Last week’s blog explained my own cooking abilities, or lack thereof, and how my husband, after retiring more than twice from the business world, finally learned to warm leftovers and prepare simple meals.  Why? Because I, buried in ideas and unaware of time and hunger pangs, was typing away in my office.

Not that I divorced myself from cooking entirely, not in real life, and certainly not in fiction. My lead female character, Carrie McCrite, says, during her first adventure in A VALLEY TO DIE FOR, that her cooking depends more on the Pillsbury Doughboy than Julia Child. True, oh so true. That’s why I had such fun “cooking up” unusual and unusually simple recipes for Carrie to prepare as part of the plots in each of my seven (so far) novels that she and her husband, Henry King, star in.

After readers of A VALLEY TO DIE FOR suggested that plot recipes be printed in the back of each book, my publishers began doing that. Readers’ favorites thus far are “No Thaw Meatloaf” from A TREASURE TO DIE FOR, and “Baggie Omelets” from A RIVER TO DIE FOR.

I take part in an Internet  list for mystery fans called DorothyL, and a popular poster there, John Bohnert, often mentions recipes he prepares. When I was writing A FAIR TO DIE FOR, I decided it would be great fun to include John and his recipes as an off-stage character in that novel, and, with his permission, he took part as the famous California Chef, John Bohnert, owner of the Grass Valley Bistro, and author of its much-acclaimed cookbook THE GRASS VALLEY BISTRO COOKBOOK.  In the story, Henry King meets Chef John on the Internet during a discussion of the heirloom tomatoes Henry is experimenting with.

When a mysterious relative is on the way to visit Carrie and Henry, Carrie realizes they are going to have to feed this person lunch, and Henry saves the day by appealing to Chef John for a simple sandwich recipe.  Later in the plot, Henry presents Carrie with a copy of THE GRASS VALLEY BISTRO COOKBOOK, and each of them uses it to prepare a meal.

These recipes do appear in the back of A FAIR TO DIE FOR.

Though The Grass Valley Bistro and its cookbook are fiction, John’s recipes are not.  Next week I’ll share one of his new recipes for BEEF BURRITOS.  Until then, happy cooking and reading,





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