Sunday, April 30, 2017

Welcome our guest Hannah Dennison + book #giveaway!

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British transplant Hannah Dennison is the author of The Vicky Hill Mysteries (Constable Crime) and The Honeychurch Hall Mysteries (Minotaur), both set in the wilds of the Devonshire countryside. Hannah originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting. She has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. Hannah has served on numerous judging committees for Mystery Writers of America and is currently serving on the MWA board for 2016-2018. 

Now living in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two insane Vizsla dogs, Hannah’s heart remains in England. She is a passionate supporter of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Historic Houses Association, and the National Trust. She enjoys all country pursuits, movies, theater and seriously good chocolate. 

Don't miss Hannah's giveaway below!

Lemon Drizzle Cake (Without The Drizzle)

It’s great to be back at Mystery Lover's Kitchen once again. 

I hope your readers will enjoy the recipe for my quintessentially English Lemon Drizzle Cake—although the moment my American husband spied it cooling in the kitchen he asked, “Where is the frosting?”  He has a good point. If you make this cake the traditional old-fashioned way, there is no frosting. But of course you can always sprinkle it with confectioners sugar (we call it “Icing Sugar” in the UK) or even whip up some sugar, butter and a tiny bit of milk to make a buttercream frosting if that’s what suits your fancy.

I picked Lemon Drizzle Cake in honor of Jane Wynne, who owns Dundridge Stables in Harberton, Devon. That’s the setting for Iris Stanford’s carriage house that is featured in The Honeychurch Hall Mysteries. Jane invited me to tea and baked the most delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake, and I’ve never forgotten it.

I have to say however, that the recipe here comes from Warren Williams, a fellow Brit whose fabulous technique ensures that the lemon syrup soaks into the cake itself, which is why this one really does not need any frosting. Yum!

Ingredients for the cake
6oz self-raising flour (it really is available in the USA if you look)
1 level tsp. of baking powder
6oz of softened butter
6oz of caster sugar (i.e. superfine, not powdered)
3 medium eggs
2 tbsp. of semi-skimmed milk
The finely grated rind of 3 lemons—must be finely grated

Ingredients for the Lemon syrup
The juice of 3 lemons, strained
4oz of caster sugar (i.e. superfine, not powdered)

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, add the remaining cake ingredients and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. I cheated and used my Cuisinart.

 Spoon the mixture into a greased and base-lined 2lb loaf tin. You really want to line it with parchment paper otherwise the cake can stick to the bottom and it will be hard to get out.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C or 350F for 1 hour or until cooked. You’ll know when it’s done when the cake seems to come away from the sides of the tin.

Keep the cake in the tin to cool whilst you make the syrup. Basically you’re just going to gently warm the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.

Next, use a skewer to pierce the top of the cake (still in the loaf tin) with deep holes. Pour the warm syrup over whilst the cake is still warm. Let it cool in the tin. This helps keep the syrup in the cake until it has all cooled down.

Turn out onto a wire tray.

When completely cool, slice and serve.

I had planned on garnishing my effort but the moment my back was turned … my husband cut a slice.


Remember to line the pan with parchment paper.


I am offering  a trade paperback of DEADLY DESIRES AT HONEYCHURCH HALL, 
the first Honeychurch Hall mystery, to one commenter. Leave your email so I can get in touch!  And tell me, do you enjoy history or mysteries set in historical places?

Learn more about Hannah on her website, and follow her on all her social media places!




  1. Yes I do! It makes it seem real to me.I love learning as I read the story. Thank you for the chance to win a awesome sounding

    1. I loved studying history in school. It's fun to incorporate historical facts in my writing. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  2. I definitely enjoy reading history and mystery books set in historical places - makes the plot that much more engaging and fun to read!

    1. It's also fun researching --there is so much available on the Internet now too. Thanks for entering!

  3. I actually enjoy both history and mysteries set in historical places; stories are so much more fun to read and interesting. Thanks for the chance :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  4. Historical fiction, mysteries are always welcome. Love to read. Love the recipe as well. Lemon is another of our favorite flavors. For those who need self-rising flour, it is cheaper to make your own 1 cup of all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon fine salt. Thank you so much for the heads up on a new author and read Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

    1. Dee, I didn't know about making your own self-rising flour. Thanks for the tip! ~ Daryl

    2. This is a terrific tip. It's not always easy to find SF flour. Thanks!

  5. Hi Hannah!

    I will definitely be baking this cake in the very near future (it looks so yummy that I won't be able to wait long, so it'll probably be this week!!!). :-)

    I do enjoy mysteries set in historical settings, and love your Honeychurch Hall series - so much so that I already have all of the books so please don't enter me into the drawing!

    Happy Sunday!
    Nicole :-)

    1. Ha, Nicole, you and me both. I have all the books. Love the series. Like minds. ~ Daryl

    2. It was great to meet you yesterday at Malice Nicole!

  6. I'm excited to learn about a new series. Yes, I do enjoy mysteries set in a historical setting. They add a lot to the scenario and the characters. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

  7. I love mysteries or any book that is set in a historical place. I guess that is why I majored in history at college and teach it at the community college.

    1. If I had my life again, I would definitely study history at college. The older I am the more I really want to learn!

  8. Your cake looks great! I hope to give it a try.

    I enjoy history somewhat, but don't have a particular fondness for mysteries set in historical locations. I will read them, but that setting doesn't particularly help draw me in.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a book - I havent has the pleasure to read any of your works thus far. Michelle_english_major(at)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Michelle. It's always interesting to me to know what draws a reader to a book - especially if they are unfamiliar with the series.

    2. Michelle, you've won the giveaway (by random number selector). I'll put you and Hannah together by email. Congrats. ~ Daryl

  9. I do enjoy mysteries set in historical locations, makes them more real. Thanks for the chance to win.

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment. Settings fascinate me in whatever genre.

  10. I enjoy both mystery and mystery set in historical places. Love recipes of different dessert.

    1. I LOVE desserts of any kind :) Thanks for stopping by.

  11. I love history, historical mysteries and fiction. Thanks for the chance.