Showing posts with label A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery. Show all posts

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Vicki Delany’s Strawberry Cake, as Served in Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room #bookgiveaway

Today we're delighted to welcome back guest blogger Vicki Delany, author of the popular new Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, the most recent being Body on Baker Street. She's giving away a hardcover copy so be sure to enter the draw! Here's a teaser of what's happening in this book:

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table—dead.

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.

Renalta Van Markoff, author of the hugely popular, and highly controversial, Hudson and Holmes mystery series, is about to pay a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and   Emporium, located at 222 Baker Street, West London, Massachusetts. 

Almost everyone is thrilled, including shop owner Gemma Doyle and head baker Jayne Wilson. They’re hoping book lovers will engage in a frenzy of shopping after the author talk, and then pop into Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room next door at number 220 for afternoon tea.

After all, as the author explains:
“I try to have at least one scene involving afternoon tea in each of my books. It gives Desdemona and Sherlock a chance to get together and talk over what they’ve learned.”

I refrained from mentioning that I couldn’t imagine Sherlock Holmes, man of action, pipe tobacco, and lover of a seven percent solution, enjoying a cream tea.
                                                      Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany

Who isn’t thrilled about the author’s visit? Prominent and dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris who insists that Van Markoff’s books are an insult to Sir Arthur Conon Doyle and his greatest creation. Will Donald create a scene at the book signing?  Will afternoon tea be cancelled? Will Jayne’s strawberry cake go to waste?

Will Gemma once again have to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man?

This strawberry cake will be perfect for serving at your next afternoon tea get together. Or even just dessert with your family.

·         6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
·         1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
·         1 large egg
·         1/2 cup milk
·         1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
·         1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. 

S-  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

2.    Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.

3.      Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. 

4.      Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

5.     Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges.

Cake can be served with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh strawberries on the side.

You could win a hardcover copy of Body on Baker Street. Just leave a comment and be sure to include your email address. A random draw will be made for the winner after tomorrow at 5 PM EDT. US and Canada entries, please.

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her newest novel is Body on Baker Street, the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.  

Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at On Facebook at Twitter @vickidelany

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Coconut Cupcakes from Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room #bookgiveaway from author Vicki Delany

Today we welcome Vicki Delany back to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. You may also know her as Eva Gates. She's written police procedure and caper series, stand-alone Gothic suspense, and cozies but today she's introducing a brand new series, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries with a hardcover book giveaway. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the draw, US entries only please.
After you’ve engaged in a shopping frenzy at the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, located at 220 Baker Street, West London, Massachusetts, be sure and pop next door for afternoon tea at Mrs. Hudson’s.
Head baker Jayne Wilson does a marvelous job of crating the perfect, fully-traditional afternoon tea. You might even be lucky enough to get one of the special Sherlock tea pots and matching cups.
Occasionally, for a special occasion, Jayne is forced to reply on her business partner Gemma Doyle for help in the kitchen. 
A kitchen is not my natural environment, but the following afternoon found me in the back of the tea room as ordered, ready to help out.
“It would look more appealing if you mixed the offerings up a little,” I said.
“No, Gemma, it would not.”
“We can tuck the circular sandwiches around the scones, and the square sandwiches in with these small brownies, that way you’d have consistency of shape.”
“I don’t want consistency of shape. I want sandwiches on the bottom tier, scones in the middle, and the tarts and cookies on the top. That’s the way afternoon tea has been served since time immemorial.”
“Actually, afternoon tea isn’t a long-standing tradition. It’s generally considered to have begun around 1840 when Anna, Duchess of Bedford…”
“Gemma, stop talking. Butter that bread. The smoked salmon spread and the chicken salad are already prepared. The cucumbers, watercress, and herbs are sliced. All you have to do is put the sandwiches together. Follow the assembly instructions I prepared, and cut them according to the design I printed out for you. When they’re ready, cover them in plastic wrap. Got it?”
“I am capable of making sandwiches.” I glanced around the busy kitchen. “Do you have a ruler?”
“What do you need a ruler for?”
“It says here that the cucumber sandwiches are to be two inches long by three quarters of an inch wide. A ruler would ensure accuracy.”
“Roughly, Gemma. Roughly is good enough.”
“Very well.” I set about cutting the crusts off the white sandwich bread slices laid out before me. Jayne began rolling out the dough for another batch of strawberry tarts. The tea room had been exceptionally busy all day, she said, meaning they’d had to serve some of the food she’d prepared for the big group due to arrive at four. At the moment, Jocelyn was washing dishes and Fiona was arranging pots of tea for a table of six who’d just come in.
I was rather enjoying this making of sandwiches. Like a well-oiled machine, I went down the row buttering the crustless slices of bread (lightly), back up the row adding an ice-cream scoop of chicken salad, down the row sprinkling on pretty, green herbs, back up the row putting the tops on, and finally slicing them into triangles.
“Those have got to be the neatest sandwiches I’ve ever seen,” Fiona said.
“Thank you,” I said. Next up: the smoked salmon spread, which would be rolled into pinwheel shapes.

Jayne often makes a mini-version of these cupcakes so go in the top tier of the tray. As dictated by tradition. 

·         1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
·         6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
·         1 1/3 cups sugar
·         2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites
·         3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
·         1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
·         1 1/3 cups large-flake unsweetened coconut

1.      Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

2.      Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pulse shredded coconut in a food processor until finely ground, and whisk into flour mixture.
3.      With and electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in whole eggs, whites and vanilla, scrapping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of coconut milk, and beating until combined after each.

4.      Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling eat three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; turn out cupcakes onto wire racks and let cool completely. cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature , or freeze up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

5.      To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread a generous dome of icing onto each cupcake, and, if desired, garnish with flaked coconut. Store at room temperature until ready to serve.
Icing: Use your favorite buttercream vanilla icing. I like to use a splash of coconut milk rather than plain milk. If you don’t normally add milk to your icing, you can cut down slightly on the butter and replace with coconut milk.


Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers, author of twenty-four crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries.  Under the pen name Eva Gates she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series from Penguin. 

Her latest is Elementary She Read, the first in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane (March 14, 2017). 


Vicki is the past-president of Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Bony Blithe and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at Facebook:  Vicki Delany & Eva Gates (evagatesauthor) and twitter: @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor