Sunday, June 26, 2011

Guest Blogger Melinda Wells with Pie a La Murder!

Please join me in welcoming a wonderful mystery author to our Kitchen. Melinda Wells' "Della Cooks" mysteries feature the spunky Della Carmichael, who runs a cooking school in California, stars on her own cable TV cooking show, and often finds herself mixed up in murder.
     Pie a la Murder, the 4th book in Melinda's popular series, is coming out next Tuesday (July 5th). Although she's already hard at work writing the next entry in her series, I asked her if she wouldn't mind taking a moment to tell us a little about Della's new adventure. She not only obliged me, she brought a delicious recipe for us.
     Melinda (a pseudonym for Linda Palmer) is a delightful person, and I invite you to learn more about her by visiting her Web site here. Her site also lists her signing appearances for the new release. Take it away, Melinda! ~ Cleo Coyle

Melinda Wells (aka Linda Palmer)
is the author of the
"Della Cooks" mysteries.

In Pie a la Murder, the 4th installment of my Della Cooks mystery series, Della Carmichael gets a major shock when Nicholas D'Martino, the man she loves, tells her that he has a daughter that he'd never mentioned.

Della knew that Nicholas had been married before (a long time ago) and that his ex-wife moved to Europe. He explains that he hadn't told Della about having a daughter because he never thought he'd see her again. But now the girl, Celeste, is eighteen-years-old. She telephoned him from Vienna to say that she has decided to come to Los Angeles to live with him. She arrives at the end of the week.

Della is genuinely happy for Nicholas, and looks forward to getting to know Celeste. But Della's best friend, Liddy, is horrified to hear the news. “Don't you know that the biggest threat to a romantic relationship is the man's daughter from a previous marriage? You hear about it on all the daytime talk shows.” 

Liddy is sure that Della's "love boat" is heading for choppy waters. Della appreciates Liddy's concern, but she doesn't believe it. She assures Liddy that her relationship with Nicholas will be fine. Liddy isn't convinced. But not even in Liddy's wildest imagination could she have guessed that the trouble in Della's future was going to involve murder. 

Pie a la Murder, from Berkley Prime Crime, will be published on Tuesday, July 5th. As with all of my Della Cooks mysteries, Pie A La Murder includes a bonus recipe section. I’m delighted to share one of those recipes with you today…

Mira Waters'
Sweet Potato Pie

“Who is Mira Waters’?” you might ask.

Mira is an actress and Della's friend. Among Mira's film roles, she’ co-starred with Muhammad Ali in The Greatest, and also in the lovely classic, Sounder.

She’s a fabulous cook, too. Her sweet potato pie is my favorite version of this dish.

~ Melinda


4 large sweet potatoes (boiled in their skins)
2 eggs
2 cups of sugar (or 1-1/2, depending on how sweet you want it)
1-1/2 teaspoons Rum (Mira says this is the secret!)
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, and after they've cooled for a few minutes so you don't burn your hands, strip off the skins. Mash the sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl.

Add the eggs, sugar, Rum, butter, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whip all the ingredients together and put into an unbaked pie shell. Mira says you can use a prepared pie shell, but she and I both prefer to make our own crust. My personal favorite crust is the Standard Pastry Crust recipe found in the Betty Crocker cookbook—but be sure to use several tablespoons of ice water, not just "water." Using whatever crust you prefer, bake the Sweet Potato Pie for 35 minutes. (Be sure the oven doesn't over-heat.)

Visit Melinda Wells
(aka Linda Palmer) at her online home:

Thank you, Melinda!

To leave a comment for Melinda,
click the "comments" link below.

Read with joy!

~ Cleo


  1. I can't wait to try this. I love sweet potatoes any way, but this sounds very special. Thanks for coming by Mystery Lovers Kitchen to share!

  2. Looks delicious.

    Looking forward to reading Pie a la Murder.

  3. Hi Melinda! Thanks for joining us today. I love the premise of PIE A LA MURDER!

    And your sweet potato pie sounds absolutely delicious. Can't wait to try it!

    ~ Krista

  4. Sweet potatoes are my family's favorite! The pie looks wonderful. :) And I'm looking forward to "Pie a la Murder!"

  5. Melinda - Thank you again for posting with us today at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, and congrats to you (and Della!) on your new release.

    ~ Cleo

  6. Melinda, what a lovely post and I love the recipe. Pie a la Murder sounds fun. Can't wait to read me some. :)