Paper Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

So I posted the recipe Tuesday as I had a mystery that fit perfect with the holiday:

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

The city of Ludlow is gripped by a serial killer, the Valentine Killer.

Hannah Wagnor is having a hard summer. Her best friend Lillian was murdered and her ghost is haunting her, urging Hannah to investigate and get revenge.

She also can’t stop thinking of bad boy Finny Boone, who she knows has a heart of gold.

Everyone is in a panic, and Hannah makes a decision, the only way to get rid of her ghost is to find the killer. Will she discover the truth, or will she be the next victim?

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

This was not good.

The main character is practically non-existent in the personality department and none of the characters are interesting-but rude and cruel.

Bleh…

For more Valentine’s Day posts, go to Let Me Call You Sweetheart

For more young adult book, go to Not If I Save You First

For more ghosts, go to The Phantom of the Opera

For more serial killers, go to The Man Next Door

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Happy Valentine’s Day!

So today we celebrate with a romantic murder mystery!

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Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Mary Higgins Clark

This is the first Mary Higgins Clark book I had ever read, so it is special to me. Years back I was just watching TV shows and movies on Youtube on my phone while I was working on something on the computer. The movie Let Me Call You Sweetheart came on, and I started watching it.

I got so into the film, I decided to read the book.

Kerri McGrath is a divorced mother and works for the D.A. Her ex-husband left her to trade up for a new wife/partnership in a law firm and has been pretty absent in Kerri and their daughter Robin’s life.

One day he was taking Robin out and she didn’t have her seatbelt on. They were in an accident and she gets her face damaged. Kerri takes her to the best plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Smith. While they are waiting, Kerri sees a beautiful woman that looks so familiar to her, but she can’t remember where or why. She asks about her name, but doesn’t recognize it.

It sticks with her, and she keeps thinking of roses. It continues to trouble her until one day it hits her like a flash! The woman was a dead ringer for Suzanne Reardon! The Sweetheart Murder!

Eleven years ago, Suzanne Reardon was found dead in her home, sweetheart roses thrown everywhere. Her husband was arrested for her murder and the case quickly sewn up. It bothers Kerri that Dr. Smith would make a lookalike, and not one but TWO, as she discovers another woman done over the same way. She calls for the old files and begins to research into the case.

Geoff Dorso is pleased she is interested, as he is the defense attorney for Skip Reardon, Suzanne’s husband. He never believed that Skip was guilty and has been trying for the last eleven years to find something that proves it and help him get his freedom. He eagerly goes over the case with Kerri, hoping they find something new, along with falling head over heels for her.

But not all are happy that Kerri is looking into it. Her boss Frank Green made his career on that case and he is up for promotion, one that could go away if it turned out he sent an innocent man to jail. He encourages Kerri to let it go as she has a ton of current cases that are in need of looking into.

State Senator Jonathan Hoover, and friend of Kerri’s, is not interested in her dragging this up as he and the party were interested in elevating Frank Green and appointing Kerri to judgeship, but that won’t happen if she keeps looking into this.

Don’t mess with it

Jimmy Weeks, Mafioso, is dead set against any investigation into the Suzanne Reardon case. Right now he is going on trial, Kerri’s ex-husband, Bob, being his defense attorney. He tells Bob in no uncertain terms that he needs to get his ex-wife to quit or else bad things will happen.

Kerri is waffling between looking into the case and letting it go, especially with the threats against her, her job, and her daughter. But then she uncovers something and believes that the real killer is still out there. Will she be able to figure it out in time? Or will this be her last case?

Hmmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

I love this book. I enjoy it so much that I reread it a lot. I definitely recommend it to anyone.

For more Valentine’s Day posts, go to This Pen for Hire

For more on Mary Higgins Clark, go to Voices in the Coalbin

For more mysteries in retrospect, go to The Disappearance of Edwin Drood

For more Not in a Series Mysteries, go to The House on Foster Hill

This Pen for Hire

I wonder if  the same thing happens when you spell it Jaine Austen, because if it is then this author has killed 16.5 of them.

No wonder dating is do hard these days.

But enough joshing. Before we get to the review let’s take a moment and address the day:

Happy Valentine’s Day

Whether you love it or hate it, I hope you have fantastic day.

Now on to the review:

This Pen for Hire (Jaine Austen Mystery #1) by Laura Levine

Thoughts Before Reading:

I have read a few of the Jaine Austen Mysteries, really only the ones that are a part of the three Christmas stories involving the Hannah Swensen Mysteries and the Lucy Stone Mysteries. And what did I think of them?

I thought the ones I read were horrible and that the character of Jaime Austen was awful and badly written. I couldn’t stand it:

Another thing that really bothers me is that the author named her character Jaine Austen but she has nothing to do with Jane Austen. It isn’t a remake of her her works, Jaine isn’t a fan of Jane, etc. Nothing in similar except that they are both writers, but as Jane Austen was amazing, Jaine is just a hack.

I just don’t get it.

Plot Synopsis:

Jaine Austen is a freelance writer and does everything from resumes, to personal ads, to jingle, etc. Whatever comes her way she takes on.

However, her newest client has asked for something far different and harder to write-love letters. Geeky Howard Murdoch is in love with the blonde, vivacious, and ambitious aerobics instructor, Stacy Lawrence.

Jaine takes the challenge, and through some careful wording and suggestion she actually manages to help Howard score Stacy. They have a date planned for Valentine’s Day.

Yay!

However, this fairy tale story ends horribly when Howard goes to pick Stacy up and finds her bludgeoned to death by her thigh master, with Howard looking to be the prime suspect.

Jaine is shocked and horrified that her letter, and half truths in it, has implicated Howard and destroyed his credibility. She decides to search for the real killer. This won’t be easy when it turns out that Stacey is hated by practically everyone she’s come across.

Thoughts After Reading:

I HATED IT! Why did I waste my time reading it?

It was horrible! A boring story, an unintelligent character, just disappointing and a total yawn.

How could this author have been a writer for Three’s Company and The Love Boat? This book was horrid.

They make the cops incredibly stupid as well. I mean really? They think Howard killed her and he barely knows her? He isn’t even that strong! And when he has no motive but every one else who is in her life does?

Jaine gets involved with a guy and asks for his alibi, and that’s that. Really? He could be lying! You are so stupid and a horrible investigator.

For more Valentine’s Day posts, go to The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

For more mysteries with love letters, go to Paper Roses

For more mysteries, go to Larceny and Old Lace

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…

View original post 2,007 more words

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:

fantastic

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

Peach Cobbler Murder

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Peach Cobbler Murder (Hannah Swenson #7) by Joanne Fluke

So we haven’t reviewed a Hannah Swenson Mystery in  while. Let me do a quick review. Hannah is still in a love triangle with Mike and Norman; although it is clear that Mike is not the right guy. Just dump him already!

movingOnsherlocknotinterested

Hannah’s brother-in-law has been elected Sheriff, although I don’t think he is smart enough to have that job.

I don't think so.

And Hannah’s mom is dating some English Earl. An English Earl visiting small town Minnesota in the winter? Come on now, that’s super suspicious! Why would a rich Englishman choose smallsville snow capital of the States to visit? Sounds like a conman to me. A real Earl would want to visit Miami, L.A., or something.

BacktothefutureThinkMcFlyStupid

Just an FYI for all you readers: I HATE PEACH COBBLER!

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I think it is gross, liquidly, and pretty much like eating wet bread. That being said, I will not be making any, whether the recipe is from this book or something else. Just so you know.

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The Review:

Shawna Lee Quinn, (Hannah’s nemesis as she is cute, blonde, thin, and extremely interested in Mike)

Hate her that's so raven

Has just opened up a bakery, the Magnolia Blossom Bakery, across the street from The Cookie Jar, with her sister; the wealthy, widowed, and just as beautiful, Vanessa.

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Everyone in town has been visiting the Magnolia Blossom Bakery, except Norman because he’s awesome, and business has been slow.

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So Lisa and Hannah come up with the bright idea of sending Hannah’s sister Andrea over to spy and find out whether or not their desserts are really all that good Andrea also has a real knack for manipulating information, so they know she will get the skinny on everything.

gotthis

When Andrea returns with the desserts, it turns out that this “true Southern bakery” is nothing but average, their only “Southern dish” being peach cobbler. Andrea also discovered that nearly everyone in town is at the bakery “helping Hannah” by spying to see of the bakery is really that good.

I can’t believe that Andrea feel for that.

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Hannah is worried about the bakery putting hers out of business, and with baited breath they test the desserts.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

It turns out that the desserts are okay, with the peach cobbler tasting vaguely familiar.

Deja Vu

Looks like the Bakery might continue to cause issues for them.

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They also introduce a side story about Hannah and her cat mousing (but not really) but we’ll skip that as it is boring, dumb, and useless padding.

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So the next day Hannah’s mother, Delores, call her to propose a way for Hannah to beat the Magnolia Blossom Bakery. She tells Hannah to create her own peach cobbler and the afternoon meeting of the Lake Eden Quilting Society will do a blind test taste to see who’s is better. And Hannah agrees as it may be her only chance.

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She makes a testing batch and it gets warm applause by all.

gotthis

Herb and Lisa love the Minnesota Peach Cobbler that they ask for her to make it, in addition to her cookies and cake. Hannah agrees, and all this talk about cobbler reminds Lisa’s father, Jack, of something he did. He invited Shawna Lee to Lisa and Herb’s wedding.

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Valentines’ Day has arrived,

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Also the day of Herb and Lisa’s wedding. The Cookie Jar is closed for business as it will be busy with the preparations for the wedding.

Wedding

While she is working, a knock at the door shows that Mike has sent her flowers for Valentine’s Day! Hannah is thrilled! That is, until she discovers from her chatty delivery man that the flowers he is sending Shawna are her favorite and twice as expensive.

ohnoyoudidn't

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again. Stop this love triangle!

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It is crystal clear who she should be with: NORMAN!!! Just marry him already. Jeez!

seriously

Angrily Hannah reads the card from Mike:

Happy Valentine’s Day! I volunteered to work during the wedding, but I can make the reception. Save the first and last dance for me? I’ve got something special for you and I’ll follow you home.

To Hannah all is forgiven, but I’m like dump the chump!

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So back to business, except Hannah gets a call from Lisa telling her that Shawna is going to bring a peach cobbler. As hers is a gift, Hannah’s will have to stay unmade.

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Hannah is upset, but quickly gets over it as Norman gives her a ruby pendent for Valentine’s Day.

Aw, how cute.

Aw, how cute.

That afternoon, during the wedding, Hannah notices that Winthrop, her mother’s boyfriend, has disappeared.

That'sOdd

He comes back with her mother’s rice, but he seemed gone for such a long time.

HMMM

However, Hannah can’t think on this too long as the limo driver broke a bone and can’t drive, leaving Hannah the only one to do it.

As Hannah is helping hand out desserts, she and Sally are upset that Shawna has yet to arrive with her dessert. Where is she and where is her cobbler? To Hannah’s dismay Mike has also failed to show up and her mind starts going to only one conclusion.

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Hannah makes plans with Norman for after the wedding as with Mike, you snooze you loose.

See ya!

See ya!

After the wedding, Hannah makes a quick pit stop to unload the leftovers. While in her shop she notices that the Magnolia Blossom Bakery’s lights are still on. She calls to warn them, but all she gets os the answering machine.

Hannah grows uneasy and starts to wonder if maybe there was a robbery. And in true Baby-Sitters Club fashion, she heads over there by herself with no weapon  to investigate. The thought that she should probably phone the police doesn’t even cross her mind.

Seriously?

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She goes in and finds Shawna’s dead body, shot.

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Mike and Norman come on the scene and Hannah let’s Mike take over. It turns out that he was headed to Shawna’s place as they had an “appointment” before his date with Hannah. And Shawna had missed it.

Hannah is furious with Mike, even more that he repeatedly called Shawna, but the simple courtesy call to let Hannah know that he was running late neveer even occured to him to place.

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Hannah goes home after answering a few questions and she and Norman discuss strategy to figure out who the murder is. Hannah is eager to solve this as she looks like the #1 suspect. 1) Everyone knew the Cookie Jar was going down. 2) Shawna was also dating Mike. 3) Hannah Hates Shawna.

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On a happy note, they discover that the Magnolia Blossom Bakery wasn’t making a real “Southern peach cobbler” but using a frozen one and passing it off as their own.

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The next day Mike comes over and tries to pass off his “thing” with Shawna as just pure, platonic friendship. Yeah Right! And he does some bogus flatterly to get Hannah to forgive him. Forgive? More like forget!

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Hannah goes out that night with Norman to talk strategy further. They are going to be joined by Andrea and while they wait to be seated, Hannah looks at the stiffed and mounted bear and gives a paragraph lecture in her head why the story of shooting it is false. All I can think is why? Why, Joanne? Why is this in here? It doesn’t further the plot. It doesn’t bring depth to the characters. All it is, is a extremely strange tangent.

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Later, Hannah and Andrea resume their investigations at the mall. They stop at the Logo store. She finds shirts on sale for a $1, Lake Eden Gulps, and buys them all for her softball team. She also recruits the girl working there. Now isn’t that cheating? This woman has nothing to do with The Cookie Jar, it’s not really fair.

How rude

And this softball team, we never see it again.

See ya!

Andrea talks to Kyle at the flower shop, while Hannah gets distracted by Mike. Mike takes Hannah out to eat, but the real reason why he does this is because he wants an Orange Julius recipe for Vanessa.

seriously

Ugh! Dump this CHUMP

He’s going to the house to get it ready for Vanessa as he has a key.

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Yes a KEY!!! And what to you think he was going to use that key for, really? Dump HIM!!!!

See ya!

See ya!

Hannah returns the usage, by asking him about the investigation. Mike tells her that he is at a halt, he can’t find  suspect who doesn’t have an alibi, and there are hardly anyone really who has a motive to murder her.

Hannah and Mike go back to her place where she makes the Orange Julius and gives it to Mike. He gives her an extremely passionate kiss, and then tells her:

“Thanks Hannah. I really don’t know what I’d do without you. You’re the best friend I ever had.”

FRIEND!!???

FRIEND!!???

Best friend!!!??? Best Friend????!!!! DUMP HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The next day Hannah gets to work at five in the morning, and spends the whole drive worried about seeing Vanessa and Mike together. When she gets there she discovers an awake Mike, and passed out Vanessa.

suspicious Hmm

Andrea comes in mad at Minnesota snow, and complains, but Hannah refutes it saying there is no place like it. Actually this is wrong. Most of the Midwest resembles itself. The only real unique place, truth be told, in the United States is California. It has everything.

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As they are talking, Andrea sees Shawna Lee across the street.

What?

It actually turns out to be Vanessa. From far away the sisters look exactly alike.

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So yes, the reason why she was killed was because someone thought she was Vanessa. Now who would want to kill Vanessa? I don’t know but it definitely opens up a can of worms.

HMMM

So Hannah calls up Norman to help her out, and is it just me or in every book does it look like he and Hannah do less of their “real work” and more of their hobby of “detective work”.

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They want more information on Vanessa, but no one knows her married name. After her husband croaked, she changed it back to her maiden name of Quinn.

That afternoon, Hannah heads over with Andrea to check out the bakery supplies and fixtures Vanessa is selling, along with trying to pump out any information they can out of her.

It turns out that Vanessa is from Macon, Georgia the same place that is headquarters of Pretty Girl Cosmetics. And guess who just happened to choose Lake Eden as the site for the big Pretty Girl Cosmetics corporate retreat at the same time Vanessa came to town, the VP Gloria Travis.

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It turns out that last year Gloria was engaged to Neil Roper, head of Pretty Girl, and then miss thang came along and Gloria was thrown over for her.

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They question Gloria and she tells all. Neil broke his leg and wasn’t completely healing right. His house keeper quit after she had a heart attack, so he hired a physical therapist, Vanessa Quinn. Gloria tried calling him, but he was asleep, out, on drugs, etc. Three weeks later, he was married to Vanessa. He died and she got everything. Gloria is positive that Vanessa drugged him, forced him to marry her, and them killed him.

Gold Digger and Grave Digger

Gold Digger and Grave Digger

Now Gloria, I’m with ya on murder, but I don’t think she forced him to marry her. A hot 2o year old with the perfect body can easily beat out a pretty, but middle-aged woman.

Sad but true.

Sad but true.

Gloria found out that Vanessa was there, made the retreat there, and went to talk to her to try to get her to confess. When she got to the bakery she found Vanessa dead, but then got closer and saw it wasn’t Vanessa but Shawna.

Before Hannah and Andrea can process all that, they get called by their mom to come over as she has something important to share.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

They get over there and it turns out that when their mom was snooping in her boyfriend, Winthrop’s, house, she found a picture of Shawna Quinn. She sends her girls over to investigate whether or not he is a cad.

At his place, they discover that Winthrop has no real pictures but fakes to look “homey”. Only one type of person would do such a thing. A CONMAN.

Charles Ponzi

Charles Ponzi

The next morning Hannah thinks about everything, and starts to wonder is it Shawna or Vanessa in the picture? And what is the connection?

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They come up with the idea to check the photo to see who took/printed it. When they find out they call, pretending they want a copy of the photo. It turns out a Bobby Joe Peters paid for it. Who is Bobby Joe?

What?

Norman does his usual vague, but perfectly problem solving computer research, and finds out that Bobby Joe and Winthrop are the same person. He is a con artist and usually has a female accomplice.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

Hannah sneaks into Winthrop’s house to return the photo to his apartment. While there, who should come in but Winthrop? It turns out that he and Vanessa planned together to kill Neil. Vanessa was supposed to cut him in on the inheritance and insurance money, but turned on him and he ended up in jail. He was trying a new scam on Delores, but when Vanessa came to town, he was ready all about payback.

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Only problem, he accidentally killed Shawna.

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Delores comes in and saves the day. They then get Vanessa, and Hannah trades the best lawyer for buying everything in the bakery for the cheap sum of $1000.

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At the end of the book both guys ask Hannah to marry them. And she tells them to wait for her to decide.

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Guess one wedding wasn’t enough.

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But who will it be?

Sad but true.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was a pretty good mystery. I mean it had a few problems: like that whole mousing subplot

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And the fact that no one was suspicious of Winthrop?

seriously

And the fact that Hannah still wants to see Mike?

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But the actual mystery was good. And the rest was an enjoyable read.

likeit

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For more Hannah Swenson Mysteries, go to Sugar Cookie Murder

For more mysteries featuring the murder of the wrong person, go to A Dark and Stormy Knit

For more mystery reviews, go to The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre

 

Cocoa M&M Cookies

So I don’t know how your guy’s Valentine’s Day went, but this is typically mine.

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Except I don’t pig out, I bake some cookies!

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Thoughts Before Baking:

So this recipe comes from the Hershey Cocoa Cookbook, published in 1979. Oh yeah it’s an oldie but a goodie. I’ve been making these for years and I just love this cookie.

I especially like to make these either right after Christmas or Valentine’s Day as the M&M packages are all on sale for 80¢ or less.

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Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Cup of Shortening
  • 1.5 Cups of Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup of Dairy Sour Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups of Unsifted All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Cups of M&Ms

Directions:

  1. Cream shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla; beat well.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; blend into creamed mixture.
  4. Stir in M&Ms.
  5. Drop them by the tablespoonful onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, cool on wire rack.

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Thoughts After Baking:

Sorry for no picture, but these cookies do not photograph well. But that doesn’t matter as they taste delicious!!!!

joker-yum

They are one of my favorite cookies to make. I just love them!

cookies

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For more cookie recipes, go to Sand Tarts

For more desserts, go to Gingerbread Men Cookies

For more holiday recipes, go to Brioche French Toast

For more recipes, go to Oven-Crispy Creole French Fries 

The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Yes I don’t usually post on Sundays, but as I just had the perfect book for this holiday I decided that I would post early.

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The Saint Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre (A Hatter’s Cove Gazette #1) by Elisabeth Crabtree

So I got this book off BookBub for free, and as anyone knows who uses the site, it’s kinda hit ot miss. Sometimes the free books you get are fantastic, and others rotters. I really loved this character and the story. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

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The Review:

Kat Archer is an investigative reporter.

investigate

She was working in Miami at a newspaper, but after ten years began to get nostalgic. She decided to move back to her hometown of Hatter’s Cove, FL.

When she was 16 she interned at the Hatter’s Cove Gazette and had a major crush on one of the reporters, Hayden. Of course, as he was five years older, nothing happened between them.

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When Kat returned, she discovered that Hayden now owns the Gazette, but sadly it is in dire straits. It appears that someone else has opened up a newspaper in the town, and took almost all the reporters that worked ay the Gazette.

suspicious Hmm

While Kat was luckily able to get a job on the paper right away, she was unluckily given the Lifestyles section instead of the hard-hitting, investigative work she really wants. In the last three months she has covered every dog show, cat stories, bird expos, and reviewing the town’s restaurants.

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Sounds kind if sweet, huh? The cushy restaurant reviewer’s job? Well, Kat hates it. Apparently no one in her town that owns a restaurant can cook, causing her to get food poisoning, stale food, etc.

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The rest of the team is Rosie, sports extraordinaire and sports writer; Beatrice, cantankerous and a grumpity grump that does the crossword puzzle and other stories; and Simon, the new intern.

Today is Valentines Day, and Kat’s old family friend, Miss Dolly, has just switched from catering to opening up her own store: Dolly’s Cookie Jar and Sweets Emporium. She especially asked for Kat, and how can she refuse.

Aw, how cute.

Aw, how cute.

She heads out, taking Simon along with her.

At the opening, Kat and Simon run into Evan, a reporter that jumped from the Gazette to the new newspaper, The Herald. He thinks he is God’s gift to women, and wants to date Kat. She is definitely a no on that.

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Then Benny comes, Simon’s nemesis, and starts taunting him again. This opening is raring to go.

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Dolly kicks Benny out as she can’t stand him after he messed up her catering business.

See ya!

See ya!

Dolly opens and the whole town seems to come, including Tiffany Wallace. Tiffany is a convicted killer.

What?

Six years ago on her 18th birthday, she killed her father, and she’s out now because her charge was knocked down from murder to manslaughter. Apparently she killed her father because he didn’t approve of her wanting to marry Benny Yates. He threatened to cut her off. It sucks for her, as she killed her father, she didn’t inherit any of his money.

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Vivian Wallace, Tiffany’s stepmother, is also there. She and Dolly had been in the catering business together, but Vivian made a mess of the fiance and the business closed, along with their friendship. Dolly went on and continued to thrive as she had talent, she also married Rich Fairchild, ex golf pro. Vivian’s business was utterly destroyed, but she managed to bag the wealthiest man in town.

Later that night Kat is planning on spending Valentine’s Day alone; but gets a call about some great information. Kat decides to follow the instructions and meet. When she arrives on the scene she finds Benny’s dead body…

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Right next to a bag of Dolly’s Cookie Jar and Sweets Emporium bag. Later to be revealed as full of poisoned cookies.

Why was Benny calling Kat? What information did he have? And who killed him? Kat is on the case!

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Thoughts after reading:

I loved it.

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The mystery was great! I I thought I knew what was coming, but then that twist got right in there and showed me that there was still a bit I did not catch.

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I also really, really want Officer Luke and Kat to get together.

Please!

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For more mysteries featuring investigative reporters, go to the Thorns of Rosewood

For more reviews, go to A Dark and Stormy Knit

Brioche French Toast

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Happy Valentine’s Day

I know you all are thinking, what? Valetine’s Day is Sunday. Yes, you are right, but I thought that I would post a great recipe to make for your loved one today, just in case anyone out there needed any ideas.

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Thoughts before Cooking:

Ever since I have heard the word “brioche” uttered by Hugh Jackman in Kate & Leopold I have wanted to sample some of my own. I was like yes, give me some.

And later in the film he makes this yummy dish for her breakfast:

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I don’t know what it was, but when I looked through this cookbook and I saw Challah or Brioche French Toast, I just heard Hugh Jackman’s voice in my head saying “brioche” with that amazing accent and had to make it.

Of course it is not exact as I am on a budget and can’t get the same things Gwyneth Paltrow can afford to buy

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Loaf of Brioche or Challah Bread
  • 2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 1 Banana Peeled, or 1 case of Strawberries
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the vanilla and eggs.
  2. Add the milk, and whisk the whole mixture
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat
  4. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and place in the pan.
  5. Sprinkle the top with a little bit of sugar.
  6. Cook for 2 minutes, or until brown, and flip over.
  7. Repeat step 5.
  8. Remove toast to plate and top with fruit and powdered sugar
  9. Add maple syrup and enjoy.

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BriocheFrenchToast

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Thoughts After Cooking:

I loved this.

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It was so good I’ve made it three more times since then. Just absolutely delicious.

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For more recipes from My Father’s Daughter, go to Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano

For more French Toast, go to Pumpkin French Toast

For more breakfast dishes, go to Breakfast Puffin Muffins

For more holiday recipes, go to Oven-Crispy Creole Seasoned French Fries