Sunday, April 14, 2013

Comment to Win Wearable Literary Art and Welcome the Artist: Pattie Tierney, Fan of Mystery and Food Blogging

The Dame Agatha Christie wearable literary art pin,
handcrafted by Pattie Tierney.
(For more info, click here.)
Please welcome our guest blogger Pattie Tierney, who is sharing a tasty recipe for Eccles Cake along with an answer to my curious question: How did you start designing and selling your wonderful "Wearable Literary Art," much of which is dedicated to mystery writers? 
~ Cleo Coyle

Mystery has been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember. I cut my teeth on Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, was introduced to Basil Rathbone as Holmes, becoming an instant fan, and, thanks to late night movies and my nocturnal ways, wanted to be Nora Charles when I was in grade school, complete with wardrobe and dry martinis.

Since then my love for mysteries has grown, and permeates all aspects of my life. From the poison garden that I attempted to grow in high school (my parents became alarmed, and the garden was plowed over and my dad planted potatoes) to working its way into a Master's project when I designed a semester long course on detective fiction (I called it "The Literature of Detection"), complete with syllabus, field trips to cemeteries, the firing range, crime lab, and culminating with an end-of-semester party with tea and cookies cut in the silhouette of Sherlock Holmes (Yes, I do have that cookie cutter.). I suppose I could have served these Crime Scene Brownies as well. 

Pattie's Crime Scene Brownies from her
"Olla-Podrida" food blog. For the recipe, click here.

Nancy Drew: Girl Detective
Mystery Art Pin -
click here
for more info.

In the days before the Internet I was summoned by the local PBS station (who somehow got wind of my love for mysteries) to be Jeremy Brett's (a.k.a. Sherlock Holmes) "guardian" while he spent three days in St. Louis during his 1991 tour of the U.S. Dare I say that it was one of the highlights of my mystery loving life?

This led to my becoming an active volunteer where I was assigned the task of compiling and editing recipes for a mystery cookbook to be used as a rewards premium for new PBS subscribers.

As I got older, my desire to display my passion began a quest to find mystery jewelry to reflect my interest. Much to my dismay there was none to be found. Determined to rectify this unfortunate situation, one weekend, 40% off coupon in hand, I journeyed to Michael's and bought a book on jewelry making, along with assorted beads and findings, raided my husband's supply of pliers and made my first bracelet. I called it "Murder and Mayhem" and it was a tribute to Agatha Christie.

The Coffeehouse Mystery
wearable art pin, for more info

click here.
One of the first items in my online shop, Pattie Tierney Mystery Jewelry, that I began in February 2006, by year's end the bracelet appeared in Bust Magazine as one of the “must have" gifts for Christmas. As exhilarating as guessing the culprit before the end of the book, I was off and running. I remain at it with a vengeance, always envisioning new designs, and delighting in doing custom work, such as the Coffeehouse Mystery Pins that I've made for fans of Cleo Coyle and other authors.

My heart belongs to Doyle and Christie, but authors of culinary mysteries run a close second. 

Discovering this genre began with The Cooking School Murders (the end pages had recipes on them!) by Virginia Rich opening up a whole new world for me. How easy it was to relate to someone who could not only solve crimes, but whip up a hearty meal or tasty dessert at the same time.

Hercule Poirot mystery quote pin,
for more info, click here.
I'm not sure if my love of the genre had anything to do with it or not, but a number of years ago I started a food blog. My initial goal was to teach my daughters-in-law how to cook, but instead succeeded in teaching my sons, and, in the doing, found an entirely new way of expression.

I have used the opportunity to test and report on recipes from mystery books, share the adventures of my mystery collectibles, try to imagine what Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot would have for tea, and cook up some mysterious concoctions of my own.

The recipe I am going to share with you today is for Eccles Cake, a British dessert pastry that I'm sure Poirot and Captain Hastings enjoyed while discussing a case.

Eccles Cakes

An Eccles cake, named for the borough of Greater Manchester in England, is a small, round cake filled with raisins, currants, and candied orange peel wrapped in a delicate puff pastry and topped with sugar. 
You don't have to go to London to try one, as they can easily be made at home. I couldn't find orange peel, so made that as well, using what I needed for the cakes, and dipping the rest in chocolate (and boy was that good!). The filling can be made the day ahead, and the cakes can be rather quickly assembled and baked up just in time for afternoon tea. This recipe is one I've been using for years. It's from Bon Appetit's November 2002 issue, and is, thus far, the best one I've found for both taste and authenticity.


3/4 cup dried currants
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
2 teaspoons sugar

Mix first 8 ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Filling can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out puff pastry on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out four 6-inch-diameter rounds. Place filling on half of each round, dividing equally. Brush edges of rounds with beaten egg. Fold pastry over filling, creating semicircle and enclosing filling completely. Press edges firmly to seal. Transfer to heavy large baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake pastries until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to rack and cool pastries 5 minutes. Using metal spatula, carefully remove pastries from baking sheet. Cool. 


Being a fan of mystery and the wonderful people who create them is more than just a hobby or interest, it seeps into your being and becomes a part of who you are as much as environment and hereditary. Sure I look at most people with undisguised suspicion, why not? I'm a mystery lover!

~ Pattie

One of the many charming charm bracelets in Pattie's shop.
This one, which she calls "I love a Mystery," features
miniature reproductions of mystery classics: The Thin Man
by Dashiell Hammett; The Case of the Terrified Typist
(Perry Mason) by Erle Stanley Gardner; The Maltese Falcon by
Dashiell Hammett; and The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie.

For more info, click here.


Our drawing is now over.Congrats to Ana Kurland who won
$20.00 in Mystery Money
to use 
any way she likes in Pattie's online store. 
To visit her store, PTierney Designs, click here.



  1. I love your jewelry. It's beautiful artwork. My love of culinary mysteries also started with the Virginia Rich Cooking School Murders. There is just something special about the combination of a good mystery and good food.

  2. I have always loved mysteries - I read the entire Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries in the 2nd and 3rd grades - then progressed on to Christie and Doyle. This is a really neat idea - the shape reminds me of a Kilt pin. I definitely fell in love with the culinary mysteries with Virginia Rich - my books of hers are quite tattered and worn. I collect mystery cookbooks as well. Love this post!

  3. Pattie, I love this post--and your jewelry! You may remember the pins you made for me for my golf lovers' and advice column mystery series. I need to get caught up! thanks for visiting. (and the brownie is TO DIE FOR!)

  4. What a cool giveaway. I love bookish accessories!

  5. This is the most perfect jewelry for mystery book fans. I have never seen anything cooler!! Awesome!!:0)The detail put into the work of these is outstanding. Wow these are so good.. Drool....

  6. Grew up on Trixie Beldon and Nancy Drew as well as Cherry Ames, Student Nurse. Love the idea of this jewelry and am enjoying visiting to read the blog, enjoy the recipes, and now the jewelry.

  7. I've been admiring your jewelry for a while now and would love to win.
    I'm definitely going to try your Eccles cake. it sounds so good!

  8. love the jewelry for mystery book fam

  9. Lori S @MomIsReadingApril 14, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    I love the Clue and Sherlock Holmes wine glass charms. Would make for a fun cocktail party.

  10. I really love your unique and beautiful jewelry. Loving mysteries all started for me too with Nancy Drew. Wednesday was library day at my elementary school and I could not wait to get the next Nancy Drew. I would love to win this giveaway!
    I do wish these contests allowed us to post using Facebook as I don't use the other options.

  11. I love the recipes and the links to Pattie's amazing jewelry. You are correct the hardest part of winning will be which piece of mystery jewelry art I would chose. Welcome Pattie to Mystery Lovers Kitchen. Nora Charles, Nancy Drew and many other great mysteries was a wonderful way to whittle away the time on our cold New England winters or lounging beside a glistening lake during our warm, humid summer days where you don't have the energy to move. Thank you for sharing. Pick me! Pick me!

  12. I love the jewelry. I've been a fan of mystery from early on as well, though I never went further than reading them or watching them. From Nancy Drew on. I still get happy when I get to watch re-runs of Murder She Wrote! :D Anywho, I will have to think of an occasion to try the Crime Scene Brownies!

  13. Wonderful post, Pattie! It's nice to see you and your gorgeous wearable art here at MLK.

  14. Cookies in the same of Sherlock Holmes, recipes that Christie and Doyle might have enjoyed with tea, an I love a mystery bracelet---I've found a soul mate! Pattie, I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. I read the Nancy Drew series when I was young and I was totally hooked on mysteries. I moved on to Sherlock Holmes & now collect anything in print related to Mr. Doyle & Mr. Holmes. My first cookbook mystery author was Diane Mott Davidson. Then came Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series. It's wonderful to find someone with my fascination and interest in mysteries--especially Christie & Doyle--AND recipes!

  15. The jewelry is beautiful and the pastry looks delicious! Wish I had both!

  16. Queue the Twilight Zone music! Yesterday I ordered a pair of darling Nancy Drew earrings. Can't wait until they arrive. Your recipe looks yummy too. Ahhh--I can cook while I'm waiting for the earrings. Perfect!

  17. Love the Crime Scene Brownies and the charms. Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. ooooooh, count me in as a HUGE, long-time, Pattie Tierney fan! Always fun to see what she's up to in the kitchen and in her jewelry designs.

  19. I love jewelry and am always looking for unusual pieces. I love the bracelets on Etsy and would love to have one, but don't have the funds. I will check your site to view more.
    Good luck on your writing. I will look for your books when I go to Wichita.

  20. The jewelry is very creative and lovely. I enjoyed the post and the enticing pastries. Best wishes and much success. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  21. Culinary mysteries have an added dimension, mainly food and a delight. The jewelry is unique and very special. Good luck and much happiness. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  22. Gorgeous jewelry and the brownie is to die for.

  23. Interesting interview, Pattie. We seem to have quite similar interests. I am not the greatest cook, however, being in Canada with perhaps more of an Engish influence than in the States, we have wonderful bakeries and Eccles Cakes are a mainstay in most. They are a great teatime treat indeed. (Your recipe looks doable, maybe I shall give it a try).

  24. Love the books in your jewelry. Have to go shopping at your site. I have learned to make basic jewelry, but want to have those wonderful mysteries. Clever brownie. My cookie cutters are boring.

  25. I so enjoyed reading this article and learning more about your mysterious past! You're jewelry is fab-in fact Pattie's currently making me a custom bracelet to celebrate my Cozy mystery blog! My friend in Yorkshire sent me an Eccles cake once!

  26. Your jewelry is fantastic!!!! I absolutely love it!!! DO you believe in the barter system???? lol

  27. This blog was so much fun to see. Talk about bringing a smile to your face. Love it.

  28. That jewelry is so great! Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were my favorites, although I think the very first mystery book I read was something about a haunted barn. But it got me hooked and I spent my money as a kid on the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books (my mom always asked, "Are you sure you want to spend your money on those?"). I never had enough time at the library, growing up. We lived out of town. My dream as a kid was to get locked in over night at the library. Thanks for the posting!

  29. Great blog!! Loved the jewelry!! The brownie, wow!!!

  30. I've become addicted to bracelets lately. I can't leave the house without one on. I've always loved mysteries. This would be a perfect combination.

  31. Elizabeth SchroedleApril 14, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    I love the Nancy Drew jewelry. Those books are the series that got me started reading mysteries.

  32. What pretty jewelry! I love the mystery theme. These pieces are so unique!! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  33. I love mysteries--especially Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. The I Love A Mystery bracelet is awesome!

  34. All of your lovely comments are so gratifying, ladies. Thank you! Bear in mind that the winner of the $20 credit includes custom work, so if you'd like me to make something just for you, the credit can be used toward that very special one-of-a-kind piece of mystery or literary jewelry.

  35. How amazingly cool is this jewelry!!!