We Were Liars

***Spoiler Alert***

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The Sinclairs have money, power, and their own island-literaly. Every summer the Sinclair sisters and their families come to spend the summer on the island.

Cadence Easton Sinclair is the eldest grandchild and she always remembers the summers as being the best part of her life as she and the other liars-her cousins Mirren Sheffield Sinclair and Johnny Dennis Sinclair; along with Johnny’s best friend (and practically step-cousin) Gatwick “Gat” Patil.

Cadence remembers every year except summer 15. The start of that summer they had fun, and she and Gat fell hard for each other (even though he is very against rich white people).

But then there was some kind of accident. Cadence was found almost drowned. She has tried to remember, but there is nothing.

Now she suffers blackouts, has focusing problems, horrible headaches, etc. Summer 16 her father took her on a trip to Europe as they didn’t want her going back to the island.

Hmm…

But she has pleaded, argued, and threatened to run there anyway and her mom has agreed to let her go to the island.

She is thrilled as she as been emailing and texting her cousins and Gat but has had no replies. Are they mad? Hurt? What happened two years ago?

Back on the island, Cadence realizes there is a lot that has changed. Her grandfather has severe dementia, has rebuilt his old family house, constantly calls her Mirren, and something is just not right.

Her one aunt refuses to stay in her family house on the island, as they each have their own house, letting the teens just run amuck in there. Being with Gat, Johnny, and Mirren is like old times for Cadence, except they don’t want to leave the house, they spend zero time with the relatives, and no one wants to talk about that summer.

Hmm…

But Cadence is going to find out the truth of what happened. She goes through her memories, questioned everyone, and is intent in piecing out the truth.

But will she be happy to find out what happened that summer? Or will she had wished she never did?

Hmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

I know a lot of people like this book and it is extremely well written. The author knows how to build the story and suspense. It was also very sad too, the end really bothered me.

It was like Fight Club where you discover everything was in her head-but there are a lot of things that don’t end up making any sense, a lot of the interactions, the things that happened. How did she get the house so dirty with it being just one person? Why would her mom, who constantly worries and doesn’t want her out of her sight for a second let her spend all her time in an empty house as the teens aren’t really in it? If anything she would be more likely to kill herself or hurt herself more.

How come when she talks to her little cousins about their siblings they don’t tell her they are dead? I have been around a lot of kids and worked with grieving ones and when someone dies that is ALL they focus on.

For more Young Adult mysteries, go to Recruited

For more island mysteries, go to Death by Honeymoon

The Riddles of Hillgate

The Riddles of Hillgate (Z & C Mystery #1) by Zooey & Claire Kane

I got this book free on BookBub and really sounded interesting-a mother-daughter duo buy an old mansion and spooky things happen-but it wasn’t.

I was really disappointed as the writing was not good and the story had a great premise but fell flat.

Bleh…

Zooey Kane is known to be unconventional and to make purchases that seem out there, so when she buys up a big swath of land she gets fired.

Her daughter, Claire, moves back as her boyfriend dumped her and she lost her job, They go to look at the land and discover that there is a gigantic mansion there. One that everyone has forgotten about which seems so weird? How? Why?

Anyways, they clean it up and found all kinds of priceless antiques. They decide to turn it into a bed and breakfast, but then one guest turns up dead.

After that they retool it to be one of those creepy horror hotels-and get all kinds of gusts. But-then the singer that night is electrocuted.

Now they have no one interested and must figure out what to do.

One day they are having tea and trying to think of what to do next. When they reach into the sugar bowl they find a clue. It turns out there is a mysterious man? Ghost? That wants them to find clues. And they have to solve it before it is too late.

So this is were the story fell apart for me. Already the style of writing was bad, but there has been a guy living in the house for over a 100 years and he couldn’t figure out these basic clues? I mean they were super easy.

And how did he live so long without proper food and water? I mean he says he scrounged, but with no one remembering that place what did he really have to live on?

And the whole thing is the guy, Dick Andrews, wanted to marry the wealthy banker, Mr. Fillmore’s daughter, and embezzle money-so he started a fire on the 4th of July to rob the vault and then went back to the mansion and killed everyone-how did anyone forget about the mansion? How come no one went back to check on the family and realize they were dead or that they never came back from “vacation”? Dick says that he planned the whole thing to make it look like the Fillmores left-but really. If they were such an influential family in town I cannot believe the police didn’t go check on them or the mayor look into it. It makes no sense.

Also, why did it take so long for them to realize they would have to pay taxes on all the amazing riches they found in the house (and didn’t they have a huge diamond at this point, so I don’t get why they couldn’t pay). I don’t know-this book is really bad.

 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Apple Smoothie

It’s almost the 4th of July and we need a recipe to go with the holiday. So I was looking through all the smoothies I had previously reviewed and thought-can you make a smoothie with applesauce?

Well  after a quick google search-I found this Peanut Butter Oatmeal Apple Smoothie from With Salt & Wit

Ingredients:

  • 1 Apple or 1 Cup of Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/2 Cup of Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Old Fashioned Oatmeal
  • 1 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder (Optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup of Ice
  • Whipped Cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Add to serving glass and garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Thoughts After Blending:

I did not like this.

I thought it tasted really weird.

This is not good

I would not make this again.

For more 4th of July recipes, go to Apple Pie Smoothie

For more smoothie recipes, go to Matcha Green Tea Blast Smoothie

For more applesauce recipes, go to A is for Applesauce Cake

For more drink recipes, go to Skinny Chai Tea Latte

Under the Sea Graham Crackers

So we went old school with the book on Tuesday, so it’s time for an old school recipe today.

Ingredients:

  • Graham Crackers
  • Blue Frosting (Or buy white and dye it with food coloring)
  • Fish Sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Take a graham cracker and frost.
  2. Add sprinkles.
  3. Eat & enjoy.

Thoughts after making:

This one my niece made and she loved it, just like me. Delicious.

For more recipes using graham crackers, go to Sour Cream Lemon Pie

For more recipes, go to Lavender Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies

Recruited

Recruited (Alias Prequel #1) by Lynn Mason

So I had never seen the show Alias, but came across these prequel novels and became a huge fan of them. After reading the whole series I did watch the show, but I liked the books better.

So this series is supposed to be a prequel to the show and this novel starts off a little slow as it sets everything up.

In this book Sydney Bristow is a college student with a serious knack for languages, espechially Russian. One day, she is approached at a job fair to join a “bank”, revealed to be SD-6 a secret division of the CIA.

She is a perfect candidate as she only has one relative, her father, who she is not close to; speaks and reads other languages-particularly Russian, is a good actress, and ticks off several other boxes on their list.

Hire her!

At first she isn’t sure but decides the join the group going on her first mission.

Will she be able to handle being a CIA operative? Can she balance her college life, friendships, and secret missions? Or is she in way over her head?

Hmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

I really enjoyed this book as I thought it was a perfect setup for the series and keeps the pace great. It leaves you not wanting to wait to read what other butt-kicking she does.

Lavender Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies

So in A Fragile Design, they have tea time quite a few times throughout the book. That made me think I need a tea recipe, and I decided on borrowing this one from my sister blog, JaneAustenRunsMyLife

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 Cups of Flour
  • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of Lavender Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 Cups of Unsalted Butter

Directions:

  1. Pulse flour, sugar, tea, and salt together for one minute in a bowl or food processor.
  2. Add butter and vanilla extract.
  3. Pulse until shaggy dough is formed, about two mins.
  4. Remove blade and transfer dough to a working surface.
  5. Work dough until it comes together and shape it into two discs.
  6. Place each disc on parchment paper and transfer to refrigerator for 30 mins.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out cookies using a 1 inch wide cookie cutter.
  10. Transfer cookies to baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown.

Thoughts After Baking:

Like my sister blog, JaneAustenRunsMyLife, I too over chilled the dough and the dough was too hard that the cookies came out small. But they were extremely delicious and I couldn’t stop eating them!

For more recipes from JaneAustenRunsMyLife, go to Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

For more cookie recipes, go to Ginger Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies

For more Earl Grey Tea recipes, go to Earl Grey Infused Blueberry Smoothie

For more shortbread recipes, go to Basic Shortbread

For more desserts, go to Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake

A Fragile Design

A Fragile Design (Bells of Lowell #2) by Tracie Peterson and Judith McCoy Miller

Arabella Newberry is angry with her father and his choices. Instead of caring for his family he decided to force them to join the Shaker Community, where all share in the toil and all are cared for.

Years have passed, and Arabella is old enough to fend for herself and decides to leave. She plans to go with her best friends Daughtie and Jesse and head to Concord, MA to find her mother’s relatives, and if she cannot-move on to Lowell, MA and work in the factories.

That night of their escape, Jesse does not show up, but the girls continue on their way. They make it to Concord and see Arabella’s family, but they have just moved back and don’t have a lot of money, so they continue on to Lowell, MA.

Plan B!

There in Lowell, the girls stay at Addie’s boarding house, like Lily did in the previous book, and begin working in the factory. Arabella adjusts well, while Daughtie has a harder time.

Taylor Manning has just moved from England to work with his uncle on the designs for the factory and this English rascal has his eye on Arabella-who is not interested in getting involved with a man and especially one doesn’t serve God.

Meanwhile, things are heating up in the town as it is growing more and more each day and the factory owners are losing their control. To add further troubles, lots of Irish women are disappearing. As the Irish are seen as low and not wanted, the police and people don’t care-saying the girls are running off.

They are being kidnapped.

But then a mill girl disappears and all begin to worry. Who could be behind this? Where are the women? And will they find the culprit before another one is kidnapped?

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this one was not as interesting as the first book, Daughter of the Loom, but I liked that they realistically showed how the Irish people were being treated. It was an interesting story and mystery.

For more Bells of Lowell, go to Daughter of the Loom

For more historical fiction mysteries, go to Ruby in the Smoke

Top 8

Top 8 (Top 8 #1) by Katie Finn

So, I loooooved this book when I was a teen.

Rereading the book, I still think it is good and holds up even though it is 12 years later. The author incorporated a lot of social media and kind of fused Facebook and Myspace together (Myspace is where the term “Top 8” comes from) which helps as it becomes a fusion of the two and is still relevant to today. There are still some terms that today’s teens won’t know like “top 8”, a razor (cellphone), etc. They are constantly on social media but videos aren’t really a thing so its not as topical but I think teens could still get into it.

I also liked the use of the pictures and objects for profile pics, how we meet our characters through their profile, the IMs (now would be texts or group chats) as I think it really captured teen style and life. Although looking at the profile pics it makes me wonder what these people are doing now.

Plot Summary:

So the book starts off with relatively popular Madison MacDonald getting ready to head to the Galapagos Islands for Spring break.

Madison does well in school, is pretty, has the lead in the musical Dane (a modern adaption of Hamlet set in rural Kansas), loves to read, is on prom committee, just won school secretary, has a great group of friends, a new boyfriend, and just had her pink laptop fixed.

Life seems pretty great for Madison, and she returns from the vacation all rested, happy, but missing social media, especially Friendverse which she is always on. There was a distraction ob the boat, a cute guy, but she didn’t spend as much time with him as she is taken. 

But when she comes back her whole world collapses. Most of her friends will not speak to her, she’s been unfollowed and blocked by her friends, her profile is completely changed with lots of spelling mistakes, her profile says she likes weird things, she dumped her boyfriend Justin on a post, shared a bunch of pics from a friend’s party (getting him grounded), reveals the story of her friend Schuyler getting a nose job, revealed that her two couple friends cheated on each other, propositioned one of her best friend, Lissa’s, boyfriend, propositioned another guy, said a lot of bad things about the drama kids, was mean to all her friends, insulted the head of the prom committee, and more.

WHAT!

Obviously someone is framing her and trying to destroy her reputation But who? And why?

She meets up with her friends: Schuyler (the one she revealed about the sailing accident/nose job), Ruth (her best friend), and Lissa (her french loving friend who’s boyfriend the fake Madison hit on). She convinces them she didn’t do it, and they decide to help her root out who did this. First, she has to deal with the fallout: try to mend things with people, and then starts a list of who would want to destroy her…

Suspect 1) Kittson Pearson

Kittson is the most popular and beautiful girl in Putnam High. She is head of the prom committee, can get anything she wants, and is now dating Justin, Madison’s ex? Could she have done this to Madison to engineer their breakup? She may look like a blonde bimbo, but she is cunning, talented, and a whiz with computers-making a pretty professional looking prom website.

Hmm…

Suspect 2) Conner Atkinson

Conner Atkinson wanted to be secretary on student government and was beat by Madison, demanding a recount. He also asked her out but was rejected as Madison was dating Justin. Could he have done this to get rid of her and take over her student government spot? Did he break up her and Justin as he wants to be with her? He is the school’s Internet Liaison and could have found a way to get into her profile.

Suspect 3) Travis MacDonald

Travis is Madison’s annoying little brother who likes to do all he can to make her life hard. Her “Q” isn’t working (I feel you Madison, my E is having issues unless I hit it hard) and her parents let her use her brother’s computer to write her report on Queen Victoria. When she goes in his room she sees a note of her brother’s-him trying to figure out her password. Could he have figured it out and hacked her profile? When they were in Galapagos they had to pay an arm and a leg to go online-something Madison wasn’t going to do, but Travis spent a large portion of his time online. Is he the one who messed up her Friendverse Account.

Hmmm…

Suspect 4) Sarah Donner

Sarah Donner and Madison have been competing for the leads in plays their whole high school lives. She had beat Sarah out for several leads in he past but Sara really wanted this one. Sarah has been campaigning for her to be moved from understudy since day one-Madison is too tall, she doesn’t look farm girl enough, she’s not off book, she’s too pitchy, etc. Could she have done this to freak Madison out so she doesn’t want to do it? Try to get her kicked out of the play for her against school rules profile?

Hmmm…?

Madison was intent on winning Justin back, but she ends up spending more and more time with Jonathan “Nate” Ellis, the guy she met on the Galapogas Islands, and has a lot of fun with him. He tries to help her find out who her mystery hacker is-but mostly is just what most 2008 teen girls dreamed in a guy.

Madison and her friends investigate but it turns out Kittson is actually pretty nice and fun, the two becoming close friends-she even gives Madison a quick makeover and tries to help her win Nate. Conner is revealed to be a great guy and Madison matches him up with her friend Schuleyer (they are adorable together). And Travis just has a crush on a girl and was trying to email her (adorable). Sarah was just extra jealous and Madison and her work out their problems.

With that, Madison has no one left on her list? Who could hate her so much they want to hurt her so badly?

Thoughts After Reading:

I love this book!

I love how Madison learned a lot from what happened and reformed her character, no longer gossiping or talking bad about others. But also how she wasn’t the best judge if character, Justin? Really, this brainless caveman? Or how Kittson is her nemesis, but after one afternoon with her she realizes she was wrong about her and they become good friends.

The mystery is good- I knew half of the answer but I didn’t see the rest of it coming. I love it and recommend it.

For more Young Adult mysteries, go to Ruby in the Smoke

Daughter of the Loom

Daughter of the Loom (Bells of Lowell #1) by Tracie Peterson and Judith McCoy Miller

The year is 1828, Lowell, MA has been created to be the textile capital of the United States with factories, girls from all over working them, and a promise of prosperity for all.

Yay!

All except Lily Armbruster. Lily was born in the town before it was named Lowell, before the factories, and she hates the changes that were made. Her brother Lewis sold their farm and stole the money, her fiancé Matthew Cheever betrayed her by working for the Boston Association, and her father died of a broken heart from losing the farmland.

Lily has decided she is going to destroy the Boston Association and the mills, by being hired as a factory girl and sabotaging it from the inside out.

She moves into a company owned boarding house and finds herself befriending the other workers and the boarding house keeper, Miss Adelaide, they all becoming her family.

Even though she doesn’t want to harm her friends, she is determined to not be deterred from her goal. But before she can start anything, someone else starts sabotaging the mills. Could this be a sign from God that she is on the right track? Or does someone have their own vendetta against the mills.

Hmm…

Matthew keeps coming back into Lily’s life trying to get together with her, even though she constantly rebuffs him, but will she change her mind? Is he the man she is supposed to be with? He’s not the only bad penny to turn up as her brother Lewis also decides to return to Lowell with nefarious reasons why.

Hmm…

Will Lily continue her vigilante justice? Or give up her plan? And if Lily isn’t the one sabotaging the mills, who is?

Thoughts After Reading:

I found this to be an extremely compelling historical fiction novel. I loved reading about Lowell, and went down a historian rabbit hall researching more about it.

For more historical fiction mysteries, go to Ruby in the Smoke

For more mysteries, go to Pretend You Don’t See Her

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

So  Tuesday’s post was on a mystery set in Victorian England, so we need a recipe to go with it. I’m thinking a tea time recipe…

Specifically, cucumber sandwiches borrowed from my sister blog: JaneAustenRunsMyLife.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
  • 2 Teaspoons of Chopped Fresh Dill
  • 1 Teaspoon of Chopped Fresh Chives
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Long English Cucumber, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Loaf of Bread, Crusts Removed

Directions:

  1. Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise in a small bowl with a hand mixer, until smooth.
  2. Stir in herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cut crusts off bread slices.
  4. Spread bread slices with cream cheese mixture.
  5. Thinly slice cucumbers, layer over half of the bread slices.
  6. Top with additional herbs, if desired.
  7. Top with remaining bread slice and cut each sandwich into three pieces.

Thoughts After Reading:

These sandwiches were absolutely delicious. I couldn’t stop eating them. These will go great with your choice of a cup of tea.

For more recipes from JaneAustenRunsMyLife, go to Scottish Oat Scones

For more sandwich recipes, go to Hummus Egg Salad Sandwiches

For more cucumber sandwiches, go to Cucumber Hummus Sandwich

For more tea time recipes, go to Skinny Chai Tea Latte

Ruby in the Smoke

The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart Mystery #1) by Phillip Pullman

Veronica “Sally” Lockhart’s father has just passed away. Her father had traveled to China to look into some of his accounts there as he felt something fishy was going down and wanted to speak to a Van Eeden for help. The ship went down and sixteen year old Sally finds herself at loose ends. She has to stay with a distant relative Aunt Rees, who hates her.

She then receives an anonymous note about the “seven blessings”. She heads over to her father’s former shipping agency to speak to his partner Selby, but he is out and she has to talk to Mr. Higgs. She asks him about the seven blessings and he has a heart attack dying of fright.

She mets Jim Harper, boy messenger, who was listening in. He thinks Higgs knew something and was doing something shady. He agrees to help her and keeps the real story secret along with having his eyes and ears open to anything and everything in the office.

Keeping an eye out for you

What are the Seven blessings? It must be something horrible if it can cause a heart attack.

Hmm…

Meanwhile a mean cruel hag has been blackmailing a Mr. Marchbanks, former Major in the military. She finally has what she wants, but then Mr. Marchbanks does a switch on her. He spots Sally’s name in the newspaper and knows he must contact her.

Sally returns “home” (as it is no real home) and she receives a letter from Mr. Marchbanks asking her to visit as he has information for her. She thinks it might be about the Seven Blessings and heads over there.

Hmm…

Meanwhile, a sailor, Matthew Bedlam, groggy from sealife and opium has come to London. He is searching for Sally as he has a message from her father but has to stop and stay somewhere, he cannot go any further. He stops at the hag’s boarding house, and when she overhears some of his words-imprisons him upstairs to get more info. She’s never one to pass on an opportunity.

Hmmm…?

Sally goes to Marchbanks, but gets lost and has to ask a handsome photographer for help. He points the way saying that he did the same not too long ago for an old witch.

Sally arrives at the house and Marchbanks is scared stiff. Mr. Marchbanks is freaking out as doesn’t want “her” to find Sally so he gives her a diary that is coming apart and says it rightfully belongs to her.

Mrs. Holland is angry that the ruby that was promised to her is no longer in the bank. She is harassing Machbanks, and when she finds out he is giving it away, she murders him and heads after Sally.

Sally hides out in Fredrick’s photography tent, and he helps her. He wants to ride with her on the train to potect her, but she declines taking his card instead. On the train she starts to read the diary-an account of when Major Marchbanks served in India along with her father. She starts to read the story, but falls asleep. When she wakes up, she discovers the diary has been stolen! The only thing left is a note to find “it”, but what?

Sally goes home and is berated by Aunt Rees. That night Mrs. Holland sends a man to pinch any papers from Sally. He doesn’t find what they are looking for but does steal her gun. He goes to deliver it to Mrs. Holland, but is murdered.

Sally wakes the next morning and knows her belongings have been riffled through and things are missing. Her aunt accuses her of lying and Sally decides to leave.

She has nowhere to go and ends up in Fredrick Garland’s house living with him and his sister Rose and their assistant Trembler. Sally has no “skills” useful for woman’s job, but has an affinity for numbers and business and helps the Garland photography studio start making money.

Meanwhile, Matthew has begged Adelaide, Mrs. Holland’s servant girl to contact Sally Lockhart and she heads to the shipping agency. There she runs into Jim and gives him her information.

Hmm…

Jim contacts Sally and they search for Matthew’s minister brother, Nicholas. They are twins and Nicholas has been waiting for his brother to return. He goes with Fredrick to find him and bring him home. After a tussle with Mr. Berry (Mrs. Holland’s muscle) and Mrs. Holland they bring Matthew back. After a long wait Matthew reveals that Sally’s father was murdered. There is a gang called the Seven Blessings, a part of the Triads,  and run by the terrible pirate Ah Ling. They didn’t want her father to reveal what they were doing, smuggling opium, and murdered him and the whole ship. Matthew barely escaped.

Meanwhile, when buying opium for Matthew, Sally went under and was affected by the opium. She had the nightmare, the same one she is always affected by. Something about India, Marchbanks and her father. It turns out to be a memory but what does it mean?

Hmmm…

So Sally has two adversaries and three mysteries. Where is the item Major Marchbanks wanted, the Ruby?

What happened in India when she was a child?

Hmm…

Who is this mysterious man that killed her father? Will she be able to figure it out before the killer strikes again?

Thoughts After Reading:

This was an extremely intriguing mystery with a lot of fun characters.  I enjoyed every page of it, and who Ah Ling turned out to be was a great twist!

For more historical fiction, go to Child of the Mist

For more Young Adult Fiction, go to Paper Valentine

Parmesan Roasted Carrot Fries

So I saw this on pinterest, carrot fries? You know how I feel about fries.

I love to eat them…

So I have to try it! This recipe comes from Closet Cooking. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Carrots, Peeled and Sliced into 1/4 inch thick “fries”
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese), Grated

Directions:

  1. Gently toss the carrot fries in the oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle on the cheese and mix to coat before spreading them in a single layer on a silicon mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  3. Roast in a preheated 425 degrees F oven until tender (16-20 mins), mixing it halfway through.

Thoughts After Reading:

These were absolutely delicious, so good I gobbles them up before I had a chance to take a picture.

For more carrot recipes, go to Roasted Carrots

For more fries recipes, go to Baked Garlic Parmesan Fries

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Amish Friendship Soup

Pretend You Don’t See Her

Pretend You Don’t See Her by Mary Higgins Clark

Lacey Farrell is a real estate agent in New York City who is given a prime apartment to sell. It belongs to Isabelle Warring, but prior to her it belonged to her daughter Heather Landis, Broadway singer. Heather died about a year ago and Isabelle’s ex husband Jimmy Landis has been telling her she needs to sell the apartment and move on. Isabelle however is convinced that Heather’s death was not a car accident but that someone murdered her and she has been trying with all her might to get answers.

As Lacey tried to find a buyer she spends a lot of time with Isabelle. One day Isabelle calls and leaves a message saying that she has been reading through Heather’s old diary and discovers a clue, one that she will talk to Lacey about next time she sees her.

Hmmm…

The next day her bosses son, Rick Parker, gives her the name and number of a potential buyer, Curtis Caldwell. Lacey shows him the house but Isabelle is against selling it and doesn’t want to talk about what she has discovered. Lacey is discouraged but goes back to speak to Isabelle that night and walks right in on her being murdered by Caldwell, her earlier apartment appointment.

WHAT!

He runs out and with Isabelle’s dying breath she tells Lacey she discovered a clue and wants her to give the diary to he ex-husband as he will find the murderer, there is something in it he needs to read.

Lacey calls the police who are really bad investigators as they meet trying to pin the murder on her. The next day she stays late at work and makes two copies of the journal, giving one to Heather’s father and keeping the other for herself. She returns home and find her apartment burgled. She decides they must be after the diary and gives the police the original copy that she hid at work, not letting them know about her secret copy.

The next day she is fired from her job (they say “suspended” I say FIRED) and goes to have dinner with her family when someone tries to shoot her, grazing her and hurting her niece.

The murderer turns out to be no average person as the fingerprint found at Lacey’s apartment turns out to belong to a serious hitman for the mafia who was thought to have died two years ago!

The Marshals swoop in and Lacey is carted off into the witness protection program, now known as Alice Carroll.

New me!

Meanwhile, the diary disappears from the police precinct and when Jimmy turns his copy over to the police, it goes missing as well. With a mole in the police department and a hitman after her-will Lacey be able to unravel this mess or wind up the next victim?

Thoughts After Reading:

This was a good mystery, although it made no sense that the marshals didn’t give Lacey/Alice a job but expected her to figure it out and find work with no references. From what I know is that they always place you somewhere.

Lacey also made several BIG mistake when it came to investigating and staying hidden. Like serious screw ups.

No thank you.

The mystery was good though, as I had no clue who the murder was, and when I read who it turned out to be, I was stunned.

For more by Mary Higgins Clark, go to Second Time Around

For more murders disguised as car accidents, go to Snagged

For more Not in a Series Mysteries, go to A Simple Favor

Scottish Oat Scones

So on Tuesday we had a Scottish mystery, so I needed a Scottish recipe to go with it. The only problem is, I don’t like a lot of Scottish recipes. They are just not to my taste when I’m looking through the ingredients.

No thank you.

But my sister blog, JaneAustenRunsMyLife, has recently posted a scone recipe so I’m going to just borrow from her. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Cups of Rolled or Steel Cut Oats
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 Cup of Unsalted Butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1/3 Cup of Milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and grease or line a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  4. In small bowl, beat the egg until frothy.
  5. Now add butter and milk to egg, and whisk to combine.
  6. Pour into dry ingredients and mix together until you have a soft dough.
  7. Shape and pat the dough into two 6-7 inch circles.
  8. Cut into 6-8 pie shaped wedges and bake 10-15 mins, or until golden brown.
  9. Let cool for a few minutes.
  10. Serve with butter and/or jam.

Thoughts After Reading:

These were extremely delicious! I saw that my sister blog had a trouble with it being a little dry, but I just added a little more milk and I was good to go.

For more Scone recipes, go to Irish Blueberry Scones

For more Scottish recipes, go to Scottish Oatcakes

For more recipes from my sister blog JaneAustenRunsMyLife, go to Ginger Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies

For more oat recipes, go to Amish Baked Oatmeal