Sunday, August 25, 2013

Welcome our guest, Erika Chase!

Erika Chase writes the Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries for Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime.  The first book in the series, A Killer Read, was nominated for an Agatha Best First Novel award. The second book, Read and Buried came out late last year and Cover Story, #3 in the series, hit the shelves this month. Book Fair and Foul is due next year. In a parallel life Erika Chase is also known as Linda Wiken. A former mystery bookstore owner, she is also a short story writer and a member of The Ladies' Killing Circle. She has been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada.  She loves choral singing and catering to her two Siamese cats.

Take it away, Erika!

* * *

What I enjoy most about summer cooking is the BBQ part. I practically live with this object of my obsession whenever the sun is shining, sometimes in the rain, too. And by my calendar, there are still plenty of good barbecuing days left.

So, when I got this invitation to do a guest blog for Mystery Lovers Kitchen – and thanks so much for thinking of me!! – I decided to go Southern and do chicken. Now, this is a recipe I’ve tweaked to suit my eating tastes and if there’s something that works as a better ingredient for you, then go for it. I think this would be a tasty menu choice for a book club dinner on Molly’s patio. On my patio, too.

It’s nice and simple – prerequisite #1, so enjoy!


2 c. chopped ripe plums (about 2 or 3 depending on size)
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
½  tsp. sea salt, divided

1 Tbsp liquid honey
½ tsp. ground cumin
4 chicken breasts


Stir together plums, jalapeño pepper, basil, red onion, lime juice, and ¼ tsp. sea salt in a medium bowl.

Stir together honey, cumin and remaining ¼ tsp salt in a small bowl. Rub chicken with mixture.

Grill chicken on a pre-heated BBQ until done, turning over partway through. (My chicken breasts were average size and I grilled for 8 min. each side)

Serve with the plum mixture. Garnish with a slice of lime, if desired.

* * *

Here's a tidbit about the latest in the Ashton Corner Book Club mysteries: COVER STORY
It's time to celebrate when book club member Molly Mathews's childhood friend moves back to town -- complete with a newly-published book. But as the Asthon Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society plan her book launch, Molly is attacked and the books are stolen, the publisher is murdered, and one of their own is taken into custory. The plot thickens when Lizzie Turner and the book club members sleuth themselves right into a counterfeiting ring and yet another murder. 
Molly Mathews hopes you'll enjoy reading COVER STORY and invites you to join the book club for their monthly meeting...and her charming antebellum mansion in Ashton Corners, Alabama.

Visit Erika at
on Facebook at her Author page
and @Erika_chase on Twitter


  1. Erika - Hello to my shelf neighbor! Your plum-sweetened grilled chicken has my mouth watering already; a must-try recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it with us today, and warm congrats on the publication of COVER STORY, your new entry in the charming Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries.

    Have a delicous week...
    ~ Cleo

    1. Thanks, Cleo! So happy to be here. And, I hope you enjoy the chicken. It's a now a new family favorite. Thanks for the warm wishes, too.

  2. What a wonderful recipe, Erika! I wonder if I can trick you into making it for me? Welcome to MLK - and that Cover Story cover is really to die for.



    1. Bring on your tricks, MJ! Happy to do so even without a trick. I so love the cover, too.


  3. Erika, what a delish sounding recipe. Thank you so much for joining us on MLK. Who doesn't love the theme of your new series. Let's hear it for book clubs!

    Daryl / Avery

    1. It's a pleasure, Daryl. Thanks for asking me. Speaking of book clubs, my real one meets on Tues. and I have half a book left to read. What fun on a Sunday afternoon.


  4. What an intriguing recipe, Erika. I wonder if this could be oven-baked, as well. The Cover Story cover is gorgeous!

    1. Hi Linda,
      I think it would also work in the oven and even on the stove top in a skillet. It might need extra liquid in the oven though. Good luck! I'd love to know how that works out.

      Glad you like the cover!


  5. I'm totally making this this week! I