by Kathleen Costa
This week we have a review of the latest mystery by Susan Boles, along with a guest post by Susan about New Year’s Resolutions and a recipe! Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Death at the Midnight Dragonfly, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Death at the Midnight Dragonfly: A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery By Susan Boles
Review by Kathleen Costa
Susan Boles first published the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series with Death of the Wolfman (August 2016), then continued with Cherry Cake and a Cadaver (March 2017). She gives us a delightful southern town with pitchers of sweet tea, beauty shop hang outs, and everybody in everybody’s business. The colorful characters are deeply attached to each other having clever, humorous, and often contentious banter. The mysteries are page turners from secrets kept by the well-to-do family to secrets about a talented local bakery owner, and continuing, yes, with more secrets in the newest release of Death at the Midnight Dragonfly (November 2017). You will love joining the residents of Mercy, Mississippi, for a pitcher of sweet tea, sitting on the porch and enjoying an afternoon of juicy gossip. “So, what’s been happening today, Miss Edna?”
I am thrilled to add my thumbs up to another great mystery with some favorite characters created by Susan Boles…It’s Christmas in Mercy, Mississippi, and everyone Throw in a holiday twist! Lily Gayle’s Christmas spirit is a bit muted. She witnessed an argument between her BFF Daisy and husband, and then the local bank manager Tom Hammond stumbling and become ill, assumed as too much reverie and Miss Edna’s punch. This seems tame, until the next day when Lily Gayle is set to meet up with a childhood friend staying at the Midnight Dragonfly B&B. She runs into the police investigating murder…the bank manager is dead (Why not…money always seems a big motive for murder), and the evidence points to Daisy’s husband. It is very personal now, and no one will stop her from finding the truth.
Again Susan Boles has penned an entertaining murder mystery sprinkled with pure southern fun. It was to see the final motive revealed, and I was thrilled to have my ‘could it be’ right on the button. However, the reason for my fan status is the entertaining, if not purely Southern, set of characters who add humor and a lot of meddling. Although I enjoy following Lily Gayle and her amateur sleuthing efforts to protect her friends and family, my favorite is senior citizen Miss Edna. I am a regular fan having read the first two books, but for newbies it might improve your experience by reading them first to better understand background and character connections. But, don’t…don’t shy away from this book! It is well worth the time.
Everyone enjoys the little extras, and Susan makes sure along with sprinkling through the story southern ways and lifestyle, she provides some delicious easy-to-follow recipes. First, from one of her fans, we get Jeannie D’s Banana Strawberry Bread. Next she includes Hummingbird Cake which I learned is a banana-pineapple spice cake common in the Southern United States. Last, what a treat! We get two recipes inspired by Harley Ann’s jams, who dreams of having a food truck. Miss Edna voices some disapproval as she usually does, “What is the completely inappropriate name you want to call it?” Cleverly, “Jammin’!“ Harley Ann answers. “Because I’ll be usin’ my own jam recipes to flavor most of the food I’m going to serve.” Makes delicious sense! Enjoy Jammin’ Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Frosting and Jammin’ Meatball Sub with Peach Bourbon Glaze.
Death at the Midnight Dragonfly earns 5/5 Sprigs of Mistletoe…Sans the Murder!
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New Year’s Resolution Susan Boles Style
New Year’s resolutions. We make them, then we hate them. I’ve made a lot of New Year’s resolutions over the years. And, like a lot of people, failed to follow through on them. Then, I feel bad about it. Here we go ’round in circles.
Fast forward to the next New Year’s Eve and there I am again, making those darn resolutions. Usually about weight. Sigh.
This year I decided NO MORE resolutions. They leave a negative taste because I’ve failed at so many over the years. This year I decided to make some lifestyle changes. I know. I know. Different words. Same thing. Right? And maybe that’s true, but lifestyle changes don’t have that feeling of futility about it.
I want to lose thirty pounds. BUT, I did not make a resolution to do that. I made a lifestyle change decision to make healthier food choices. I am focusing on the steps/changes needed to lose weight rather than losing weight. And I did not set a date for losing the weight. So, no deadline staring me in the face. As an author with a full time day job, I have enough deadlines in my life already.
I believe that choosing healthier foods on a regular basis will lead to the weight loss, and by not setting a particular date, I don’t need to feel horrible guilt if I occasionally eat a bowl of ice cream or a banana nut muffin while eating healthier most days.
I’ve also chosen a key word for the year. Yes, it’s a new fad. But it seems pretty positive, and, I believe, will help me to focus. My word is perseverance. It applies not only to my healthier lifestyle changes, but also to my books. I plan to continue to write and publish books with the ultimate goal of being able to write books full time.
It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And treating it that way will lead to better success no matter what you decide your vision of the future may be. You don’t need more goals, you need better habits.
WICKED CHICKENS DEVILED EGGS
2 Tbsp. Mayo
2 tsp. Yellow Mustard
1/2 to 1 tsp. Dill Pickle Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Paprika for tops
Place 6 eggs in a 2 quart pot with enough water to cover eggs and bring to boil
Remove from heat 12 to 15 minutes later. Boiling eggs too long will result in a dark ring round the yolk
Drain hot water and place boiled eggs in ice bath for about 10 minutes
Remove each egg from ice bath and peel. Hold egg under slightly warm water from faucet to makes peeling easier
Slice peeled eggs in half lengthwise
Scoop out yolks into mixing bowl
Add mayo and mustard to yolks and mash well with a fork
Add dill pickle juice a little at at time until you reach the taste you like
Add salt and pepper to taste
Scoop mixture into egg halves with a teaspoon
Sprinkle tops with paprika
Place on deviled egg plate, cover with Saran wrap and chill in refrigerator
Decorate with parsley sprigs.
To enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Death at the Midnight Dragonfly, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “dragonfly,” or comment on this article and please state whether you want print or ebook. A winner will be chosen January 20, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address and state whether you want print or ebook.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
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