Tragic Toppings

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Tragic Toppings (Donut Shop Mystery #5) by Jessica Beck

Emily Hargraves, the owner of Two Cows and a Moose, the local newsstand, was last seen stopping at Donut Hearts to purchase two candy covered donuts.

After that she has disappeared without a trace: no answer on her phone, the newsstand left open, and nowhere to be seen.

Also missing is Suzanne’s ex-husband Max. Could he be involved with Emily’s disappearance? Or just involved with Emily?

As Suzanne was the last one to see her, she feels it is her duty to solve this case.

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Thoughts After Reading:

It was horrible!

The mystery described is solved in less than 15 pages and not even about that. It was badly written and a dumb move.

I was so mad I wanted to just toss it, but it was a library book so I didn’t. It is really about a handyman being hanged in a tree in the park and just horribly written and a horrible mystery, plot, characters, etc.

For more Donut Shop Mysteries, go to Evil Eclairs

For more mysteries by Jessica Beck, go to Sinister Sprinkles

For more mysteries involving disappearances, go to Death by Divorce

For more mysteries, go to The Boscombe Valley Mystery

 

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The Boscombe Valley Mystery

July we always celebrate Sherlock Holmes as A Study in Scarlet was published July of 1888, making it 130 years old. Happy anniversary to our favorite detective!

“The Boscombe Valley Mystery” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

One day Watson is relaxing with his wife when he gets a note from Sherlock asking if he can join him for a few days on a case. Mary agrees it is a good idea as she believes Watson is in need of an adventure.

Lestrade has asked Holmes to look over a case as he is a bit unsure. Charles McCarthy is a well-off Australian expatriate. He has a son, James, and the two have been estranged for ages.

Witnesses say that McCarthy went out to the Bascombe Valley pond to meet someone, and then James also went out with a gun.

The lodge-keeper’s daughter saw the two fighting, and took off to get her parents, then heard James’ call for help as his father was dead.

James was of course arrested. But Alice Turner, daughter of McCarthy’s friend John Turner, believes in James innocence-as she loves him. She begs Holmes to save her guy, and Holmes intrigued by the case and convinced there is more than meets the eye, agrees.

Thoughts After Reading:

A great twist. And as always, a thought provoking mystery.

For more Sherlock Holmes, go to A Case of Identity

For more short stories, go to The Black Velvet Ribbon

For more from The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, go toThe Red Headed League

For more by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go to The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

For more estranged fathers, go to The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

 

 

Watermelon Infused Water

So for my birthday last year, a friend of mine bought me a infuser type water bottle. I hadn’t done anything with it for a while, but it’s hot.

 

Ingredients:

  • A Handful of Watermelon Chunks
  • Lime or Lemon
  • Ice
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Slice the watermelons and put them water bottle or pitcher.
  2. Add lemon or lime slices
  3. Add ice and water; infuse and drink.

Thoughts After Making:

It was okay. Not really my thing.

For more infused water recipes, go to Strawberry Infused Water

For more drink recipes, go to London Fog Smoothie

For more recipes, go to Basic Chicken Salad

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

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The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham

In small town Ada, Oklahoma; Ron Williamson was destined to become the next Micky Mantle. His only interests were baseball, beer, and girls. It was all he focused on as he barely graduated high school; decided to forgo college scholarships, and head off to the big leagues.

He ended up not making it to the big leagues, being sent to the minors to train; but Ron had no ambition enjoying his drink and women more.

Eventually he was cut and out of options returned home to Ada.

Ron started acting strange, suffering from mental illness, this not recognized at the time causing him to become a social pariah.

In 1982, a young cocktail waitress, Debra Sue Carter, was brutally murdered. Ron and his friend Dennis Fritz were arrested on lackluster testimony, more of a focus of people wanting to be rid of them as they disliked them.

Fritz was given life without parole and Williamson was given the death penalty. But when DNA testing that was developed and perfected in 1992, they later tested the hairs they found on the crime scene and where able to release the two on April 15, 1999.

What?!

Grisham follows the story from Ron’s childhood to his exoneration, but continual pariah in small town Ada.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was very well written and interesting, but also sad that these people stopped being objective and focused on having the evidence fit the suspect.

For more non-fiction, go to Ghost of the Hardy Boys

For more true crime stories, go to Cape May Court House: A Death in the Night

For more reviews, go to Death by Marriage

Basic Chicken Salad

This recipe comes from the Betty Crocker website. It is just a basic Chicken Salad recipe, not anything fancy with nuts or grapes or such. Just something quick and easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Cooked Chicken (I like using the rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Celery
  • 1/3 Cup of Chopped Onion
  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Bread

Directions:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Spread the chicken salad on the toasted bread.

Thoughts After Cooking:

It was absolutely delicious. You should make it!

For more Betty Crocker recipes, go to Flag Cake

For more salad recipes, go to Spinach Pasta Salad

For more recipes, go to London Fog Smoothie

 

Death by Marriage

Death By Marriage (Caribbean Murder Mystery #3) by Jaden Skye

Thoughts Before Reading:

I received this book free from BookBub an amazing site that you can get free ebooks from. You know me and free things.

Since the last book and solving the last case, Cindy and Mattheus have formed a detective team together. He is all logistics and contacts, she can put people at ease and get information the police and others can’t get.

They get called into Saint Thomas to investigate a case of a prominent lawyer who was found dead in a back alley. There is a hurricane coming, and the police are looking to close the case quickly, focusing on his wife who no one likes. Cindy doesn’t think she is guilty and wants to help her, even though her personality makes it hard to want to help.

As they try to adapt to working with each other and creating this new team, they discover there is a lot more to this case than meets the eye. Gambling, vendettas, multiple enemies, mistresses-even his own kid doesn’t even like him.

But then the real shocker-it turns out that the lawyer had another family. Kendra and her daughter were the second family, on another island was his first wife and son Paul-same age as Kendra’s daughter.

This adds a whole new dimension. Did the wives know? Did the kids know? Who killed him? One of them? Two? Or is that a red herring and it was someone else?

Hmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

It was an okay book. The plot was similar to the previous one and the writing and characters were not good. But it did have a great twist in the end.

For more Caribbean Murder Mysteries, go to Death by Divorce

For more by Jaden Skye, go to Death by Honeymoon

For more BookBub, go to This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies

For more cheating husbands, go to Run Run As Fast As You Can

The Black Velvet Ribbon

“The Black Velvet Ribbon” by Unknown from Tales From the Midnight Hour edited by J.D. Stamper

This is an old story that no one knows where it comes from originally. It is one you have probably heard before in a hundred different ways.

A man was a bachelor for 40 years, but then he meets a beautiful woman and falls in love. She dresses fashionable except for one thing-she wears a velvet ribbon around her neck.

Hmm…

He doesn’t think much of it and they get married-her all dressed in white except for one thing-the black ribbon.

Their lives continue and she never takes the ribbon off, no matter what she wears.

The thought of it consumes him and he ask her to take it off. She won’t and tells him that he’ll be sorry of she does.

He becomes obsessed with the ribbon and her secret. It’s all he thinks about day and night.

Then one night he can’t take it anymore and while she is sleeping cuts the ribbon off. As soon as that happens, her head falls and rolls away saying “You’ll be sorry…you’ll be sorry…”

Thoughts After Reading:

I love this story. It was one of those “spooky” ones that you always tell each other at sleepovers.

For more short stories, go to Marionettes, Inc.

For more reviews, go to A Talent for Trouble

 

London Fog Smoothie

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I’m borrowing this recipe from my sister blog JaneAustenRunsMyLife.wordpress.com as she is an avid tea fan.

It originally comes from Pinterest, but the source site is unreachable.

Oh well

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Vanilla Yogurt (I used Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/3 Cup of Almond Milk (I don’t like almond so I used regular)
  • 1/3 Cup of Earl Grey Tea
  • 1 Cup of Crushed Ice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon of Honey

Directions:

  1. Combine all and blend.
  2. Serve.
  3. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Thoughts After Cooking:

This was better than the Fauxccino as I think having the cup of tea added to it better than the ice cubes. It came out a bit watery so I really thinking combining the two would work best. It didn’t come out super sweet with the Greek Yogurt and regular milk, so I added French Vanilla Creamer to sweeten it up. Regular yogurt would have been a better choice, but I know for next time. The cinnamon was very strong too, I would have done way less-just a dash.

Otherwise, it was very good. And a great tea drinking method for the summertime.

For more pinterest recipes, go to London Fog Fauxccino

For more Friday the 13th recipe, go to Basic Hamburger

For more on London Fogs, go to How to Make a London Fog

For more tea recipes, go to Aunt Neal’s Old-Fashioned Tea Cakes

For more drink recipes, go to Strawberry Infused Water

For more smoothie recipes, go to Triple Green Protein Smoothie

A Talent for Trouble

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A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction #3) by Jen Turano

Thoughts Before Reading:

So thus far we have had a book about Lady Eliza Sumner (Beckett), and Arabella Beckett (Wilder) and even though we have had Agatha Watson as an important character we still don’t have a book about her!

Why not!

That is so unfair! Agatha is one of the best characters!

Instead we get a book on Felicia Murdock! Felicia?!!! We’ve barely spent any time with her and we get a book on her life? Really?!

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Plot Synopsis:

Felicia Murdock has been after the young handsome minister for quite some time now. She has done everything in her dress, actions, volunteer work, and demeanor to prove that she is the best woman for him.

Unfortunately, he has chosen another woman.

Felicia, being upset, decides she needs a drastic change from her life. She throws out her frumpy clothes, let’s down her hair, and starts living life up with no worry for reputation or how this will affect others.

Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton (and Lady Eliza’s brother), has had a wild time sowing his oats and adventuring. He now is ready to become respectable, live in New York, and raise his adopted Chinese daughter Ming.

He is asked to help raise Felicia’s spirits, but finds her wild spirit the exact opposite of what he wants his life’s path to be; yet at the same time he finds her irresistible.

Unfortunately, Grayson’s past refuses to remain in China and comes to get him; Felicia getting caught up in it. Will they be able to get out of this trouble?

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Thoughts After Reading:

I didn’t like this book at all. I thought the character of Felicia was annoying.

The first two books were better. I think they had a stronger foundation as we spent time with the characters in the previous books, while not so much with these ones. It seemed very repetitive of the previous book and the end was not very good.

And I’m still mad that Agatha hasn’t had a book yet. She should have been book #2.

For more Ladies of Distinction, go to A Most Peculiar Circumstance

For more by Jen Turano, go to A Change of Fortune

For more historical fiction, go to Capital Bride

For more Christian fiction, go to The Butterfly and the Violin

 

Strawberry Infused Water

So for my birthday last year, a friend of mine bought me a infuser type water bottle. I hadn’t done anything with it for a while, but it’s hot.

 

Ingredients:

  • A Handful of Strawberries
  • Ice
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Slice the strawberries and put them water bottle or pitcher.
  2. Add ice and water; infuse and drink.

Thoughts After Making:

So good!

For more infused water recipes, go to Blackberry Mint Infused Water

For more drink recipes, go to London Fog Fauxccino

For more recipes, go to French Onion Soup

Killer Pancake

Happy 4th of July!!!!!

So to celebrate today we are going to feature a 4th of July mystery!

Killer Pancake (Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #5) by Diane Mott Davidson

Goldy has a new gig doing a low-fat catering job for a very expensive make up line, Mignon’s, show of its new product.

After that she will have a booth at Furman County’s Food Fair, over the 4th of July weekend, and a 4th of July party for a rich and very irritating client.

Between all that she is trying to adapt to married life as she is no longer Goldy Bear, but Goldy Schulz, wife to Tom Schulz of the Sheriff’s department. It’s great having this man in her life as he loves her and loves to cook, but being the wife of a policeman has its rough moments as well.

I’m scared!

Arch has ended his magic phase and has entered into a new love of all things ’60s. Hopefully it ends soon (may the next book he be into something else please!).

Goldy is preparing to say good-bye to Julian as after the summer he will go away to Cornell. He has become a true part of the family and a great help in taking care of Arch and in her catering.

Speaking of Julian, he has a new love interest. A knock-out gorgeous, blonde, Australian: Claire. She’s everything a guy could want and everything girls want to be. She is a sales rep for Mignon cosmetics and the one that got Goldy her low-fat gig.

They head over to where the demonstration will be and right smack in the middle of a group of protestors saying that Mignon is testing on animals and making rabbits go blind. One member and Goldy get into a confrontation, with grilled veggies going everywhere.

To make things shockingly worse, Claire is killed in a hit-and-run that turns out to be murder!

Then Goldy’s best friend Marla ends up in the hospital with a heart attack!

Goldy is visited by her abusive ex-husband, John Richard Korman!

What?!

And reporter Frances Markasian keeps popping up everywhere trying to question Goldy or involve her in her “investigation”.

Goldy tries to help find out what happened to Claire and finds out there is a lot more going on in this case-shoplifting, cooked books, love affairs, peeping toms, industrial espionage, and more. Will she make it to see the fireworks? Or be the next victim?

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was pretty good and grabbed you well. You kept reading to find out what happened next and it had quite a group of characters to choose from as to who the killer was.

Hmm…

I figured it out though and thought the ending was missing the extra oomph.

Meh

For more Goldy Bear Culinary Mysteries, go to The Last Suppers

For more on the 4th of July, go to Death by Cashmere

For more industrial espionage, go to Betty and Veronica: Stranger Than Fiction

For more mystery reviews, go to Death by Divorce

Happy 4th of July!

Marionettes, Inc.

“Marionettes, Inc.” from The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

Braling and Smith are very good friends, but haven’t spent a lot of time together since Braling got married. Braling’s wife is very dependent, and doesn’t let him do anything. That is just the beginning of their bad relationship, they only got married because she was going to go to the police and accuse him of rape if he didn’t.

10 years later and Braling feels trapped and so unhappy as he can’t do anything or go anywhere, just stuck at home with his needy wife.

Braling shows Smith how he has finally managed to escape his home. There is another Braling at home with his wife.

What?!

A month ago he went to a company called Marionettes, Inc. They charge from $7000 to $15000 for a humanoid plastic model.

Changed to $5,000 for Alfred Hitchcock’s Presents.

Braling has always wanted to go to Rio, and now he has his chance to do it.

Smith leaves, reading the business card and thinking about doing it himself as his wife loves him too much-it’s driving him crazy. He goes to his bankbook in preparation to write a check but discovers that $10,000 is missing!

He looks at his wife and realizes-she is a marionette. She is gone.

Meanwhile, with Smith heading home, Braling puts the marionette away in his box-but the marionette doesn’t like it.

He hates being put away, he resents that Braling gets to go to Rio, and he has fallen in love with Braling’s wife.

I think you see where this is going…

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Punishment Without Crime

For more on The Illustrated Man, go to The Veldt

For more short stories, go to A Case of Identity