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Wednesday, September 29, 2021


Debra Sennefelder is the author of the Food Blogger Mysteries and the Resale Boutique Mystery Series. An avid reader who reads across a range of genres, mystery fiction is her obsession. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food.Yeah, she’s that personLearn more about her and her books at her website. 

I have a few things in common with Hope Early, the protagonist in my Food Blogger mystery series. One of those things is that we love to bake. Like Hope, I bake for enjoyment, and I also bake to help sort things out. There have been times when I’ve worked out plot ideas while whipping up a batch of brownies or making a big pot of stew. In The Corpse in the Gazebo, Hope has a lot of sorting out to do because she’s a person of interest in her neighbor’s murder. Not only is she at risk of being arrested and possibly facing jail time, but she’s also at risk of losing her career.


Hope loves to feed family and friends, and because she’s a food blogger, there’s always something to serve up. Like these chocolate chip scones. They are slightly sweet and crunchy on the edges while soft and moist in the center. 


Yesterday The Corpse in the Gazebo released, and as a treat to myself, I baked up a batch of these scones. I may have had two!


If you’d like to try baking these chocolate chip scones, here’s the recipe. Enjoy! And thank you for celebrating the release of my new book.


Chocolate Chip Scones 



2 cups all-purpose flour

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1/2 cup heavy cream (plus 2 tablespoons for brushing and a little extra if dough is dry)

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 large egg

1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups mini chocolate chips

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on scones before baking

Confectioners’ sugar for sifting on scones after baking and cooling


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.


Cut in butter, with pastry cutter, two forks or your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse meal but there are pieces of butter throughout. Set bowl in refrigerator while you combine the wet ingredients.


In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2-cup heavy cream, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.


Remove flour mixture from refrigerator. Drizzle wet mixture over flour mixture and add in the chocolate chips. Mix until everything appears moistened, but don’t over mix.


Transfer dough onto a floured surface and work into a ball. Dough will be sticky. Add a little more flour to work more easily or add up to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream if the dough is too dry. Gently pat and shape dough into an 8-inch disc. With a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut into 8 wedges.


Transfer wedges onto parchment paper covered baking sheet. Set them 2-3 inches apart. Brush scones with the 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and then sprinkle with turbinado sugar.


Place scones in refrigerator for up to fifteen minutes before baking. If space is tight, you can place the scone wedges on plates and then transfer to prepared baking sheet just before putting them into the oven.


Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top.


Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and then serve.


These are best eaten the same day but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


The Corpse in the Gazebo

A Food Blogger Mystery, Book 5


Food blogging is turning Hope Early into a household name. But the dead body down the block makes her a #1 suspect...


It seems everyone loves Hope’s blog these days, and she’s busier than ever volunteering to help other women create their own paths to success. So she’s shocked when a neighbor petitions to run Hope right out of her small Connecticut town! Set in her ways, apparently Birdie Donovan doesn’t like the chaos Hope’s sleuthing creates, the police activity and crime scenes, and it’s happening way too often lately. Eager to make amends, Hope bakes Birdie a batch of her best muffins. The delicious treats might have smoothed things over—until Hope discovers Birdie dead in her gazebo the very next day...


Now instead of worrying about holding on to her beloved home, Hope is trying to stay out of jail. Because suddenly she’s the lead suspect in the case. Not even her boyfriend, Police Chief Ethan Cahill, is promising he can clear her name, much less discuss the investigation with her. It’s up to Hope to get to bake new ground on the case before the lifestyle brand she’s created—and her whole life—crumbles...


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