Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Perfect Autumn Dessert and a #Giveaway

We at MLK are delighted to welcome a return visit from Vicki Delany, who brings us a delightful apple recipe.

In A Scandal in Scarlet, the fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery, Jayne Wilson, head baker at Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, puts on a cream tea to help raise money to restore Scarlet House, the West London Museum, after the old house is devastated in a fire.


Jayne loves cooking and baking and doing her bit to help out. Her business partner, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop next door at 222 Baker Street, not so much. It’s not that Gemma doesn’t support local causes and give generously to charity. She’d just rather not have to do it from inside a kitchen. Any kitchen. 
But the game is afoot and the silent auction cream tea is underway.

They don’t serve anything like this apple crisp at Mrs. Hudson’s, as Jayne is very much a proponent of traditional afternoon tea.  But for the home cook, it’s almost the perfect fall dessert. Quick and easy and very tasty.



Vicki Delany’s Apple Crisp





8 apples – locally picked are always better

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes (about 1/4 - 1/2 inch)
1 tsp cinnamon – plus more for top




Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Place apples in buttered baking dish.







Combine flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Pour flour mixture over the applies. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon for some colour.







Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until topping is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream. 




A Scandal in Scarlet is the fourth in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by National Bestselling author Vicki Delany.  Available November 13 from Crooked Lane Books. 

Here's a sample from A Scandal in Scarlet:


“I hope you understand,” Jayne said, “that I can’t manage a full afternoon tea in July for the numbers you expect. It’s the height of the season.” She waved her hand to indicate the tea room. “We open at seven in the summer and by four o’clock my staff and I want to drop where we’re standing.”

Jocelyn brought us a selection of tea sandwiches and pastries. One of the benefits of being part owner of a tea room is that I get to indulge in the leftovers.

“The cream tea your mother and I discussed will be fine,” Kathy said. 


Jayne nodded. “We can prepare scones ahead of time, right, Gemma?”


I dared, perhaps foolishly, to hope that ‘we’ didn’t include ‘me’. “Right,” I said. 


“With only two choices of tea,” Jayne said. “English breakfast plus a decaffeinated option, things won’t get too complicated.”


“That way attendees can concentrate on what’s important,” Leslie Wilson said. “Bidding at auction.” 


“Are you getting some good things?” Jayne asked.


“Oh, yes,” Leslie said. “Everyone has been so generous.”


“Almost everyone,” Kathy muttered.


Jayne and I exchanged glances. 


“People have donated what they can afford, and that’s all I expect,” Kathy said. “Only one person flatly said no to my face.”


“Maureen won’t help at all?” I asked. 


Kathy gave me that look. The one people get when they think I’ve read their mind. I don’t read minds. I simply observe.


And yesterday I had observed Kathy coming out of Beach Fine Arts, located across the street from me at 221 Baker Street. It had been a gorgeous Cape Cod summer day, but a personal thundercloud might have hung over Kathy’s head as she marched out of the store and down the street. 


Maureen Macgregor, proprietor, followed her out and stood in the doorway watching Kathy tapping her foot angrily as she waited for the light at the intersection to change. Nothing out of the normal had been visible on Maureen’s face. Her expression of sneering disapproval was so fixed, it was likely Maureen slept with it. Community spirit was not her strongest point. She didn’t bother to decorate the street in front of her shop with flowers or potted plants, but instead she dragged them over from the adjoining properties under cover of darkness. 


“She had the nerve to tell me she doesn’t see why she should be out the price of one of her goods because the museum was foolish enough to try to burn itself down.” Fire blazed in Kathy’s eyes at the memory. “As if she and her store aren’t a part of this community.” 


I selected a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich, my favorite. 


“Speak of the devil,” Jayne said. “Incoming.”



Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.  

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards. 


Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany 


Vicki is offering a copy of A Scandal in Scarlet to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment below to enter. 


62 comments:

  1. I'm behind in the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore mysteries. I need to read Cat of the Baskervilles and will be doing so soon. A Scandal in Scarlet sounds like another great tale in the series. And, I'll be trying the Apple Crisp recipe. Yum!

    Reply