Death Dines Out

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

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

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

The whole thing is basically a ruse,

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

Thoughts After Reading:

This was awful.

Ugh!

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

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

For more Hemlock Falls mysteries, go to Murder Well Done

For more Claudia Bishop, go to A Pinch of Poison

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

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Murder Well Done

Ready for another Christmas mystery?

christmastree

Let’s get started!

MurderWellDone

Murder Well-Done (Hemlock Falls #4) by Claudia Bishop

Thoughts Before Reading:

So after A Pinch of Poison, I didn’t really want to read another Hemlock Falls Mystery. But as I started it, I have to finish it!

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Plot Synopsis:

So since the last book there has been a lot of upheaval in Hemlock Falls. A lot of incumbents were pushed out of office, such as the justice Howie Murchison and the Sheriff Myles McHale. Their sheriff is the newcomer, none know, Frank Dorset; and the justice is Bernie Bristol a retired Xerox engineer from nearby Rochester.

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The town’s committee has been destroyed as the men and women of the town are fighting. So instead they have split into the all-male organization, S.O. A. P. Search for Our Authentic Primitive; and the all-female organization, H.O.W The Hemlock Organization for Women.

This is bad.

This is bad.

In the midst of this they are also hosting the wedding party, bachelorette party, bachelor party, wedding rehearsal, and wedding reception of ex-senator, embezzler, and criminal Al Santini and his fiancé Claire McIntosh, daughter of the rich plumbing king and mafioso on Christmas Eve.

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Al and Claire have caused issue after issue; changing the size of the wedding party, menu, etc. Besides that Santini’s attitude towards women and Claire’s constant whining is so annoying the Quilliam sisters regret ever agreeing to have them be here.

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And add to that Nora Cahill, investigative reporter, who is trying to get info on Santini and/or get a good story on the town.

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Then  it turns out Evan Blight is coming to stay at Hemlock Falls. He is the author of a book about going back to primitive ways and man power that has the Hemlock Falls men up in arms and started their organization.

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And then Claire’s crazy and intense grandmother, Tutti McIntosh arrives at the Inn. She believes she is a psychic and says that there will be three knocks and then death.

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But things start getting really weird when it turns out that the Sheriff and mayor have installed a secret camera in town to increase tickets and revenue.

What'sHappening?BigBangTheory

Quill gets caught with it, and Santini is the prosecuting attorney who is controlling the justice and sheriff and giving her a trumped up charge.

What?

And she has to spend the day in jail!

horrible

When Santini comes to let her out on his “benevolence”, with Nora Cahill; Quill becomes so angry she smacks both in the face with her muddy boots.

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 But then Nora turns up dead!

Murder

And the creepy, sexual harassing sheriff puts Quill in jail for it.

Aw...that sucks

Aw…that sucks

Quill goes to sleep but is woken up when she overhears Dorset trying to blackmail someone. It doesn’t go well as whoever was supposed to pay up, kills him instead and unlocks the cell, trying to frame Quill for murder.

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Quill has to solve this case before she gets put on trial for multiple homicide!

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Thoughts After Reading:

As I said before, I wasn’t really wanting to read any more in this series, but I’m glad I did as I loved it.

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I mean at first it wasn’t very good, and there were all these things that were silly or so different it felt like I was missing a book!

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However, as I continued reading it got better and better, making me read faster and faster to find out who the murderer could be.

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For more Hemlock Falls Mysteries, go to A Pinch of Poison

 For more Christmas mysteries, go to Plum Pudding Murder

For more wedding themed mysteries, go to Snagged

For more investigative reporters, go to The Alchemy of Murder

A Pinch of Poison

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A Pinch of Poison (A Hemlock Falls Mystery #3) by Claudia Bishop

So we haven’t talked about the Quilliam sisters since I started the blog, so let me do a quick review.

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In the first book, A Taste for Murder, we are introduced to the Quilliam sisters. Sarah “Quill” Quilliam is an artist in New York City, known as the next Georgia O’Keefe. She is starting to hit the big time, when she is stalled and has a block on what to paint next. Her younger sister, Meg, is an amazing chef who is also living in NYC. Around the time that Quill starts having trouble with her paintings, Meg’s husband is killed in an automobile accident. Both women need a change of scene and travel up north to rural New York. While visiting the cute, country town; the two discover a historic inn for sale. They decide to buy it, run it, and take on this new path of life. But things are far from ideal, as the sisters find themselves having to battle unruly guests, deal with the town’s Historic Days festival, and complexities of trying to fit in in a small town. To make matters worse: someone is sabotaging the inn, a murder occurs, Quill’s friend flees and is accused, Meg is poisoned, and much more.

wow

Now in book two, A Dash of Death. the sisters have cemented themselves a bit more into country life. Both have recovered from near misses in their last adventure, and are looking forward to the future. Unfortunately, the inn has not quite recovered as they are in need of a boost in guests and money. The group thinks they have found their salvation in TV sensation Helena Houndswood, star and creator of the show, It’s a Beautiful Life. Sadly for them, she turns out to have a major ego and becomes a huge headache for all parties. She comes to present the prize to the winner of the contest she ran, only to discover that instead of one winner, there are five. All are blue-collar women and workers at the local paint factory. And all five are nowhere near what Helena views as classy. In fact she would rather they decline and remain anonymous than set foot on being her show. When the winners start disappearing and having “accidental” deaths, Quill starts investigating as to who could be behind it all. Is it the jealous and abusive husband of one of the women? Could one of the women be getting rid of the others in order to increase her share? Could Helena be getting rid of them so they won’t “taint” her “beautiful” show? Or is someone else behind all this? Quill starts searching for the truth, but finds herself joining the ranks of the hunted.

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So now for A Pinch of Poison.

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Hedrick Conway has just moved to Hemlock Falls and has really started “something.”

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He and his family bought the newspaper in which Conway turned into a yellow tabloid, full of half truths, rumors, and what Conway feels is “news”.

Not-Good

Conway starts looking into the local mini mall that is about to sprout, the same one that the Quillam sisters and their employees sunk a bunch of their capital in.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

As Hedrick starts investigating both his sister and mother end up dead.

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Who would want to kill them?

Very fishy

Once again the Quilliam sisters are on the case.

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I was very disappointed in this book.

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It started out promising but became very boring.

NO emotion = BORING!

I mean there is a whole chapter on sewage!

What?

Who wants to read about that?

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I also didn’t like that the characters seemed to not learn from their past investigations and they made the same mistakes again.

seriously

I say two out of five stars.

horrible

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For more Hemlock Falls Mysteries, go to A Dash of Death

For more books on tabloids, go to The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

For more mystery reviews, go to Cream Puff Murder

Gazpacho

This recipe is inspired from A Dash of Death (A Hemlock Falls Mystery #2)

Dash of Death

Gazpacho

Thoughts Prior to Cooking:

I read this book years ago and I really wanted to make gazpacho after reading it. The only thing was that I didn’t like the recipe they gave at the back of the book as they use vodka. Now I cannot drink alcohol at all or use it in my cooking, unless it is cooked through. I tried finding a substitute for the vodka, but came up with squat. So I decided to instead use a different recipe. This one may not be the one from the book, but I never would have wanted to make any type of gazpacho if it wasn’t for having read this mystery.

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  • 1 Cup of finely chopped, seeded, & peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Cup of chopped, seeded cucumber
  • 3/4 Cup chopped green onion
  • 3/4 Cup of sliced black olives
  • 3/4 Cup of chopped celery
  • 1 10.5-oz can of Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Cups of tomato juice
  • 1/2 Cup of white cooking wine
  • 3 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of hot sauce
  • Cucumber or celery sticks (optional)

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, green onion, celery, olives, broth, tomato juice, vinegar, wine, garlic powder, and hot sauce.

Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Serve cold. Garnish with cucumber or celery sticks. Makes 8 servings.

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Gazpacho

Thoughts after cooking:

I thought this was really good. It was almost like drinking a salad, the way the vegetables all mingle together.

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A Dash of Death

Dash of Death

Dash of Death (A Hemlock Falls Mystery #2) by Claudia Bishop

The is the second book in the Hemlock Falls Mysteries. In the first book, A Taste for Murder, we are introduced to the Quilliam sisters. Sarah “Quill” Quilliam is an artist in New York City, known as the next Georgia O’Keefe. She is starting to hit the big time, when she is stalled and has a block on what to paint next. Her younger sister, Meg, is an amazing chef also living in NYC. Around the time that Quill starts having trouble with her paintings, Meg’s husband is killed in an automobile accident.

thenannygasp

Both women need a change of scene and travel up north to rural New York. While visiting the cute, country town; the two discover a historic inn for sale. They decide to buy it, run it, and take on this new path of life.

change

In the first book, the sisters find themselves having to battle unruly guests, deal with the town’s Historic Days festival, and complexities of trying to fit in in a small town. To make matters worse: someone is sabotaging the inn, a murder occurs, Quill’s friend flees and is accused, Meg is poisoned, and much more.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

Now in book two, A Dash of Death. the sisters have cemented themselves a bit more into country life. Both have recovered from near misses in their last adventure, and are looking forward to the future. Unfortunately, the inn has not quite recovered as they are in need of a boost in guests and money. The group thinks they have found their salvation in TV sensation Helena Houndswood, star and creator of the show, It’s a Beautiful Life. Sadly for them, she turns out to have a major ego and becomes a huge headache for all parties.

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But she is good for business. Her show has just run a million dollar prize competition, a china plate design, of which the winner is from Hemlock Falls. She decides to hold the whole show at the Quilliam’s inn. When news of this spreads, business starts booming for the sisters with all kinds of calls coming in.

But all is not rosy. It turns out that instead of one winner, there are five. All are blue-collar women and workers at the local paint factory. And all five are nowhere near what Helena views as classy. In fact she would rather they decline and remain anonymous than set foot on being her show.

When the winners start disappearing and having “accidental” deaths, Quill starts investigating as to who could be behind it all. Is it the jealous and abusive husband of one of the women? Could one of the women be getting rid of the others in order to increase her share? Could Helena be getting rid of them so they won’t “taint” her “beautiful” show? Or is someone else behind all this?

Quill starts searching for the truth, but finds herself joining the ranks of the hunted.

KeepCalmSleuthOn

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So I really enjoyed this book. It is better than the original as that one moved a tad slow, (it had more introductions to the characters and such). This one is the complete opposite as it is constantly moving, with ever-occuring action. It is an amazing mystery with so many twists and turns that you find it impossible to put down, the need to know the answer consuming you. And the end result it worth every bit. I highly encourage any mystery lover to check this out!!!

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For more Hemlock Falls, go to A Taste for Murder

A Taste for Murder

A taste for murder

A Taste for Murder (A Hemlock Falls Mystery #1) by Claudia Bishop

We are introduced to the Quilliam sisters: Sarah “Quill” Quilliam is an artist in New York City, known as the next Georgia O’Keefe. She is starting to hit the big time, when she is stalled and has a block on what to paint next. Her younger sister, Meg, is an amazing chef also living in NYC. Around the time that Quill starts having trouble with her paintings, Meg’s husband is killed in an automobile accident.

thenannygasp

Both women need a change of scene and travel up north to rural New York. While visiting the cute, country town; the two discover a historic inn for sale. They decide to buy it, run it, and take on this new path in life.

change

In the first book, to town is getting ready for it’s Historic Days. Quill and Meg already have enough trouble trying to fit in a town where everyone knows each other practically from the womb, and now are trying to work with and around the committee members.

Stressed

They also discover they have quite a lot of unruly guests, including an older woman and her companion, whom trouble just seems to follow.

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A local businessowner is murdered, followed by the companion participating in an Historic Days event.

thenannygasp

It’s up to Quill to investigate!

KeepCalmSleuthOn

To make things worse, someone is trying to sabotage the inn by canceling reservations, poisoning food, etc.

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Quill’s friend flees and is accused

thenannygasp

And much more.

what have i gotten myself into star trek next gen

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Thoughts after reading:

Well I really enjoyed this book. At first I found it a bit hard to get through as the author’s style is old-fashioned and a bit flowery. But it surprised me midway with a few twists and an unexpected villain.

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For more on Hemlock Falls, go to A Dash of Death