Sunday, February 19, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger Lorraine Bartlett

A great big MLK welcome to the lovely and talented Lorraine Bartlett, whose newest Victorian Square Mystery ("The Walled Flower") was released this month ... and became an instant bestseller!

All for the English Ivy Inn …

Katie Bonner, the protagonist in my Victoria Square Mysteries, is a frustrated hostess.  All her adult life, Katie’s longed to open a bed-and breakfast inn.  Not only did she collect bric-a-brac and furniture to make her potential guests feel at home, but she collected recipes for hearty breakfasts and sumptuous afternoon teas, too.

Katie grew up in a home where afternoon tea often replaced supper.  Her beloved and elderly Aunt Lizzie made scones two or three times a week, so it was a natural that Katie would include them on her proposed B&B menu.

Except for one tiny detail.  Katie never got to open her English Ivy Inn.  (Well, not yet.)  Her late husband invested their life savings in Artisans Alley, a fine arts and crafts arcade, a going concern quickly going downhill.  (Don’t worry, Katie will fix that!)

Katie hasn’t given up on her dream, and in fact has collected many of her own recipes and other from her Artisans Alley vendors and friends on Victoria Square.  (You can find them in Recipes to Die for: A Victoria Square Cookbook.)  Here’s her Aunt Lizzie’s favorite scone recipe.

2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
¾ cup cream or milk
1 egg
½ cup raisins, sultanas, or currants
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 350º. Sift the dry ingredients together. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles crumbs. Beat the milk and whole egg together. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until well blended. Add the raisins, stirring until well mixed. Sprinkle the flour over a flat surface. The dough will be rather wet and will absorb the flour. Briefly knead the dough (once or twice) and pat down until the dough is ¾-inch thick. Cut out the scones with a biscuit cutter and place on a greased cookie sheet. Beat the egg yolk with the cold water. Brush glaze over the scones. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot or cold with butter or clotted cream and jam.

Yield: 10-12 scones.

Until Katie’s luck (and financial situation) changes, she’s stuck at Artisans Alley, where murder and mayhem seem to break out at regular intervals.  Her latest adventure (Victroria Square #2) is hot off the press.  It’s called The Walled Flower.  I hope you’ll give it try.  (P.S.  There are recipes at the back of it, too!)


Lorraine Bartlett must be absolutely crazy. Why else would she write three different mystery series? In addition to the Victoria Square Mysteries, she writes the Jeff Resnick Mysteries as L.L. Bartlett, and the New York Times bestselling, Agatha-nominated Booktown Mysteries under the name Lorna Barrett.

You can find THE WALLED FLOWER at most bookstores and online. Please visit Lorraine’s website ( or her Dazed and Confused blog:  You can also find Lorraine (and her many alter egos) at and


  1. Welcome Lorraine, and hooray for the new book! There's a wonderful baker at a farmers' market near me in CT who makes fabulous blueberry scones. (Of course, not in February:(...

    Would this recipe accept fresh blueberries?

  2. Welcome, Lorraine. Congrats on the new book hitting the NYT list!!!! Wow. The cover is beautiful. The recipe looks divine. Thanks for joining us today.


  3. Thanks for inviting me to guest blog today!

    Lucy, I'm sure this recipe would do well with FRESH or FROZEN blueberries. Don't let the frozen ones thaw before you add them, or you'll have blue scones.

  4. You had me at scones. LOL. I agree on the blueberries and I almost always have frozen unbaked scones in my freezer. Sadly I don't, so I know what I'm doing this afternoon...with your recipe. Lovely and thank you. Walled Flower is winking and waving at me as I type. Maybe with a cup of tea and a scone later.

  5. Him Mare. I tried a new one for ginger scones that's wonderful. Will be sharing that recipe in the upcoming Cozy Chicks Kitchen (cookbook).

  6. The cover on you book reminds me of a B&B I stayed at in New York. The house was lovely. The breakfast not as good. My son, he's 17, has been pestering me to make chocolate scones. He also likes a buttermilk scone I make with lemon or lime curd. I adore raisin or currant scones! I look forward to reading your cookbook 'Recipes to Die for...' & your B&B series.

  7. Roses, rose china, and scones. Sophie and Natasha approve! How very romantic. I hope Katie gets her B&B, she would make a lovely Inn owner.

    ~ Krista

  8. Thanks, Krista. Like Katie, I seem to be buying up stuff to open a B&B...only, I'm not PLANNING to open a B&B. I just can't stop myself from buying pretty things at yard sales, estate sales, etc. I explore that buying bug (and hoarding those purchases) in the next Victoria Square Mystery (set for February 2013 -- YEAH, a MILLION YEARS from now). It's tentatively called "One Hot Murder."