Sunday, September 23, 2018

Perfect Pumpkin Bread and HAUNTED BOOKSHOP #GIVEAWAY from Cleo Coyle

We usually have a guest on Sunday, but this week is a very special one for us because, after nearly ten years, we're finally making our ghost reappear!

That's right, JACK IS BACK, which makes him our special guest today as we count down the hours to the official release of our brand new Haunted Bookshop Mystery: The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller

For those of you who've never read our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, we hope you'll give this new one a try. Though it's the sixth book, you won't have any trouble jumping in. We always introduce our characters with enough backstory so that new readers can join in the fun without feeling lost...

GIVEAWAY #1 -- Leave a comment on this post
for a chance to win a signed copy of Cleo Coyle's
brand new Haunted Bookshop Mystery:
and the "Jack is Back!" tote bag.

To pre-order Cleo's book
or learn more click here.


Congrats to the winner
of this post's giveaway...

Sandy G.!

"Jack and Pen are a terrific duo who prove
that love can transcend anything." 

—The Mystery Reader 


Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure didn't believe in ghosts, until she was haunted by the hard-boiled spirit of 1940s private investigator Jack Shepard. Now Jack is back on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful... 

After an elegant new customer has a breakdown in her shop, Penelope suspects there is something bogus behind the biggest bestseller of the year. This popular potboiler is so hot that folks in her tiny Rhode Island town are dying to read it--literally. First one customer turns up dead, followed by another mysterious fatality connected to the book, which Pen discovers is more than just fiction. Now, with the help of her gumshoe ghost, Pen must solve the real-life cold case behind the bogus bestseller before the killer closes the book on her.

GIVEAWAY #2 -- For a chance to win this signed
set of all 6 Haunted Bookshop Mysteries,
visit our "Cozy Wednesday" guest blog post
by clicking here or on the image above.

Click for free checklist of Cleo Coyle's
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries in order!

Now for today's recipe!

Since Jack (our PI ghost) is our Sunday guest of honor, and Jack-O'-Lantern season is just around the corner, we're sharing one of our favorite fall recipes...


Perfect Pumpkin Bread

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

A Note from Cleo

Cinnamon and nutmeg are traditional in pumpkin bread, but our recipe also layers in earthy-sweet maple syrup and brown sugar. Both combine with the vanilla to create a delightful note of caramel. 

To quote our coffeehouse manager and amateur sleuth Clare Cosi, "The trick to baking up an excellent quick bread is not unlike the secret to a good relationship: keep the structure strong enough to prevent it all from falling apart—without sacrificing tenderness." Marc and I work on that delicate balance every day, just as our character Clare does with her new fiance, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn. 

Click here to see more recipes
As for this pumpkin bread, our readers may recognize it from our recent bestselling Coffeehouse Mystery DEAD COLD BREW. To see more recipes from the book, click here.

The bread bakes up wonderfully with great structure as well as layers of delicious flavor. It's perfect for gifting, too. May you eat with joy!

~ Cleo


To download a free PDF
of this recipe that you
can print, save, or
share, click here

Click for free Recipe PDF.

Cleo Coyle's
Perfect Pumpkin Bread

Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf 


2 extra-large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed and free of lumps!
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
1½ cups pumpkin puree* (most of a 15-ounce can)
2 cups all-purpose flour
(optional) ½ cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

*Pumpkin puree can be homemade or canned. If using canned, be sure to use 100% pureed pumpkin and not “pumpkin pie filling.”


Step 1—Make Batter: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Coat bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease the pan with oil or butter. With a fork or whisk, beat eggs in a mixing bowl. Whisk in oil, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Whisk in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Finally, whisk in the pumpkin puree and blend well. Switching to a rubber spatula (or spoon), stir in flour until a lumpy batter forms. Be sure all the raw flour is well incorporated into the batter, but do not overmix. If adding nuts, fold in now. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Even off the top and bang the pan a few times on the counter (to remove air bubbles). Allow the pan to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes before baking.

Step 2—Bake: After about 50 minutes baking in your well-preheated 350° F oven, test for doneness by inserting a toothpick deep into the center of the bread. If it comes out with wet batter clinging to it, place aluminum foil over the top of the pan to prevent overbrowning and continue baking 5 minutes at a time, testing until toothpick comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Step 3—Cool and slice: Bread should cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. If your pan is nonstick, it should come out easily. Otherwise, run a knife around the pan edges. Before slicing, cool bread for another 15 minutes or you may risk crumbling the slices. Slice gently using a serrated knife. Delicious plain or with a spread of butter or whipped cream cheese.

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

Learn more about us here.
Friend us on facebook here.
Follow us on twitter here.
Visit our online coffeehouse here.

Our NEW Coffeehouse Mystery!

Mystery Pick of the Month! --Library Journal

Amazon * B&N

IndieBound * BAM


"A gripping and entertaining mystery"
--Library Journal (Starred Review) 
"Penetrating insights" --Kirkus Reviews 
"Sure to delight" --Publishers Weekly


This culinary mystery includes
25 delicious recipes! To get the
Free Recipe Guide,
 click here.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
17 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


The prim bookseller and
hardboiled ghost team up again
to catch a cunning killer in...

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller

On Sale September 25

"He is hardboiled in the tradition
of Philip Marlowe, and she is a genteel
Miss Marple; yet the two opposites
make an explosive combination..."

—Midwest Book Review

Cleo is now working
on her next book!

Don't miss her news...

To sign up for Cleo Coyle's
Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter
and get the latest news on
Cleo's books, 
bonus recipe,
fun giveaways!


Congrats to the winner
of this post's giveaway...

Sandy G.!


  1. Congratulations on the upcoming book release of "Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller" I can't wait to try your pumpkin bread recipe.
    Looks like it would go perfect with a cup of hot cider.
    Thanks for sharing . Myndirene (at) .Yahoo (com)

  2. I love all of your books and I hope to catch up on this series! I am baking today, so I will be using this recipe for my pumpkin bread 😊
    Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  3. This series sounds like a lot of fun !
    Donah42 at aol dot com

  4. Thanks for this intriguing mystery and wonderful giveaway which I would enjoy greatly. The pumpkin recipe is so enticing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. Welcome back, Jack! We've missed you. That pumpkin bread sounds good, nice and rich. Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. What a great series and Jack is back. Terrific. Love your delectable recipe. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  7. I'm looking forward to catching up with Jack in your new release "The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller". I don't think I'm alone in bemoaning what seems to be a beheading of a favorite series. So happy to see Jack back and hoping for more of Jack.
    evensonpaul at hotmail dot com.

  8. Mmm! Pumpkin break and cozy reads for Fall!����

  9. I love pumpkin bread... thanks for sharing your recipe! So excited to read The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller and find out what's new with Pen & Jack! Congrats on the upcoming release!! picard1900 (at) gmail . com

  10. I have a lot to anticipate since I’ve not read Jack and Pen before!

  11. FINALLY!! can't wait to read!! Thanks

  12. I've got the whiskey ready for a toast with Jack.
    SO glad he's back. And Penn, too, of course.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  13. Welcome back Jack. The recipe sounds delightful, especially now that fall is here. I'm cooking up a special recipe for Jack myself!

  14. I used to bake pumpkin bread but haven't done so in a long time. I do love to eat it. I love books featuring bookshops and a haunted one looks even better.

  15. I LOVE this series, and I am so glad Jack and Penelope are back! I pre-ordered the book, and can't wait to get and read it! I would love an autographed copy to keep and treasure, and the tote is awesome! Thank you for this chance! areewekidding(at)

  16. I'm excited for the new Pen & Jack story! And I love pumpkin bread!

  17. I can't wait to read this series! I like the haunted bookshop setting and I'm looking forward to learning more about Jack.

  18. Jack's back!
    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  19. I promise if Jack shows up here, that pumpkin bread will be served! After a hot summer, it will be heavenly to be in a cozy kitchen baking up a storm like this treat! Thanks for another rock star recipe and book!

  20. I have read and cooked my way through all your books. Drunk gallons of coffee *at* Claire's coffee shop ... Forever a fan ...