Design for Murder

Design for Murder (Death on Demand #2) by Carolyn G. Hart

It has been a while since we reviewed a Death on Demand, so let’s do a quick review. Annie Laurence, from Texas, tried to be an actress in New York, but when she didn’t ht it big she headed to Broward’s Rock of South Carolina where her beloved uncle lived. When he died, she inherited his mystery bookstore, Death on Demand.

She was followed by the wealthy billionaire, Max Darling, who she met in New York and fell in love with. She left him as she felt they were too different, but Max won’t let true love get away. He opens up a private investigators business on the island. Meanwhile, in the last book, Elliot Morgan was murdered and a whole list of suspects were involved-with Annie being number one. She and Max solved the case and since then life has been good.

Until…Annie is hired to do a Mystery Night for historic Chastain’s garden and historic house show. The Historic board is championed by tyrant Corinne Pritchard Webster who likes everything her way. She didn’t want to add this mystery night, but was outvoted, the board hiring Annie to plan it.

Corinne is a snake, but Annie is thrilled to create her own murder mystery play with clues! This is perfect as it takes her mind off her fight with Max about wedding plans.

Annie receives a note from Cordelia with her outline for the murder mystery, which infuriates Annie as she spent hours planning something else. But when she presents it to the board she discovers it wasn’t sent by Cordelia, but that someone pretended and sent a mystery to embarrass Cordelia.

After that Annie works extra hard on an English style murder mystery that has no resemblance to anyone whatsoever and her booth for the night. Before you know it, the day has come and it is time to stage it all. As Annie does a once-over of the grounds she spots the body in the wrong place. When she goes to move it-it turns out to not be a mannequin but a real body. Cordelia! But which of the many people who hated her murdered her?

Could it have been Lucy Gaines, the once fiancé of Corrine’s brother, the relationship Corrine broke up. Soon after Corrine’s brother died and Lucy never married or had children. She also was stuck working and dealing with Cordelia everyday. Did it finally get to her and she killed her to get back at the life that could never be?

Mayor Webster, Corinne’s husband, has been alienated from her for years. In fact he developed a relationship with one of the local teachers. Could he have murdered her to get his money, freedom, and a new girl?

Or her…

Corinne bought off her niece, Gail’s, “unsuitable” boyfriend and has been crushing her spirit. Could she had snapped and finally stopped her aunt from being involved?

She has taken all paintings and works made by local and museum artist Tim Bond. She has a contract that they are owned by the museum and selling them not to Tim’s New York show, but loaning them out to other museums. This will ruin his career. Did he kill her to get everything back? Or was it his girlfriend Sybil Giacamo who hates Corinne and wants to help Tim, her lover?

You know artists have artistic temperament

Roscoe Merrill got drunk when out of town on business. He slipped up on his marriage and Corinne just happened to see him. She holds that over him and threatens to ruin his perfect marriage. Did he kill her to end the blackmail? Or was it his wife who killed Corinne  to ensure no one sees their marriage as anything less than ideal?

Dr. Sanford has been practicing on that area to work exclusively with a doctor in his specialized field. He has plans to increase the hospital and increase his work. Corinne wouldn’t let him change anything in the hospital. Could he have done it, so that he continue his love?

Is it?

Edith Ferrier gives so much to the community and wanted to have the position of president of the historical society as it is her favorite thing. Corinne wouldn’t give up her power, even though Edith would do a better job. Was this the last straw after constantly being crushed? Did she snap and kill her?

Unfortunately, the only one who the police are focusing on IS Annie! Will she be able to solve the case or be sipping her future mint juleps in jail.

Thoughts After Reading:

It’s so good, and always get me.

A real page turner!

For more Death on Demand, go to Death on Demand

For more Design for Murder, go to So Many Books to Review, So Little Time

For more Historical Socities, go to Death by Cashmere

For more Southern mysteries, go to For Whom the Bluebell Tolls

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Easy Northumberland Pan Haggerty

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Thoughts Before Baking:

So every 17th I try to make an Irish recipe in honor of the day. Usually I make some Irish Soda Bread and something else to go with it. The last two years I have done sweeter recipes, so this year I decided to go with something savory and made out of an Irish staple: Potatoes.

I was planning on doing one recipe, but discovered I purchased the wrong potatoes. I scoured the internet and found this one on The Spruce Eats.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz of Butter, divided
  • 9 oz of Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4-6 Potatoes, Peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces of Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Slice the onion.
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes.
  3. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Over medium heat, melt 1 oz of butter in a large, oven safe, frying pan.
  5. Gently cook the onions until soft, but not browned.
  6. Melt half of the remaining butter.
  7. Remove pan from heat.
  8. In the pan, arrange a layer of potatoes.
  9. Add a layer of onion.
  10. Sprinkle on a layer of cheese.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Repeat steps 8-11, until all ingredients are used and the top is layered with potatoes.
  13. Place the pan over medium heat and cook on stovetop for a few minutes, or until the bottom layer of the potatoes are brown.
  14. Dot the surface with the rest of the butter and place in the heated oven, baking for 30 mins.
  15. Remove from oven and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
  16. When the oven’s temperature has risen, return the pan to the oven and cook for 15 more minutes.
  17. To serve, loosen the edges of the potato cake from the frying pan with a spatula.
  18. Flip the pan over onto a  plate or breadboard.
  19. Cut into wedges and enjoy.

Thoughts After Cooking:

So I didn’t have an oven safe pan, after cooking on the stove I flipped it into my pie pan. So I had mixed feelings about this. The potatoes on top and bottom cooked very well, and were delicious. However, the ones in the middle didn’t all cook through.

I sliced my potatoes extremely thin, so I don’t think that was the problem. If I were to do this again, I would do less potatoes; maybe 2 or 3. Or try it with the yukon gold or red potatoes.

But the parts that were cooked, were so good. Yummy:

For more Saint Patrick’s Day posts, go to Irish Blueberry Scones

For more potato recipes, go to Grilled Sausages, Potatoes, & Carrots with Salsa Verde

For more holiday posts, go to Creamy Sour Cream Lemon Pie

Creamy Sour Cream Lemon Pie

Happy Pi Day

Thoughts Before Baking:

As you see above, today is Pi day so I decided to post a pie recipe.

I’ve made a sour cream lemon pie before, but this is a new recipe. This one comes from The Chunky Chef.

Ingredients

Pie Crust:

  • 2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup of Shortening
  • Ice Water

Filling:

  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 2 Lemons Juiced (about 1/2 Cup)
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 3 Large Egg Yolks, Lightly Beaten
  • 4 Tbsp Cold Butter, Cubed
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • Whipped Cream (Optional)
  • Lemon Slices (Optional)

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix up the shortening and flour. Add in water a tablespoon at a time until dough is more malleable. If you add to much and it is too liquid-y, then just add a bit more flour to firm it up.
  2. Line crust with foil and place beans, rice, or pie weights (as pie dough will rise) and bake for 8 mins or until browned. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add sugar and cornstarch. Whisk to combine.
  4. Slowly whisk in milk and lemon juice.
  5. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
  6. Reduce to low, and cook 2 mins longer, stirring often.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Lightly beat eggs in a small mixing bowl. Whisking continuously, add a small amount of the hot lemon mixture, then add the mixture to the hot saucepan.
  9. Heat pan on medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil, and cook for 2 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat again and add lemon zest.
  11. Continue to cool, but don’t stir.
  12. Cool mixture for 30-40 mins and then fold in sour cream until no white streaks remain.
  13. Spoon mixture into the pie crust and spread out evenly.
  14. Cool in the refrigerator for 4 hours (or more). To serve, top with whipped cream and lemon slices.

Thoughts After Baking:

I made this for Thanksgiving last year and it was sooooo good! It was eaten immediately. I only got one slice! 😦

For more on lemon pies, go to Sour Cream Lemon Pie

For more pie recipes, go to Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

For more pinterest recipes, go to Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

For more desserts, go to Braided Candy Canes

I’ve Got You Under My Skin

I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Under Suspicion #1) by Mary Higgins Clark

Laurie Moran’s doctor husband was shot in the park while he was out with his son Timmy. After the killer shot him, he told Timmy “I’m coming for your mom next, then you.” All Timmy remembers from of the man was his intense and scary blue eyes.

Five years have gone by and Laurie has raised her son with help from her retired police officer father, Leo Farley. Laurie is a television producer who has had a few bombs recently.

This time she is sure she has a winner, a Unsolved Mysteries like TV show where all the people from the case reenact what happened in cold cases, having them be looked over and maybe solve it-with viewer’s aid.

And she has the perfect case to start them off, the murder of Betsy Bonner Powell, otherwise known as The Graduation Gala Murder. Twenty years ago, four close friends graduated from college and Robert Powell and Besty Bonner Powell decided to throw a huge gala for the four of them-Claire Bonner (Betsy’s daughter and Robert’s step daughter), Nina Craig, Alison Schaefer [Kimball], and Regina Callari.

The morning after the party, Robert went to deliver his wife her early morning coffee, as he did every morning, and found her dead-smothered to death. He, the housekeeper Jane, and all the girls were heavily questioned, being under suspicion for twenty years.

Robert Powell is very ill man, not long for the world, and he agrees to the show and to putting up $250,000-tax free. That added to the TV show’s $50,000 they are paying each woman-every single one will take home $300,000 for just a bit of rehashing-and maybe even clear the suspicions surrounding them.

Hmmm…very tempting

Alex Buckley, famous defensive attorney, especially for the way he questions witness on the stand, will be the host and will question each of the graduates, Jane, Robert Powell, and the family friend George Curtis.

As they all gather everyone wonders and questioned which of them did it?

Claire was very close to her mother, even commuting to Vasser to live at home. Her mother was so beautiful and commanding and she so plain. Did she kill her mother because she resented Robert Powell coming between them or was she jealous of her mother?

Hmm…

Nina’s mother, actress Muriel Craig, was dating Robert Powell. One day they went out to a restaurant Nina saw her friend Claire and her mother Betsy also dining out. When Betsy met Robert that was it, they married not long after. Muriel was furious at this and always blamed her daughter for ruining her chances-did Nina snap and kill her-thinking it might finally shut her mother up?

Alison was from a poor family and a scholarship student who worked hard for everything she got and her scholarship to college. She married four months after the murder to longtime friend Thomas “Rod” Kimball. What could be her motive?

Hmm…

Regina’s dad heavily invested in Robert Powell’s hedge funds, losing everything and committing suicide. Did she get revenge by killing Betsy?

Jane used to work with Betsy when Betsy was a usher at the theater. Her life increased wonderfully after Betsy hired her on, or did it? Did she have a reason to kill her?

Hmm…

Robert Powell-he loved Betsy with all his heart and never remarried. Is he really the grieving widower, or was he the one who killed her?

And George Curtis, helpful family friend-or does something more lie under that facade?

But that is just the surface, each one has a secret-and a deeper motive for killing Betsy.

Hmmm…?

Claire could use the money and she hates Powell with vengeance, that being her only reason to come back. Powell molested her from the time she moved in until she fled after her mother’s murder. Claire had been trying to work up the nerve to tell her mother what was happening when she overheard the two, and discovered her mom knew and allowed it. Was Claire a part of the deal always, the real reason he left Muriel for Betsy? Claire had just found out before the gala, did she snap with anger and smother her mother?

Nina is just an extra and is stuck with her mother after Muriel almost burned her apartment down falling asleep while smoking. Life with her mother has been hell ever since Robert Powell left Muriel as every day she was verbally abused and yelled at for messing that up. She agrees to come to get the money and get rid of her mother-moving her out and as far away as possible. What no one knows is that besides the constant berating of her mother Betsy always rubbed in her face as well-even going as far as writing a slight on the invitation and to her face at the party. Did she finally snap under the pressure and silence her?

Alison’s dreams of becoming a doctor and researcher were dashed when she lost the scholarship that she had worked so hard for and couldn’t afford to pay for graduate school on her own. Rod signed on a great football contract and asked her to marry him, promising to pay for her schooling. However, shortly after they were married Allison lost her dreams again when Rod was injured and lost his contract-the two ending up working in a pharmacy and Rod having to use crutches or a wheelchair. She agrees to come to get the money and go back to school. While all know she lost her dream no one knows that Betsy was the cause. Betsy wanted to join a socialite club and in order to get in she had Robert donate a ton of money to the school and used her influence to give the rich daughter of the socialite the scholarship to seal her entrance into the club. Alison was furious as the girl who won it was lower in grades, had dropped out, could afford to pay her own way, and was not deserving of it at all. Alison also sleepwalks when stressed and angry, could she had found her way into the room that night?

Regina had a horrible divorce where she didn’t come out with much. She is a struggling real estate agent, competing with her wealthy ex for care and attention of her son. With the money-she could provide things for her son herself, and not have to worry about money. But she has a dark secret too. When her father committed suicide he left a note (which she stole to protect her mother) saying that Betsy manipulated him to invest the money. The two had been having and affair, she and Robert knew all along that the investment would fail, and planned this all to take his money and save themselves. Because of that she lost her dear father and home, a loss she felt no stronger than on her graduation. Did she finally snap and get revenge!

From the day that Jane moved into the house she fell head over heels in love with Robert. She also grew to hate Besty and her “queenly” ways. Did she do her in to get a chance at Robert?

George and Betsy had a two-year affair, which at the end of it Betsy threatened to tell his wife all unless he paid her off. George knew that paying her off wouldn’t end it but just begin a constant flow of payments-but he knew if Isabelle found out she would leave him and his life would be over. Did he kill her to protect his wife?

And Robert, how much did he know? How much was he a part of? And did he kill her too?

Meanwhile, Robert’s driver discovers most of the girl’s secrets and starts blackmailing them, and blue eyes resurfaces-hanging close to Laurie and planing on finishing his threat-during the graduation gala filming.

This had an amazing buildup! I was listening to it on CD while driving about and became so caught up in it I had to check the book out to read whodunit.

However, I did wish the deeper secrets were revealed, to all the characters which I wish they, as the “motives” for murder are so weak without them.

But otherwise a real page turner! And I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to The Man Next Door

For more mysteries in retrospect, go to Let Me Call You Sweetheart

For more blackmailing, go to The Cereal Murders

Death Dines Out

Death Dines Out (Hemlock Falls Mystery #5) by Claudia Bishop

The Quilliam sisters are thrilled to take a vacation from the Inn for a week in Palm Beach, Florida-but of course we know it won’t be a “real” vacation.

In exchange for first class tickets the pair are helping Tiffany Taylor, wealthy socialite, with a week long charity function for phobic women. The two are going to stay at the luxury condo, Combers Beach Club, Quill will give one lecture on inn keeping, and Meg three cooking classes. They are really going for Meg in the hopes she can win back her third star from L’ Aperitif.

The whole thing is basically a ruse,

Tiffany just wants to get back at her ex-husband. The two keep one-upping each other and one ends up dead…a case of murder!

Thoughts After Reading:

This was awful.

Ugh!

It was boring, made no sense and just absolutely horrible. Whatever charm attracted me to this series in the first place is gone and I never want to read another one.

But you know me, ugh I have to finish the series. Bleh!

For more Hemlock Falls mysteries, go to Murder Well Done

For more Claudia Bishop, go to A Pinch of Poison

For more mysteries taking place in Palm Beach, go to Spring Breakdown

Grilled Sausages, Potatoes, & Carrots with Salsa Verde

My sister bought me a Rachel Ray subscription for my birthday. This recipe comes from the September 2018 issue a part of Six Ingredient Supper.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Fresh Sweet or Hot Italian Pork Sausages
  • 1 Bunch of Carrots (About 1 lb)-trimmed and peeled, halved lengthwise if large (reserve greens)
  • 1.5 lb of Red Potatoes (about 4 medium cut into 3/4 inch thick wedges)
  • 3/4 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp of Chopped Fresh Basil
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat a grill or grill pan on medium-high.
  2. Cook the sausages, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the centers registers 160 degrees F. Let cool and then halve the sausages crosswise.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the carrots and the potatoes with 1/4 cup of oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill veggies until tender, about 20 for carrots and 25 mins for potatoes.
  5. Meanwhile, chop enough of the carrot greens to measure 3 tbsp.
  6. In a food processor or blender, puree the carrot greens, basil, garlic, and 1/2 cup of olive oil-about 1 minute.
  7. Season the salsa verde with salt and pepper.
  8. Arrange the sausages, carrots, and potatoes on a platter.
  9. Top with half the salsa verde, and serve with rest.

Thoughts After Cooking:

The best thing about this was the carrots in the salsa verde-it was delicious. I could just eat that.

For more recipes, go to Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

***Spoiler Alert!***

So I’m not as tongue-in-cheek as the author and I’m just going to say the truth. This story is about three women:

Nellie:

First we have Nellie, a regular girl who scores the perfect man in Richard Thompson. He’s wealthy, handsome, caring, compassionate-her savior when all is low. Everything is perfect…except that Nellie is afraid she will damage it and send him scurrying.

Also she gets weird hang ups calls, feels as if someone is following her, etc, Is she in danger? Is not all as it seems? Or is she just crazy?

Hmm…

Vanessa:

Second we have Vanessa, Richard’s former wife. She can’t let him go, as she doesn’t want him to hurt another. She details the Hyde side of Richard. His anger, his constant demands, his fighting, blaming, etc. He ruined her life and she will do all she can to keep him from doing it to another.

Emma:

The third woman, Richard’s new fiancée; Emma, who Vanessa wants to help. She has her own dark secrets and hidden face under the masque of sweetness, innocence, and naivety.

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

While Richard is an abusive two-faced man, the Dr. Jekyll persona he shows to everyone, and his hidden Hyde side he only shows to her-Vanessa also has two faces. There is the strong, determined, learned Vanessa-and then her nervous, compromising, submissive side, Nellie.

What?!

Yes these two women are actually the same person.

I thought this was a very well written novel and captures your attention right away.

While it was a great read, it was hard for me to read as what she describes is what I experienced with my husband. one month in our marriage and I was done with his Dr. Jekyll and Hyde life-never knowing which way he will be, trying all you can do to make him not mad, and living with his Dark side.

Thankfully, my divorce was finalized October 24th and I am now legally single. I wish, like Vanessa, I had never met him and never let him into my life-at least all is done and I can move forward.

For more abusive relationships, go to The Enemy We Know

For more not in a series mysteries, go to The Woman in the Movie Star Dress

For more stalkers, go to The House on Foster Hill

On a sad note, given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

Thoughts Before Cooking:

You know me and smoothies! And I’m game for anything that uses up my big container of oatmeal. I found it from pinterest and it is from The Schmidty Wife.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup of Oatmeal
  • 3/4 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
  • 1 Banana
  • 4-5 Ice Cubes

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.

Thoughts After Cooking:

It was good. What amazes me is that there is only a little bit of peanut butter but it is so overpowering. A yummy smoothie

For more smoothie recipes, go to Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Bark

For more breakfast recipes, go to Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

For more drinks, go to Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

The Woman in the Movie Star Dress

The Woman in the Movie Star Dress by Praveen Asthana

A young woman comes to Hollywood to escape her past. She starts working in a vintage dress shop that has gowns all the way back from Joan Crawford.

From 23 Skidoo 2082 S. Winchester Blvd San Jose, California

There is one special dress however, that is beautiful and the woman desires it.

One day she discovers that it has the power to transform human character from the previous owner into the clothing-changing from an insecure girl to a bombshell heartbreaker.

One day someone comes asking about a red dress, the special one. She starts looking into the history of the dress and stumbles on a secret and a mystery.

What?!

Thoughts After Reading:

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. Let me say that I could not stand this book.
The book cover and story line was so appealing that I could not wait to read the book, but once I started I found it impossible to continue.

Ugh!

  1. The characters were boring
  2. There is no action or movement
  3. They introduce so many characters in confusing ways that you find yourself unsure who is who
  4. There are so many flashbacks it makes it hard to follow what is current and what is past.

I was sorely disappointed.

For more not in a series mysteries, go to Let Me Call You Sweetheart
For more mysteries, go to The House on Foster Hill

The Man Next Door

“The Man Next Door” from Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

Mr. Mensch just finished with one of his “guests” and is looking for a new “visitor” to join him. Mr. Mensch inherited millions from his penny-pinching, miserly father. He has moved around the country and had many “visitors” stay with him in his basement or secret rooms.

This is not good

He’s been looking at his neighbor Bree Matthews, watching her. He knows that choosing her would be dangerous, police would come-but he can’t get her out of his head. She had been remodeling her townhouse next door and had a leak destroy everything. She came over enraged and yelling that the contractor told her it was his fault-he had a leak pouring onto her roof. Mensch just told her calmly to get another contractor take a look-its not his fault. While he was calm on the inside, a fire was growing inside him. He wanted her.

The next day, Bree came to apologize and admit she was wrong. She had another contractor view and it turns out the original contractor cut a lot of corners. Mensch accepted her apology and couldn’t deny it. She was to be his next visitor.

That night he went to work, cutting out the stone in the basement that connects the two houses, his plan to get in and get Bree.

Bree has been having a bad weekend. She had her beautiful home decorated and destroyed by shoddy work. She is taking the contractor to court, which caused a fight and break up with her boyfriend Kevin Carter, as he felt she should just accept the settlement. She had to spend their planned Friday night alone, leave the office early Saturday because she has a cold, and spent all Sunday in bed miserable. Now she is heading to court and is woken early because of a strange grinding noise from next door. Ugh!

She doesn’t know how much worse her life is about to get as that noise marks Mensch’s entrance. He breaks in, drugs her up-makes it look as if she was abducted on her way home Friday night, and imprisons her in her basement. Will she make it out okay, or face the same fate as his previous’ visitors?

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved it. It was so engrossing that I read faster and faster until I reached the conclusion. I had to know if she survived or ended up dead in the river.

For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to Let Me Call You Sweetheart

For more from Death Wears a Beauty Mask, go to Voices in the Coalbin

For more short stories, go to A Much Expected Murder

For more books with kidnapping, go to The Secret Adversary

For more serial killers, go to The House on Foster Hill

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Happy Valentine’s Day!

So today we celebrate with a romantic murder mystery!

letmecallyousweetheart

Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Mary Higgins Clark

This is the first Mary Higgins Clark book I had ever read, so it is special to me. Years back I was just watching TV shows and movies on Youtube on my phone while I was working on something on the computer. The movie Let Me Call You Sweetheart came on, and I started watching it.

I got so into the film, I decided to read the book.

Kerri McGrath is a divorced mother and works for the D.A. Her ex-husband left her to trade up for a new wife/partnership in a law firm and has been pretty absent in Kerri and their daughter Robin’s life.

One day he was taking Robin out and she didn’t have her seatbelt on. They were in an accident and she gets her face damaged. Kerri takes her to the best plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Smith. While they are waiting, Kerri sees a beautiful woman that looks so familiar to her, but she can’t remember where or why. She asks about her name, but doesn’t recognize it.

It sticks with her, and she keeps thinking of roses. It continues to trouble her until one day it hits her like a flash! The woman was a dead ringer for Suzanne Reardon! The Sweetheart Murder!

Eleven years ago, Suzanne Reardon was found dead in her home, sweetheart roses thrown everywhere. Her husband was arrested for her murder and the case quickly sewn up. It bothers Kerri that Dr. Smith would make a lookalike, and not one but TWO, as she discovers another woman done over the same way. She calls for the old files and begins to research into the case.

Geoff Dorso is pleased she is interested, as he is the defense attorney for Skip Reardon, Suzanne’s husband. He never believed that Skip was guilty and has been trying for the last eleven years to find something that proves it and help him get his freedom. He eagerly goes over the case with Kerri, hoping they find something new, along with falling head over heels for her.

But not all are happy that Kerri is looking into it. Her boss Frank Green made his career on that case and he is up for promotion, one that could go away if it turned out he sent an innocent man to jail. He encourages Kerri to let it go as she has a ton of current cases that are in need of looking into.

State Senator Jonathan Hoover, and friend of Kerri’s, is not interested in her dragging this up as he and the party were interested in elevating Frank Green and appointing Kerri to judgeship, but that won’t happen if she keeps looking into this.

Don’t mess with it

Jimmy Weeks, Mafioso, is dead set against any investigation into the Suzanne Reardon case. Right now he is going on trial, Kerri’s ex-husband, Bob, being his defense attorney. He tells Bob in no uncertain terms that he needs to get his ex-wife to quit or else bad things will happen.

Kerri is waffling between looking into the case and letting it go, especially with the threats against her, her job, and her daughter. But then she uncovers something and believes that the real killer is still out there. Will she be able to figure it out in time? Or will this be her last case?

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

I love this book. I enjoy it so much that I reread it a lot. I definitely recommend it to anyone.

For more Valentine’s Day posts, go to This Pen for Hire

For more on Mary Higgins Clark, go to Voices in the Coalbin

For more mysteries in retrospect, go to The Disappearance of Edwin Drood

For more Not in a Series Mysteries, go to The House on Foster Hill

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Bark

So I love yogurt and when I saw this recipe I thought it would be interesting to try out. I found it on pinterest and it comes from Hello, Wonderful.

Plus strawberries are a Valentine’s Day staple, so I thought it would be a cute one to do before the holiday.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • Dried Strawberries (I couldn’t find any so I used Dried Cran-Strawberries)

Directions:

  1. Line a flat pan with sides with parchment paper and spread evenly with yogurt, making sure it is not too thin (about 3/8 of an inch thick).
  2. Sprinkle with dried fruit.
  3. Freeze for a few hours until completely frozen.
  4. Remove frozen yogurt from pan and peel off parchment paper.
  5. Break into pieces.

Thoughts After Cooking:

It wasn’t that good. The fruit kept popping off the yogurt and it was so hard it made my teeth hurt.

When it did soften it kind of melted everywhere.

Ugh!

Not something I would repeat.

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta

For more recipes, go to Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I love kale, so when I find a recipe I want to make it! I found this on Pinterest but it originally comes from Budget Bytes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch of Kale
  • 1/2 lb of Pasta
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp of Butter
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

  1. Pull the kale leaves from the stems and tear them into small pieces.
  2. Rinse the kale in a colander under cool, running water; letting it dry.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  4. When water is boiling throw in pasta noodles, cooking al dente (about 7 mins).
  5. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  6. While pasta is cooking; add olive oil, butter, and minced garlic to another pot or skillet.
  7. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 mins or until garlic is soft and fragrant.
  8. Add the kale and continue to saute until kale has wilted and turned a deep green color (about 5-7 mins).
  9. Turn the heat off.
  10. Add the pasta to the pot with the kale.
  11. Toss pasta and kale together.
  12. Let them cool to the point that no steam is rising from the pot. You want the pasta hot but not hot enough to melt the Parmesan cheese.
  13. Season the pasta and kale with salt, black pepper, and red pepper.
  14. Add the grated cheese.

Thoughts After Cooking:

It was really good.

I love kale and I love pasta and this was a great combo!

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie

For more Budget Bytes reccipes, go to Creamy Tomato Spinach Pasta

For more pasta dishes, go to Creamy Parmesan Spaghetti

The House on Foster Hill

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

This story is told in twi different times, with two different points of view:

Present Time:

Kaine Prescott has lost her husband and has a stalker. She tried to get the police to investigate both more thoroughly, but both have come to dead ends.

After two years, she moved to Wisconsin and bought a house, sight unseen, in her late grandpa’s hometown.

As she fixes the house up, she discovers a dark history and secret surrounding it, connected to a long ago mystery. As Kaine continues investigating will she find the answers or succumb to a past and present killer?

Past:

Ivy Thorpe assists her father, the town doctor, in trying to exhume and discover what caused the death of the bodies the police find. The House on Foster Hill has always held bad memories for Ivy, but with the discovery of a dead woman’s body, a baby, and possible serial killer. Will Ivy outsmart the killer, or will she be the next in his deadly list.

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

It was good with great characters but the present day reveal was disappointing.

I expected more from the novel than the obvious and chunkily thrown in villain.

I really enjoyed how the author switched back and forth between the ’60s with Ivy and the present day with Kaine. This back and forth was extremely interesting, captured your attention, and made you want to find out what happened next.

For more serial killers, go to Real Murders

For more stalkers, go to Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got Nobody