Sunday, August 3, 2014

Welcome Janet Cantrell!

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Janet Cantrell to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Daryl, Peg, and I go way back with Janet. All the way back to the days when we were hopeful that we might be published some day. So it's a special treat to announce that Janet is writing the Fat Cat Mysteries. The first book, FAT CAT AT LARGE, debuts September 2nd. 

And now, here's Janet!

Quincy and the Hula Bars

When Anna Larson, co-owner of the Bar None dessert bar shop, decides to invent a new recipe, Chase Oliver, the other co-owner, and Julie Larson, Anna’s granddaughter and Chase’s best friend, gather at Chase’s apartment above the shop to sample them.

Going by the ingredients, Anna called them Pineapple Walnut Dream Bars. All three agree they are delicious, but that the name is cumbersome. Sipping chamomile tea on the balcony after their dinner and dessert sampling, a new name is coined by Julie, the lawyer in the bunch: Hula Bars. It is accepted unanimously and Chase tells Julie to take the rest of them home with her.

However, Hula Bars have another big fan. Quincy, Chase’s butterscotch tabby cat. Quincy has been deemed overweight by Dr. Ramos, his new veterinarian. Consequently, he is on a restricted diet and hence always hungry!

Julie comes in from the balcony to find the boxed up leftovers on the floor and suspicious crumbs on Quincy’s long whiskers.

“What am I going to do with you, Fat Cat?” Chase says as she picks up the mangled treats and dumps them in the trash. She then makes sure to give Quincy a cuddle so he won’t feel too bad. After all, if she were on a strict diet, she’d be hungry all the time, too.

Later, Quincy’s ravenous appetite leads both him and Chase into a much worse adventure.

Here’s the recipe for Hula Bars, a taste of Hawaii, no matter where you are.


Oven: 375

Yield: 36 small dessert bar squares or 18 dessert bars



1/2 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract


2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/3 cups (1 package) walnut chips
1/2 cup dried pineapple
1/2 cup coconut, lightly packed


1/4 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Spray Pam on sides and bottom of 8x8 baking pan.

Melt the margarine. You can use a glass measuring cup and the microwave.

In a smallish to medium bowl, stir together brown sugar and flour. Stir in the margarine and extracts. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

When the oven is preheated, bake the crust for 15 minutes.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until frothy.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, baking powder, extracts, and salt. Stir this into the eggs.

Mix in the walnuts, pineapple, and coconut. Spoon this over the crust and return the pan to the oven.

Bake 20-25 more minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Cut into 36 bite-sized squares or 18 bars. Put them on a preparation plate and dust with powdered sugar. Transfer to serving plate or storage container.

Pre-order FAT CAT AT LARGE at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your favorite independent bookstore. You may also want to enter the Goodreads Giveaway and win one of the 25 copies available.

Better yet, you could win a copy by leaving a comment here today. Janet doesn't have the books in her hands yet, but she'll ship a copy of FAT CAT AT LARGE to one lucky person as soon as she has the books. Leave a comment with your email address to enter! (Krista's note: It has finally come to our attention that some of our subscribers don't see the posts until the following day. So please leave your comment by midnight Wednesday.)

Please check out Janet Cantrell’s website and blog:


  1. Sounds like a great dessert! And the start of a great series. Fat Cat At Large definitely added to my TBR list.


  2. Congrats on the new series Janet! Love your Fat Cat:)

  3. The recipe sounds delicious and the series sounds like a lot of fun. Looking forward to reading it!

  4. Janet, congratulations on the new series and love the cover. The dessert sounds yummy.

  5. Thanks for the very nice words! The dessert IS yummy and was perfected through several tastings by my church choir. I'll warn you, though, that it isn't extremely...solid. Maybe if you chilled it, it would stay together. Otherwise, use lots of napkins or a spoon.

  6. I cannot wait to read this book! And this dessert sounds delicious! Thank you for the chance to win!

  7. This sounds like a very good dessert and book.

  8. Oh, I can't wait to read this! I love the illustration on the cover. Thank you so much for the chance to win the book. :)
    Victoria Noble

  9. These sound great. I wish I had some now although I doubt they are a breakfast food.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  10. LOL, Linda! They ARE called dessert bars, but I'll bet it wouldn't hurt to have one for breakfast once or twice.

    I love the enthusiasm and agree that the cover artist did a wonderful job!

  11. I love pineapple---I've got to try these bars. YUM!! Also, thanks for the contest---I love to read a good mystery.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. A new series and a yummy recipe! Can't beat that....

  14. Delectable bars. What a wonderful book and feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  15. Congrats on your new series. I like the cute book cover too. Love the ingredients in the recipe. Definitely will have to try these bars. :)
    elisanabby at gmail dot com

  16. Congratulations, Janet! I always love hearing about a new mystery series. "Fat Cat at Large" sounds very interesting; it's going on my TBR list right away.

  17. Congratulations on your release and series. This is a delightful post. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  18. Oh, my. I do think i'd be in Quincy's paws with this one. Thanks for the recipe, Janet! Sounds like a perfect choice for a work party, where everyone can have one and there will be no tempting leftovers to take home.
    Geek (at) murraylearning . com

  19. I love dessert and have my own fat ginger cat named Buster, so this sounds like my kind of mystery!
    sandysheley (at) gmail . com

  20. The Fat Cat Mysteries sounds delightful! I can't wait to read it. Thank you for the Hula Bars recipe. It looks yummy. :)

  21. Congrats, Janet! So excited for the release of this book. Just ordered my copy. :)

    Hugs and much success,

    Daryl aka Avery

  22. Great giveaway. I have an orange tabby, Odin who is the spitting image of the one on your cover.

  23. That looks like a great new series!!!!

  24. Really want to read this book. Love the cover.

  25. Looks great! Love the kitty on the cover.

  26. Awesome interview. Book sounds great and love the recipe. pp92596 at outlook dot com

  27. Such lovely, lovely comments! Thanks so much! Don't forget to leave your email address if you'd like to enter the running for a free copy.

  28. I love the title, I have a fat cat, although I think half of his is fur, LOL. The bars look yummy, thanks for the recipe and the chance to win.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

  29. They look really moist.
    I have a cat that will attack any baked good, sweet or not. All cooling foods go into the master bathroom for safety!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  30. Janet here--finally! I want to thank my very good friend, Kaye, for filling in for me. I'm loving all these comments and entries!

  31. So happy for you! Your other books are a favorite part of my cozy mystery collection and I am looking forward to more!

  32. Love finding new series to add to my TBR list, especially those with cats involved. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! kuzlin(at)aol(dot)com

  33. Great!! A new series and I love them to include four footed sweeties. Cant wait for this one to come out!!

  34. Oh I can tell The Fat Cat Series is going to be great! Hula Bars sound yummy too!! I've just started THE DIVA WRAPS IT UP...loving it!!! Thanks for all you do, Ladies!!

  35. Sounds like a news series that I will enjoy. Very tempted to make the Hula bars before our granddaughter visits as she loves pineapple!

  36. I love the cover & will definitely try the recipe! Thank you for sharing!! Can't wait to start this new series!!

  37. thank you for the recipe!! I will definitely pass it along to family & friends!!
    also thank you for the book giveaway!!! looking forward to reading it!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  38. Quincy looks so much like my now-departed Boychik. I'm looking forward to this series!

    teenlibn at hotmail dot com