Sunday, September 10, 2017

Vicki Delany’s Strawberry Cake, as Served in Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room #bookgiveaway



Today we're delighted to welcome back guest blogger Vicki Delany, author of the popular new Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, the most recent being Body on Baker Street. She's giving away a hardcover copy so be sure to enter the draw! Here's a teaser of what's happening in this book:


Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table—dead.

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.



Renalta Van Markoff, author of the hugely popular, and highly controversial, Hudson and Holmes mystery series, is about to pay a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and   Emporium, located at 222 Baker Street, West London, Massachusetts. 

Almost everyone is thrilled, including shop owner Gemma Doyle and head baker Jayne Wilson. They’re hoping book lovers will engage in a frenzy of shopping after the author talk, and then pop into Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room next door at number 220 for afternoon tea.


After all, as the author explains:
“I try to have at least one scene involving afternoon tea in each of my books. It gives Desdemona and Sherlock a chance to get together and talk over what they’ve learned.”

I refrained from mentioning that I couldn’t imagine Sherlock Holmes, man of action, pipe tobacco, and lover of a seven percent solution, enjoying a cream tea.
                                                      Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany

Who isn’t thrilled about the author’s visit? Prominent and dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris who insists that Van Markoff’s books are an insult to Sir Arthur Conon Doyle and his greatest creation. Will Donald create a scene at the book signing?  Will afternoon tea be cancelled? Will Jayne’s strawberry cake go to waste?

Will Gemma once again have to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man?

This strawberry cake will be perfect for serving at your next afternoon tea get together. Or even just dessert with your family.


INGREDIENTS
·         6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
·         1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
·         1 large egg
·         1/2 cup milk
·         1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
·         1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved



DIRECTIONS
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. 

S-  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

2.    Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.


3.      Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. 



4.      Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.



5.     Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges.

Cake can be served with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh strawberries on the side.



You could win a hardcover copy of Body on Baker Street. Just leave a comment and be sure to include your email address. A random draw will be made for the winner after tomorrow at 5 PM EDT. US and Canada entries, please.