featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

#COOKING WITH CLORIS--SLEUTH CARRIE SINGLETON BAKES DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Today we’re joined by Carrie Singleton from mystery author Allison Brook’s Haunted Library series.

What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
It was a total mess. After college I stayed in one town for a while—never more than a year—then would move on to another. I felt I had no roots, no family or purpose.

What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I'm resilient. When I was made Head of Programs and Events of the Clover Ridge Library, I proved to be a capable and responsible worker.

What do you like least about yourself?
I can easily lose my sense of security.

What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
I wasn't happy when Allison sent me to search a cabin in the woods a good hour's drive from Clover Ridge to see if my father's partner-in-crime had hidden the jewels there.

Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
The only time we argue is when she does something completely unexpected—like having my father break into my cottage at three in the morning, asking me to contact his partner-in-crime so he can recover his share of a heist.

What is your greatest fear?
That my new life in Clover Ridge will suddenly evaporate. Or I will wake up and it will all be a dream.

What makes you happy?
Spending time with Dylan, my boyfriend; girls' night out with my best friend, Angela; having dinner at my great-aunt and uncle's home across the Green from the library; and, of course arranging programs and events that the library patrons will enjoy.

If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
I would give me a happy childhood and not let my brother Jordan die in a car accident in his twenties. Jordan was my protector and the one person I could depend on when I was growing up. He and Dylan were good friends when we were little and spent our summers on the Singleton farm. Jordan would be happy to see that Dylan and I are now a couple.

Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
Dorothy Hawkins, the reference librarian. She has the most miserable disposition and got it into her head that she should have been given my position. Soon as I started my new job, she pulled all kinds of dirty tricks until I managed to put a stop to it.

Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
Right now I'm happy to be me, but I'd love to trade places with Julia, my cousin's wife, for a short while. As I see it, Julia has the perfect life—a husband she loves, two wonderful children, a beautiful house she decorated herself, and a career. I envy her calm and imagine she must have had a happy childhood.

Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
Allison Brook is the pen name of author Marilyn Levinson, who has been writing mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids for many years. Before that, she was a Spanish teacher and enjoys conversing in Spanish when the opportunity arises. She loves to travel, read, knit, watch foreign films, dine out with her significant other, and visit her two grandkids. She lives on Long Island and has a red cat named Sammy. Readers can learn more about her and her books at her website. http://www.marilynlevinson.com 

What's next for you?
Book #3 in the Haunted Library series will be out in the fall. Alas, a member of the library staff has been murdered and I'll be investigating—along with the police.

Double Chocolate Brownies
(Perfect for the holidays and other family occasions)

Yield: 12-16 brownies

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 –1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line 8” square pan with parchment paper.

Stir together eggs sugar, vanilla and butter.

Mix together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir into egg mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. (Note: if you like, you can melt the chocolate chips before adding them to the mixture.)

Spread mixture evenly in pan. Bake 20-25 minutes. Test with toothpick. Brownies done when toothpick comes out slightly moist.

Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Read and Gone
Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again. 

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin. 

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?

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2 comments:

Marilyn Levinson said...

Dear Anastasia,

I'm happy to be here today! Thanks for having me.

Marilyn/Allison

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

It's always a pleasure to have you or one of your characters stop by, Marilyn.