Friday, September 28, 2018

Mollie Cox Bryan, a Bloody Mary and ASSAULT AND BEADERY

Mollie Cox Bryan joins us today with a new beading book in her Cora Craft Mystery series and a Bloody Mary. Mollie is also the author of the Cumberland and Creek Mysteries and two cookbooks.

All of Cora Chevalier’s dreams are coming true. Since moving to Indigo Gap, North Carolina, the busy crafting maven has been blessed with a great boyfriend, a lovely home, and a booming craft retreat business. But on the eve of her first Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend, tragedy strikes again in Indigo Gap. This time, it’s curtains for Stan Herald, the disagreeable director of the local theater group, who’s murdered on the opening night of their new production. Worse, Cora’s friend Zee is accused of the crime.

Cora is determined to prove her friend’s innocence, but Zee’s mysterious past is making that difficult. And with a list of suspects longer than a double spool of satin cording, getting a bead on the real culprit won’t be easy. With her friends Jane and Ruby at her side, Cora must string together the clues and solve Stan’s murder before the killer gives an encore performance.

Cora’s Bloody Mary

When I was thinking of a drink for a particular scene in this book, I knew it had to be on that came with a recipe—because there would be a funny mistake with it. I chose a Bloody Mary for a few reasons. First and foremost, yum. Second, it’s exactly the kind of drink people feel comfortable drinking early in the day. Also, the name: Bloody Mary. What could be more perfect for a mystery novel? 


  • 1/2 cup finely grated peeled fresh horseradish
  • 2 ounces Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ounces sriracha chile sauce
  • Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 32 ounces tomato juice
  • Ice
  • 16 ounces vodka
  • Lime wedges
  • Pickled or fresh vegetables (optional)
In a pitcher, combine the horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, sriracha, lemon zest, celery salt, kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons ground pepper. Add the tomato juice and stir well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
Pour the tomato juice mixture into 8 ice-filled glasses. Add 2 ounces vodka to each glass and stir. Garnish each drink with a pinch of ground pepper, a lime wedge, and pickled vegetables. 

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Crime & Beyond Book Club Reads Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly

The Denver-based book club, Crime & Beyond, just read the latest Michael Connelly book; let's see if it's a good book club read.

Crime & Beyond is a big fan of everything Michael Connelly writes, and he is one of the few authors we will read over and over again. This past month we read book 20 in the Harry Bosch series, Two Kinds of Truth. In the book, Bosch’s work on cold cases is interrupted when there is a double homicide at a local pharmacy. The case leads investigators into the world of prescription drug trafficking and Bosch ends up going undercover to try and catch the bad guys. Meanwhile, one of the men Bosch helped put in jail years before is accusing him of planting the evidence that convicted him, and claims he has new DNA results that prove he’s innocent. Bosch hires his half-brother Mickey Haller to defend him.

The book got great reviews from the club. We had a long discussion about both of Harry’s cases and we absolutely loved that Mickey Haller had a cameo (more than half of us are team Haller). The book is very relevant as it deals with the opioid crisis. Connelly put a lot of research into the book and really delves into a big issue that we are all seeing in the news.

Harry also closes an old cold case he had worked on that had been haunting him. One of our only criticisms was that it seemed like there were one too many plotlines going on at once.

The end of the book contains a hint as to Harry’s next case and we look forward to book 21 when he teams up with Connelly's new female character, Renee Ballard.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Mango Margaritas and The Trouble with the Truth

Kathy Krevat joins us today on Drinks with Reads to celebrate her book, In Trouble with the Truth with a mango margarita. Kathy knows how to pick fun topics for her books. Her first series, the Chocolate Covered Mysteries (written under the name Kathy Aarons) were a delight. And her new series is such a fun concept for cat lovers. Let's dig in...

In the Gourmet Cat Mystery series, Colbie Summers, owner of the Meowio Batali Gourmet Cat Food Company, loves the margaritas at Pico’s Restaurant, set in the fictional town of Sunnyside, California.

In THE TROUBLE WITH TRUTH, Colbie is tryingto balance her hectic family life with her growing business. But when a Sunnyside resident is found dead in his garage, she takes on a new role: harboring a suspected killer.
The eighteen-year-old murder suspect, a former foster kid and Colbie’s part-time chef, had a powerful motive to snuff out the high-profile businessman. The real question is, who didn’t? Sifting through the victim’s sordid history unearths a cat’s cradle of crimes, including money laundering and abuse. Now, to clear an innocent girl’s name, Colbie must sniff out the truth before a killer who smells trouble goes on the attack again.

Colbie and her best friends Lani Nakano and Detective Norma Chiron celebrate Margarita Wednesdays at Pico’s where they discuss family, friends and the latest murder mystery in Sunnyside. 

Here’s a recipe of one of their favorites: Mango Margaritas.

1 cup of ice
2/3 cup of diced frozen mango
1-1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz triple sec
2 TB agave or simple syrup
Lime juice squeezed from half a lime 

Blend it all in together until smooth and serve immediately.

Kathy Krevat is the author of the Gourmet Cat Mystery series by Kensington/Lyrical and the Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime. She’s also president of the board of Partners in Crime – the San Diego chapter of Sisters in Crime; president of the board of Playwrights Project, a nonprofit that teaches literacy through playwriting; and an advisor to the CCA Writers’ Conference, the only free writing conference for high school students in the US. Find her at www.kathykrevat.comor on Facebook or Twitter. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Review: Walking Shadows by Faye Kellerman

Kerry Hammond is here today to review the latest novel in a well-established series by Faye Kellerman.

Walking Shadows by Faye Kellerman is the 25th novel in the popular Decker/Lazarus series. It released on August 28 in Hardcover by William Morrow. The Kellermans are a prolific family of mystery writers. I’m a fan of Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series and have even read and enjoyed the new series written by Jonathan and his son Jesse, which features Deputy Coroner, Clay Edison. Even though Faye Kellerman’s series had been around since 1986, I have to admit that I am new to her novels. What better place than to jump in at book 25?

In Walking Shadows, Detective Decker is called out to investigate an act of vandalism and ends up with a murder case. The victim is a young local man named Brady Neil and as Decker looks into his past he finds out that Neil’s father was sent to prison for robbery and murder. Decker needs to find out what, if any, connection there is to link Brady to his father’s crime. The stakes are raised when Decker links Brady’s murder to the disappearance of a co-worker and friend of the victim, and Decker relies on Rina Lazarus to help him sort through the past and find out just what the crimes have in common.

Sometimes you jump into a series midway through and can’t seem to get acquainted with the characters, or the author tries to throw so much of the back story at you that you are overwhelmed with knowledge that you don’t understand. I didn’t feel this way at all with Decker and Lazarus.  I felt like I was reading book one in a series, getting to know new characters in my own time and in my own way. The book had a standalone feel and I enjoyed it for the mystery that it was. The bonus is that I can now go back and check out the earlier books in the series. I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more by the author.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review is fair and independent.