Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Cookie Killer: A Fresh-Baked Mystery by Livia J. Washburn

It is always a delightful to find a cozy mystery that is set in a town that you know well! So you can imagine my excitement at discovering the Fresh-Baked Mystery series by Livia Washburn which is set in Weatherford, Texas! I lived about 20 miles from Weatherford for 8 years and loved going to the historical old town to shop and attend the monthly trades days!

So, just in time for my Christmas reading marathon, I picked up Washburn’s holiday story, “The Christmas Cookie Killer.” And oh, what a delight!

Here’s the synopsis:

It’s Christmas time and retired teacher/amateur sleuth Phyllis Newsom looks forward to finishing up this unlucky year. But she won’t be hanging up her apron just yet—because this year’s Christmas bake-off is going to be cutthroat.Phyllis would like to think she’s entering the Christmas cookie contest for the fun of it—but that’s not exactly true. She can’t imagine anyone beating her snowflake-shaped lime sugar cookies.

Then, during her annual Christmas cookie exchange, Phyllis heads over to the elderly Mrs. Simmons’s home and finds her dead, in a pile of lime sugar cookies. But with a number of names on Santa’s naughty list, this case may be a hard cookie to crumble.

My Thoughts:

This was just a wonderful story! Full of intrigue, warm friendships, and fabulous recipes! Any “foodie” mystery fan will adore this book, as well as this series!

And I was so delighted to take a trip back to Weatherford through Washburn’s descriptions – she really has nailed the charming town in every way! Be assured I will be getting all the back books in this series and will look forward to more in this amazing series!!

Check out Livia Washburn’s website at http://www.liviawashburn.com/ – that’s where I found the following delicious recipe for Lime Snowflake Cookies that are the stars of the story in “Christmas Cookie Killer.” You can also find info on her series, Literary Tour Mysteries, as well!

Extra Surprise – in reading Livia’s website, I found out that she and I lived in the same small Texas town, and I didn’t even know it at the time! I’ve since moved from there, but what a small world!

Lime Snowflake Cookies

1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon Key lime juice
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

If your butter is not softened place it in a microwaveable bowl and heat just until melted. Mix sugar with the butter, then add lime juice. Break egg into sugar mix bowl, whip slightly to distribute egg white and yolk. Stir into "wet mix." Sift together and add the three dry ingredients. Stir by hand until a dough is formed. Place on waxed paper and chill until firm.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll chilled dough out flat and 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to make shapes. For snowflakes, if you don’t have a special cutter, you can cut them freehand with a knife to make each a little different. Dust with granulated sugar to make the cookies sparkle.

Bake cookies for about 11 to 13 minutes, or until edges just begin to turn light golden brown. Watch for over-baking. Cool 1 minute, and then remove from cookie sheet and place on a rack.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies, but that depends on the size of cookie cutters.


....Petty Witter said...

The Christmas Cookie Killer - what a fantastic title for a book.

Joanne said...

Hi, Sharon, and Merry Christmas!

I know what you mean about getting a thrill when a book is set in your hometown. I live in New Orleans and usually books set here have vampires, witches or criminals (and I'm happy to say I've never met any vampires or witches, and my friends and family are all law-abiding citizens!) ;)

I did pick up a few Laura Childs cozy mysteries set in N.O. at your recommendation and they are on my list for 2010. Looking forward to reading them!

Janel said...

Isn't it exciting to find connections to authors? I haven't read any books from this series yet, but I plan on it!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Looks and sounds delicious! :)