Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sweet Zombies

A very warm welcome to our friend, Janet Bolin. Janet writes the Threadville Mysteries. Set in Pennsylvania, Threadville is a charming town dedicated to the sewing arts. It's the place to go for fabric, threads, embroidery threads, quilting supplies, buttons and bows, and and occasional murder!

And now, Janet!

Thank you, Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, for inviting me to post again. Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen is one of my favorite blogs—and I tend to look here first when I need a recipe.

My fourth Threadville Mystery, NIGHT OF THE LIVING THREAD, comes out on June 3.  When Daryl Wood Gerber AKA Avery Aames suggested the title, I knew I had to use it. Thank you Daryl/Avery!

Living thread?” How can embroidery thread be alive?

It can’t, but it can glow in the dark and tremble in the breezes and appear to move around by itself. And if that isn’t freaky enough, NIGHT OF THE LIVING THREAD also involves ancient Egyptian curses, a wedding, a craft fair, and people dressing up like zombies and scaring the folks of Threadville. It’s all good fun until one of the craft fair participants is actually killed by a “killer” wedding gown, and the bride becomes a suspect...

That’s when our intrepid machine embroider, Willow, and her Threadville friends, helped and hindered by the bride’s outspoken mother, decide it’s time to figure out who really killed the victim. The gown couldn’t have acted by itself. Willow and the Threadville gang have to snoop in the rooms of their houseguests and creep through a haunted graveyard (styled after the Evans City Cemetery, which is not far from Threadville, and where scenes of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD were filmed) to unmask a killer.

In honor of the launch of NIGHT OF THE LIVING THREAD, I created this recipe. Beware. These cookies aren’t genteel like gingerbread men, which include other spices and molasses to temper the ginger. These zombies contain lots of ginger. They might bite back.


Adapted from the recipe on the back of my Undead Fred cookie cutter package


3 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat to give my zombies icky-looking skin—if you’re going to frost the cookies and/or are not fond of the taste or sturdy texture of whole wheat flour, substitute white flour for all or part of it.)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

3/4 cup butter (you could use up to 1 cup), room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup chopped candied ginger

2 large eggs

1 heaping tablespoon ginger paste

Skim milk (about 1/2 cup)


Stir flour, baking soda, and ground ginger together with a whisk or a fork.

With your mixer, cream sugar and butter. My butter wasn’t warm enough, so I made little butter tombstones and stood them in the sugar to speed the warming. And you need tombstones to create proper zombies, right?

Beat in eggs, candied ginger, and ginger paste until well blended.

Add flour mixture and stir at low speed until blended.

Add milk and blend at low speed until dough will stick together. Don’t let it become soggy.

Divide dough in half.

Roll out to about 1/4 inch between sheets of parchment paper.

Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

Peel off parchment paper and place dough on floured surface. Cut out.

Bake on silicone baking pad for about 20 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool. These become more gingery after a day...

Those who are good at decorating cookies, please go wild.

Sweet and buttery graveyard.
The right consistency.
Ready to cut.

Zombie Apocalypse!

The first three Threadville Mysteries are DIRE THREADS, THREADED FOR TROUBLE, and THREAD AND BURIED. Janet’s working on the fifth one, SEVEN THREADLY SINS.

In addition to reading, writing, and walking dogs, Janet’s hobbies include sewing, knitting, and machine embroidery, including using software and killer (!) sewing machines to create original embroidery designs.


Janet is giving away a copy of 
Please leave a comment to enter! 


  1. Love the cookie cutters, but I would use our old family recipe instead of ginger bread - it is anise flavored. ;) Love your books

    1. Yum, anise cookies would be great, Liz!

  2. Zombie shaped cookies would be a BIG hit with all the greatgrandkids, as would your latest book be with me! Great series.

  3. Janet, these cookies are too adorable! And I agree, you've got a perfect title:). Best of luck with the new book--looking forward to June 3!

    1. Thanks, Roberta. Daryl/Avery comes up with great titles!