Costumes: Mirrors of the Soul?
Five-Ingredient Holiday Recipes
Turkey is the classic Thanksgiving dish, but you cannot live by turkey alone. What's your favorite holiday side dish? Comment for a chance to win a free book. Below you'll find two reader-favorite recipes from the first Five-Ingredient Mystery, By Cook or by Crook. The dishes are suitable for Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners. I'm also sharing a simple herb stuffing recipe. To view the recipes, click Read More below.
Leave a comment about your favorite holiday side dish to enter a drawing for the Five-Ingredient Mystery of your choice or an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of the upcoming sixth book in the series. To comment, click on the word Comments in the column to the left of this post.
Last day to enter: Sunday, December 16, 2018. The winner is Kay from Arkansas. Thank you to everyone who shared their favorite side dish. Stuffing seemed to get the most votes, followed by yams or sweet potatoes.
Hitchcock and Final Fondue
What is Scam Chowder?
Scam Chowder (Five-Ingredient Mystery #2) is out. Here is a preview of the opening chapter from Val, the sleuth in the series.
Cook and run—those were Granddad’s instructions to me this evening. I was supposed to make the chowder for his dinner guests from the retirement village and get out of the kitchen. Then he would add the final ingredients and claim credit for the whole meal. This ruse was part of his campaign to win the heart of Lillian, the Village’s most attractive widow, whose husband had made her gourmet meals. To convince Lillian of his cooking skills, Granddad has no qualms about passing off my recipes and my dinners as his own creations. By eavesdropping, I discovered that more than a romance was at stake tonight. Granddad, egged on by Lillian, planned to confront a dinner guest who’d scammed retirees out of their savings. But someone beat him to it, making tonight’s chowder the last thing the scammer would eat.
Val makes two types of chowder for her grandfather's guests. When writing the book, I found a helpful video on cooking chowder: How to make three kinds of clam chowder, with Providence chef Michael Cimarusti. The 5-ingredient clear chowder meets Granddad's standards for a recipe.
Which type do you prefer: clear chowder, red chowder, or creamy chowder?
Cover Reveal: Scam Chowder
Book #2 in the Five-Ingredient Mystery series has a mouth-watering cover . . . with a missing ingredient.
The first book in the series had a cover image that set the style for future covers: the five ingredients needed for a dish in the forefront. This book's title made it clear what dish's ingredients would have to appear on the cover.
When my editor asked me to suggest images for the cover, I proposed the tureen with the series name on it and the bay view. I also listed five chowder ingredients to depict. For whatever reason, possibly aesthetic, one of the ingredients doesn't appear on the cover.
Any chowder cooks reading this? What other ingredient would you put in your chowder that's not shown here?
Enter to win an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of By Cook or By Crook on Goodreads.
Over the weekend I poked around Goodreads to see what it was like before becoming a member. A social media procrastinator, I signed up Facebook only a few months ago, fifteen years after the rest of the world, and waited until Goodreads had 20 million members before exploring it. To my surprise, I discovered my forthcoming book joined Goodreads before I did.
Kensington, has made 25 copies of the book available for a Goodreads giveaway. Enter to win one before September 30th on the By Cook or By Crook Goodreads page.
The first book in the Five-Ingredient Mystery series, By Cook or by Crook contains eight delicious five-ingredient recipes. Learn more about the book.
An Edible Book Cover
My brother's reaction to my book cover image, "Will they produce an edible version of it?" made me laugh. But it's not a bad idea. When the book comes out in November, I promise to serve an edible version at my book launch party.
My brother correctly guessed what the ingredients on the book cover would make. Do you know a recipe that uses the ingredients depicted? Can you name other books with covers that look good enough to eat? Or books that made you hungry as you read them? If so, please leave a comment.
By Cook or by Crook comes out November 4, 2014, from Kensington Publishing.
"Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably." --C.S. Lewis
How to Make Murder Palatable
The culinary mystery, a popular form of the traditional whodunit, combines murder, food, and humor. Cooking and eating are comforting routines that make murder more palatable, at least on the page. My forthcoming mystery, By Cook or by Crook, like many culinary mysteries, includes recipes for the dishes the sleuth makes while solving crimes. Those dishes make murder even more palatable.
When I tell people I write culinary mysteries, a fair number of them say, "Oh, I love reading those kinds of books." Others say, "I've never heard of a culinary mystery. Did you come up with that idea yourself?" Old though I am, the culinary mystery predates me. Rex Stout, who created gourmet detective Nero Wolfe, is a pioneer in the genre. His 1938 publicity tour for the fifth Nero Wolfe mystery, Too Many Cooks, included giveaways of book-shaped boxes containing recipes for 35 dishes mentioned in the mystery.
The current Buy-It-Now price on eBay for a recipe "book" signed by Rex Stout is $600. He signed the page containing this description:
Wherein vagrant tastes and fugitive flavors are sniffed to their hideouts, fingerprinted and imprisoned in savory dishes—by that celebrated Nemesis of crooks and envy of cooks, NERO WOLFE, private investigator.
This blog, like the books and stories I write, combines mysteries, food, trivia, and a bit of humor to leaven the grim subject of crime. Sometimes random subjects intrude here .