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Mattie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015


A CHRISTMAS MOURNING 
An Amish Mystery series Short Story 
by Laura Bradford 


Claire Weatherly has come to respect how the Amish of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, value tradition. But not all traditions are necessarily quaint. When a decades-old mystery threatens the well-being of local police detective Jakob Fisher, she’ll pit herself against a community rooted in the past so that he can get on with his future. When Claire decides to visit the one-room schoolhouse Jakob attended as a young Amish boy, she’s puzzled by his refusal to go along too. As Jakob tells his story, Claire is stunned and saddened by the heartbreaking tale of a childhood mistake that led to the mysterious disappearance of a precious family artifact—and signaled the first break between Jakob and his mother, made all the more painful now that he’s been shunned by the family and community he loves. Knowing there’s only one way to help heal the irreparable wound that continues to haunt Jakob, Claire sets off to follow the trail of the missing heirloom, never suspecting that it will lead her to Jakob’s oldest friend, a long-ago Christmas secret, and an enduring truth about family, love, and the power of forgiveness

Praise for the National Bestselling Amish Mysteries 

“The best cozy mystery debut I’ve read this year.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben 

“Delightful . . . Well-portrayed characters and authentic Amish lore make this a memorable read.” —Publishers Weekly 

“A fascinating cozy that showcases the culture of the people.” —Gumshoe Review 

“Bradford’s characters are some of the best developed, most interesting ones I’ve come across in a cozy mystery.” —Lesa’s Book Critiques 

Available now in eBook!




MY REVIEW


The Amish Mystery series by author Laura Bradford has been one of my very favorite series since I started reading cozies.  This wonderful short story is a perfect addition.

A CHRISTMAS MOURNING, is a beautiful, heartwarming story. A light mystery dealing with the character Jacob. But we also get to see all our favorite characters from this fantastic series.

Laura Bradford’s writing draws you into her stories and makes you feel a part of them. Every description transports you to the place she speaks of.  You are in Heavenly, Pennsylvania. You hear the sounds, smell the smells, see the sights. You live the story as you read it. Only an author of Ms. Bradford’s caliber can truly bring a story to life.

A CHRISTMAS MOURNING is a must read for every reader of this series. If you haven’t read the Amish Mystery series, please, start them as soon as you can. They are truly magnificent.

I’ve been looking forward to reading book 5 in this series, A CHURN FOR THE WORSE for some time now. After reading A CHRISTMAS MOURNING, I’m even more excited!


Speaking of
A CHURN FOR THE WORSE 
Book 5 in the Amish Mystery series
by Laura Bradford
Don't forget to pre-order you copy!


The national bestselling author of Suspendered Sentence returns to  Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly and Detective Jakob Fisher must put on their thinking kapps to solve a string of robberies and a murder in the Amish community...

When an Amish farmer is found dead in his barn, his family accepts his death as God’s will. But Detective Jakob Fisher knows the farmer didn’t hit himself in the head with the shovel lying beside his body. And when it comes to light that a stranger appeared at the farmer’s home and now money is missing from their milk can, Fisher suspects robbery as the motive—especially when another Amish family is victimized.
 
Getting to the truth proves difficult, however, since Fisher has two strikes against him in the eyes of the Amish—his chosen career, and the Amish roots he left behind. Desperate to stop a murderous thief, Fisher turns to Heavenly Treasures shop owner Claire Weatherly for help. The trust she’s earned from the Amish community enables her to go where the detective cannot—straight into the path of a killer...

Pre-order now 
Releases March 1, 2016!

The Amish Mystery series 
by Laura Bradford

Book One                                   Book Two 

Book Three                                  Book Four

           Short Story                               Book Five
                                                         Available March 1, 2016 

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW 
Book 1 in the Brewing Trouble Mystery series 
by Joyce Tremel


An all-new mystery series set in a Pittsburgh craft brew pub, featuring a brewmaster with a head for sleuthing.
The Allegheny Brew House is a dream come true for Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who went all the way to Germany for her brewmaster certification, and is now preparing to open her own craft brew pub in a newly revitalized section of Pittsburgh. But before she can start pouring stouts and lagers to thirsty throngs, there’s trouble on tap. Suspicious acts of sabotage culminate in Max finding her assistant brewmaster and chef Kurt Schmidt strangled in one of the vats.
Between rescuing a stray gray tabby she names Hops and considering a handsome ex-hockey player as her new chef, Max doesn’t have a lot of time to solve a murder. But with a homicide detective for a dad, she comes to criminal investigation naturally. And if someone is desperate enough to kill to stop her from opening, Max needs to act fast—before her brand-new brew biz totally tanks...
INCLUDES RECIPES

MY REVIEW


A strong start to the Brewing Trouble Mystery series, TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW, is suds above in originality.

I don’t drink beer. I know nothing about beer. But I do know good writing when I read it, and author Joyce Tremel is a good writer.  One of the things I love about cozy mysteries is learning about new subjects. While beer isn’t something I would set out to study about, Ms. Tremel made me enjoy what I learned.

This book had an easy floe that propelled the story along at a great pace. With very likeable characters, and an adorable cat named, appropriately enough, Hops, there was always something happening to keep the reader drawn in. One of those I’ll-just-read-one-more-chapter type of books, but then you keep reading because you just don’t want to put it down.

If you’re looking for a new experience in your cozy mystery reading, give TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW a try.

You’ll find a couple recipes and a preview of, TANGLED UP IN BREW, book 2 in this fun new series by Joyce Tremel. 

Available for pre-order now
Release date: December 1, 2015

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


HERE TODAY, GONE TAMALE 
Book 1 in the Taste Of Texas Mystery series 
by Rebecca Adler


Reporter turned Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan is about to go from serving queso to solving cases…
 
After losing her newspaper job in Austin and having her former fiancé unfriend her on Facebook, Josie Callahan scoops up her Chihuahua, Lenny, and slinks back to Broken Boot, Texas. Maybe working as head waitress at Milagro—her aunt and uncle’s Tex-Mex restaurant—isn’t exactly living the dream, but it is a fresh start.
 
And business is booming as tourists pour into Broken Boot for its famous Wild West Festival. But when a local jewelry designer is found strangled outside Milagro after a tamale-making party, Josie’s reporter instincts kick in. As suspects pile up and alibis crack faster than taco shells, Josie needs to wrap up this case tighter than her tía’s tortillas—before another victim calls for the check…

 
INCLUDES TEX-MEX RECIPES!

MY REVIEW


HERE TODAY, GONE TAMALE is a spicy start to a hot new series. Gracias Ms. Adler.

In this delicious new story and first in the A Taste of Texas Mystery series, author Rebecca Adler introduces the reader to a fiery protagonist, Josie Callahan and her quirky, loveable family who are owners of Milagro, a Mexican restaurant. We also get to meet Lenny, Josie’s long haired Chihuahua. I adored this little pup!

HERE TODAY, GONE TAMALE is a well written, wonderfully plotted mystery that had me both on the edge of my seat, and laughing out loud. Like a plate of great nachos, I savored every crumb of this story while trying to solve the clever whodunit. The exciting reveal was a wonderful dessert after the satisfying meal of this read.

If you’re a fan of cozies and looking to start a new series, give HERE TODAY, GONE TAMALE a try.

Like Tex-Mex? Check out the back of this book for some mouthwatering recipes! 

Available for pre-order now
Release date: December 1, 2015

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Friday, November 13, 2015


It's
Cozy Food Friday!

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

Today I'm featuring a recipe from
FAT TUESDAY FRICASSEE
Book 3 in Biscuit Bowl Food Truck
 Mystery series
by
J.J. Cook!


The national bestselling author of Fry Another Day serves up a third helping in the Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mystery series…
It’s Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, and food truck chef Zoe Chase is driven to distraction attending high-society soirees, feeding the partying masses, and getting the skinny on a Fat Tuesday murder…
Two weeks of carnival celebrations has got Zoe running ragged. By day, she charms hungry tourists with authentic Southern cuisine. At night, she accompanies her father to one masquerade ball after another, hobnobbing with the high rollers of the secret cabal known as the Mistics of Time.
But the fun turns frightening when Zoe stumbles across “Death’s” dead body. Journalist Jordan Phillips attended the Mistics’ latest bash in a traditional Death costume, and received a fatal bullet wound for the privilege. With more than three hundred masked suspects determined to remain anonymous, and the police covering up the facts behind the murder of the investigative reporter, Zoe realizes the Mistics have some serious secrets to hide…

I'm crazy about this series! 
If you haven't tried it yet, pick up the first two now and pre-order FAT TUESDAY FRICASSEE to get it on it's December 1, 2015 release date!

Book One                                  Book Two  

On to today's amazing recipe! 

PLUM CLAFOUTI

Clafouti is a traditional French dessert made by pouring custard over fruit and baking. The fruit is quickly sautéed to create a flavorful syrup that sticks with the custard. You can make this dessert with any ripe fruit suck as cherries. apricots, or plums. 

Ingredients

1 tbsp. sliced almonds 
7 tbsp. granulated sugar 
2 tbsp. unsalted butter 
3 to 5 medium red or black plums, pitted and quartered 
1 tbsp. brandy 
1 tbsp. amaretto 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1/3 tsp. salt 
3 large eggs 
1/3 cup whole milk 
1/4 cup heavy cream 
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
Confectioners' sugar for dusting 

9-inch pie pan 


Directions 

Preheat over to 350° F.

Toast almonds in oven until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer them to a small bowl to cool. Stir in 1 tbsp. of granulated sugar and set aside. 

Melt butter in a pan until bubbling and then add plums. 
Cook until they are soft on low heat, turning frequently. 
Reduce heat and sprinkle 3 tbsp. of granulated sugar over the fruit. 
Cook until the sugar melts into the fruit juices and becomes a syrup, about 1 to 2 minutes. 
Turn off the heat and stir in brandy and amaretto. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and the remaining 3 tbsp. of sugar. 
Whisk in the eggs until the mixture is smooth. Mix in milk, cream, and vanilla. 


Pour the fruit and syrup into a 9-inch pie pan, spreading the fruit evenly. 
Pour custard over the fruit. 
Bake until puffy with a set center, about 15 minutes. 
Sprinkle toasted almonds over the top halfway through baking. 

Allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes. 
The center will fall. 
Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve. 

All food photos are from Google Images. 
Your finished dish may differ in appearance. 

Doesn't this sound wonderful? It's so simple to make for something that looks so impressive. 
You could really wow your family and friends over the holidays by serving them this dessert!

Please keep reading and check out my 
installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
and
The Friday 56

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Book Beginnings and Friday 56
 for this week are also from
FAT TUESDAY FRICASSEE

 
Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading

My Book Beginnings...

"There you are, Zoe!" My father opened the door to his apartment. "I was beginning to worry." 

"Sorry. I put down my cat, Crème Brûlée. He immediately ran to his food bowl. He tends to eat when he's stressed. "It's been a rough day. I was out at six A. M. with the Biscuit Bowl after being up at the other masquerade ball last night until after midnight."

Daddy's critical eyes went over me. "Is there still time to get your hair and nails done? I know you want to look your best tonight." 

I slumped into one of his elegant but uncomfortable chairs. "I hope there's time for a nap. I'm so glad this is the last ball. Aren't you exhausted?"

"A nap? Will all this excitement?" He dragged me to my feet and danced me around the room. 

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.

My Friday 56...

There was no chalk outline where the body had been a short while before, but I could trace it with my gaze.


As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


SCORCHED EGGS by Laura Childs 
THE ICE PRINCESS by Christine Husom

SCORCHED EGGS 
Book 6 in the Cackleberry Club Mystery series 
by Laura Childs 


The ladies of the Cackleberry Club café serve up justice in the latest installment from the New York Times bestselling author of Eggs in a Casket.

TIME TO EGGS-TINGUISH AN ARSONIST.

Getting her hair colored at Root 66, Suzanne is stunned to witness the County Services office next door suddenly go up in flames. Sadly, the fire claims the life of longtime civil service worker—and friend to the Cackleberry Club—Hannah Venable. When it’s discovered that an accelerant was used to fan the flames, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to smoke out the culprit.

When Suzanne finds a possible connection between the fire and the nearby Prairie Star Casino, she comes to realize that the arsonist wanted something very big and bad kept secret. And if the ladies aren’t careful, they may be the ones gambling with their lives…

MY REVIEW


SCORCHED EGGS starts off in a blaze of murderous action!

Author Laura Childs know how to write a whodunit. The kind that history’s greatest literary sleuths would have a difficult time solving.

In this sixth installment of the deliciously wonderful Cackleberry Club Mystery series, the story opens with a bang. Author Childs knows how to capture a reader’s attention, and keep it for the entire story. Each page with Suzanne, Petra, and Toni is simply a delight to read. These ladies are great!

SCORCHED EGGS is by far my favorite story in the series to date. I loved every minute of this perfectly penned mystery. The exciting action, quirky characters, and witty dialog all led to a brilliant ending. The plot and the writing are first rate as always with books by Laura Childs. She gives each story she writes that something special to keep the reader coming back for more.

Check out the back of the book for recipes that had my stomach growling, plus a preview of DEVONSHIRE SCREAM, the March 2016 release in the Tea Shop Mystery series also by Laura Childs! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE ICED PRINCESS 
Book 2 in the Snow Globe Shop Mystery series 
by Christine Husom


The national bestselling author of Snow Way Out returns with more sparkling snow globes and cold-blooded murder...
It’s that time of the year again—the Christmas rush is about to begin, and curio shop owner Camryn Brooks and her BFF, coffee shop owner Alice “Pinky” Nelson, need to hire additional help. Their former high-school classmate, Molly Dalton, is not exactly who they had in mind. Has the rich socialite worked a day in her life? But Molly practically begs for the job.
On her first day, Molly seems to be in her own little world, and Cami worries that her new employee may flake out. The problem turns out to be far worse than that when Cami discovers Molly dead in the back of the shop, after drinking a poisoned cup of coffee. Soon there is an avalanche of suspects as Cami starts shoveling through the clues—including a shattered snow globe of Marilyn Monroe. Now Cami will have to venture out of her safety zone before the pathological poisoner stirs up more trouble...
Snow globe-making projects and tips included!

MY REVIEW


THE ICED PRINCESS is a cool second installment in the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries. 

Author Christine Husom has created a series that really pulls the reader in. I enjoy spending time in Curio Finds, protagonist Cam’s shop and Brew-Ha-Ha, her friend Pinky’s coffee shop. I can always envision myself walking through the open arch that divides the two stores. I love the interaction between the two friends. It makes me long for small town life with a quaint shop of my own.

This second story in the series is steps above the first book, SNOW WAY OUT, which was a really good. THE ICED PRINCESS is a well written, wonderfully plotted mystery that had me eagerly turning the pages. With as many suspects as snow in a globe, Ms. Husom really had me flurrying for an answer. It wasn’t until the surprising reveal that it all became clear. I know I never would have guessed it on my own.

Author Husom has a winner with THE ICED PRINCESS. Shake-up your reading list with this book today!

A fun snow globe project can be found in the back of the book!

Both of these great titles are available for pre-order. 
Release date: December 1, 2015


As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.