Nov 022016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always excited when Susannah Hardy
drops by for a visit!

Susannah
Thanks so much for hosting me for Cozy Wednesday, Dollycas! I’m thrilled that the third book in my Greek to Me Mysteries, A KILLER KEBAB, released yesterday. It’s full of mystery, intrigue, and adventure on the high seas—okay, maybe not the high seas. But definitely adventure on the St. Lawrence River, LOL!

Doesn’t it seem like every day is National (Insert Interest Here) Day? Well, I checked www.nationaldaycalendar.com, and here’s what I learned about today, November 2. It is National Traffic Directors Day. And by this they do not mean people who wear a whistle and direct vehicular traffic, although I think it would be nice to honor them today anyway by slowing down and giving a friendly wave as you pass. Apparently a Traffic Director is also someone who works in scheduling of programs and announcements for radio and television stations. Who knew? So thank you, traffic directors of all kinds.

Yesterday, November 1, was National Calzone Day, National Deep Fried Clams Day, National Vinegar Day (I’m sensing a theme here), National Cook For Your Pets Day, National Brush Day, National Family Literacy Day, and National Authors Day (another theme). Now these are some days I can get behind!

killer-kebabBut back to today, November 2. It’s also (drum roll please) National Deviled Egg Day. And since Thanksgiving is just around the corner and deviled eggs are a must-have at Hardy family celebrations, I thought I’d give you my recipe for deviled eggs. Nothing too Cordon Bleu here, but I do have some tips and variations you might enjoy.

1 dozen medium eggs*
About ¼ cup Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise
1 T. yellow mustard
3 T. pickle relish, drained
Pinch of ground white pepper

*Note regarding eggs: I find that medium eggs make a nicer size appetizer than large or jumbo. And buy your eggs a week in advance. Fresh eggs are harder to peel, and the shell often sticks to the white, pulling away little chunks. Very ugly. Older eggs work beautifully.

Place eggs in large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil uncovered, and boil for exactly 4 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let eggs sit in hot water for exactly 5 more minutes. Seriously, set a timer. Move eggs to a bowl filled with lots of ice and water. Keep them there for at least 20 minutes. Then, you can drain them and transfer them to the fridge until you’re ready to finish. They’ll keep a couple of days in the fridge, so you can do this step ahead of time.

Once the eggs are good and cold, rap an egg on the counter, then roll it around with your hand to break the shell (not so hard you crush the egg inside). Then peel, rinse, and set aside to dry. Slice eggs in half lengthwise with a sharp knife, wiping the blade in between eggs. Pop yolks into a small mixing bowl. Break up yolks with a fork into fine crumbs, then add mayo, mustard, relish, and pinch of white pepper (looks nicer than black). Doesn’t usually need salt. Spoon or pipe into the whites. Refrigerate until time to eat and for best results serve within a couple of hours. Garnish with a slice of gherkin or olive, a few drained capers, chives chopped fine or about an inch long and made into an “X,” a small slice of pimiento or other roasted red pepper, or with the traditional light sprinkling of paprika. If you are traveling with them, take the filling in a separate container and assemble when you get there (of course, keep cold!).

For variations, you could substitute 1 tsp. good curry powder for the relish (use the chive garnish); 3 T. drained salsa instead of mustard and relish (garnish with a slice of pickled jalapeno); or Greek style: substitute 3 T. drained, crumbled feta cheese instead of mustard and relish, add 1 tsp. dried oregano, and garnish with a slice of Kalamata olive.

Enjoy!

I’m thinking about proposing National Cozy Mystery Day. When should it be?

~Susannah

killer-kebabA Killer Kebab (A Greek to Me Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (November 1, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425271674
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0XCBW
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The Bonaparte House is closed for the season, and Georgie Nikolopatos looks forward to fixing up the Greek restaurant and historic landmark—until her renovation plans hit a fatal snag.

With her divorce underway, her mother-in-law returning to Greece, and the tourists gone, Georgie finally has life under control—and the Bonaparte House to herself. She quickly hires a contractor for some much-needed renovations to reopen in time for a special Greek-style Thanksgiving meal. Georgie is suspicious though when former dishwasher Russ Riley arrives with the construction crew. He still has an axe to grind with the Nikolopatos family—but is it sharp enough to kill?

When Georgie finds the body of her divorce lawyer amid the construction debris and Russ is quickly arrested for murder, something about the case doesn’t add up. While Georgie is no fan of Russ, even a bad egg deserves a crack at justice.

Includes delicious Greek recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another mouth watering mystery from Susannah Hardy.

Even with the tourists gone and The Bonaparte House closed for the season Georgie Nikolopatos still finds herself with a mystery to solve. Georgie has contracted to have the bathrooms of the restaurant updated before Thanksgiving when she hopes to have a huge feast for friends and neighbors and local patrons. She can’t believe after just one day of demolition the remodeling comes to a screeching halt when she finds a dead body with the rubble. The fact that it is her divorce attorney just adds to the urgency to catch the killer. Could it be an old employee seeking revenge? or another one of the lawyers clients? Before she can serve her planned dinner she has to find out for cooked the turkey in the suit!

I love this series! Some of characters were away because of the off season but Hardy introduced new ones to whet my appetite. We also visit Georgie’s mom, Melanie, at “the Spa” with a mysterious illness. Georgie is trying keep their search for additional heirs on track especially now that the lawyer handling Melanie’s affairs has been murdered.  Her love interest, Jack, is away on assignment with the Coast Guard and I missed him too but Georgie was so busy I don’t think they would have been able to spend much time together.

What I truly enjoyed was Georgie’s quest to find the original recipe for Thousand Island dressing. There are probably more than a thousand different recipes for it and every one has their own twist or special ingredient. I had never really thought about where is originated or that it referred to a popular destination located along the border between Northern New York State (United States) and Southeastern Ontario (Canada). To me it was just a choice of what to put on salad. I love learning new things.

The author has packed a lot of drama and action into the pages of this book. Again she kept me up late reading. The story starts at a nice pace and builds to the point where you need to read just one more chapter, and then another and another. I was totally in the dark on the actual killer until Georgie and I shared our huge “Aha Moment”.

Every book in this series is excellent and every one has left me wanting more. The Bonaparte House is a unique setting, the characters are vibrant, and the mystery deserves all 5 stars and maybe more.

A Must Read for foodie cozy lovers!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Susannah

About This Author

Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenaged son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

Author Links

Webpage  Facebook Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for Susannah for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 16, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Nov 052015
 

OLIVE AND LET DIE
Olive and Let Die
(A Greek to Me Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (November 3, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425271667
ASIN: B00SI027QY
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The second Greek to Me Mystery from the author of Feta Attraction

As manager of the Bonaparte House, a historic landmark and Greek restaurant in upstate New York, Georgie Nikolopatos knows her local legends—and her traditional Greek recipes are to die for.

Between her soon-to-be ex-husband Spiro coming out of the closet and her budding romance with Captain Jack Conway, Georgie’s life is beginning to feel like a soap opera. And that’s before a surprise visit from her estranged mother Shirley, better known as soap star Melanie Ashley. But the dramatic family reunion takes a chilling turn when another long-lost relative turns up dead.

Just outside Spiro’s new restaurant, Georgie and Melanie find the body of Doreen Webber—a cousin Georgie never knew she had. With Spiro’s partner Inky on the list of suspects, Georgie begins to wonder what else her mother may be hiding. Is the dead-broke diva capable of murder? She’d better find out before someone adds a new twist to the family plot.

Includes delicious Greek recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Susannah has cooked up quite a sequel to her Feta Attraction.

Georgie Nikolopatos manages a Greek restaurant with her mother-in-law. Her soon to be ex-husband is renovating a place for him and his partner to run. Soon Georgie will be able to let her new romance go public.  But all that fades to the background when a soap opera star, Melanie Ashley, shows up in town. Georgie recognizes her as the mother she hasn’t seen in years. When another family member is found dead on the docks Georgie thinks her mother may be a murderer.

The story had a bit of a slow beginning for me but once it picked up it was impossible to put this book down. This was the latest book to leave me with a “book hangover”. I stayed up late to finish the whole thing! Like Feta Attraction Hardy packs this story full of drama.

An intricate plot with ancestral secrets galore. Georgie had no idea about her family history on her mother’s side. Will the truth set her free or put her in danger as well?

The characters are richly written and continue to grow. The introduction of a complex woman like Shirley/Melanie gave the story depth. I enjoyed learning more of Georgie’s past and how it reflects in the woman she is today and her relationship with her mother-in-law.

A wonderful cozy mystery. It can be read as a stand alone but recommend reading Feta Attraction first.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Susannah

About This Author

Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenaged son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

Author Links

www.susannahhardy.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susannah-Hardy/111056935644467

@susannahhardy1

GIVEAWAY

I am giving my review copy away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 19, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Susannah Hardy is also touring Olive and Let Die with Great Escapes Book Tours.
Visit each stop for more chances to win a copy!

Tour Participants

November 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review
November 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
November 5 – Community Bookstop – Review
November 6 – Back Porchervations – Review
November 7 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review, Interview
November 8 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Review
November 9 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
November 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post
November 11 – fuonlyknew – Review
November 12 – Books Are Life – Vita Libri – Review

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jan 092015
 

special guest blueI am excited to welcome Susannah Hardy to Escape With Dollycas!
Her new A Greek to Me Mystery Series is off to an excellent start!
You can read my review below her post.

Susannah

I love mysteries! You’re here visiting this blog because you do too. Did you ever solve a real mystery? Not ones like what that smell is emanating from your teenager’s bedroom, or who put the toilet paper on the roll backwards. Not that those aren’t important or that you shouldn’t get credit for your detective skills, LOL! But I’ve solved a couple of family mysteries, and I’ll tell you about one here today.

feta attractionGenealogy is one of my hobbies, and there is a genealogical element to Feta Attraction, one that will become more important in Book Two (sorry, I don’t have an official title or a release date on that yet!). My heroine, Georgie, will find out some very interesting things about who she is and where she came from and why murders keep happening around her in Bonaparte Bay.

My real-life family, and I suspect just about everyone else’s too, has its own mystery. Family legend says that my great-great grandfather was a Native American (Mohawk), that he and my white great-great grandmother had an affair, then he ran off when she found out she was pregnant. She left the baby with her widowed mother, and ran off herself. I’ve always taken that story with a grain of salt.

Now, thanks to the Internet and some digitized old newspapers, it turns out I was right to be skeptical.

The real story, which I pieced together from old newspaper articles and online census records—did I mention, I LOVE research?—is rather more Downton Abbey or Upstairs, Downstairs. Not nearly as romantic or interesting as having a Mohawk ancestor! The documentation proves that Great-Great-Grandma was a servant in the home of a wealthy shopkeeper, and they had a relationship, which resulted in a baby, my Great-Grandfather. A lawsuit was brought by the girl’s mother for loss of the girl’s services due to the pregnancy, and damages were awarded against the shopkeeper. My Great-Grandfather either never knew the real story, or deliberately lied about who his parents were on his marriage certificate, which other members of my family have taken as truth. Even though I’ve presented my proof, most still cling to the legend rather than the reality.

Not that I can blame them. Stories are often so much better than real life, aren’t they? Which is why we keep reading novels, and especially cozy mysteries with their familiar characters and satisfying endings. I hope you enjoy Feta Attraction!

Wishing each and every one of you peace and prosperity in the New Year,

~Susannah

About This Author

Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenaged son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

Author Links

Webpage: www.susannahhardy.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susannah-Hardy/111056935644467
Twitter: @susannahhardy1

feta attractionFeta Attraction
(A Greek to Me Mystery)

New Cozy Series
Setting: New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Bill Bruning
Cover Design by Diane Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425271650
E-Book ASIN: B00KWG5W1Y
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Georgie Nikolopatos manages the Bonaparte House, a Greek restaurant and historic landmark in beautiful upstate New York rumored to possess ghosts and hidden treasure. But when her husband disappears and her main competitor is found dead, it’s up to Georgie to solve a big fat Greek murder.

With her husband, Spiro, inexplicably gone for days, Georgie has her hands full running the restaurant and dealing with the crew of the TV show Ghost Squad, called in by Spiro to inspect the house for haunting. So when she has a chance to take a boating excursion on the St. Lawrence River with her friend Keith Morgan, she jumps on it. But their idyll is quickly ruined when they discover the body of rival restaurant owner Domenic “Big Dom” DiTomasso floating in the water.

When the police start asking questions, it doesn’t help that Spiro can’t be found—and with Georgie on their suspect list, it’s up to her to find her missing husband and find out who killed Big Dom before someone else’s order is up.

Includes delicious Greek recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I read that the Bonaparte House was an Octagon House I was so excited to keep reading. I was amazed by an Octagon House back in elementary school when we took a field trip to the Octagon House Museum in Watertown, Wisconsin. Many years later I learned of another Octagon House in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and that one has been said to haunted! There is said to be another in Hudson, Wisconsin. These house were popular in the 1850’s thanks to amateur architect and lifestyle pundit Orson Squire Fowler*. Because of knowledge of these homes I had a very good idea about how this mystery may play out.

Georgie has an interesting life. She is married to a gay man and now that their daughter is grown it may be the right time for her to make some changes. The problem is that her mother-in-law  and her husband own the restaurant she manages and she can’t imagine doing anything else. She is also very close to her mother-in-law. They all live above the restaurant too.

Georgie is not really shocked her husband has disappeared, he’s done it before but always comes back within one one two days.  When he doesn’t return and she finds he left his cell phone behind she knows something is terribly wrong. She also starts receiving some strange messages. She doesn’t want to worry her mother-in-law so she starts to do a little investigating on her own.

Add to this a “Ghost Squad” looking for paranormal activity at Bonaparte House and a dead restaurant owner floating in the river and you have everything you need for a fantastic cozy mystery.

There is a lot going on in this first installment of the A Greek to Me Mystery series. I may have figured out part of the mystery early but the huge twist near the end was totally unexpected. To say more would give too much away.

I can say that Ms. Hardy has created some excellent characters. We really get to know Georgie and Sophie. Spiro not so much but I am confident he will be just as engaging. I believe the author has just scratched the surface of where she can take these characters. She has all the ingredients needed to whip up several tasty mysteries. I am really excited for book #2. “Opa!” pass the Ouzo!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Susannah for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 23, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

*Wikipedia Link

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