Death Comes to Pemberley

So Christmas is coming and what does that mean?

Victorian-Christmas-Traditions

Our Christmas countdown!

Every Tuesday until Christmas I will be posting a Christmas themed mystery and on Fridays, a recipe to go with. While this mystery talks of Christmas, but isn’t extremely Christmas themed, I thought it would be the perfect one to start us off as we aren’t in December just yet.

I was going to do my own review, but as my big sister blog, JaneAustenRunsMyLife, already did it, I’m just going to borrow from her.

janeaustenrunsmylife

DeathComestoPemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

*Contains Spoilers*

While I am a huge mystery fan, I had never really read anything by P.D. James. I had heard of this book when it came out,  but I wasn’t sure if it would be a good read.

I felt whatever about it. I felt whatever about it.

However, as I have heard people raving about it and the TV series; and I found it at the library book sale for 25¢, I decided to buy it and read it.

bjksale

I didn’t really care for the book

Something is not right!

Why you may ask, well let’s just read and you will see.

startrekletsgetstarted

So the book begins with a quick summary of Pride and Prejudice, most likely for those who have not read the books. Although I’m not quite sure why they would be reading this if they haven’t read Pride & Prejudice to begin with.

suspicious Hmm

Since the end of…

View original post 2,028 more words

Rice Krispies Peanut Butter Banana

peanutButter

So first of all:

thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Once again I am posting today, not on something you need for the meal but something to help out tomorrow morning before you do your Black Friday shopping!

I found this recipe on Pinterest, but I can’t recall exactly from whom I received it from. Oops!

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Ingredients:

  • Peanut Butter
  • 1 Banana
  • Rice Krispies

Directions:

  1. Take the banana and cover in peanut butter.
  2. Take a shallow dish and cover it in aluminum foil or wax paper.
  3. Pour in some Rice Krispies.
  4. Take the banana and roll it in the Rice Krispies.
  5. Slice up the banana or eat it whole.

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I loved it! It was delicious, easy, and a good way to start the morning. Plus it has peanut butter.

peanutbutter-fills-heart

LOL

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For more Thanksgiving posts, go to Hole in One

For more holiday recipes, go to Happy 4th of July Triple Berry Salad

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups

For more breakfast recipes, go to Breakfast Omelet

 For more peanut butter, go to 1-2-3-4 Peanut Butter Cookies

Snagged

snagged

Snagged (Regan Reilly Mysteries #2)

Thoughts Before Reading:

So before I started reading this in order I read #10 Laced and #3 Iced. Both books started off with a strong beginning, but had a weak ending.

However, Decked blew me away as I just LOVED it and Snagged did the same thing. Now it has me wondering, were those just fantastic and the rest of the series so-so? Or was Laced and Iced just two duds in a wonderful series? I don’t know, but let’s move on to the review!

lets-do-this-ucas-gif

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Plot Synopsis:

Miami Beach has become the hot spot in which many threads will tangle together to create one intense knot.

plotthickens

Richie Blossom has been trying for years to invent the perfect invention, the big one, something that will help mankind. And he might have just done that. Richie Blossom has created the most indestructible, form-fitting, one-size fit all, panty hose.

wow

I know, I wish that were real it would be fantastic.

Aw+man+i+missed+the+porn+raid+again+i+am+_9614058b2062adb4c677dd212977b011

And of course for any of you millennials who have grown up in the techie world of casual, women used to not be bare-legged at work as it was unprofessional, instead wearing tights or panty hose.

Nowadays it just seems like you don’t see it unless it is winter.

Anyways, his run-proof, snag-proof, callus-proof, always form-fitting panty hose; was created for his deceased wife who’s thin legs always had baggy stockings.

Aw...that sucks

Aw…that sucks

And he made it just in time. Land developers are after the South Beach to create a new hotspot, and his retirement home sits on the primest location. When the owner was killed last year in an accident, they had luckily signed a lease before her demise or else they would have been kicked out. Now that year is ending, and unless they can get enough money to purchase it from the deceased landlord’s sister; they will all lose their homes.

Blog-Child-Support-Oh-No

Not only has Richard finished this multi-million dollar invention before the deadline to purchase, this weekend Miami is holding the National Panty Hose Convention, the perfect plan to get his stuff out there.

wantyouyes

Meanwhile, Regan has also traveled from Los Angeles to Miami to be in her friend, Maura Durkin’s, wedding.

Wedding

Maura’s father worked for Regan’s father Luke, until he decided to move from New Jersey to start his own funeral parlor business in Miami. The families remained close through the years, even with the distance.

Besides a Panty Hose Convention and a wedding, the hotel is also hosting a Funeral Convention. As most of the family friends are in the death business, the Durkins decided it made the most sense to have them at the same time.

Read it today!

After Regan checks in and spends some time with Maura, she is sent by the bride to check on her uncle, Richie Blossom, and make sure he’s okay and doesn’t forget to come to the rehearsal dinner and other family events.

When Regan goes to bring Richie back, they find themselves almost killed by a car. And this was no accident, the car tried to hit and kill them. But why?

HMMM

Regan begins to investigate and discovers this is no isolated incident. Someone is after Richie to kill him. But is it for his panty hose formula or the retirement community?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

As Regan continues to investigate she also discovers that the landlady didn’t die in an accident, but was murdered.

Murder

Now Regan has put herself up to quite a job; find out who killed the landlady, who is trying to kill Richie, and doing her best to protect him from any future harm; all the while doing her normal duties of maid of honor.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

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Thoughts After Reading:

First I really enjoyed this book a lot. I thought the mystery was well done and all the characters were a lot of fun.

loveitSupernatural

While most mystery novelists believe that a mystery = murder, I like how Clark’s work, while involving a previous murder and attempted murder, focuses more on fashion espionage.

this is going to be good

I really liked this book and am looking to the next books in the series that I haven’t read yet. I also want to add this book to my collection of mysteries.

wearegoingtoneedabiggebookshelf

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For more Regan Reilly mysteries, go to Decked

For more private investigators, go to A Study in Scarlet

For more female private investigators, go to A is for Alibi

For more espionage, go to The Princess Plot

For more mysteries taking place during a wedding, go to Bloom and Doom

Arugula-Walnut Pesto

 

Spaghetti with green pesto

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So I found this in a Good Housekeeping magazine, I can’t remember what issue. You all know how much I love Pesto:

Rachel_pasta_ooh_mine_eating_stuff

So I thought I would try a new recipe. I’ve never had arugula, so we will see how it turns out.

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Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Cups of Arugula
  • 1/3 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of Toasted Walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in blender or food processor.

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6e89e5ee-713e-449a-a2ba-38a828fb2c04

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Thoughts After Reading:

IDon'tlikeit

I tried it on bread and pasta, it just was not that good.

creepyew

It just felt like it was missing something. I would not make this again.

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For more Pesto recipes, go to Pesto Parmesan Popcorn

For more recipe reviews, go to Happy Trail Mix

Ashes to Ashes

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Ashes to Ashes (A Kovac and Liska Mystery #1) by Tami Hoag

This wasn’t the first I read in the series, that being The Bitter Season, but as I have to review them in order I’m starting with Ashes to Ashes.

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Plot Synopsis:

Minneapolis has a firebug, that is a an arsonist, nicknamed The Cremator. He has been killing prostitutes, destroying all witnesses so the police had nothing: but now things have changed. He’s been witnessed by prostitute and teenage runaway, Angie DiMarco.

Looks like we just caught a break.

Looks like we just caught a break.

But Angie isn’t talking.

arghfliptablesangry

Ar first they hope to rattle her by threatening jail, but when that does no good Kate Conlan, ex-FBI, gets called in to handle their victim/witness.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

To up the  ante even further, the Cremator has chosen to abduct the daughter of billionaire Peter Bondurant.

Blog-Child-Support-Oh-No

Now not only are the police being pushed to solve this crime, but Bondurant has used his connections to bring in FBI whiz and looker, Special Agent John Quinn. Who wouldn’t you know it, has a past with Kate that she’d rather keep silent.

urkelgif interesting hmm

As Sam Kovac and his partner Nikki Liska are on the case, aided by Quinn and Kate. But as they start investigating they find a lot of strange and suspicious things.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Peter Bondurant isn’t acting like the normal bereaved father, hardly being involved but instead sending his lawyer to ask/answer questions? What’s the story on that?

HMMM

Why would the cremator break habit? Why stray from his routine?

I wonder...

I wonder…

Something about the missing girl’s best friend seems off as well. They didn’t seem to be the type to run in the same circles, why are they together?

weird

The house they send Angie to to protect her also has an odd couple running it. And it happens that they are connected to the three previous dead girls. Could they possibly be involved?

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Through the frenzy, hysteria, dead ends, a can of worms, and politics; Kate discovers that this Cremator is set out for one big finish, with Kate as his star player.

scream

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was a fantastic mystery; gripping, incredible, and just mind blowing.

wow

I thought I had it all figured out…was completely wrong.

yougotme

However, while this book was good, I liked The Bitter Season better. I liked that the characters that were already established, and as much as I like Kate; I enjoy the Kovac/Liska partnership better. They just complete each other so well.

fantastic

And while I did enjoy this book, let me warn you it is not for the faint of heart. It can be graphic at times in descriptions and language.

AAhhorrorifiedwhat

But otherwise it was very enjoyable.

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For more mystery reviews, go to A Taste of Fame

Happy Trail Mix

Atasteoffame

Thoughts Before Cooking:

This recipe comes from a huge series of them, located in the back of the book. I have wanted to make something out of these many recipes for a while, but have been unable to. However, I finally got around to trying something, so let’s see how it turns out.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Sunflower Seeds (without shells)
  • 1 Cups of Dried Fruit (I did Crancherries)
  • 1/2 Cup of Shredded Coconut (optional)
  • 1 Cup of Unsalted Nuts (I did Peanuts)
  • I Cup of Dried Cranberries or Raisins (I did Cranberries)
  • 1 Cup of Chocolate or Caramel Chips (Optional) [I did semi-sweet Chocolate Chips]

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in airtight container or sealable plastic bag.

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happytrailmix

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Thoughts after Cooking:

I loved it.

joker-yum

It was fast, delicious, and fun.

fantastic

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For more snack food, go to Cinnamon, Banana, & Peanut Butter Rice Cakes

For more recipes, go to Orecchiette with Red Onions, Almonds, and Green Bell Pepper

A Taste of Fame

Atasteoffame

A Taste of Fame (Potluck Catering Club #2) by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

So some of you might be wondering where is the review for book one? Well there is no review for book one.

What?

The first book isn’t a mystery but a Christian novel that chronicles the lives of six women who change from a potluck prayer group to a catering group. Each member has different issues in their lives, as they grow in friendship and through trials. I wanted to skip it, but as I can’t completely do that without confusing you, I’ll give you a bite.

gotthis

The potluck group was started by Evangeline and grew to have five other members; Vonnie, Goldie, Lizzie, Donna, and Lisa Leann. The women go through trials, tribulations, prayer, and delicious food.

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Synopsis:

So since the hiccups of the first novel, the women have had a successful time with their catering business in their hometown. But things are about to change.

change

Lisa Leann’s son came to visit, and decided to film them for his media class. It turns out that he also used the footage to enter them in the reality show, The Great Party Showdown.

ohnoyoudidn't

Even though most don’t want to participate, they signed a contract and have to, besides that the church could really use the money they win.

We are so happy for you

We are so happy for you

They win their first challenge of catering a special event in the community, creating a 1930s Animal Crackers themed party.

elphantinmypjsshot

And now the ladies are off to New York.

Yay!

Yay!

Evangeline has adapted to married life with her long time crush, Sheriff Vernon Vesey. She has even developed a better relationship with her stepdaughter, Donna, who has previously hated her. Her biggest issue, she and Lisa Leann are going into the city to do preliminary research, will she survive spending time with the Texan she can’t stand?

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

Lisa Leann’s old affair came back to bite her in the last book. She admitted everything to her husband, but while he agreed to work on their marriage; he has been cold and silent. When Lisa Leann has to leave, Henry gives her an ultimatum: stay with him and they will stay together or leave and that will be the end.

Blog-Child-Support-Oh-No

Vonnie is a little unsure about being in the city, but happy that her son David will be joining her. Vonnie was married when she moved to California to a Latina man. He died in Vietnam and Vonnie went into labor. Knocked out by grief and drugs; her mother told her that her son died and Vonnie signed the release papers, unknowingly signing her son’s adoption papers. When David surprised her by knocking on her door and revealing everything, Vonnie felt blessed to have her child back and loves every moment she has with him.

love

As they prepare for their next challenges, continuing the movie theme they find a few things they did not expect. They are doing very well, but a few things seem to be going wrong. Almost as if someone is sabotaging them.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

But which team?

HMMM

Lizzie is enjoying the break and opportunity to visit New York as she has had a lot on her plate. In the last book she had her mother’s Alzheimer growing worse, her youngest daughter’s wedding to plan, her son and his family moving in with her when he lost his job, and her husband being injured. But when she helps a deaf couple find their lost handbag, she discovers one of the production assistants for the show on a date with a contestant. She reads their lips and sees that the assistant has “everything arranged.” Is the contest rigged from on high? And if so, what can Lizzie do to stop it?

badfeeling

Donna is feeling pressure from all sides. In high school Donna and Wade dated, and she became pregnant. She lost the baby and Wade began drinking. Now 12 years later, Donna is a deputy and Wade is sober and taking care of his nephew Peter, the boy being the same age as their boy would have been. Donna is considering getting back with him, but then there is David who is crazy about her and wants to start a new relationship.

idon'tknowwhatI'mdoing

But now there are the paparazzo hounding her, a Cajun cook trying to start a relationship; all the while Donna being on two cases. First looking to see if her tip about Pete’s mom fleeing her abusive husband for New York to be true, and second who the saboteur is.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Goldie and her husband Jack have had a rocky relationship. Jack had been cheating on Goldie since they first got together, due to his compulsion for sex. They’ve been in counseling, and with the help, Jack has been able to master his compulsion. However, Jack’s health has been bothering him, and when he has to have surgery Goldie leaves the competition to fly out to be by his side. Will she make it in time? Will Jack survive?

Aw...

Aw…

How will the potluckers be able to win this whole thing down a player and with a saboteur on the loose? Time to pray.

dearlordhelpme

 

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was pretty good. The story was fun and interesting and I thought the development of the characters was great.

likeit

I loved the idea of the movie themed parties from An Affair to Remember, King Kong, and Guys and Dolls; defintely the theme direction I would have gone in.

You_know_thats_right

The only thing I thought was dumb was that Deputy Sheriff Donna was kind of dim about a few things. She starts investigating Bubba, the Cajun chef, as the potential saboteur and when he tells her she probably mistook his cousin Bordeaux who looks just like him.

really?

What a joke. Come on how could you not see through that.

seriously

There were a few other times when it would have been easy to see through things but she didn’t.

Idon'tthinkso Idontseeit

But otherwise, I thought it was a good read and think it is worth a read. 🙂

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For more caterer mysteries, go to Catering to Nobody

For more Christian novels, go to A Change of Fortune

For more sabotage mysteries, go to The Silence of the Llamas

For more mystery reviews, go to The October Game

Orecchiette with Red Onions, Almonds, and Green Bell Pepper

RealSimple

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I had made the Brussels Sprouts Turkey Sausage & Pesto Pizza Casserole from this magazine and thought that was all I wanted. However, months later I decided to review it before donating it for an art project. There I found this recipe.

oooh 101 Dalmations

Now I had to change it up as I am not a fan of two ingredients they used: green olives and ricotta cheese.

Hate him.

Hate him.

Like the White Bean and Barley Soup with Tomatoes and Greens, this recipe also came with a rating system.

[X] Quick Cooking

[  ] Healthy Pick

[  ] Freezable

[  ] Big Batch

[  ] Slow Cooker

[ ] One Pot

[  ] Whole-Grain

[X] Vegetarian

[  ] Gluten Free

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Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of Orecchiette (or small pasta)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, plus more for later
  • 2 Medium Red Onions, Chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2/3 Cup of Chopped Green Bell Pepper
  • 2/3 Cup of Roasted Almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup of grated Parmesan Cheese, plus more for later
  • 1 Cup of Cottage Cheese

Directions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. While that is cooking chop the vegetables and the almonds.
  3. Heat the two tablespoons of oil in a pan.
  4. Once heated add the red onion, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  5. Cook until tender (~8-10 mins).
  6. Drain the cooked pasta and put it back in the pot.
  7. Add the red onion,the lemon juice, bell pepper, almonds, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir.
  8. When well mixed, transfer to a serving bowl or platter.
  9. Dollop with the cottage cheese, drizzle olive oil, and sprinkle with pepper and cheese.

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I had a photograph, but I’m not sure what happened to it as I can’t find it anywhere. This recipe was very delicious as the cottage cheese and bell pepper perfectly complimented the rest of the dish. I will definitely be making this again!

joker-yum

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For more Real Simple Magazine recipes, go to Basil Spaghetti with Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes

For more pasta dishes, go to Pasta with Prosciutto, Cherry Tomatoes, and Asiago

 For more vegetarian recipes, go to White Bean and Barley Soup with Tomatoes and Greens

For more recipes, go to Lemon Scones