Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases, Recipe

Spotlight, Giveaway, and Recipe for A Side of Murder: A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery by Amy Pershing


A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
by Amy Pershing

About A Side of Murder


A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593199146
ISBN-13: 978-0593199145
Digital ASIN: B087PL9HHF

Beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is known for seafood, sand, surf and now … murder.

Samantha Barnes was always a foodie. And when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple. But then the rising young chef’s clash with another chef (her ex!) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits a house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy. And the town’s harbor master is none other than her first love. Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to reviewing the Bayview Grill—and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Sam is certain this is murder. But as she begins to stir the pot, is she creating a recipe for her own untimely demise?

“Cape Cod provides a stunning background for a debut that offers the ideal combination of mystery, romance, and recipes.” Kirkus Reviews

“An exquisite Cape Cod setting, a shamed but resilient chef, murderous secrets, and a long-buried but still steaming romance… Amy Pershing’s debut mystery will leave you longing for a seaside vacation, complete with fried clams and the next book in her charming series.” Lucy Burdette, national bestselling author of THE KEY LIME CRIME

“This is one of the freshest, funniest murder mysteries I’ve ever read. I fell absolutely in love with Samantha Barnes — the brave, sarcastic, crime-solving, relatable heroine we’ve all been waiting for. A Side of Murder is a rich, satisfying meal that delights from beginning to end, and Amy Pershing is a wonderful and clever author.” Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author of EAT PRAY LOVE and CITY OF GIRLS

“A delicious mystery lovingly set in Cape Cod featuring a cast of charming characters. Amy Pershing writes with a fresh fun voice that will delight cozy fans. Chef turned restaurant critic Samantha Barnes proves a clever sleuth whose helpful cooking tips will be a big hit with culinary readers.” Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the DOMESTIC DIVA mysteries.Aunt Ida’s Cape Cod Clam Chowder

A real Cape Cod clam chowder is a thing of modest beauty.  It is not thickened or overly creamy. It is nothing more than tender clams, little crispy cubes of salt pork (or bacon), some minced onion and celery, and a couple of diced potatoes – all swimming in a rich, milky, buttery broth redolent of the sea.

Aunt Ida would go out and dig her own quahogs, but any reputable fish monger should have fresh hard shell clams on hand.  If these aren’t available to you, frozen or canned clams are a perfectly respectable substitute.

Also – and this is important – do not add your clams to the chowder until just before serving.  They will only need a few minutes to cook (for canned clams even less).  Anything more than that and they turn to rubber.

(10-12 servings)

1/4 pound salt pork (or thick cut bacon), cut into 1/4-inch cubes

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 1/2 pounds hard shell clams such as littlenecks, cherrystones, or quahogs (in order of increasing size)  OR 1 pound frozen clams (shucked) OR 2 cups of chopped or minced canned clams, drained (six 6.5 oz. cans)

4 cups bottled clam broth (if using canned or frozen clams)

1 quart whole milk

3 cups of russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes no larger than 1/2-inch

2 bay leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional: 1 cup heavy cream (Aunt Ida never would, but it does make it extra yummy)

1)  If using fresh clams, rinse them under running water to clean the shells and set aside. If using frozen clams, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and chop them roughly, if necessary. Canned clams are fine right out of the can.

2)  Put the cubed salt pork (or bacon) into a heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until it has begun to get brown and crispy.

3) Add the butter, minced onion and celery and to cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are softened but not browned.

4) If using fresh clams:

Add the clams and 1 cup of water to the pot and turn the heat to high. Cover and cook, opening the lid every once in a while to stir the clams, until they begin to open (about 3 minutes). As the clams open, remove them with tongs into to a large bowl, keeping as many juices in the pot as possible and keeping the lid shut as much as possible. After 8 minutes, discard any clams that have not yet begun to open.

Roughly chop the clam meat and put it into a separate bowl with any juices.

Add the milk, bay leaves and cubed potatoes to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender and starting to break down. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4) If using canned or thawed clams:

Add the bottled clam juice, milk, bay leaves and cubed potatoes to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender and starting to break down. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5) Add the clams to the pot. Add the cream if you are using it, bring to a simmer and cook for two or three minutes (one minute for canned clams).  Serve immediately. (I like it with a pat of butter melting on the top, but that’s just me.)

NOTE: If you are making the chowder in advance, do not add the clams and the cream until you reheat it for serving.

About Amy Pershing

Amy Pershing is a lifelong mystery lover and wordsmith who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod. In her previous incarnations she was an assistant editor at Viking Penguin, a restaurant reviewer for Playbill magazine’s Restaurant Reporter, and a journalist at the Rome (Italy) Daily American before eventually going on to lead employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago (with the final college tuition bill paid), she waved goodbye to Wall Street in order to write full time (and spend more time sailing on Cape Cod!). A Side of Murder is the first book in the Cape Cod Foodie mystery series featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef and the world’s most reluctant YouTube star. While Sam tries to balance her new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie” with her complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house and a ginormous puppy, she also discovers a new talent – a propensity for falling over dead bodies … and for solving crime.

Website: https://amypershingauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amypershingauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amypershingauthor/?hl=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20632873.Amy_Pershing

Purchase Links:

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Posted in Recipe, Spotlight

Spotlight and Recipe for Dough or Die, A Bread Shop Mystery by Winnie Archer

Hembesha, East African Spiced Bread

Recipe credit, with permission, to Global Table Adventure (globaltableadventure.com/ recipe/eritrean-spiced-bread-hembesha-2/)

Makes one 12-inch hembesha

Ingredients:

  • 11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour 1⁄2 cup whole wheat flour 2 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground cardamom 1 tsp salt
  • 1–2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1⁄2 cup warm water (start with a little less) 1 large egg
  • Additional vegetable oil, for cooking

Directions:

First, mix all ingredients, save the additional vegetable oil, together by hand or with a mixer. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.

Cover and let rise in a warm spot for between 45 minutes and 1 hour, or until doubled in size. (Instant dry yeast works very quickly—but if you only have regular yeast this will take about 1 1⁄2 hours.)

Roll out dough to about 1⁄3-inch thickness and put it in an oiled, 12-inch oven-safe pan or skillet. I used a paella pan. A round pan is best, but placing the round dough on a large cookie sheet is fine, too.

Immediately cut with a pastry wheel (a pizza cutter will also work)—first cut in wedges like a pizza, then create concentric circles about an inch apart. If the dough pulls with the cutter, try cutting toward the center.

Be sure to cut 99–100% of the way through— this is the only way your cuts won’t “disappear” once baked.

Let rise 30–45 minutes—until puffed and doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350º F.

Brush with oil and bake 15–20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan.

NOTE: Eritreans also like to cook their hembesha on the stovetop. Try over medium-low (flipping once after 10 minutes). This works better with a heavy-bottom pan as it cooks more evenly.

Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery)
by Winnie Archer

About Dough or Die


Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496724410
ISBN-13: 978-1496724410
Digital ASIN: B082WQZBGF

Known for its mouthwatering traditional breads, the Yeast of Eden bakery has gained fame across Northern California’s coast. Now the shop is bound for Reality TV—but a murder may kill its reputation . . .

People come to the beach town of Santa Sofia as much for the healing properties of Yeast of Eden’s breads as for a vacation getaway. And now a cable food channel has selected the bakery as a featured culinary delight for a new show. Baking apprentice Ivy Culpepper is excited as the crew arrives, ready to capture all the ins and outs of the renowned bread shop. But instead they capture something much harder to stomach: the attempted murdered of the show’s cameraman just outside Yeast of Eden . . .

With no motive and no clues, and the town craving answers, it will be up to Ivy to sift through the evidence to find the truth. But she’ll have to move quickly before someone else is targeted or the wrong person gets the heat—and the business collapses like a deflated soufflé, right before her eyes.

About Winnie Archer

Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and by night she’s the author of the Bread Shop Mystery series. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in Colorado. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. Visit her online at Website .

Author Links

Kensington: https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781496724410/dough-or-die/

Website: https://melissabourbon.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaBourbonWinnieArcherBooks/

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Recipe, Spotlight

Recipe and Spotlight for Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake, A Matchbaker Mystery by R. L. Syme

The core of the Matchbaker Series is that Vangie picks the “right” pastry for each person, based on who they are, what they like, and tries to match to them. Edward, an old friend of Vangie’s, is the Lava Cake in this book. And he has one recipe… she has another!

EDWARD’S ORIGINAL RECIPE

1 stick butter

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 tablespoon instant coffee

10 oz. confectioner’s sugar

2 eggs & 3 yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 oz. flour

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

VANGIE’S ADAPTED RECIPE

1 stick butter

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% Scharffen Berger brand preferred)

10 oz. confectioner’s sugar

2 eggs & 3 yolks

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice

4 oz. flour

Ice cream for serving

You can make the batter ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator until time to make, but you’ll want to bake these right before serving in order to get the molten center.

They bake the best in 6 oz. porcelain ramekins. I would butter them and then tap flour around on the insides, making sure to tap the ramekin upside-down to get out all of the excess flour. (Edward taught me to spray the cups with cooking spray, but I found they don’t come out quite as well.) Also, I would get some good, grippy tongs for removal, unless you have tight oven mitt gloves that allow you to grip the hot porcelain when it comes out. (Edward taught me to rubber-band paper towels onto the ends of the tongs, but I prefer to use my grippy oven mitt gloves. To each her own…)

Preheat the oven to 450 (Edward does 425 and bakes for 13 minutes, but I’m at 6000 feet in elevation and I had to up the heat and reduce the minutes, just a touch… if you’re at sea-level, I would do 425 for 13, though). Place your ramekins on a baking sheet, prepped and ready to bake.

Microwave the butter and chocolate together for about a minute, until the butter is soft. Then I would whisk them together (here is where you’d add the coffee granules if you were doing Edward’s version) until they’re incorporated.

Then you’ll want to whisk in the powdered sugar, and it will be a thicker, almost cake-y consistency. I typically let this sit for a minute or two before I add the eggs, just to make sure it’s not too hot.

Make sure to crack the eggs into a separate bowl so you’re not getting any bad eggs or shells into the expensive (if you’re using the right kind of) chocolate mixture. Whisk in the eggs, egg yolks, extract of choice (clearly, I prefer almond/cherry… Edward liked vanilla/coffee… but that’s his taste), and the cherry juice if you’re using it. Once all that is incorporated, stir in the flour slowly and the mixture is ready for the ramekins. If you’ve got four 6 oz. ramekins, the mixture can divide evenly among them (it puffs up a bit like souffle, but won’t rise like that, and it shouldn’t spill over the edges).

Bake at 425 for 14 minutes or at 450 for 12 minutes (again, remember my elevation issues). The first time you make these, you’ll want to test them for your elevation and oven. Everyone’s is a bit different. So it might take you one or two batches to really get it figured out—but it’s an excuse to make great desserts, in my opinion.

Again, a quick reminder: you’ll want to serve these warm. Put an individual plate on top of the individual ramekin and turn it over so the cake slides out of the ramekin. Be careful to do this over an easy-to-clean surface the first time you try it, because if the top of the cake sticks, the molten center will come out all over your plate and counter. It takes some practice to get this one right… I did three or four of them before I got it quite right. But eating the mistakes is half the fun of baking.

Edward would always powder-dust his with powdered sugar, but I prefer mine dark and with vanilla ice cream on the side, and a maraschino cherry on top. Obviously, I prefer mine my way, but I included them both so you could choose. I’d never presume to be able to guess which you’d like better, so why not have both options?

Hope you enjoy!

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
by R.L. Syme

About Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Hummingbird Books (June 16, 2020)
Number of Pages: 240
Digital ASIN: B0878RT482

I never thought Edward would come back…

When the court case against my ex was finished, I thought we were finished, too. But it turns out, it was only the beginning.

The Larcenous Lava Cake is book four in The Matchbaker Mysteries, a new cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.

RECIPE INCLUDED: The Larcenous Lava Cake

About R. L. Syme

She is a writer of sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and baker of yummy delights, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things.

Author Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rlsymeauthor/

Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeccaNation/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rlsyme/

Twitter: @beck_a_tron

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2xux8Ii

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6878258.R_L_Syme

Purchase Link

Amazon

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