A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. Check out our sister site KRL News & Reviews for even more articles every week.

Previous post:

Next post:


Chocolate Cream Pie Murder By Joanne Fluke: Review/Giveaway/Recipe

IN THE March 16 ISSUE

FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSandra Murphy
SECTIONS

by Sandra Murphy
& Joanne Fluke

This week we have a review of the latest Hannah Swensen Mystery by Joanne Fluke. After the review we have a Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe from Joanne herself! Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Chocolate Cream Pie Murder. There is also a link to purchase the book Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

Chocolate Cream Pie Murder A Hannah Swensen Mystery by Joanne Fluke
Review by Sandra Murphy

Hannah Swensen of Cookie Jar fame, has a confession to make. Although her family says she doesn’t have to, she’s determined to make her announcement after the Sunday sermon. Confession is good for the soul, right?

The secret is, she’s not really married. Ross did propose, they did have a wedding and honeymoon, and were seemingly happy. Then he disappeared.

Hannah thought it must be an urgent assignment. As days went by without any word, she panicked and got Mike, the cop, involved. He eventually found Ross—with his real wife. Ross is a bigamist and Hannah’s his victim. joanne fluke mystery

As you’d expect, the church members rally around Hannah and no one is angry about her saying he was gone on business. It’s time for her to move on, without him.

A problem has popped up. Ross directed a movie while in Lake Eden. It is up for an award, among other movies. Cast and crews are invited back to town for the film festival. Will Ross have the nerve to show up? He’d be wise not to.

Hannah is shocked to open the back door of the Cookie Jar and see Ross instead of the delivery man. He’s not the Ross she knew but is threatening and harsh. Before he left, he put money into Hannah’s bank account. Now he wants it back—and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it.

Add in a blizzard that immobilizes even Lake Eden, a mysterious stalker, and a bank closure, things are really getting ugly—and dangerous.

The series is picking up speed as Hannah’s life takes a turn into uncharted territory. Her bogus marriage makes her the victim instead of the investigator. Ross’ change in attitude and the blizzard take the characters closer to thriller territory without losing the companionable sense of belonging that readers have come to love. Personally, I like the change and look forward to what happens next—from hints dropped, the next installment will be a doozy of a book.

As always, there are recipes, too many to list but here are some highlights—strawberry Bundt cake, peach scones, coconut snow cookies, pink grapefruit cake and glaze, and butterscotch and chocolate bar cookies. There are thirty-seven recipes in all, both sweets and savories.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won’t see coming.

Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe
By Joanne Fluke

This pie is a pudding pie with whipped cream and does not bake in the oven.

The Crust
8-inch or 9-inch prepared crushed chocolate wafer or crushed Oreo pie crust.

Hannah’s 1st Note: You can also use a prepared crushed cookie pie crust, a graham cracker pie crust, or a shortbread pie crust. You can even use a regular pie crust as long as you bake and cool it first.

The Chocolate Filling
6 large egg yolks (save the whites to make your favorite meringue cookie)
3/4 cup white (granulated) sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups light cream (Half n’ Half)
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, finely chopped (measure AFTER chopping)
1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons, 1/4 cup, 1/8 pound) salted butter

The Whipped Cream Topping
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered (confectioners’) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Decorations (optional)
shaved chocolate
chocolate curls
maraschino cherry halves
butterscotch or caramel ice cream topping to drizzle on top

Directions
Place the egg yolks in a medium-size saucepan, off the heat.

Whisk the egg yolks until they are well combined.

Add the white, granulated sugar and the cornstarch. Whisk everything together, off the heat, until the ingredients are well incorporate.

Turn the stovetop burner on MEDIUM-HIGH heat and add the 3 cups of light cream (half and half) SLOWLY, whisking continuously while the mixture is heating.

Whisk and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened. (This will take from 3 to 4 minutes.)

Stirring constantly, boil mixture for 3 minutes.

Hannah’s 2nd Note: This is much easier to do if you have a hand mixer turned to LOW speed, but you’ll have to make sure that all areas of the saucepan are being mixed. If you miss an area, your chocolate filling may scorch and you’ll have to start over!

Whisk in the finely chopped mini chocolate chips and the half-stick of salted butter. Keep your whisk moving the entire time!

Lower the temperature of the burner to LOW and continue to whisk until the mixture is as thick as pudding. This should take about 5 to 6 minutes.

When the chocolate mixture has thickened, remove the saucepan to a cold stovetop burner and let it sit for five minutes.

Use a heat-resistant rubber spatula to transfer the contents of your saucepan to the pie crust of your choice and smooth the top with the heat-resistant spatula.

Cover the surface of the chocolate layer with plastic wrap and place your partially completed Chocolate Cream Pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. (Overnight is even better, too.)

To Make the Whipped Cream Topping:
Hannah’s 3rd Note: If you’re tired or in a hurry and want a shortcut, simply thaw a small tub of Original Cool Whip and stir in butterscotch ice cream topping or caramel ice cream topping. It will hold its shape better than homemade whipped cream and you can put it on your chilled filling an hour or so before your guests arrive, rather than whipping the cream at the last minute!

Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.

Turn the mixer off and sprinkle the powdered sugar on top of the whipped cream.

Mix on HIGH until the powdered sugar is mixed in.

With the mixer running on HIGH, sprinkle in the half-teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix it in.

When everything has been thoroughly incorporated, shut off the mixer and take out the bowl with the whipped cream topping. Give it a final stir with a rubber spatula and set it on the kitchen counter.

Get the pie crust with its chocolate filling out of the refrigerator and set it next to the mixer bowl with the whipped cream topping.

Peel the plastic wrap off the chocolate filling and use the rubber spatula to transfer mounds of whipped cream to the surface of the chocolate filling.

Work quickly to dot the entire surface of the chocolate filling with whipped cream. Continue transferring the whipped cream until the mixer bowl has been emptied.

Using the rubber spatula, spread the mounds of whipped cream together to cover the entire surface of your Chocolate Cream Pie. Make sure the whipped cream topping goes all the way out to the edge of the pie crust.

Using the flat edge of the rubber spatula, press it against the surface of the whipped cream topping and pull it up quickly. This should cause the whipped cream to form a point on top. Make “points” over the entire surface of your Chocolate Cream Pie.

Choose the decorating topping you wish to use on top of the whipped cream. You can use more than one topping to really make it look fancy.

If you choose shaved chocolate, use a sharp knife to “shave” the edge of a bar of sweet chocolate. Place the shaved pieces in a bowl and, using your impeccably clean fingers, sprinkle the shaved chocolate over the surface of your pie.

If you choose chocolate curls to decorate the top of your pie, simply run a sharp knife down the long edge of a bar of sweet chocolate. If you don’t lift the knife blade, it will form a curl of chocolate. Use these chocolate curls to decorate the top of your Chocolate Cream Pie.

Maraschino cherries are always colorful on top of a pie. Cut the Maraschino cherries in half vertically and transfer the halves to the surface of the whipped cream topping, rounded side up. Make a large circle of cherry halves around the edge or a design of your own making using the cherry halves.

If you choose butterscotch or caramel ice cream topping, simply drizzle it all over the surface of your pie in a pretty design.

Refrigerate your Chocolate Cream Pie for at least 2 hours before serving.

To serve, cut your Chocolate Cream Pie into 8 pieces and remove the pieces with a triangle-shaped spatula. Place each piece on a dessert plate and serve with a carafe of strong, hot coffee or tall glasses of milk.

Yield: This pie will serve 8 people . . . or 7 if you invite Mother. She’ll tell you she couldn’t possible eat more of something so rich, but you won’t have to twist her arm to get her to agree to a second helping.

To enter to win a copy of Chocolate Cream Pie Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “cream pie,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 23, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up next week.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

mystery

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Toni HortonNo Gravatar March 16, 2019 at 8:50am

I’ve read all the book in the series except this one. I’d be thrilled to win this!

Reply

2 Carol KnudtsonNo Gravatar March 16, 2019 at 11:07am

I love this series. Thanks for the contest! ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

Reply

3 sandy hemsherNo Gravatar
Twitter: @Sandy Hemsher
March 16, 2019 at 11:11pm

I absolutely love all the recipes in this series. Have yet to find a bad one!! This book is no excet!!Oneponychick66@hotmail.com

Reply

4 Jaime MinterNo Gravatar March 17, 2019 at 3:58am

I’ve read quite a few in this series and would love to win this one! JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com

Reply

5 Joanie HintonNo Gravatar March 17, 2019 at 9:22am

Would love to win this one!! Great series and always enjoy reading it joanie13b(at)gmail(dot)com

Reply

6 Sharon WhaleyNo Gravatar March 17, 2019 at 10:11am

Love this series

Reply

7 AnneNo Gravatar March 17, 2019 at 10:33am

Series which appeals to me. Thanks.

Reply

8 CarlNo Gravatar March 17, 2019 at 10:56am

Well now I want dessert! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Chocolate Cream Pie Murder. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

Reply

9 Dianne CaseyNo Gravatar March 17, 2019 at 1:21pm

I love this series! Can’t wait to read “Chocolate Cream Pie Murder”.
diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

Reply

10 Betty CurranNo Gravatar March 17, 2019 at 10:10pm

I love these books. I have my fingers crossed.
willitara (at) gmail.com

Reply

11 Becky MNo Gravatar March 17, 2019 at 10:27pm

I love this series and have read them all! I never really liked Ross anyway. I wanted her to marry Norman. I can’t wait to read it!

Reply

12 Sarah BakerNo Gravatar March 17, 2019 at 11:46pm

This looks deliciously fantastic (and the pie recipe looks good too…lol). Thanks for the chance!

Reply

13 Theresa StoneNo Gravatar March 18, 2019 at 12:45am

Cant wait to read it!.

Reply

14 JudyNo Gravatar March 18, 2019 at 4:02am

Absolutely love this series, the characters, and the stories.

Reply

15 Margo SueNo Gravatar
Twitter: @MargoSue
March 18, 2019 at 6:25am

Love this series! Would love to make my collection complete

Reply

16 Lori B.No Gravatar March 18, 2019 at 11:17am

Love this series and am happy to a resolve to the Ross situation. Thanks for a chance to win!

Reply

17 Faith CreechNo Gravatar March 18, 2019 at 1:35pm

I have read all the books in this series and love them. Looking forward to reading this one!

Reply

18 BettyNo Gravatar March 18, 2019 at 1:43pm

Love all your books. I have your cookbook too!

Reply

19 Lori WademanNo Gravatar
Twitter: @N1ghtb1rd
March 20, 2019 at 8:45am

Love this series!!! Thank you for the opportunity!!

Reply

20 patricia longleyNo Gravatar March 20, 2019 at 4:43pm

i have read most of your books

Reply

21 Jan PhillipsNo Gravatar
Twitter: @sparkfan1965
March 21, 2019 at 7:31am

I love Joanne’s books and have made many of the recipes from them. I even have Joanne’s Lake Eden Cookbook.

Reply

22 Mary HolshouserNo Gravatar March 21, 2019 at 11:17am

Love chocolate pit. thanks for
the recipe. Can’t wait for the
next installment of this series.
thanks.
txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

Reply

23 Mary HolshouserNo Gravatar March 21, 2019 at 11:18am

meant PIE. My fingers don’t always
go onto the right keys.

Reply

24 LorieNo Gravatar
Twitter: @mysteryrat
April 1, 2019 at 10:30am

We have a winner!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Twitter ID
(ID only; No links or "@" symbols)

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Arts & Entertainment

  • Books & Tales

  • Community

  • Education

  • Food Fun

  • Helping Hands

  • Hometown History

  • Pets

  • Teens

  • Terrific Tales