1 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
½ cup chopped pecans
1 (10.5 ounce) package mini marshmallows

Frosting:
½ cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 cup of butter. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa until smooth. Mix in the white sugar, eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in the flour, then fold in pecans and marshmallows. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the brownies cool in the pan. Try not to eat them (yet).

To make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, melt together 1/2 cup of butter and 1/3 cup of cocoa. Mix in confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in the milk, a tablespoon at a time until icing is a nice spreading consistency.

Spread icing on top of brownies. Devour.


The Skeleton in the Closet (Southern Ghost Hunter Series Book 2)- Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

Ellis leaned an arm over the back of the couch.  "I need your help, Verity."  Oh my.  "This isn't a habit I want to encourage," I said even if I could talk Frankie into helping me.  It took a lot of his strength to show me the other side.  "I'm not a professional ghost hunter."  "You're good at it," he pressed.  "I almost got us killed last time."  He'd hired me to clear out some ghosts in a property he was renovating.  It hadn't exactly gone smoothly.  "I've never talked to such a new ghost."  I didn't even know if she could be found.  "And aren't you the one who agreed I shouldn't be doing this?"  He shook his head.  "You're right," he conceded.  "At some point, this has to stop.  But not tonight.  We need to know what happened in that library.  You don't have to talk to her.  I'll take any witness you can find.  The building has got to be haunted,:" he said.  "I've heard stories since I was a kid."

There has been a death at Sugarland and Ellis Wydell, who just happens to be a policeman, the older brother of Verity's ex-fiance and her new love, needs her help again in solving the murder.  Verity, along with the help of Frankie, has helped Ellis in the past and is apparently in need of her abilities to see ghosts and her ghostly contacts again.  Oh yeah, Frankie "The German" is the spirit of a 1920s gangster that was tied to Verity's land after she emptied his funeral urn out onto her rose bushes and soaked them down with water.

Sugarland is noted for it's Civil War battle where a cannon ball was fired into the wall of the library but never exploded.  Each year the 'Jacksons and the Wydells put on displays and reenactments of the battle.  This year Ellis' mother decided to have the events filmed by an historical productions company so the world would know the city's true history.  But what is the truth?  Who were the victors - the Jacksons or the Wydells?  Getting to the truth will put Verity and Ellis' lives in danger and make Verity's almost-mother-in-law hate her even more, if that's possible.

I recommend that you read Southern Spirits - Book 1 of this series first.  I did and am glad I did.  Not only was it a unique book and story but it also gave me insight as to what happens in book 2.

I read a lot of books and once in a while I run across an author like Angie Fox who writes a story that you not only read but you also hear and see everything that happens.  I felt like I was 'reading a movie.'  I could actually see the events at they took place.  I could see the characters and feel their feelings.  This is the work of a very well written story that has murder, mystery, suspense, ghosts, and yes, a bit of humor.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dead Man's Image - Edna Curry, Author



Hershey Brownies

1 stick (1/2 c.) margarine     
1 cup sugar
4 eggs 
1 16 can Hershey’s chocolate syrup
1 cup flour    
1/2 cup choped nuts, if desired
    
Cream together shortening and sugar, add eggs and chocolte, mix well.
Stir in flour. Pour onto greased 10x 16 inch brownie pan. Bake at 350* for
25-30 minutes.


Frost with a can of chocolate frosting and cut into bars.

Dead Man's Image - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

It was just after dark when they turned off the interstate onto a winding, two-lane blacktop.  He grinned.  He knew this road, it had plenty of hills, curves and lakes.  In fact, there was one spot in particular that was dangerous.  That spot was a sharp curve overlooking a steep valley of the St. Croix River.  It would be perfect.  No one would suspect that it wasn't an accident.  As they neared the dangerous curve, he stayed fairly close to the red Chevy.  He wasn't taking any chances on losing them.  He stepped on the gas to get closer, then as they rounded the curve, he suddenly raced alongside and forced the little Chevy off the road.

Lacey Summers is a licensed private investigator but when the phone rang and it was a man asking her to take a case regarding his death, she was curious but also a bit lost.  He explained to her that he was a long-haul truck driver who had just returned home to find his picture in the paper.  He had been murdered.  She tried to tell him that all he had to do was go to the police department, show his ID and they would see that they have the wrong name for the body.  Then he explained to her that the woman who saw a man dumping 'his' body gave a description to the police and the dumper and dumpee both looked alike!  What the trucker couldn't believe after sneaking into the funeral home with Lacey was that the dead man looked identical to him.  Who was he and why was he killed?

I must be losing my touch or authors are simply adding more twists to the story.  About 1/3 through the book I had it all figured out.  I knew who did it and why.  I took my theory all the way to the last couple of chapters.  Boy was I surprised to find out that I was completely wrong.  This book took me on some winding curves that led me to a big surprise as to who and why.

Turns out this is book 2 in the series and you can bet I'm going to go back and read book 1 Yesterday's Shadow and then head for book 3 Dead in Bed.  This author is good!





Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles - Wendy Delaney, Author



Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 cup butter 
1 12 cups sugar 
2 large eggs 
2 34 cups flour 
2 teaspoons cream of tartar 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
14 teaspoon salt 
3 tablespoons sugar 
3 teaspoons cinnamon 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

See How It's Made
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1tps of vanilla extract and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.
Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.
Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.
Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.
Remove from pan immediately.  Makes 24 cookies



Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

'Steve's cell phone rang and he stopped and pulled it from his pocket.  "Hey, Captain."  His gaze sharpened, then he turned his back to me.  Steve had kidded me about being a human lie detector ever since I participated in a university study as a favor to my former sister-in-law, the clinical psychologist.  Even before my perceptive abilities had been documented, he'd made a point of sheltering his face when he didn't want me to read his body language.  But since the Port Merritt PD captain was calling his one and only detective on his day off, anyone in the room should have been able to see that something very bad had happened.

"Tell him not to touch anything," he said.  "I'll be there in ten."  "What's happened?" I asked the second Steve disconnected, my voice a squeaky blend of breath and apprehension.  He pocketed his cell phone.  "Russell Falcon has been found."

In Trudy, Madly, Deeply (Book 1) of the Charmaine (Char) Digby series, we followed her as she became an investigative assistant for the coroner's office.  We got to know Detective Steve Sixkiller as she solved the suspicious death of a family friend and several other elderly patients whose hearts mysteriously stopped.  And who could forget Char's mother the 'actress' who is in the market for her next husband.  Author Wendy Delaney brings all of them back plus a few more in Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles (Book 2).

In this episode Char argues with Steve, insisting that the death of Russ Falcon was a murder.  Steve isn't saying it was or it wasn't.  Actually, he isn't saying anything leaving Char to come up with the evidence and motive on her own.  Her main target is the husband of one of Russ' flings.  But did he do it?  She believe so, even if Steve doesn't seem to think she is right.

Reading Book 2 in this series I wasn't sure who killed Russ or even if it was a murder.  I knew who I suspected but had no motive, which lead me to think that maybe his death really was an accident.  I have to admit that I had the correct character but never did have the motive until the end.  So, read this book and let me know if you came up with the same suspect that I did.  Now I'm looking forward to reading There's Something About Marty - Book 3 in this series.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sign Off (Caught Dead in Wyoming, Book 1) - Patricia McLinn, Author



Elizabeth's Watergate Salad With Attitude

Watergate salad is served as a side dish and sometimes a dessert, depending on the sweetness of the toppings. But KWMT broadcaster Elizabeth Danniher, who first encountered the salad while working in Washington, D.C., modifies the recipe to make it more of a salad, going with gelatin instead of pudding and adding the horseradish for a surprising kick. It's also easy to make, always a plus for a busy journalist. 
This recipe fills a 9x13 baking dish, so it's great for newsroom potlucks or big family gatherings. Prep time: about 15 minutes.

Ingredients
1 3-ounce package instant lime gelatin mix
1 3-ounce package instant lemon gelatin mix
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 20- to 24-ounce tub of small-curd cottage cheese
1 5-ounce can of evaporated milk
3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish; not horseradish sauce (more if you want it a little sassier)

Directions
Make both gelatin packages using 1 cup of hot water to dissolve the gelatin and 1 cup of cold water to cool it (you can use the juice from the pineapple to substitute for some of the cold water). 
In a large bowl, mix together the lemon-lime gelatin mixture and the remaining ingredients.
Chill for at least three hours, or even better, overnight.

Sign Off (Caught Dead in Wyoming, Book 1) - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

"Tamantha, I'm going to tell you the absolute truth.  But I have to ask you not to tell anybody.  You understand?"  She nodded.  "When you talked to me the other day at the television station, it got me looking into this case that your father's involved in.  I - we - Mr. Paycik and I - are talking to people and trying to find out things about what happened to Foster Redus."

"Oh, him. That's who some people said my Daddy killed.  They're wrong."

"Your mother agrees with the people saying that."

"Nobody listens to her.  Daddy didn't kill him.  You prove that.  That's what you promised on TV."

I shook my head.  "No.  That's not what I promise.  I promise to look into problems.  Some problems can't be fixed, and some get fixed but in a way you don't like.  That might happen, Tamantha.  Because I'm not talking to people to help your Daddy, I'm doing it to find the truth.  If your Daddy's involved - my finding out the truth could get him put in jail."

She stared for a long moment.  "You find out the truth."  She granted permission like Queen Isabella giving Columbus the okay to find the New World.  "You talk to my Daddy and you'll know.  He didn't kill that man."

Sheriff Deputy Foster Redus, man about town, especially with the women, is missing and has been missing for some time.  The 'person of interest' in his missing is Thomas David Burrell.  It seems that Redus came to see Burrell just before his disappearance and the meeting turned into a few fists flying.  Was he dead or did he just run away?  According to a couple of his women friends, he wouldn't just run off without one of them, each claiming to be the one he would choose to take along.  His wife, who had filed for divorce papers, stopped the process, apparently believing him to be dead.  And the sheriff is hell bent on blaming Burrell for his disappearance and most likely death, but without a body he had to drop all charges and just make his life as impossible as he possibly could.

Now the solving of the mystery it's up to Reporter E. (Elizabeth) M. Danniher, who's show 'Helping Out', was seen by Burrell's daughter Tamantha and convinced her that she could prove her Daddy's innocence.

I read a lot of books but have to say this one really baffled me.  From the beginning, I had no idea who would cause Redus' disappearance.  It wasn't due to there being no suspects, but because there were so many.  Normally, at least by halfway through a book, I have an idea as to who and why.  Not with this book!  It took me to the end and I must say I was a little surprised.

If you like a good murder mystery, don't miss out on this one.  I'm actually hooked on this series of books and can't wait to read Book 2 Left Hanging.  Author Patricia McLinn does have what it takes to keep my interest in a book.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Trudy, Madly, Deeply - Wendy Delaney, Author


Sylvia's Funeral Tuna Casserole

1 lb egg noodles, cooked, drained shopping list
4 cans albacore tuna fish, drained shopping list
4 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup undiluted, low sodium if possible shopping list
1/2 soup can of heavy cream shopping list
1 cup frozen green peas, thawedshopping list
1-2 tsp celery seed or to taste shopping list
salt and pepper to taste
1 small bag of potato chips crushed

Combine everything with the cooked noodles except the potato chips.
Mix with a fork to separate the tuna into edible chunks
Place mixture in a large casserole dish
Cover with crushed potato chips
Bake in a 350F oven about 30 minutes
Sprinkle top with a bit of paprika if desired
Serve hot, chips will soften when cold.
Simple mix into casserole when reheating.


Trudy, Madly, Deeply - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and a Dish

Gloria's unpainted lips pulled back into a lopsided grin. "Weren't you the one who sold me a cinnamon roll last Thursday?"

"That would be me."

"Interesting career path."


Tell me about it.'  I just prayed that path wouldn't lead to me wearing my breakfast on my shoes before the day was over.

She grabbed a form from behind the counter and slid it toward me.  "Fill this out."

Fifteen minutes later, Gloria handed me a laminated badge with the county seal that looked about as official as my library card.

"That's it?"

"That's it, hon.  She patted me on the hand.  "Try not to lose it or do anything to get the county sued."

Charmaine 'Char' Digby had just been sworn in a a deputy coroner.  Her last job, at Duke's Cafe, owned by her great-uncle Darrell Duquette, was where she served meals to most of those she would now be working with and unfortunately some that she would be investigating.

Her first 'case' turned out to be the death of a family friend who had been hospitalized for pneumonia but turned up dead due to asphyxiation.  According to one of the doctors, this was a bit unusual.  Apparently the Doctor didn't believe her death was an isolated incident.  There appeared to be several more recovering patients that died mysteriously, just before being released.  Char's task now is to find the person responsible for these deaths before another happens.

This book turned out to be one that was so different from any I've ever read.  It was an enjoyable book to curl up with at night.  It had humor and suspense, which made it even more appealing.  I followed Char through her suspicions and agreed with her, at times.  But when the true story of what was going was disclosed I was shocked.  It wasn't the 'who nor why' that I expected.  I'm now ready to go to the next chapter with Char in Book 2 'Sex,Lies, and Snickerdoodles.'






Saturday, June 3, 2017

Crossover Murder: Reality TV Cozy Mysteries 2 - Nikki Haverstock, Author



Strawberry Daiquiri from Captain Morgan

1.25 ounces of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1.75 ounces of Sweet and Sour Mix
3 ounces of frozen strawberries
1 cup of ice 
Blend and garnish cup with sugar


Enjoy responsibly with a favorite book - Nikki :)

Crossover Murder:  Reality TV Cozy Mysteries 2 - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

The plan was that we would try another live cast over the Internet of Heather welcoming Texas Shore Cowboys to the area.  Then she'd pass the microphone over to Peppin, the star of the bank and the show, who would announce the private concert the following evening at Priscilla's theater, the Fish.  Peppin would hype up the even, and we would stop the live cast.

Tomorrow, we would also do a quick live cast of the first few minutes of the convert.  Both the live casts would serve to advertise next week's episode.  One of the biggest issues with promoting the show had been a lack of commercials.  How could you advertise upcoming episodes when they weren't even filmed yet?  The best approach so far had been to have a murder on set - then the media did the advertising for you.

The cast of Savv Socialites of Fishcreek Falls, is back and Melissa finds herself solving yet another murder.  The reality show joins temporary forces with the band Texas Shore Cowboys which spices up the story as well as the action.  You'll meet Peppin who is the lead singer of the Cowboys, as well as some of the others in the band, as they come into Fishcreek Falls with their desire to party, fight and have a good time.  You'll also enjoy the sneaky antics of Heather as she does her best to discredit and destroy Melissa.

I read a lot of books and can normally come up with the 'bad guy/gal' at least half way in.  With this Author Nikki Haverstock, it seems that I know who I think it will be but the more I read the more I doubt my choice.  She will take you to the end before giving you full confirmation as to whether you are right or wrong, and that I like in a good mystery.  Oh yeah!  Bubbles is in full character throughout.  If you read Book 1 you'll remember Bubbles as being the 'gassy' dog that Melissa adopted from the shelter.  He will keep you smiling and laughing from beginning to end.

Monday, May 1, 2017

All Lies - Lies #1 - Andrew Cunningham, Author



ANDREW'S FAMOUS CARROT CAKE
His only claim to fame!
(and he stole it from his mother, who stole it from a neighbor…)

1 1/4 CUPS OIL
1 1/2 CUPS SUGAR
2 CUPS FLOUR
3 EGGS
2 tsp CINNAMON
2 tsp BAKING SODA
2 tsp VANILLA
1 tsp SALT
1 BAG COCONUT (7 oz)
2 CUPS GRATED CARROTS
20 OZ. CAN CRUSHED PINEAPPLE (INCLUDE JUICE)

MIX ALL TOGETHER AND BAKE AT 350 FOR 1 HOUR IN GREASED 9X12 PAN


FROSTING:

6-8 OZ PACKAGE OF CREAM CHEESE
CONFECTIONERS SUGAR
1 STICK MARGARINE/BUTTER
VANILLA

BLEND CREAM CHEESE AND BUTTER/MARGARINE, THEN ADD CONFECTIONERS SUGAR UNTIL IT'S SO SWEET YOUR TEETH DROP OUT (ABOUT 1/2 A BAG OF SUGAR).  ADD VANILLA TO TASTE.

**Walnuts can also be added to recipe, but since they make my ears tickle, I don't use them.



All Lies - Lies #1 - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

My father's last words to me were "I come from a long line of idiots..."  My family did have an abnormally high incidence of stupidity running through its genes.  As far back as I could determine, my ancestors - the men, to be specific - were known for their questionable actions, actions that usually left them dead.

I (on the other hand) was 38 years old, but had never really lived.  I had no passions - well, other than baseball, which can be a pretty solitary interest.  I'd always been one of those invisible people.  If I was a character in a movie, I'd be the first one eaten by the shark.  I had worked at my current job for ten years and was good at my work.  I handled the customers well and, as far as I could determine, my staff all liked me.  I possessed a decent amount of common sense and problem-solving skills - a necessity of my job.

Del Honeycutt's life is about to take a full turn.  The death of his father will bring to light the history of crimes committed 85 years earlier by his great-grandfather and a few of his friends.  As he researches this unwanted history with the help of mystery writer Sabrina Spencer, he finds that not only is his life in danger but also the lives of Sabrina as well as the relatives of those they contacted regarding this long forgotten crime.

All Lies is unlike any book I've read.  The characters of most murder/suspense books are macho characters that decide they are the only ones that can handle the business at hand.  Not this one.  They actually acknowledge the police and even inform them (most of the time) while solving and ending the history of ancestors long gone.  This lack of 'Bad' Good Guy characters made this an easy book to read as well as one that I didn't want to put down.  If book 2 'Fatal Lies' is anywhere near as good as book one, I can't wait to jump into it!  I recommend this to all mystery readers.  It's a refreshing change.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Scone to Die For - H. Y. Hanna, Author



Scone Recipe
(From A Scone to Die For)


Scones have a long history, originating in Scotland in the 16th Century, and are said to have taken their name from the Stone of Destiny where Scottish kings were once crowned. They are a “quick bread”, a bit similar to Southern “biscuits” in the United States. the original version was triangular-shaped, made with oats and griddle-baked rather than baked in the oven. They have since become one of the highlights of British baking – no traditional English afternoon tea would be complete without warm scones with jam and clotted cream!

A great debate rages in the United Kingdom over the correct way to pronounce “scone” – those in the North say it should rhyme with “cone” whilst those in the South insist that it should rhyme with “gone”. Meanwhile, people have come to blows over whether you should put the cream on first and then jam… or the jam first and then the cream!

There is now a huge variety of scones, both sweet and savory, made with dried fruit, nuts, vegetables, cheese, chocolate chips – and even a recipe with lemonade! This is a recipe for a traditional English plain scone, but it can be modified with the addition of your favorite treats.

Ingredients
500 grams all-purpose flour (approximately 4-1/4 cups or 17.6 ounces)
4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder*
1/2 cup caster sugar (super fine sugar)**
125 grams butter, room temperature (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon or 4.4 ounces)
150 ml full fat milk (just under 2/3 cup)
2 eggs beaten lightly
Egg and milk wash for the “egg wash” to glaze the scones

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 250C / 400F
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl (this is important to add more “air” to the mixture).
Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers – it is important to coat the flour with butter as much as possible. Keep doing this until the mixture has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar to the mixture and mix well with your fingers.
(This is the stage when you can add in extra ingredients such as raisins and currants, if you wish.)
Add the eggs and some of the milk – do not add all the milk at once; go slow and check that the dough does not become too wet otherwise the scones will “drop”.
Mix well with your fingers until the dough forms a ball.
Tip the dough onto a floured board, scatter some more flour on top, and then knead lightly. It is very important not to over-work the dough otherwise the scones will become very hard.
When the dough looks smooth, gently pat it out (or use a rolling pin) into a thick slab, about 1 – 1.5 inches thick. This is one of the secrets to great scones – not rolling the dough out too thinly.
The dough should now be rested for at least 30 minutes – unless you are using a single-acting baking powder. Some chefs say that resting the dough for hours, even overnight, is the secret to getting really light, fluffy scones.
Using a cutter of your choice, stamp out the scones from the dough. Be careful not to twist the cutter as you are pressing it down – only twist it gently at the very bottom to free it.
Roll up any leftover dough and spread it out again – keep cutting out scones until you have used up all the mixture.
Place the cut rounds onto the greased baking tray or baking paper.
Brush the tops with the the egg and milk wash – this will give them a lovely golden glaze.
Bake in the hot oven for about 12 – 15 minutes.
Cool the scones on a wire rack.
Serve warm with some jam and butter or clotted cream!

Enjoy!

A Scone to Die For - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

"You want a few words, young man?  I'll give you a few words."  Mable stood up from the next table where she and the other Old Biddies had obviously been listening.  The reporter turned to her eagerly, "Yes?  Were you a witness as well?"  "Oh yes, and I even met the victim the day before." Mable nodded emphatically.  "Really?  What was he like?"  The reporter's tongue was practically hanging out.  "Flatulent."  "Er... fla...flatulent?" He looked bewildered.  Mable nodded.  "Yes, I didn't actually hear him break wind, you understand, but I could tell just by the tone of his skin.  Not enough fiber in his diet.  I'm sure of it.  Now, all he really needed was to take a spoon of bran every morning - just like Mr. Cooke does.  My doctor recommended this marvelous stuff for my Henry.  Particularly if you're constipated or if your haemorrhoids are acting up.  No need for laxatives to hurry things along."  She looked at the reporter intently.  "Do you go regularly, young man?"

I don't normally open my reviews with such a long script from the book but this conversation is one that had to be shared.  Mable is one of the group Gemma calls the "Old Biddies."  Gemma is actually from a tiny Cotswold village and has returned to her roots and opened a little establishment called Little Stables Tearoom which is run by her, her friend Cassie and her chef Fletcher Wilson.  The "Old Biddies" are becoming regulars at the tearoom and if you want to know anyone's business, just ask them.  So, when Gemma comes in to work one morning and finds a dead man sitting outside with a scone stuffed in his mouth, the Biddies know exactly what his problem was.

This book was one I would pick up, read a few chapters, put it down just to pick it right back up.  It's full of humor as well as a mystery that kept me in the dark.  I had my suspect and ended up changing my mind several times.  When the real killer was revealed I was shocked.  Never suspected that character to be the bad one.

 
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