Apple Turnover Murder

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Apple Turnover Murder (A Hannah Swenson Mystery #13) by Joanne Fluke

I finally get to post this book. This was the first book I read in the Hannah Swenson series, so my views might have changed since then. It was was the first review I ever wrote, and has just been sitting in the wings until I had caught up with the rest of the series.

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Poor little review

So let’s see if the review will stay the way it is, or my having read the previous books & rereading it, will alter it.

Read it today!

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Plot Synopsis:

So Carrie has just been married and Norman is leaving for a dentist conference, his cat, Cuddles, will be staying with Hannah. Hannah settles in for quiet times, but of course whenever we think of all will be well, that is when the shizz hits the fan.

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Mayor Buscombe’s wife, Stephanie, stops by Hannah’s cafe, The Cookie Jar, and asks for cookies for the charity event she is in charge of.

Hannah is shicked that they would ask her for such a large order, that close to the event, and for cookies that take a lot of time to prepare.

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However, Lisa suggests apple turnovers which Stephanie heartily agrees to. However, Hannah has no clue how make one!

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Lisa assures Hannah that her mother-in-law has an old family recipe they can use and all will be well.

It can't be that easy, can it?

It can’t be that easy, can it?

So Hannah starts to feel good about the charity event. She is especially excited for the brother sister dance team who will perform. The two grew up in foster homes and have a great talent. Sadly, the sister seems to be getting sick.

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But they hope that she will be well by the time the curtain rises.

Everything seems to be working out…that it until Lisa’s husband, Herb, asks Hannah for a favor. Herb has an amateur magic act, of which Hannah has assisted him in before. He asks her if she will be willing to do it again, as Lisa is claustrophobic and can’t do all the tricks. Hannah doesn’t want to, but agrees.

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To make things worse, Hannah has to once again wear the purple nightmare that clashes with her red hair. Otherwise known as her costume.

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At rehearsal, Hannah encounters Professor Bradford Ramsey. Bradford Ramsey was the professor that Hannah was studying under when she attended college. He would write her special “love poems”, and spend hours with her. Only problem is, he forgot to mention he had a wife. Hannah has been lucky so far, as  Professor Bradford Ramsey hasn’t recognized her. That all changes tonight, as he finally put the pieces together and tries to get Hannah to become a Swenson sandwich, as he is also seeing her sister.

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Hannah is enraged at his behavior and tells him to leave her sister alone, and then goes off to get ready to perform. Everything is ready for the actual show, except one thing. No one can find Bradford Ramsey. Hannah spots him backstage asleep and yells for him to get moving. When he still won’t budge, she goes to shake him, knocking him over, and realizing he is dead.

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Yep, once again Hannah has discovered a dead body and is on the case. This won’t be an easy mystery to solve as Bradford had many mistresses and many enemies. The suspect list has many of the townspeople on it; including Hannah’s own sister Michelle!

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Adding to her troubles is that Norman has returned and is acting strangely; almost as if he doesn’t want to see her anymore…

Is it over for these two?

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I originally when I first read this I thought it was a cute mystery, but easily solvable.

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After the death of Bradford, I immediately knew who the killer was. I did not think this ruined the book though, as I found the characters charming and enjoyable.

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Now how do I feel?

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I couldn’t stand it. Hannah was always going on about this or that, her random lectures seem to be getting longer and longer in every book…

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They keep making Andrea stupid about little things, but smart but harder things. It reminds me of what he says in After the Thin Man:

Nick Charles: At 3:30 Anderson threw this note into my window. He was planning to use some of the information he had gotten…Dancer, how do you spell Topeka?

Dancer: None of your business

Nick Charles: This note is a poor attempt at illiteracy. The easy words are spelled wrong and the hard ones right…

That’s how I feel about Andrea. I her attempt to make Hannah smarter and Andrea dumber, she makes easy things “too hard” for her to do or understand; but she can grasp difficult things. I hate it, it’s annoying.

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And something else that really bothered me, was that the are going to make the apple turnovers, an “old family recipe”, but instead of making their own dough for the pastry they went with pre-made biscuit dough. I found that odd for an “old family recipe”.

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I mean even IF they were just “using” it to save time, why wouldn’t they include an alternate dough recipe?

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It was not very good. I’m not sure why it hooked me the first time.

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For more Hannah Swensen Mysteries, go to Plum Pudding Murder

For more book reviews, go to Paper Roses

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Two-Cheese Roasted-Veggie Pasta

Pasta Noodles

I wanted to pair Paper Roses with this chili recipe I have, but I can’t find the recipe book ANYWHERE. Oh well, when I find the cookbook, I’ll post it. Until then, I have a different recipe for you all.

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Thoughts Before Cooking:

I found this recipe out of a Good Housekeeping magazine, August 2016 issue. It is low-calorie, healthy, and vegetarian. I had to tweak the recipe a bit as I didn’t like some of the ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Pint of Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 Large Summer Squash
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 8 oz of Whole-Wheat Fusilli (Or a pasta of your choice: I used Campanelle)
  • 1/4 Cup of Pecorino Cheese (Can be substituted by Parmesan)
  • 1/2 Cup of Part-Skim Ricotta or Cottage Cheese (I did cottage as I hate ricotta cheese)
  • Basil

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, slice the grape tomatoes in half.
  3. Chop the squash into 1/4 an inch pieces
  4. Slice the onion.
  5. Toss the vegetables, olive oil, and salt in a bowl; then arrange on a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees F for ten minutes
  7. Remove the sheet and rotate, baking for ten more minutes.
  8. Toss vegetables, pasta, and 1/4 cup of the Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
  9. Dollop with ricotta or cottage cheese and garnish with basil. Serves ~ 4

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I loved it!

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In fact just reading this makes me want to make it again…and eat it all.

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

For more Good Housekeeping recipes, go to Arugula Salad with Olive Oil, Lemon, and Parmesan Cheese

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

For more low calorie recipes, go to Lemon Scones

Paper Roses

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Paper Roses (Texas Dreams #1) by Amanda Cabot

So I know some of you may be looking at this and thinking this doesn’t look like a mystery, it looks like a Western. Well it is, but as the plot revolves around two mysteries I decided it was okay to review for this blog. Besides sometimes a book can straddle genres.

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Sarah Dobbs has lost everything when her parents died. All she has left is her little sister, of which she can not take care of without some help. So she looks for an escape and starts writing letters to a man in Texas looking for a bride. As the two write, Sarah falls in love with Austin Caufield and his “paper roses” (the letters he writes).

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She decides to agree to marry him and journeys West. When she arrives in Texas she discovers things are not quite as she hoped. Her fiancé was murdered!

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To Austin’s brother Clay’s surprise, Sarah refuses to return East but live on the Caufield ranch with her sister.

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Clay feels as if he doesn’t have time for this. He is trying to keep his ranch going, assist the elderly town doctor, and solve who murdered his brother.

On the case!

On the case!

Sarah quickly finds a niche in the town, working in the mercantile and later as the schoolteacher. But she discovers that this cute Texas town has a lot of prejudices and problems between the Germans and the French, and it is really heating up the town.

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As Sarah and Clay start becoming friends Sarah is determined to help discover her fiancé’s killer. What they discover is that someone has a real vendetta against the Caulfield family; being behind Clay’s father’s injury, the death of his wife, and the murder of his brother.

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As the two’s relationship grows, it turns out Clay has a secret. He is the one who wrote the letters for Austin, pulling a Cyrano de Bergerac. Will he be able to admit the truth? Or will Sarah continue to be in love with who she thought his brother was?

I wonder...

I wonder…

While Clay and Sarah are occupied, someone is planning their next move to remove the Caulfield clan. Will they be able to stop them in time?

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this book was extremely good. I loved the characters, the storyline, and the mystery.

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In fact the person responsible for the crimes against the Caufield’s was a great twist.

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A great read!

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For more historical fiction, go to A Most Peculiar Circumstance

For more Christian books, go to Bake Until Golden

For more book reviews, go to The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

Herbed Eggs with Sour Cream

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Yep, we are going to make a recipe from The Cat Who Cookbook. Now my big sister blog TheCatWhoWroteaBlog usually does this with all the recipes in one post. I perfer doing one at a time so I won’t be reposting the whole thing.

However if you are interested in all the recipes pulled from the first book, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, just follow this link.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons of Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Fresh Chives
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream and Chives for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 400°.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add in the sour cream, flour, salt, pepper, and chives. Whisk briskly.
  4. Pour into a 1-quart buttered baking ramekin (if you don’t have a ramekin use a 1-quart round dish that can be placed in the oven).
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until eggs reach preferred degree of doneness.
  6. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and an extra sprinkle of chives if desired. Serves 2-4.

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So when I first pulled out the dish it was nice and fluffy, but then it fell.

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I guess I’m like Sabrina, I haven’t got my skills of souffles quite perfect.

But as served:

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The egg was very good, and we all enjoyed it as a breakfast or dinner food.

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It says it serves 2-4, but unless you have multiple side dishes it really serves 2. If you have more people, I would think of preparing two dishes or doubling the recipe. But very cheap and easy to make.

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For more The Cat Who…Cookbook recipes, go to Caesar Salad

For more breakfast recipes, go to Potato Chip Omelet

For more egg dishes, go to Breakfast Omelet

For more recipes, go to Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

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I was trying to find a book to post on Valentine’s Day but didn’t have anything. At least not until I read this book when Qwill goes to a Valentine’s Masquerade ball. It was just in time and fit the holiday.

I thought it only fair to borrow this from my sister blog as she is all about the Cat Who Book series.

 

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“Qwilleran pondered the complexities of the art beat.” (pg 103)

So in the first book of the amazing series we are introduced to James (Jim) Qwilleran–known as Qwill to his friends. An ex-newspaperman who has achieved many honors–Sports writer, police reporter, war correspondent during WWII, winner of the Publishers’ Trophy, and author of a book on urban crime. However, he has recently recovered from bad times, a horrible divorce and bout of alcoholism, and is trying to get back on the straight and narrow and on a newspaper.

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He applies to the newspaper The Daily Fluxion and gets assigned to the art beat.

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Qwill is in shock as he has no idea why he of all people would be assigned that area. He knows nothing about art and the more he tries to learn about it the more he ends up becoming confused. I myself study Art History, and understand…

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Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

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Valentine’s Day is coming so I thought I would post a sweet treat for you to share with your loved one(s)

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Thoughts Before Cooking:

So I wanted some pie and went to this ’50s diner that makes some really good stuff.

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They didn’t have the type I wanted so I decided to try out the Blueberry Sour Cream Pie. I loved it so much I decided to try and make it myself.

This recipe comes from Belle’s Kitchenbut I used the pie crust from my apple pie. Make sure to read the recipe all the way through before baking.

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Ingredients:

Pie Crust:

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

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix up the shortening and flour.
  3. Add in water a tablespoon at a time until dough is more malleable. If you add to much and it is to liquid-y, then just add a bit more flour to firm it up.
  4. Put dough aside.
  5. Take a cutting board and put a little flour on the surface, rubbing it. Rub flour on your rolling pin as well.
  6. Place the dough down and roll it into a large circle.
  7. Place the dough in a cake pan or pie pan.
  8. Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil. This will keep the edges from getting too brown.

Filling:

  • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 Egg
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2.5 Blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw and drain well.)

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar and flour in the medium sized-mixing bowl.
  2. Beat in sour cream, egg, vanilla, and salt over medium speed for about five minutes.
  3. Carefully fold in the blueberries.
  4. Pour batter into pie crust and bake for 30 minutes.

Topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of Butter

Directions:

  1. While pie is baking, prepare the topping by crumbling together the flour, sugar, and butter with a fork.
  2. Return to the oven and bake for 10-15 more minutes until topping is golden.
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool throughly before slicing. Enjoy!

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Thoughts After Baking:

I only have one thing to say about it:

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I loved it and couldn’t stop eating it.

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For more pinterest recipes, go to Arugula Salad with Olive Oil, Lemon, and Parmesan Cheese

For more Valentines’s recipes, go to Brioche French Toast

For more pie, go to Schooner’s Summertime-Only Strawberry-Raspberry Pie

For more blueberry recipes, go to B is for Blueberry Smoothie

For more dessert, go to Rice Krispies Cookies

The Final Seven

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The Final Seven (The Lightkeepers #1) by Erica Spindler

Detective Michealea “Mikki” “Mad Dog” “Double D” Dare has worked hard to reach where she is.

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And now she has some green guy who is the FBI’s lapdog being promoted to detective and given to be her partner. Her mission, be a good cop and protect this new detective at all costs.

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Detective Zach Harris has special abilities. He can read energy off of others, touch objects to see what others are feeling or pick up memories, and has the ability to charm and persuade anyone.

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He had been living off his abilities, using them to get whatever he wants, when an FBI agent approached him and asked him to participate in their experimental program.

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These two couldn’t be more different, but are pushed together as the case they are on is terrifying. The first Saturday in July, a coed is kidnapped with the number 7 carved into the door. The next week it continues. They have to track this guy down before he finishes whatever his master plan may be.

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While they search for the truth, it turns out there is more to this FBI agent that found Zach and an explanation to his abilities, more sensational than Zach could have ever imagined.

WHAT!

WHAT!

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was good, but I read the second book, Triple Six, first and liked it better as the characters were more developed and settled in with each other.

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But this still was a great book, and set up the introductions as to who the characters are and their mission.

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The ending was fantastic. Spindler is a talented writer and has a skill for creating a powerful thriller and wonderful characters.

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For more serial killers, go to Sleeping Beauty

For more FBI, go to Ashes to Ashes

Rice Krispies Cookies

Football

Happy Super Bowl LI

Whether you are watching for your team:

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Or just interested in seeing what commercials are out this year:

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But here is a recipe that is sure to be a winner whether you go to a party or watch it on your own.

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Thoughts Before Baking:

So I got this book years ago as a gift and I haven’t made that many items out of it. I made a few things, which I would make over and over. As I was looking at my cookbooks, I finally decided to make something different, Rice Krispies Cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Butter or Margarine, Softened
  • 1/2 Cup of White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies
  • 1 Cup of Quick-Cooking Oats
  • 1/2 Cup of Coconut or Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit
  2. Lightly coat two large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray or butter. Set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  4. Place the butter in the bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the white and brown sugars and beat until blended, Add the egg and vanilla, beating to incorporate.
  6. Stir in the flour mixture. When well combined, stir in the cereal, oats and coconut or chocolate chips.
  7. Drop the cookie dough by tablespoonful onto the baking sheets, leaving room between the cookies.
  8. Bake for 12 mins, or until the cookies are lightly browned.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool.

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Thoughts After Baking:

These cookies were fantastic! I couldn’t stop eating them.

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I took them to a party and they were instantly gobbled up.

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I strongly recommend them. They are probably one of the best cookies I have ever had.

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For more recipes from The Kellogg’s Cookbook, go to Ham and Cheese Monte Cristos

For more on the Super Bowl, go to Oven-Crispy Creole Seasoned French Fries

For more Rice Krispies recipes, go to Rice Krispies Peanut Butter Banana

For more Chocolate Chip Cookies, go to Wookie Cookies

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

For more desserts, go to C is for Chocolate Oat Crackles

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11 Famous Murder Riddles

So I thought that I would change it up and instead of posting a recipe I would post a little collection of mind benders to get your brain going.

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You can do it and it will be lots of fun.

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For more of these type of posts, go to Murder He Wrote: Edgar Allen Poe

For book reviews, go to The Shadow Hunter