by Sandra Murphy
& Joanne Fluke
In honor of Easter, this week we are featuring a lot of fun food mysteries, including this new one from Joanne Fluke. We also have one of Joanne’s wonderful recipes, this one for Raspberry Danish, perfect for your Easter morning breakfast! Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Raspberry Danish Murder, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Raspberry Danish Murder: A Hannah Swensen series By Joanne Fluke
Review by Sandra Murphy
Hannah Swensen’s cookie shop is doing well. It keeps her busy and her mind off the fact that her husband has disappeared. Newlywed, she’s now in limbo until she knows where Ross is and why he left without a word.
Sally from the Inn asks Hannah to have a booth to sell cookies and coffee at the Holiday Gift Convention. Add in the extra baking necessary for Thanksgiving pumpkin pies, scones, and cookies with turkeys iced on top, Hannah’s happy her sister Michelle is in town to help.
Michelle is directing two plays for the holidays as part of her own education. Her schedule is flexible and that’s a huge help. PK, Ross’ assistant at KCOW, offers to help publicize the plays. When Michelle finds the keys to Ross’ car in her room, Hannah says it’s because Ross wants her to use the car until he gets back. Michelle loans the car to PK when his needs repair.
PK crashes the car, but it’s because he was drugged after eating candy he found in Ross’ office. The question becomes was PK the intended victim or was it Ross? No one can remember just when the candy was delivered and tracing the package is a dead end.
With a vague timeline, no obvious suspects, no sure way to know who was supposed to die, Mike, Hannah’s police officer friend, is stymied. With the help of their friend Norman, Lonnie (another police officer), and Michelle, Mike and Hannah cooperate to learn all they can about PK and even Ross.
PK recently broke his engagement to a girl named Pinkie. Without her real name or any details, she’s hard to find. A work-related motive is possible. On the other hand, Hannah’s beginning to realize how little she knew about Ross.
Just when readers thought Hannah’s life was settling down after her marriage to Ross, everything’s up in the air with his disappearance. The slap of reality and uncertainty makes Hannah a stronger person as she faces the possibility that Ross may not return. Good friends and family, a growing business, and her cat Moishe will help sustain her through the tough times—until Mike shows up with more information.
After each chapter, readers are treated to one of Hannah’s recipes from sweet to savory. Special notes are included to make it easy to follow and guarantee success. Recipes include: Raspberry Danish; Cherry Chocolate Bar Cookies, Neverfail Fudge Frosting, Pineapple Crunch Cookies, Mixed Berry Muffins, Chili-Cheese Omelet Squares, Pineapple Raisin Whippersnapper Cookies, and Chocolate Caramel Bar Cookies. There’s also a Baking Conversion Chart.
Raspberry Danish Recipe from Raspberry Danish Murder
(Kensington, hardcover, February 27, 2018, ISBN: 978-1-61773-224-9)
by Joanne Fluke
DO NOT preheat your oven yet. You must do some preparation first.
One 17.5-ounce package frozen puff pastry dough (I used Pepperidge Farm with 2 sheets of pastry)
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon water
White (granulated) sugar to sprinkle on top
The Raspberry Sauce:
3/4 cup fresh raspberries (frozen is fine if thawed and patted dry)
2 Tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (or cinnamon)
1-1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup white (granulated) sugar
The Cream Cheese Filling:
8-ounce package brick cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup white (granulated) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
The Drizzle Frosting:
1-1/4 cups powdered sugar (confectioners); pack it down when you measure it
1/4 cup whipping cream (heavy cream, not Half & Half)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon salt
• Thaw both sheets of puff pastry on a floured surface according to package directions.
• In a medium-size saucepan, combine the raspberries with the water.
• Combine cardamom, cornstarch, and sugar in a bowl. Stir until mixed. Add to the saucepan and stir in thoroughly.
• Cook on MEDIUM HIGH, stirring constantly, until sauce reaches a full boil. Continue stirring for 2 minutes, then move to a cold burner to cool.
• Combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Beat until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.; rack in the middle position.
• Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
• Unfold a thawed sheet of pastry and roll it into a 12-inch square.
• Use a sharp knife to make one horizontal cut through the middle and one vertical cut through the middle to make 4 pieces.
• Whisk the egg with the water for egg wash.
• Transfer one square of pastry to a prepared cookie sheet.
• Use a pastry brush to paint a 1/2 inch wide border of egg wash around the outer edges of the pastry square.
• Place 1/4 cup cream cheese filling in the center of the square and spread it out evenly to within 1/2 inch of the edges.
• Spread up to 2 Tablespoons of the raspberry sauce over the cream cheese.
• Pick up one corner of the square and pull it over the middle to cover just a bit more than half of the filling. Then pick up the opposite corner and pull it to overlap the first corner. Gently press on the overlapping corners to seal.
• Repeat the above steps with both sheets of puff pastry.
• Brush the tops of the pastries with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
• Remove the baking sheets to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 8 Raspberry Danish that are delicious served warm or cold.
To enter to win a copy of Raspberry Danish Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “raspberry,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 31, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
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