Today we welcome back author Joanne Guidoccio who writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature to talk about her Gilda Greco Mystery series and share what she calls her Lazy Woman’s Soup recipe. Learn more about Joanne and her books at her website.
About the Gilda Greco Mystery Series
A cross between Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher, and Cher’s character in the movie Moonstruck, protagonist Gilda Greco brings a unique perspective to the amateur female sleuth.
The teacher-turned-lottery winner returns to her hometown, only to find herself embroiled in a series of murder investigations. Before you start imaging thrillers with high stakes and police chases, pause and take a yoga breath. The three novels in the series—A Season for Killing Blondes, Too Many Women in the Room, and A Different Kind of Reunion—are cozy mysteries, written in the Agatha Christie tradition. All the crimes take place “off stage” with very few graphic details provided.
While the pace may be more relaxed than that of thrillers and police procedurals, there are no steaming cups of herbal teas, overstuffed chairs, or purring cats in these contemporary cozies. Prepare yourself for interfering relatives who don’t always respect boundaries, adult mean girls, deserving and undeserving men, multiple suspects, and lots of Italian food.
A Lazy Woman’s Soup
On one of my “sloth” days, I decided to create a puréed soup that would require the minimum of chopping and preparation time. I came up with this tasty concoction that has become my favorite go-to soup during the warmer months.
Yield: Approximately four one-cup servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups of frozen vegetables (I recommend California Style Mixed Vegetables)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
1 cup of fresh parsley
Note: When I’m feeling extra slothful, I quarter the onion and halve the garlic cloves.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic.
Add the frozen vegetables, Italian seasoning, and water. Blend for 5 to 8 minutes, or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the broth. Increase the heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the spinach and parsley. Cook for one minute.
A Season for Killing Blondes
A Gilda Greco Mystery, Book 1
Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.
When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.
As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.