Saturday, December 14, 2019

In The Spotlight! MURDER INK - Victoria Square Mystery #6




COMING DECEMBER 31st

A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get steamed at the prospect, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That's what the sheriff's office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building's owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square's tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?


Chapters/Indigo | Book Depository (Free Shipping Worldwide)




Friday, December 13, 2019

Every Ornament Tells a Story

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Because this is our girls' first Christmas (with us), we decided to go light on the Christmas tree decorations, although they've been up more than a week now and the girls have paid very little attention to the tree. That said, we only have about half the ornaments on the tree, but of course, I had to have most of my favorites.


After my mother passed, I got first pick of her ornaments. She found this little cutie at a garage sale. She felt sorry for it because it was naked--so what did she do?  She found a piece of net and made this angel a skirt. Every time I think about this  angel, I smile because Mum gave her something to wear.  She seems much happier that way. It's a must that she goes on the tree every year.


I always loved this little angel. Maybe it's the patches on her little outfit.  For many years she was on my mother's tree, but about ten years ago I begged, sat up pretty, and my mother gave her to me.


My mother had a thing for dolls and had many of them on her tree. I only kept the ones I like, and I liked her.


Another of my mother's tree dolls.  This one is is dressed all in paper, which makes her very fragile. I wrap her well when it's time to take down the tree.


You're probably asking, "Don't you have any ornaments of your own?" I sure do. (Oh, boy do I!) This little kitty angel was a gift from my boyfriend, who a year later became my husband. She's been on our tree since the beginning.


Every year, my mother would go to a quilting conference near Syracuse. Every year she would bring me back something. (One year she brought me a mug of a kitty in a shopping bag because my cat, Kate, loved to play in shopping bags. (Still have the mug, although it's pretty faded by now.) One year, she brought me this pretty paper bow. It sits near the top of my tree and gets packed away in the original pretty paper bag it came home in, plus it's own gold-tone (Forman's) box. (Did I mention that I often buy old boxes of now-defunct department stores at yard sales?)


The first Christmas I had my own tree, I bought this little pink paper angel at Penney's. Along with her were (and I still have them) a paper lumberjack (yes, really--with a little paper ax--you can see him in the left-hand corner of the first photo above--he looks like Santa) and a paper clown. I don't like clowns, but this one wears a red-and-white striped clown suit that reminds me of salt water taffy, so he can be on my tree every year, too.


I got this little Made In Japan angel (along with 5 of her sisters--there were originally 8 in the box) at a yard sale last year. I have a thing for Made In Japan figurines and I was happy to welcome her and t the others to the tree.


For a while, kitty angels were a big thing. My mother bought me this one before they became ubiquitous and for the whopping price of $25. (It's even signed by the maker.)  It's porcelain (not plastic) and it always has a place of honor on my tree. And now I have my own silver tabby angel (my Emma--but I hope it'll be decades before she's an angel),


I have a lot of "animal" ornaments on my tree (even an elephant and a couple of fish--one smoking a cigar!). But I probably have more cats than anything else. This little cutie is asleep in a Santa hat.


I bought this Westie ornament in honor of my parents' first Westie, Buddy. What a good dog. He went to obedience school twice and was a joy to walk. He always sat at the curb, and he never did his business during a walk, so you never had to carry a bag. (He waited until he got home.) His first winter, my Dad trained him to wait to have his feet wiped of snow (or mud). He'd patiently stand there and offer you each paw so you could wipe them. And he stood quietly while you picked the snow from between the pads on his feet. That dog was just a joy.


This is Elga. She's kind of shabby and faded now, but she used to hang from the rear-view mirror of my first car. When I got a new car, I retired her, but I never got rid of her. Now she graces my tree every Christmas. And, as it turns out, she now has sisters. When I married Mr. L, he had several of these little crocheted cuties (all different) and they go up on the tree every year, too!

These are just a few of the hundreds (and I mean that literally) of ornaments that go up on our 7.5' tree every year.  Do your ornaments all have a story?


P.S. My Dad carved Santas as a hobby.  This is just one of them. (They're all different!) I have about 30 of them on my tree. (You can see another one in the top photo at the upper left.)




Thursday, December 12, 2019

Cherry Tarts For A Special Holiday Treat


I always develop three original recipes for my Daisy's Tea Garden mysteries.  When I decided on the title MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS for my recent release, I set about developing the recipe for Cherry Tarts.  My first attempt didn't meet my expectations, so I went back to the drawing board to make adjustments to the ingredients and how I integrated them into the recipe.  My second attempt was much better and with a few more tweaks, I felt I had a recipe that Daisy would serve in her tea garden.  The tarts are a favorite among Daisy's customers in the book, especially Mandy, the main suspect's daughter.

They are also a favorite of my husband's!  Needless to say, he was not upset when he had to test my numerous tries at a perfect recipe.  Our neighbors also didn't complain when I sent some their way.  I hope you enjoy these tarts as much as I did developing the recipe.  Be sure to add that dollop of whipped cream before serving!

Here is the recipe that is included in the cozy.

CHERRY TARTS
TART SHELLS


4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup shaved almonds
1 tablespoon orange zest (from an orange)
1 1/2 cups flour
Cream butter and cream cheese with mixer.  Pour in almonds and orange zest.  Add flour 1/4 cup at a time.  
Divide dough into 6 balls.  Roll each ball to form a crust large enough to cover bottom and sides of tart pans.  I use 6-four inch tart pans.

SURPRISE LAYER
8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
 Mix ingredients together with mixer until smooth.  Pour into each tart shell.

FILLING
1 can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Premium Cherry Fruit Filling and Topping
1 teaspoon almond extract
In a small bowl, mix almond extract with pie filling.  Spoon on top of cream cheese filling.
Bake all six tart pans at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  





NOW AVAILABLE




Keith Rebert is homeless with a sad story that includes the death of his wife and medical bills that decimated his finances. Daisy and her friend Jonas Groft meet him through one of Daisy’s employees and offer help. But soon Keith is caught up in a murder investigation. He was supplying the shop Pirated Treasures with antiques, including Gettysburg Battlefield memorabilia. The nephew of the shop’s owner, Barry Storm, was lowballing merchandise that Keith brought in. One day Keith and Barry vehemently argued. Soon after, Barry was found dead, killed with a marble rolling pin that held Keith’s fingerprints. Daisy’s special for the month, cherry tarts, was found spilled on the floor next to him. Keith is the number one suspect.

Keith finds a job on a farm where he can live in a cabin with his daughter Mandy. A friend of Barry’s lived and worked there before the murder, then suddenly moved out. As Daisy finds clues that give insight into Barry’s life and prepares for her daughter’s wedding, she faces danger, verbally battles with the detective on the case, and tries to figure out what part Jonas Groft plays in her life. When she finds the ultimate clue that tells her exactly what Barry Storm was involved in, she almost loses her life. 



Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Savannah Christmas...’cause I love it!

Reagan Summerside here from the Consignment Shop Mysteries talking about how there’s nothing like Christmas in Savannah. Fact is, the South was making Christmas merry long before it became the thing to do in other areas of the country. 

Alabama was the first state to declare it a legal holiday in 1836, with Louisiana and Arkansas following a couple of years later. Christmas wasn’t recognized as a federal holiday until 1870.

While some Southern Christmas ideas has been adopted outside of the South, many are unique to the South. Some of these are guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit for sure. 

First there’s the fruit thing. It’s a long-standing Southern Christmas custom is for parents to leave oranges in the fire-side stockings of their children. Seems strange now but it comes from the rarity of citrus fruit and the expense in times past. In fact, the craving for the flavor of oranges influenced the Christmastime recipe staple known as Ambrosia. I just looooove Ambrosia. 

And oranges show up a lot in Southern holiday décor in the form of slices for fragrant potpourri or as whole oranges in garlands and wreaths. I often wondered about that!

Then there’s the Pecan Pie.  Due to the harvest season coming between September and December, pecans are a perfect for pie at Christmas.  Divinity and Pralines are two other pecan-based treats from the South. 

And how about those Poinsettias– Originally the poinsettia was a popular decoration for the Christmas season in Mexico, and the ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett (who knew!) brought back clippings of the plant to his South Carolina home. The shape is said to be the Star of Bethlehem, and it’s popularity spread throughout the country especially after Congress declared Dec. 12 National Poinsettia Day. ( I didn’t know that either!) Personally I can’t picture Christmas without a poinsettia.

 





And of course there’s the magnolia and Pine Décor– We have the settlers that landed at Jamestown, Virginia to thank for this tradition. After they noticed pine was an evergreen, they began using it as a symbol of good fortune and hope in décor. First popularized in the South, it can now be seen in holiday swags, wreaths, and garlands nationally. Many widely-read styling magazines have also featured stories on how to best use magnolia leaves to achieve a rustic, country feel. It’s common to see wreaths out of these gorgeous, dark-green, shiny leaves than any kind of fir tree branches.
 
YummyCoconut Cake– Hand-grating coconut for the cake is a labor-intensive job that no one looks forward to doing, so making a cake with it would be reserved for only the most special of occasions. The seven-minute icing it requires is also much easier (less-impossible) to make during the wintry absence of insane humidity the South experiences. The cake looks like a snowball, which makes us happy in the Deep South because it’s likely the only snow we’ll see at Christmas. LOL

Oysters!  Love ‘em or hate them but Auntie KiKi loves her Oysters. December is a great month to eat them due to the colder water temperatures in the Gulf And Auntie KiKi’s oyster dressing is to die for. Then again so is her cornbread stuffing so she just makes both!! 

Deep-Fried Turkey- In the South! My honey, Walker Boone, loves to fry anything and everything esp the most delicious piece of poultry he can find.  

So this is how we’re getting ready for Christmas here in Savannah. Just like every other holiday, Christmas in the South it is full of beauty, fun, and delicious food. YUM!. Got a fave Southern dish you put on the table? Think of me when you’re eating pecan pie. It’s still my fave!

Hugs, Reagan Summerside

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

It's Snowing!

by Maggie Sefton



We've gotten two really good snowstorms here in Northern Colorado, and the snow built up  between six and eight inches last week.  The cold temps cooperated in keeping it around for several days.  I don't mind.  During the Winter Season I actually like to see the snow outside.  Of course, I like to have my sidewalk shoveled as well as my driveway and sidewalks in front of my house.

Several years ago I decided I no longer wanted to shovel snow, so I started using my Jack of all Trades handyman to shovel.  Then that dear man decided he would retire from snow detail when he retired from his day job.  Totally understandable.  Meanwhile, I started asking friends and neighbors who they used for shoveling snow and if they were still accepting clients.  Out here in Colorado,  the strong sturdy folks who work with the snow also like to go skiing in our gorgeous Colorado Rockies and the various ski resorts we have just an hour away.  So----many of the "snow folks" had already filled up their client lists.  Hard to believe, I know.

Well, in asking neighbors I also remembered to ask friends and customers at the Lambspun Knitting Shop  here in Fort Collins.  And that's how I found the wonderful young man who does my snow shoveling for me.  One of our great Lambspun shop associates, Larissa, suggested her nephew Dimitri.  She said he would be happy to do it because he was taking odd jobs on the weekend and after his day job in order to earn extra money for his young family.  Both Larissa and Dimitri are Ukrainians, and they've told me the snow doesn't bother them at all.

Dimitri does a wonderful and thorough job, and always makes a point to come to my house on either that day or the next.  Bless his heart.   Those of you Cozy Chicks Blog readers may recognize Larissa's name, especially if you've ever worked on one of the Lambspun knitting patterns.  She's a wonderful knitter and extremely talented, so she's created some of Lambspun's most popular patterns.

Meanwhile, if you're not crazy about all the "white stuff" that has floated down, don't worry.  Temps warm up, and Snow  melts.  Meanwhile, make a yummy hot chocolate and enjoy.  :)    

Monday, December 9, 2019

How will you celebrate the day?


The definition of pastry is...a dough of flour, shortening, and water, used as a base and covering in baked dishes such as pies.  ("spread the mixture over the pastry")

That covers a lot of territory.

Did you know there are seven--SEVEN--kinds of pastry?

  • Shortcrust Pastry
  • Puff Pastry
  • Flaky Pastry
  • Rough Puff Pastry
  • Choux Pastry
  • Filo Pastry
  • Suet Crust Pastry
  • Hot Water Crust Pastry
Cream puffs seemed like a great choice for pastry.  What is YOUR favorite kind of pastry?

Saturday, December 7, 2019

If you need a few ideas for your holiday shopping


Check out our books page to get a few hints on what you can give (or get) in the way of Cozy Chicks mysteries.  Just click this link!

You can also check out our author websites.  Click our names to land on our web homes.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Time to start baking!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett


Have you started your holiday baking?  I got an early start this year because I asked my brother what he wanted for Thanksgiving dessert. He didn't hesitate to answer: CUT-OUT COOKIES!

Of course, I used my favorite cookie recipe, and it's one that the Cozy Chicks used on a promotional postcard. Sadly, they're all gone now, but I kept one for me. But I'm happy to share it with you now. Personally, if using almond extract, I double the amount. (And tossing in a little vanilla extract won't hurt, either.)


(If you want to make a copy, put your mouse on the recipe snd right click; when the little menu comes up, choose SAVE AS.)

I didn't decorate all of them. They freeze really well (and for a LONG time. A couple of years ago, I forgot there was a container of them in my freezer and didn't eat them until a year later. They still tasted GOOD.)

As for icing them, I use a really simple recipe:

Ingredients
2 cups powdered sugar sifted
6-8 teaspoons milk
4 teaspoons corn syrup*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
food coloring optional

Instructions
Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add 6 teaspoons milk, corn syrup, and extract. Stir vigorously until icing is smooth.
If needed, add additional milk to thin icing more. You've reached the correct consistency for frosting if a scoop of icing slowly falls off the spoon. If making colored icing, divide into bowls and add food coloring.

Note: I didn't have any corn syrup (and honestly, do you actually NEED more sugar?) and the icing turned out fine.

Here's a batch I made.  My brother pronounced them "Yummy!" (Yes, he actually said that.)

What's your favorite holiday cookie?

--------------------------------------------

P.S.  If you haven't already got your copy of The Cozy Chicks Kitchen, which is filled with wonderful recipes, including cookies and candies great for the holiday season, you can get it now!  (Makes a great gift, too!)

AmazonKindle US  | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books


Thursday, December 5, 2019

A Perfect Cup Of Tea

by Karen Rose Smith



With the release of MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS, the fourth book in my Daisy's Tea Garden cozy mystery series, my mind has been on all things tea-related.  I can remember as a child having a cup of tea meant boiling some water in a pan on the stove, pouring it into a mug and adding a tea bag.  Tea was often the choice warm beverage on days when I was home from school with a nasty head cold.

But when I embarked on the task of creating a tea-themed focus for a new cozy mystery series and began researching tea and tea rooms, I developed a new-found appreciation for tea.  I was amazed at all the varieties and blends available and the art involved in creating a perfect cup of tea.  There definitely is a tea to satisfy everybody's palette.  
As I began visiting area tea rooms, I was fascinated and curious how each owner was able to supply every guest at a table a different cup of perfectly brewed tea of their choice from an extensive menu.  I was delighted to find on the back of a business card from TranquilaTea Tea Room in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania tips for brewing a perfect cup of tea.  I would like to share those tips with my readers.

Brewing A Perfect Cup Of Tea

  • Bring cold water to a boil
  • Measure 1 tsp loose leaf tea per 6 oz of water
  • Place tea in an infuser or tea filter bag
  • Immerse infuser or tea bag filter into cup or pot filled with boiled water that has cooled slightly  
Water Temperature

205 degrees (F) for black, herbal and rooibos teas
180 degrees (F) for green and white teas

Steeping Times

Green and white teas -- 2 minutes
Black teas -- 3 minutes
Herbal and rooibos teas -- 3 to 5 minutes
For a stronger cup, add more tea leaves.  Do not steep for a longer period of time, as this can lead to a bitter cup!




Now available:

Keith Rebert is homeless with a sad story that includes the death of his wife and medical bills that decimated his finances. Daisy and her friend Jonas Groft meet him through one of Daisy’s employees and offer help. But soon Keith is caught up in a murder investigation. He was supplying the shop Pirated Treasures with antiques, including Gettysburg Battlefield memorabilia. The nephew of the shop’s owner, Barry Storm, was lowballing merchandise that Keith brought in. One day Keith and Barry vehemently argued. Soon after, Barry was found dead, killed with a marble rolling pin that held Keith’s fingerprints. Daisy’s special for the month, cherry tarts, was found spilled on the floor next to him. Keith is the number one suspect.

Keith finds a job on a farm where he can live in a cabin with his daughter Mandy. A friend of Barry’s lived and worked there before the murder, then suddenly moved out. As Daisy finds clues that give insight into Barry’s life and prepares for her daughter’s wedding, she faces danger, verbally battles with the detective on the case, and tries to figure out what part Jonas Groft plays in her life. When she finds the ultimate clue that tells her exactly what Barry Storm was involved in, she almost loses her life. 


MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS on Amazon


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Hi, Duffy Brown here from the Consignment Shop Mysteries.
Today I’m here to talk about weddings…the good, the bad, and the deadly!

Personally I’m not a fan of flamboyant weddings so killing someone off in Killer in Crinolines was fun.
Killer in Crinolinesis set in Savannah and centers around a murder at a big old Southern style wedding with everyone dressed in GWTW period costumes. You know that old saying always the bridesmaid never the bride, well Reagan Summerside, the female sleuth in Killer, has been both. The bride part didn’t take proven by the fact that Reagan caught Hollis, her husband and the hound of Savannah, doing the horizontal hula with Cupcake right there in his office. 
The last wedding Reagan attended she was there to deliver a bowtie from her consignment shop to the groom as he misplaced his.  The good part of that wedding was that the cake was delicious. The deadly part was that the groom wound up dead in five tiers of icing and fondant, the bad part was that her BFF, Chantilly, the groom’s ex got accused of the murder. 
Chantilly shouldn’t have been at the wedding in the first place of course but she and her UPS truck just sort of wound up there. 
“You shouldn’t be here,” I said to Chantilly as she swiveled round in the driver’s seat of her UPS van. White icing and cake crumbs smeared her lips and a glob of raspberry filling dripped down her chin. A pink butter cream rose stuck to the front of her brown uniform blouse. “Dear God in heaven! You went and ate the wedding cake!”
“One slice,” she mumbled around a mouthful. “Who’s going to miss one little old slice? The freaking thing is five tiers high. It took three Cakery Bakery employees and the owner Delta Longford herself to lug it in. They even made GracieAnn Harlow stand on a ladder to get the bride and groom thing on top.” 
Chantilly held up a chunk of mangled pastry. “This here should be my wedding cake, except for the pink roses. This should be my wedding day, my wedding colors of creamy-peach and blue-morning-rain. Simon is my man. We were engaged! How could he marry someone else!” Chantilly wailed, a tear sliding down her cheek and cutting a path across a white icing smear. 
Hopefully none of the weddings you’ve attended were like this one with the groom dead as Lincoln right there in his own cake. 
So what do you think is the best part of a wedding? The cake? The first dance? The saying I Do? Let me know and I’ll give away two Killer in Crinoline tote bags from the answers.
Hugs, Duffy Brown



Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Goodbye, November; Hello, December

by  Maggie Sefton


I can barely believe it.  It's December.  This Fall has zoomed by for me.  I hope all of you Cozy Chicks Readers and fans are adjusting.  I haven't bought the presents for my family yet, and I fly back to Northern Virginia on the week before Christmas.  Yikes! I'd better get busy.  Of course, one thing that has made my shopping WAY easier is my decision a few years ago to give my family Gift Cards to their "Store of Choice."  That has made my life---and the shopping demands---SO much easier to handle.   And, after many years of wandering about department stores and sports stores wondering what to buy for that large family of mine, the gift cards have been an inspiration.


The only exception that shopping decision has been for grandchildren gifts.  I still LOVE buying items for my grandchildren.  And now that both sets of grandchildren---daughter Christine's two sons and two daughters in Northern VA and daughter Maria & husband John's two daughters and  one son in Washington DC area---are all old enough to love reading books, I have another excuse to disappear into the book department.  :)    Yay!    


That means I get to hang out in the children's department of any large Barnes & Noble for several hours and look at all the the new books that have come in---and new editions of popular series books.     That's always a fun time for me.  In fact, I'll be going to one of the large malls in Northern VA next week and enjoy myself.  :)  


Do any of you have a chance to shop for family members who love books?

Monday, December 2, 2019

A VEGAN THANKSGIVING

By Mary Kennedy                                             

This year, I prepared two Thanksgiving dinners. The traditional one, (turkey with all the trimmings) and a vegan one. I'd like to tell you about the vegan one. Some people think it's hard to "go vegan," but honestly, it's easy. I'll show you.

The main thing you need to do is to get some vegan supplies on hand. I used almond milk, Chao cheese, Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing (make sure to get the cornbread variety, some of the others have chicken broth) and Gardein turkey cutlets. They include little vegan gravy packs, which is handy.
                                                                                                                                         



Now, for a nice vegan scalloped potato casserole, here's a foolproof recipe. The potatoes are tender and cheesy and crispy on the outside. The dish is easy to prepare and it takes 90 minutes in the oven.

Scalloped potatoes (vegan)

4 russet potatoes
One and a half cups almond milk, unflavored
one package CHAO cheese.
 (Whole Foods has a really good selection of vegan cheese but you can usually find CHAO in the "vegetarian" section of your local grocery)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons vegan butter like Earth Balance
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise

Slice the potatoes thinly, by hand or with a mandolin. Mix the almond milk, mayo, butter and flour in a sauce pan over low heat and add the Chao, chopped up. It comes in slices and is hard to grate, so just chop it.

Cook for about five minutes and then pour over half the sliced potatoes that you have placed in an oven proof dish. Now add the other half of the potatoes and top with the rest of the hot mixture. Cover and bake at 350 for one hour. Remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
                                                                           

I guarantee you won't know it's dairy free! Have a happy holiday! And don't forget to make a donation to your local animal shelter. The animals deserve a treat, too!

Mary Kennedy

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thankfully Reflecting On A new Release

by Karen Rose Smith



I have so many things to be thankful for and I could write about the traditional thanksgiving list of family, friends, health and on and on--all the things that surround me on a daily basis.  Truthfully as I grow older, I reflect on these things every day.  The one thing, as I get wrapped up in my day to day writing chores, that I sometimes forget to appreciate is the fact that I was gifted with the talent of telling stories in the written word and that I was fortunate enough to be able to share my stories with my readers.  So it seems significant that I celebrate my 103rd release this week with the publication of MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS, the fourth in my Daisy's Tea Garden cozy mystery series for Kensington Books.  And today I want to thank my faithful readers through the past twenty-seven years for believing in me and trusting me to produce a story that will warm your hearts and touch your spirit.  I have appreciated all of your kind words and supportive notes through the years.

MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS is a cozy mystery which revolves around Daisy's outreach to a homeless single father and his darling daughter.  I created a yummy cherry tart recipe for this book that is included in the back of the book. 

Pirated Treasures is an antiques shop that also plays a significant
role in the mystery.  Daisy purchases a Burton and Burton Victorian design teapot atop a teacup from the owner of the shop on one of her many visits to the shop while she is gathering clues to solve the murder of the store owner's nephew.  Notice its uniquely-shaped infinity handle.

What could better than a steaming cup of tea, delicious food and delicate china to soften the sometimes terrifying search for a murderer in the community of Willow Creek, Pennsylvania, deep in Amish country!

Here is a little summary of the book which is now available:


Keith Rebert is homeless with a sad story that includes the death of his wife and medical bills that decimated his finances. Daisy and her friend Jonas Groft meet him through one of Daisy’s employees and offer help. But soon Keith is caught up in a murder investigation. He was supplying the shop Pirated Treasures with antiques, including Gettysburg Battlefield memorabilia. The nephew of the shop’s owner, Barry Storm, was lowballing merchandise that Keith brought in. One day Keith and Barry vehemently argued. Soon after, Barry was found dead, killed with a marble rolling pin that held Keith’s fingerprints. Daisy’s special for the month, cherry tarts, was found spilled on the floor next to him. Keith is the number one suspect.

Keith finds a job on a farm where he can live in a cabin with his daughter Mandy. A friend of Barry’s lived and worked there before the murder, then suddenly moved out. As Daisy finds clues that give insight into Barry’s life and prepares for her daughter’s wedding, she faces danger, verbally battles with the detective on the case, and tries to figure out what part Jonas Groft plays in her life. When she finds the ultimate clue that tells her exactly what Barry Storm was involved in, she almost loses her life. 


MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS on Amazon

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving the Savannah Way

Reagan Summerside here from the Consignment Shop Mysteries by Duffy Brown and I’m gearing up for my favorite holiday…Thanksgiving Savannah style.
It all starts with a beautifully set table. KiKi uses the good china, crystal and best linens.  There will be turkey and dressing for sure and AnnieFritz and her sister Elsie who live next door will bring the best pecan pie you ever put in your mouth. It’s so good I’m going to share the recipe with you right here.
9” unbaked pie crust 
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs slightly beaten
1/3 cut butter melted
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecan halves (or walnuts)
heat oven to 350. Combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt, vanilla and mix well. Pour into crust, sprinkle with nuts and bake for 50 min till knife comes out clean. Cool. Add whipped cream or a scoop of Leopold’s vanilla ice cream. J

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without mamma’s cornbread stuffing and this year I’m trying my hand at making the cranberry salad. I stole the recipe right out of Paula Deen’s kitchen.

1/2 orange
2 cups water
1 tart apple
3 cups cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Squeeze the orange and set the juice aside. Cut the rind into pieces. Boil the rind and water for 10 minutes, then drain. Dice the apple add the cranberries along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Boil, then simmer till the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst. 

Uncle Putter always says the blessing and then we each take a turn telling what we are most thankful for. This year I started the Prissy Fox and found my new four-legged BFF, Bruce Willis under my front porch. That’s a lot to be thankful for.

After dinner friends drop by. I’m sure that no-good, low-rent lawyer Walker Boone will come visiting and mooch leftovers, that’s just his style. 

It’s going to be a mighty fine Thanksgiving Day here in Savannah, I’m sure. So what are your plans for Thanksgiving and do you have any favorite foods you’re looking forward to? I’ll give away two Iced Chiffon totes from the answers.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Consignment Shop mystery regulars.