Sunday, August 30, 2020

Three Treats Too Many by Debra H. Goldstein | Blog Tour with Guest Post and Giveaway

Three Treats Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) by Debra H. Goldstein

About Three Treats Too Many


Three Treats Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719492
ISBN-13: 978-1496719492
Digital ASIN: B082WRV78G


When a romantic rival opens a competing restaurant in small-town Wheaton, Alabama, Sarah Blair discovers murder is the specialty of the house.... 

For someone whose greatest culinary skill is ordering takeout, Sarah never expected to be co-owner of a restaurant. Even her Siamese cat, RahRah, seems to be looking at her differently. But while Sarah and her twin sister, Chef Emily, are tangled up in red tape waiting for the building inspector to get around to them, an attention-stealing new establishment — run by none other than Sarah's late ex-husband's mistress, Jane — is having its grand opening across the street.

Jane's new sous chef, Riley Miller, is the talk of Wheaton with her delicious vegan specialties. When Riley is found dead outside the restaurant with Sarah's friend, Jacob, kneeling over her, the former line cook — whose infatuation with Riley was no secret — becomes the prime suspect. Now Sarah must turn up the heat on the real culprit, who has no reservations about committing cold-blooded murder.... 
Includes quick and easy recipes!

About the Guest Post

Finding Recipes to Avoid Freaking Out in the Kitchen
by Debra H. Goldstein

Some people are afraid of spiders, some fear dead bodies. Cooking from scratch petrifies me.  

The irony - I love to entertain.  

Early on, I realized there were two easy solutions to my dilemma: host dinners at restaurants, or have caterers, long gone before the guests arrive, make their dishes in my serving pieces. This still left me with a problem when I was asked to bring a dish to an event where everyone was expected to contribute to the table. It didn’t take too many instances to educate my friends to automatically assign me bread, soda, paper products, or anything else that needed to be purchased from the grocery store.

Sarah Blair, the protagonist of my Kensington cozy mystery series, shares my fear of the kitchen. For her, cooking from scratch is more frightening than murder. Luckily, she has a twin sister, Emily, who is a gourmet chef. Emily usually comes to the rescue when Sarah needs to serve something, but when she doesn’t, watch out.

For example, in One Taste Too Many, the first book in the series, Sarah knew starting over after her ten-year marriage, from which she only emerged with RahRah, her Siamese cat, would be messy. Things fell apart completely when her ex dropped dead, seemingly poisoned by a taste of Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. With RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah had to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time ran out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it potentially meant facing a fate worse than death – being in the kitchen.

In Two Bites Too Many, the second Sarah Blair mystery, things are looking up for Sarah following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with RahRah, she’s managed to hold on to her law firm receptionist job and – if befriending strays at the local animal shelter counts – lead a thriving social life. In fact, Sarah has it more together than her enterprising twin whose plans to open a gourmet restaurant hit a real dead end.

When the president of the town bank is murdered after icing her twin’s business, all eyes are on the one person at the scene with blood on her hands – Sarah’s sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook and help Emily’s business endeavors, Sarah must gather the ingredients of the crime together quickly to bring the true culprit to justice and once again avoid doing time in the kitchen.

Three Treats Too Many not only needed funny but easy recipes but, because Sarah’s nemesis, Jane, opens a competing farm-to-table restaurant featuring a sous chef, Riley, who also specializes in vegan dishes, many of the recipes had to be vegan-friendly. When Riley is found dead outside the restaurant with Sarah's friend, Jacob, kneeling over her, Sarah must turn up the heat on the real culprit, who has no reservations about committing cold-blooded murder . . .
To prep the three books, I had to overcome my fear of the kitchen long enough to find recipes using pre-made ingredients that were also funny. My favorite one, Jell-O in a Can, was popular in the 1950s. 
Jell-O in a Can
1 20 oz. can of sliced pineapple (the recipe recommended Dole pineapple as it was an ad for Dole and Jell-O)
1 3 oz. pkg. of Jell-O gelatin, any flavor choice
1 cup boiling water
Optional: 1 banana or other type of fruit

Open the can and pour off the pineapple juice but leave the pineapple in the can. Dissolve the Jell-O in boiling water and permit it to cool slightly before pouring the Jell-O and water mixture into the can, over the pineapple. If desired, place the banana or other fruit in the center of the rings of pineapple. 

Chill until set. 

To serve, run a knife around the inside of the can and tip it out. (Before rimmed flip-top cans, one pushed the jelled mixture through and out using the bottom of the can.) Slice between the pineapple rings and serve.
I also like E’s Crock-Pot Butternut Squash Soup:

E’s Crock-Pot Butternut Squash Soup – 10 servings

1-2 bags cut squash
Chop an onion, apple, red pepper (more if desired)

Put all in the Crock-Pot

Add 1 box of vegetable stock.

When everything is soft, blend or puree.

Season with sage, garlic, cumin, or whatever you prefer

Add 1 can coconut soup just before serving

After all these years, I doubt I’ll ever be comfortable in the kitchen, but I know, especially now that Kensington and I have inked a new deal to continue the series through at least book 5, I’m going to have a ball finding comical but doable recipes using pre-made ingredients to share.


About Debra H. Goldstein

Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, Three Treats Too Many). She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place and Derringer Finalist Pig Lickin’ Good, have appeared in numerous publications. Debra serves on the national boards of SinC and MWA and is president of SEMWA.

Author Links

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