by Kathleen Costa
This week we have a review of Crumbled to Pieces by Catherine Bruns, plus a fun fortune cookie recipe from Catherine. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook or audio book copy of the first book in the series, Tastes Like Murder, and a link to purchase the new book from Amazon.
Crumbled to Pieces: A Cookies & Chance Mystery by Catherine Bruns
Review by Kathleen Costa
“May not be the fortune you desire, but definitely what your need,” says Karma.
Catherine Bruns is the author of Cookies & Chance Mystery, a very popular and “deliciously” entertaining series garnering a huge fan following and consistent 4-1/2 star ratings. Introducing Sally Muccio and her Sally’s Samples bakery with a marvelous first book Tastes Like Murder (2015), Catherine wielded her talent to dish out Karma to a high-school nemesis, and then followed it up with four more exciting books in which “just desserts” are served up to a cheating ex, ‘wiseguy’ client, ‘zilla bridezilla, and a lying ex-classmate. All of this is foreshadowed by the bakery’s signature fortune cookies that provides a hint of things to come.
Crumbled to Pieces earns 5/5 Sweet Karma Bites…Delightfully Satisfying!
Sally Muccio Donovan is giddy about her own message inside her shop’s signature fortune cookie which have proved to be both “a curse and a blessing.” But, remember with the good comes the bad. Sally decides to rent out the vacant apartment above the shop to Allegra Fiato including granting her permission to make and sell delectable candies. But, she turns out to be the tenant from “hell.” Although friends with her Grandma Rosa, she is also friends with Nicoletta Gavelli, whose attitude and feelings toward Sally and BFF Josie have been very contentious. Then there’s evidence of her using BFF Josie’s kitchen, fortune cookies gone missing, harassment of Sally’s husband, and surprise…she is selling cookies oddly familiar to Josie’s own recipes. So after confronting her, the threats fly, and Allegra storms out into a oncoming traffic. Accident? Or murder like Nicoletta accuses? What does the fortune cookie say about that?
I am always entertained by Catherine Bruns’ Cookies & Chance series, and the sixth book doesn’t disappoint…karma is always on high alert with her books. Although several events have transpired and relationships developed over the five books, newbies need not shy away from number six because there are more than enough references to keep budding fans engaged. Bruns does very well with a first-person narrative including informative and delightful descriptions of settings, characters, and her shop’s sweet cuisine, and the twists and turns, secrets revealed, and final solution, which often puts someone in peril, are always clever. But she also provides entertaining dialogue, too. The banter is very entertaining from her conversations with her husband, BFF Josie, and other quirky family members, and thanks to her writing style, I always have a visceral response to any interactions with “thorn in her side” Mrs. Gavelli, and the victim made me cringe. But all of that kept me turning the page.
And then my two favorite words! No, not “It’s murder,” but “Recipes included.” Catherine provides easy-to-follow recipes straight from Sally’s Samples kitchen: Double Chocolate Chili Cookies, Chocolate Cheesecake, [my favorite] Snickerdoodles, and Fudgy Delight Cookies. Yum all the way!
Trick or Treat…or Fortune!
Fortune cookies need not be relegated to only at the end of your Chinese take-out meal. Add some fun to your Halloween party with delightful “spooky” fortunes [“Frankenstein says, “Give your heart, and you’ll get something good in return.”] inside varying shades of orange-colored treats dipped in chocolate or sprinkled with candy confetti. How festive!
With permission from Catherine Bruns
Excerpt from: Tastes Like Murder, Gemma Halliday Publishing
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
Typed or handwritten fortunes – Make at least two inches long so that you can see where they are when the cookie is folded.
Orange food coloring
Approximately 4 ounces chocolate chips for dipping – Toll House, Reese’s, or Heath-flavored, whichever you prefer.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease a metal cookie sheet. In a medium sized bowl, stir together egg whites, vanilla, cinnamon, flour, and sugar. The batter should be very loose. If not, feel free to add a few drops of water.
Scoop about a tablespoon of batter and pour onto the cookie sheet in a circle. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the circle out and make a thin layer to form a medium sized cookie. Only bake a couple of cookies at a time since they harden quickly upon removal from the oven. Bake cookies for about 6-8 minutes, only until the edges begin to brown.
Remove the cookies from the oven. Then use a thin spatula to remove them from the tray. Immediately place the fortunes in the center and fold the cookie in half. Pinch the open edges inward and together to create the fortune cookie shape. Cookies harden instantly after they are formed, so you want to try to get this right the first time.
After all cookies have been baked and shaped, melt the entire amount of chips in the microwave for about 30 seconds on medium heat. Afterward, dunk the rounded edge of the cooled cookies into the chocolate. Immediately roll in sprinkles, and let harden. Place on parchment paper. Makes about one dozen cookies.
To enter to win an ebook or audio book copy of the first book in the series, Tastes Like Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “tastes,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 20, 2018. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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