Showing posts with label cozy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cozy. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

"Murder of a Good Man" by Teresa Trent

Murder of a Good Man
(A Piney Woods Mystery Book 1)
by Teresa Trent

Murder of a Good Man (A Piney Woods Mystery Book 1) by Teresa Trent

Murder of a Good Man by Teresa Trent is currently on tour with Great Escapes Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on Color Me Dead.

When Nora Alexander drives into Piney Woods, Texas, to fulfill her dying mother’s last wish, she has no idea what awaits her. First she is run off the road, then the sealed letter she delivers turns out to be a scathing rebuke to the town’s most beloved citizen and favored candidate for Piney Woods Pioneer: Adam Brockwell. Next thing you know, Adam has been murdered in a nasty knife attack. Suspicion instantly falls on Nora, one of the last people to see him alive. After all, everyone in Piney Woods loved him. Or did they? Nora learns that her mother had a complicated past she never shared with her daughter. Told not to leave town by Tuck the flirty sheriff, Nora finds a job with Tuck’s Aunt Marty trying to get the rundown Tunie Hotel back in the black. The old hotel was Piney Woods’ heart and soul in its heyday as an oil boomtown. Now the secrets it harbors may be the key to getting Nora off the hook. She’s going to need to solve the mystery quickly to avoid arrest, or worse: becoming the killer’s next victim.

Blinking to keep her tears at bay, Nora reached into her pocket for a tissue. Just as she brought it up to her damp cheek, a red pickup, apparently tired of her snail’s pace, swerved around to pass her. Without considering the passing driver, Nora hit the gas pedal to get back up to speed with traffic. When the red truck re-entered the lane, he nearly ran into her, causing Nora to veer off the country road. She slammed on the brakes, taking deep breaths as her heart thumped in her chest.
With shaking hands, she moved farther over to the side of the road as her heart rate returned to normal. The jolt had opened the cut on her hand from that morning’s moving of the boxes and furniture from her mother’s place to the storage unit. The bandage had dislodged itself, and she used her cotton shirt to stop the flow of blood until she could open the first-aid kit on the seat of the car. Thank goodness she was wearing a T-shirt underneath.
Just as she got everything fixed up, a man in a white pickup with a gun rack in the back slowed and rolled down his window. “You okay there, missy?”
Nora straightened up and smiled, not wanting to accept help from a strange man. “Fine, just fine.”
“Okay then. I got a little something for you.” Nora wasn’t sure she wanted to see what that was. He extended his arm out of the cab window and slapped a bumper sticker into her hand. The bright red letters spelled out, BUBBY FOR PINEY WOODS PIONEER.
“Uh, thank you.”
“Name’s Bubby Tidwell and I can see you are about to enter the fair city of Piney Woods, Texas. While you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you cast your vote for me, as the Piney Woods Pioneer. I have personally saved fourteen of our citizens, three cats, and a hamster in my days as a firefighter. They only choose people who have contributed to improving our little community, and even though you don’t know me, I’d sure appreciate your support. You drive safe now.” He waved and headed on down the road.
Nora put the bumper sticker in the passenger seat and stared in the rearview mirror. She had hopped into the car determined to fulfill her mother’s last wish. Now that she was getting close to her destination, she realized she must look pretty rough. She rearranged her hair to create a side braid à la Disney princess while arranging silky strands of auburn hair to frame her face. Pulling a tube of concealer out of her bag, she did her best to repair her makeup. After a few minutes of fussing, she hoped she looked presentable.
She had to do this thing. She had to know. Her mother left her instructions on delivering the letter.
As Nora neared Piney Woods, Texas, two giant eyes bored into her from a lighted billboard with the words VOTE FOR BUBBY in glitter letters at the bottom. PINEY WOODS’ FINEST CITIZEN was written under the face of the roundcheeked man with the Cheshire Cat smile. A hundred feet down the road was another billboard with BROCKWELL INDUSTRIES—PINEY WOODS’ TRUE PIONEER NEEDS YOUR VOTE. Brockwell was the name she was looking for, so she knew she was getting close.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Family secrets abound in this small town novel... Not an easy mystery to figure out.” ~ Laura’s Interests
“There is an amazing amount of secrets revealed that I never really saw coming making this a fascinating read, to say the least.” ~ Books a Plenty Book Reviews
“This story has a great vibe to it and fits the cozy mystery category perfectly. It starts off with a doozie of a murder to solve, but as Nora investigates, juicier small-town secrets come to light, making it much more than just that. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the twists in the story, some I did not even see coming. All of the characters were well-developed and each added their own touch to the story.” ~ Coffeetime Romance & More
“The first in Trent's series set in Piney Woods, and it bodes well for the series. As cozies go, this is not only a fun read, but it moves along quite well. She has a respectable number of characters - not so many as to confuse the reader but enough to have a growing number of possible perpetrators! This is a keeper.” ~ Judith Reveal for the New York Journal of Books
“Teresa Trent's recipe for an outstanding cozy mystery: A mother's dying wish. A mysterious letter. A dutiful daughter who shows up on the doorstep of the nicest man in town. A guy who suddenly turns up dead. Mixed well with small town Texas charm and a fabulous eye for detail.” ~ Joanna Campbell Slan, author of the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series

Guest Post by the Author
If Walls Could Talk
One of the ways I chronicled the town of Piney Woods, Texas, in Murder of a Good Man was through the pictures on the wall at the hotel. If you have ever walked into a place with a rich history, you can feel it. You don't always know exactly what happened there, but you sense it. If walls could talk. That's what I set out to achieve in the first book of the Piney Woods Series when I filled a wall with hotel guests from decades gone by. The historic hotel had been around since the 1940's with bellboys, then hula hoopers, then flower children, then disco and more. They held dances and weddings there and nearly everyone in town had been there at least one time in their lives. Now Nora Alexander will find out that even though she's a stranger, she's connected to the Tunie Hotel.
One of the most enjoyable things about creating a series is getting to create a new town and new characters. I was inspired to write about a hotel because of my older brother. He's worked in hotels for twenty years and always had a story for me. He talked about con artists, hold-ups, stabbings, guests with secrets, guests who get drunk and tell everyone information they would normally keep to themselves. It was like finding a gold mine at my kitchen table and I loved hearing his tales of the hotel front desk. Still, though, I had to make an entire town, so I also included a bed and breakfast, a mansion, a Cajun restaurant, and Big Dudley's Coffee shop. When writing the scene in the coffee shop, I could hear a surfer dude in the back of my brain, and that was how Little Dudley was born. The invention of Mr. Birdsong was the same thing. I immediately saw a terribly sweet, dapper older gentleman with a bow tie and cultured way of speaking.
Nora, my heroine came to me slowly and developed from the inside out. I needed her to be brave, beautiful, and just a little impulsive. That impulsivity carried all the way to the end. I hope you enjoy this cozy Texas mystery and don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance at a $20 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook copy of Murder of a Good Man.

About the Author
Teresa Trent
Teresa Trent lives in Houston, Texas, and is an award-winning mystery writer. She writes the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series, is a regular contributor to the Happy Homicides Anthologies. Teresa is happy to add her Henry Park Mystery Series to her publishing credits with Color Me Dead, the first book in the series. Teresa has also won awards for her work in short stories where she loves to dabble in tales that are closer to the Twilight Zone than small town cozies. When Teresa isn’t writing, she is a full-time caregiver for her son and teaches preschoolers music part-time. Her favorite things include spending time with family and friends, waiting for brownies to come out of the oven, and of course, a good mystery.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of Murder of a Good Man by Teresa Trent plus a $20 Amazon gift card.


Monday, January 22, 2018

"Natural Thorn Killer" by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Natural Thorn Killer
(A Rose City Mystery Book 1)
by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Natural Thorn Killer (A Rose City Mystery Book 1) by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Natural Thorn Killer, the first book in the new Rose City Mystery series by Kate Dyer-Seeley, is due for release on 27 March but is currently available for pre-order. This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.

For another book by this author, writing as Ellie Alexander, please check out my blog post on A Crime of Passion Fruit.

Cut down among the flowers ...
Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.
For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around - and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder ...

About the Author
Kate Dyer-Seeley (aka Ellie Alexander)
Kate Dyer-Seeley (aka Ellie Alexander) writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Natural Thorn Killer by Kate Dyer-Seeley (US only).


Friday, December 15, 2017

"The Body in the Casket" by Katherine Hall Page

The Body in the Casket
(Faith Fairchild Mystery Book 24)
by Katherine Hall Page

The Body in the Casket (Faith Fairchild Mystery Book 24) by Katherine Hall Page

The Body in the Casket, the twenty-fourth book in the Faith Fairchild Mystery series by Katherine Hall Page, is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on The Body in the Wardrobe.

The inimitable Faith Fairchild returns in a chilling New England whodunit, inspired by the best Agatha Christie mysteries and with hints of the timeless board game Clue.
For most of her adult life, resourceful caterer Faith Fairchild has called the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford home. While the native New Yorker has come to know the region well, she isn’t familiar with Havencrest, a privileged enclave, until the owner of Rowan House, a secluded sprawling Arts and Crafts mansion, calls her about catering a weekend house party.
Producer/director of a string of hit musicals, Max Dane - a Broadway legend - is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his seventieth birthday. At the house as they discuss the event, Faith’s client makes a startling confession. “I didn’t hire you for your cooking skills, fine as they may be, but for your sleuthing ability. You see, one of the guests wants to kill me.”
Faith’s only clue is an ominous birthday gift the man received the week before - an empty casket sent anonymously containing a twenty-year-old Playbill from Max’s last, and only failed, production - Heaven or Hell. Consequently, Max has drawn his guest list for the party from the cast and crew. As the guests begin to arrive one by one, and an ice storm brews overhead, Faith must keep one eye on the menu and the other on her host to prevent his birthday bash from becoming his final curtain call.
Full of delectable recipes, brooding atmosphere, and Faith’s signature biting wit, The Body in the Casket is a delightful thriller that echoes the beloved mysteries of Agatha Christie and classic films such as Murder by Death and Deathtrap.

Chapter One
“Have Faith in Your Kitchen,” Faith Fairchild said, answering the phone at her catering firm. She’d been busy piping choux pastry for éclairs onto a baking sheet.
“Mrs. Fairchild?”
“Yes? This is Faith Fairchild. How may I help you?”
“Please hold for Max Dane.” The voice had a plummy, slightly British tone, reminiscent of Jeeves, or Downton Abbey’s Carson. The only Max Dane Faith had heard of had been a famous Broadway musical producer, but she was pretty sure he’d died years ago. This must be another Max Dane.
She was put through quickly and a new voice said, “Hi. I know this is short notice, but I am very much hoping you are available to handle a house party I’m throwing for about a dozen guests at the end of the month. A Friday to Sunday. Not just dinner, but all the meals.”
Faith had never catered anything like this. A Friday to Sunday sounded like something out of a British pre-World War II country house novel—kippers for breakfast, Fortnum & Mason type hampers for the shoot, tea and scones, drinks and nibbles, then saddle of lamb or some other large haunch of meat for dinner with vintage clarets followed by port and Stilton—for the men only. She was intrigued.
“The first thing I need to know is where you live, Mr. Dane. Also, is this a firm date? We’ve had a mild winter so far, but January may still deliver a wallop like last year.”
A Manhattan native, Faith’s marriage more than 20 years ago to the Reverend Thomas Fairchild meant a radical change of address— from the Big Apple to the orchards of Aleford, a small suburb west of Boston. Faith had never become used to boiled dinners, First Parish’s rock hard pews and most of all, New England weather. By the end of the previous February there had been 75 inches of snow on the ground and you couldn’t see through the historic parsonage’s ground floor windows or open the front door. Teenage son Ben struggled valiantly to keep the back door clear, daily hewing a path to the garage. The resulting tunnel resembled a clip from Nanook of the North.
“I’m afraid the date is firm. The thirtieth is my birthday. A milestone one, my seventieth.” Unlike his butler or whoever had called Faith to the phone, Max Dane’s voice indicated he’d started life in one of the five boroughs. Faith was guessing the Bronx. He sounded a bit sheepish when he said “my birthday,” as if throwing a party for himself was out of character. “And I live in Havencrest. It’s not far from Aleford, but I’d want you to be available at the house the whole time. Live in.”
Leaving her family for three days was not something Faith did often, especially since Sunday was a workday for Tom and all too occasionally Saturday was as he “polished” his sermon. (His term, which she had noticed over the years, could mean writing the whole thing.)
Ben and Amy, two years younger, seemed old enough to be on their own, but Faith had found that contrary to expectations, kids needed parents around more in adolescence than when they were toddlers. Every day brought the equivalent of scraped knees and they weren’t the kind of hurts that could be soothed by Pat The Bunny and a chocolate chip cookie. She needed more time to think about taking the job. “I’m not sure I can leave my family…” was interrupted. “I quite understand that this would be difficult,” Dane said and then he named a figure so far above anything she had ever been offered that she actually covered her mouth to keep from gasping out loud.
“Look,” he continued. “Why don’t you come by and we’ll talk in person? You can see the place and decide then.  I don’t use it myself, but the kitchen is well equipped—the rest of the house too. I’ll email directions and you can shoot me some times that work. This week if possible. I want to send out the invites right away.”
Well, it wouldn’t hurt to talk, Faith thought. And she did like seeing other people’s houses. She agreed, but before she hung up curiosity won out and she asked, “Are you related to the Max Dane who produced all those wonderful Broadway musicals?”
“Very closely. As in one and the same. See you soon.”
Faith put the phone down and turned to Pix Miller, her closest friend and part-time Have Faith employee.
“That was someone wanting Have Faith to cater a weekend long birthday celebration—for an astonishing amount of money.” She named the figure in a breathless whisper. “His name is Max Dane. Have you ever heard of him?”
“Even I know who Max Dane is. Sam took me to New York the December after we were married and we saw one of his shows. It was magical—the whole weekend was. No kids yet. We were kids ourselves. We skated at Rockefeller Center by the tree and…”
Her friend didn’t go in for sentimental journeys and tempted as she was to note Pix and Sam skated on Aleford Pond then and now, Faith didn’t want to stop the flow of memories. “Where did you stay? A suite at the Plaza?” Sam was a very successful lawyer.
Pix came down to earth. “We barely had money for the show and pre-theater dinner at Twenty-One. That was the big splurge. I honestly can’t remember where we stayed and I should, because that’s where—” She stopped abruptly and blushed, also unusual Pix behavior.
“Say no more. Nine months later along came Mark?”
“Something like that,” Pix mumbled and then in her usual more assertive voice, added “You have to do this. Not because of the money, although the man must be loaded! Think of who might be there. And the house must be amazing. We don’t have anything booked for then and I can keep an eye on the kids.”
The Millers lived next door to the parsonage and their three now grown children had been the Fairchilds’ babysitters. Pix played a more essential role: Faith’s tutor in the unforeseen intricacies of childrearing as well as Aleford’s often arcane mores. Faith’s first social faux pas as a new bride—inviting guests for dinner at eight o’clock— had happily been avoided when her first invite, Pix, gently told Faith the town’s inhabitants would be thinking bed soon at that hour, not a main course.
Faith had started her catering business in the city that never slept before she was married and was busy all year long. Here January was always a slow month for business. The holidays were over and things didn’t start to pick up until Valentine’s Day—and even then scheduling events was risky. It all came down to weather.
Pix was at the computer. Years ago she’d agreed to work at Have Faith keeping the books, the calendar, inventory—anything that did not involve any actual food preparation.
“We have a couple of receptions at the Ganley Museum and the MLK breakfast the standing clergy host.”
The first time Faith heard the term, “standing clergy”, which was the town’s men and women of any cloth, she pictured an upright somberly garbed group in rows like ninepins. And she hadn’t been far off.
“That’s pretty much it,” Pix added, “except for a few luncheons and Amelia’s baby shower—I think she baby sat for you a couple of times when she was in high school.”
“I remember she was very reliable, “Faith said.
“Hard to believe she’s the same age as Samantha and having her second!” Pix sounded wistful. She was the type of woman born to wear a “I Spoil My Grandchildren” tee shirt. Faith wouldn’t be surprised if there were a drawer somewhere in the Miller’s house filled with tiny sweaters and booties knit by Pix, “just to be ready.” Mark Miller, the oldest, was married, but he and his wife did not seem to be in a rush to start a family.
Samantha, the middle Miller, had a long-term beau, Caleb. They were living together in trendy Park Slope, Brooklyn and Sam, an old-fashioned pater familias, had to be restrained from asking Caleb his intentions each time the young couple came to Aleford. Pix was leaning that way herself, she’d told Faith recently, noting that young couples these days were so intent on careers they didn’t hear the clock ticking.
Faith had forgotten that Amelia—who apparently had paid attention to time— was Samantha’s age and quickly changed the subject to what was uppermost in her mind—the Dane job. “Where is Havencrest?” she asked. “I thought I knew all the neighboring towns.”
“It’s not really a town so much as an enclave between Weston and Dover. I don’t think it even has a zip code. I’ve never been there, but Mother has. You can ask her about it. The houses all date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I believe there’s a gatehouse at the entrance. It’s an early equivalent of the mid century modern planned communities like Moon Hill in Lexington. Havencrest wasn’t a bunch of architects like that one though. Just very rich Boston Brahmin families who wanted privacy and plenty of space. I wonder how Max Dane ended up there? From what Mother has said, the houses don’t change hands, just generations.”
“I think I’ll check my email and see if there’s anything from him yet,” Faith said. “And maybe drop by to see Ursula on my way home.” Stopping to visit with Ursula Lyman Rowe, Pix’s mother, was no chore. The octogenarian was one of Faith’s favorite people. She turned back to the éclairs, which were part of a special order, and added a few more to bring to her friend.
“I know you’ll take the job,” Pix said. “I’m predicting the weekend of a lifetime!”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“A cracking good traditional manor house mystery.” ~ Publishers Weekly
“Those who enjoy a traditional mystery with appealing characters and a New England feel will enjoy this.” ~ Mystery Scene
“The always-engaging Fairchild and the supporting cast of spirited recurring characters will appeal to fans of Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldy Schulz series and Carolyn Hart’s Annie Darling novels.” ~ Booklist

Guest Post by the Author
Whodunit Tied to Whoateit
I have always been interested in cooking, both trying to duplicate dishes and creating my own. My mother was a Norwegian-American and we usually had either fish and boiled potatoes or boiled potatoes and fish for dinner. We were happy, but at an early age my siblings and I started exploring other cuisines. When I began thinking about my amateur sleuth, Faith Sibley Fairchild, making her a caterer was one of the first characteristics I chose. This had to do with that early plot in The Body in the Belfry (1990), but also because I liked mysteries with food in them. Someone Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe by Nan and Ivan Lyons, Virginia Rich’s books, Rex Stout’s.
The Body in the Casket is the 24th in the series and Faith is catering a weekend long 70th birthday bash that legendary Broadway producer, Max Dane, is throwing for himself at his isolated mansion not far from Aleford. Max has not produced anything since his colossal flop, Heaven or Hell The Musical, twenty years ago. All ten of the guests played some part in the production and all ten have a very good reason to wish him dead. Faith and Max decide the birthday dinner should reference either the fiery pit or the opposite and I had a fine time researching possible dishes selecting Pasta Fra Diavolo for one and a truly lethal cocktail invented at London’s Savoy Hotel bar in the 1920s - the Fallen Angel!
I haven’t counted, but I’m almost certain I have even more cookbooks than mysteries on my bookshelves and I like to read them simply for pleasure, feeling no guilt at not cooking the recipes, just savoring them.
There are a number of mystery cookbooks that pleasantly combine the genres. Three of my favorites are: The Nero Wolfe Cookbook, Rex Stout and the Editors of Viking Press,1973; The Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook, Elizabeth Bond Ryan and William J. Eakins, 1981; and Madame Maigret's Recipes, Robert J. Courtine (collected in honor of Georges Simenon's seventieth birthday),1975.
In his novel, A Duet, with an Occasional Chorus, Arthur Conan Doyle refers to Mrs. Beeton as "the finest housekeeper in the world." and notes that her book "has more wisdom to the square inch than any work of man." Household Management contained over 80,000 square inches of information, so this was high praise indeed. Mrs. Beeton is a fine place to start for recreational cookery reading. Besides recipes, Mrs. Beeton provides "instructions for servants who wait at table", lovely diagrams for napkin folding, specific instructions for laying a table - twenty-four inches for "each person's accommodation”.
In this country, we had Fannie Farmer. My oldest copy is from 1915, and like Mrs. Beeton, contains illustrations that are a window into a time when women, Martha Stewart not withstanding, had the time to garnish and frill. Besides such interesting items as "Broiled Oranges on Toast" and "Sweetbreads à la Root" (truffles, carrots, onions, celery, pureéd chestnuts, mushrooms and somewhere in all that, the sweetbreads), the author provides a surprisingly tasty sounding recipe for "Chicken à la King", that staple of my high school cafeteria. I think they must have left out the butter and cream, but I do remember those canned pimientos.
Library book sales, yard and rummage sales are treasure troves for old cookbooks and aside from their historical interest - the way we ate, especially across regions—they also offer more intimate connections with the past. Inscriptions to   brides, mothers, daughters, and new homeowners give us a sense of connection, especially if the recipients have annotated the book. I recently picked up a gem, Marian Tracy's New Casserole Cookery. The original Casserole Cookery went on sale the day after Pearl Harbor, I learned recently. It was still my mother's mainstay in the fifties and sixties for dinner parties. The previous owner of my New Casserole Cookery was a scribbler, and a pithy one. Next to "Roquefort Meat Loaf", she (her name is in the front) wrote, and underlined, "Lousy". "Turkey and Apple Casserole" was "nasty"; "Turkey and Cranberry Roll", "awful"—to describe a few. "Baked Peppers with Macaroni and Sausage" rated a "very good" with a note to be sure to "really parboil the peppers - it's all the cooking they get." For whom was she writing these notes - reminders to herself? For posterity? I wish I could meet her. Old cookbooks often have recipes clipped from magazines or recipes on index cards tucked in the pages like messages in a bottle.
Cookbooks that combine reminiscence or personal reflections with recipes are especially appealing - especially poignant when the author is gone - Craig Claiborne's A Feast Made for Laughter, Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, everything M.F.K. Fisher wrote.
The favorites march on: all of Elizabeth David, Sara Kasdan's Mazel Tov Y'All, Calvin Trillin's Tummy Trilogy—American Fried, Alice, Let's Eat, and Third Helpings, Sylvia Woods' Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook, Mimi Sheraton's From My Mother's Kitchen, Peg Bracken's "I Hate to Cook" books, Jane Grigson's Food With the Famous,
Food is a powerful mnemonic in our lives and reading about it surrounds us with both comfort and desire. When you add mystery as an ingredient, the result takes the cake.
Himmel Und Erde (Heaven and Earth) from The Body in the Casket
2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes peeled and cubed
3 apples, roughly 1 ½ pounds, peeled, cored and cubed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes more.
Add the apples and continue to simmer until the potatoes are done (check with a sharp fork) and the apples soft.
Drain, reserving a little of the water. Put back on the heat and stir briefly to dry.
Add the butter and mash. Faith relies on her old-fashioned potato masher. Add the honey, lemon, salt, and pepper and stir vigorously for a fluffy result. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit of the water.
You may also serve the dish with crumbled crisp bacon and fried or caramelized onions on top. Granny Smiths or other tart apples give Himmel und Erde a nice sharpness, but any apples are fine. Nutmeg and thyme also give it a different sort of flavor as a change from the basic recipe. Garlic too. It’s a traditional German farmhouse dish, good with pork, sausage or chicken.
Serves 4-6
And never forget that Whodunit really is tied to Whoateit!

About the Author
Katherine Hall Page
Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild Mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story "The Would-Be Widower". The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and Deer Isle, Maine, with her husband.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three print copies of The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page (US only).