Friday, September 15, 2017

Cozy Food Friday

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

Today I'm featuring 
Book 10 in the Orchard Mysteries
by Sheila Connolly

The New York Times bestselling author of A Gala Event returns with newlyweds Meg and Seth Chapin who should be worried about writing thank you notes, not taking a juicy bite out of crime...
With the bushels of time they spent organizing their wedding, Meg and Seth didn’t have a chance to plan a honeymoon. But now that winter has arrived, there’s not much to do at the orchard. So with their shared love of history and all things apple, they pick Thomas Jefferson’s orchards at Monticello as the perfect getaway.
While they enjoy the beautiful sights, there’s a rotten addition to the agenda when Meg’s parents discover their handyman dead in the backyard. With a bitter police chief eyeing Meg’s father as a suspect, Meg and Seth have to cut their honeymoon short to find the root of the problem.

Includes Delicious Recipes

About Sheila

After collecting too many degrees and exploring careers ranging from art historian to investment banker to professional genealogist, Sheila Connolly began writing in 2001, and has now published over thirty traditional mysteries, including several New York Times bestsellers.

Her series include the Orchard Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), the Museum Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), The County Cork Mysteries (Crooked Lane Books), the Relatively Dead Mysteries (Beyond the Page Press), and beginning in 2018, The Victorian Village Mysteries from St. Martin's Press.

Her first full-length, standalone ebook, Once She Knew, was published in October 2012. 

Connolly has also published a variety of short stories: "Size Matters" appeared in the 2010 Level Best Anthology, Thin Ice; "Called Home," a short prequel to the Orchard series, was published by Beyond the Page in 2011; and "Dead Letters," an e-story featuring the main characters from the Museum series, will be published by Berkley Prime Crime in February 2012. Beyond the Page also published "The Rising of the Moon," and another Level Best anthology includes "Kept in the Dark," which was nominated for both an Agatha award and an Anthony award for 2013.

She is passionate about genealogy, both American and Irish, and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of Mayflower Descendants. She is also an Irish citizen and owns a cottage in West Cork.

She lives in a too-big Victorian in southeastern Massachusetts with her husband and three cats. Find out more about her at her website,


An ambrosia of sweet mystery, I breezed through SEEDS OF DECEPTION and became smitten with this series all over again. 

I’ve been a fan of the Orchard Mysteries since the very beginning after reading book one, ONE BAD APPLE. Trust me, there isn’t a bad apple in this series! Throughout the ten books in this series, author Sheila Connolly has penned amazing characters, visual descriptions that make the reader feel they are watching events rather than reading them, and excellent plots that deliver mystery, action, education, and fun!

While I love all the books in the Orchard Mysteries, I do have favorites, and SEEDS OF DECEPTION is now one of them. Author Connolly has done an incredible job growing this series and this title is proof of that. Ten books in and this story is crisp, fresh and filled with a bushel of intrigue. 

You’re going to want to take a bite out of this golden delicious mystery!

Make sure to check out the tasty recipes at the back of the book when you have your own copy of SEEDS OF DECEPTION!


On to the recipe!

Apple-Cherry-Marzipan Pie
All photos are by and property of Shelia Connolly

8 oz (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 lb plain white flour
1/4 cup white sugar
Pinch of salt
Water (about 5 Tblsp), chilled

   Place the butter and flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the sugar and salt and pulse again.

   Place the water in a cup or pitcher and add slowly until the mixture holds together to form a dough (you may not need all the water, but it shouldn’t be crumbly).

Knead on a floured surface long enough to combine. Wrap it in plastic wrap or put in a plastic ziplock bag and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.


Zest of 1 lemon

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1/3 white sugar
4 Tblsp cornstarch
6 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2” slices (I used the last of my home-grown Cortlands)

7 oz marzipan, cut into small cubes

1 cup dried cherries (or you could substitute cranberries)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

   In a bowl, combine the lemon zest, cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch.

   Flour a board and a rolling pin. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Divide into two portions, one half the size of the other (bottom and top). Roll out the larger piece and fit it into a 9” pie pan (the pastry should overlap generously), pressing it against the sides of the pan. Place in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.

   An aside: this recipe worked better than most of my pie crusts. For a 9” pan, this must be rolled fairly thin, but it held together well and was elastic enough to fit into the pan. When baked, it was nicely crumbly and light. It’s a keeper!

   Arrange a layer of apple slices in the pie dish and sprinkle with the marzipan cubes and cherries. Repeat in layers until the pan is nearly full at the edges and heaped in the middle.

   Roll out the smaller piece of dough to make a lid that fits over the apples. Crimp the edges of the bottom crust over this to seal. Make a hole in the center of the crust to let the steam escape. 

   If you like, beat an egg yolk with a little water and use as a glaze over the crust.

   Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown (test to make sure the apples are soft). If it’s getting too brown after 25 minutes, cover the top with foil to keep the edges from burning.

This pie looks and sounds 
amazing, doesn't it?

A big thank you to author Sheila Connolly for allowing me to lift this from her post at

Sheila has another great apple recipe over at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen today! 
Make sure to check it out!


Please keep reading and check out my 
installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56

Both the BB and 56 are also from


Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.

My Book Beginnings

"Good morning, Mrs. Chapin."

Meg was awaken by the sound of Seth's voice, followed quickly by the smell of coffee. 

"And good morning to you, Mr. Chapin." Meg pried her eyes open. 

My 56

Maybe the toilet seat . . .

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

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clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.


  1. Thanks, Lisa. I sure would like that yummy pie! Happy Friday, to you.

  2. The book and the recipe both sound great. I'm featuring Sleep Like a Baby by Charlaine Harris this week. Happy reading!

  3. I have wanted to read this series for a long time and your review and teaser make me want to push it up my TBR pile.

  4. I love this author's County Cork series, so I'm intrigued to learn about this one. I also love the apple pie!

    Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  5. Thanks for sharing your review and the recipe Lisa.

  6. I have been working on her Relatively Dead series and need to try another one and this look like a good one. :)

  7. Sounds like a series I need to read, and I love that pie recipe. It looks amazeballs!! Happy weekend!

  8. This book sounds really good! I need to check this series out. That pie looks delicious! Thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Your 56 has me curious! I am also drooling over that pie! It is a perfect recipe for apple season. Thanks so much for sharing it. :)

  10. A great write-up on Sheila. Wonderful recipe also. Thank you, Lisa.

  11. I've been bumping into this book a lot recently. Sounds like fun to me. And pie! I love pie. Once dreamed of opening a pie cafe.

    My Friday 56 for From The Grave

  12. Those cosy mysteries always have such cute covers!

  13. Oh my gosh, that 56 made me laugh and there is absolutely zero context. That pie looks divine as well. Happy weekend!

  14. Oh, the pie looks amazing. I've never heard of adding marizan to pie, but I am sure I'd love it. I rarely have it but love it when I do. Glad you found a book you could fall in love with, again. i hate rereading books and finding I don't like them anymore.