Edith/Maddie here, so happy to have Debra Goldstein back on the blog. Her new mystery, Three Treats Too Many, comes out next week, and it’s a treat to read!
For someone whose greatest culinary skill is ordering takeout, Sarah Blair never expected to be co-owner of a restaurant. But while Sarah and her twin sister, Chef Emily, are tangled up in red tape waiting for the building inspector to get around to them, an attention-stealing new establishment—run by none other than Sarah’s late ex-husband’s mistress, Jane—is having its grand opening across the street. Jane’s new sous chef, Riley Miller, is the talk of Wheaton with her delicious vegan specialties. When Riley is found dead outside the restaurant with Sarah’s friend, Jacob, kneeling over her, the former line cook—whose infatuation with Riley was no secret—becomes the prime suspect. Now Sarah must turn up the heat on the real culprit, who has no reservations about committing cold-blooded murder . . . Includes quick and easy recipes!
Take it away, Debra!
Includes quick and easy recipes!
Let me begin by stressing the last sentence of the blurb: “Includes quick and easy recipes!” This sentence is there because my publisher and those of many cozy mysteries require recipes. If I could leave them out, I would. As it is, I include fewer than many cozy writers.
Why? Because like my protagonist, Sarah Blair, being in the kitchen petrifies me. It is far easier to heat up an already prepared packaged food or pick up take-out or curbside service than it is for me to cook. But I didn’t have a choice if the Sarah Blair series was going to see daylight. Not only did each book have to have recipes, they had to work.
In the first book in the series, One Taste Too Many, I combined quick and easy, humor, and research, to come up with two of my favorite recipes: Jell-O in a Can and Spinach Pie made with Stouffers Spinach Souffle.
Staying within the confines of Sarah’s cooking abilities, I included Sarah’s Sweet Potato Puffs the Convenient Way in Silver Falchion Finalist Two Bites Too Many, but I gave more page space to recipes for a Classic Wine Spritzer and the Howellian Catnip.
Writing Three Treats Too Many, I began feeling guilty about leaving out recipes from some of the other characters. Sarah may find being in the kitchen more frightening than murder, but her twin, Emily, is a Culinary Institute of America trained chef, Sarah’s nemesis, Jane, professes to be a professional cook, and Jane’s sous chef, Riley, specializes in vegan recipes. Consequently, to assuage my guilt that recipes illustrating their talents didn’t come to me naturally, I did my homework and included quick and easy recipes each of them might make. For Jane, the recipe is Jane’s Chilled Zucchini Soup; Emily is represented by Emily’s Lasagna Casserole; and Riley’s recipe is Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins.
Don’t worry, though. There is one recipe tailored to Sarah’s abilities: E’s Crock-Pot Butternut Squash Soup. All a cook of convenience like Sarah or me need to make the soup are a Crock-pot, a bag of cut butternut squash, one box of vegetable stock, a can of coconut soup, and an onion, apple, and red pepper. For a chance to read the entire recipe by winning a copy of Three Treats Too Many, leave a comment.
Readers: Are you are a cook of convenience or a master chef (new easy recipes are also welcome)?
Judge Debra H. Goldstein authors Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series, including recently published Three Treats Too Many, 2020 Silver Falchion finalist Two Bites Too Many, and January 2019 Woman’s World Book of the Week One Taste Too Many. Debra also wrote Should Have Played Poker and 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories have been chosen as Agatha, Anthony, and Derringer finalists. Find out more about Debra at https://www.DebraHGoldstein.com .