Friday, June 25, 2021


Today I'm joining 
Berkley Mystery
 in celebrating the release of  
Book 3 in the Alaskan Diner Mysteries
by Elizabeth Logan
(Camille Minichino)

When a local prize-winning farmer is murdered at the state fair, Charlie Cook gets called in to help investigate, but she’s shocked to learn the victim is a friend in this latest installment in the Alaskan Diner Mysteries.

Charlie Cooke loves many things, like the Bear Claw Diner, the heated steering wheel of her car, and her orange tabby cat Eggs Benedict. Something she has never loved is the state fair. So when her best friend Annie Jensen begs her for a fair day, she’s reluctant.  But Annie isn’t the only one who wants her to spend a day among farm animals and deep fried food. A vendor has been murdered, and Trooper Graham needs his favorite part-time sleuth to dig up the truth, and Charlie is happy to oblige.

The case grows personal when Charlie learns the victim is Kelly Carson, whom she and Annie were friends with in high school. If Charlie wants to find justice for Kelly, she and Annie will have to work together to weed out the killer.

Elizabeth Logan/Camille Minichino -- June 2021

When stories are set around a diner, recipes are a given. The Alaskan Diner Mysteries, featuring the Bear Claw Diner, are no exception.

The Bear Claw sits on a road that’s as busy as it ever gets in Alaska, on the Parks Highway, between Anchorage and Denali National Park. While its owner, Charlie Cooke, is often busy investigating homicides, her staff takes off on adventures in the kitchen, whipping up off-menu items from appetizers to desserts.

In “Murphy’s Slaw,” the third book in the series by Elizabeth Logan, Chef Victor (coincidentally) lands on one of my favorite desserts: Boston Cream Pie, the official Massachusetts State Dessert.

The not-quite-a-pie but more-than-a-cake treat originated at a famous Boston hotel nearly two hundred years ago. A native of Boston, I like to spout trivia about it now and then. I often put words in Victor’s mouth, like the fact that the world’s largest BCP was displayed at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in 2005: 16 feet in diameter, including 1,300 pounds of cake, 800 pounds of filling, and 500 pounds of chocolate frosting.

That could keep me happy for approximately the rest of my life!

“It weighed more than a ton,” Victor tells us, doing the math.

Here’s the recipe for a more normal size BCP.

This is a three-part dessert, but well worth the time and effort.


photo property of Camilla Minichino

Cake Layers


2 eggs

2 cup cake flour

1 cup sugar

2 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Filling


1 ½ cup milk

2 tsp cornstarch

¼ cup sugar

Pinch salt

1 egg

1 T vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting


¼ cup water

2 T sugar

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips


Cake Layers Directions

 Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans or line bottoms with waxed paper.

For the cake layers: Separate eggs; place whites in a small bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl with an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Very gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Add egg yolks, oil and 1/2 cup milk to flour mixture. With electric mixer, beat until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add remaining 1/2 cup milk and vanilla. Beat just until combined. Fold beaten egg whites into batter. Divide batter into prepared pans.

Bake cake 20 to 25 minutes or until centers spring back when gently pressed. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen cakes around edges and turn out onto racks. Cool completely.

Cream Filling Directions

In a 1-quart saucepan, heat 1 cup milk to boiling. In cup or small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup milk, cornstarch, sugar, pinch salt, egg and vanilla until blended.

When milk comes to boiling, gradually stir in cornstarch mixture with wire whisk. Return to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute or until thickened to pudding consistency. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Chocolate Frosting Directions

In 1-quart saucepan, heat water and sugar to boiling.

Add chocolate chips. Stir until glaze is smooth.

Remove from heat. Cool 5 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.


To assemble, place one cake layer, upside down, on a serving plate.

Spread with cream filling.

Top with remaining cake layer, right side up.

Spoon glaze over top; spread to edges of cake.

Refrigerate until frosting appears set.

This recipe serves 8, generously. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Logan is the pseudonym for a longtime mystery writer who has published series with Berkley and Minotaur. She grew up about a mile from Revere Beach, Massachusetts, the setting for her Periodic Table Mysteries. Like her amateur sleuth, Gloria Lamerino, she has a Ph.D. in physics and has had a long career in research and teaching. She also writes the Miniature Mysteries as Margaret Grace, the Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries as Ada Madison, and the Postmistress Mysteries as Jean Flowers.

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  1. Thank you for bringing "MURPHY'S SLAW" by Elizabeth Logan to the forefront of my attention. Can't wait for the opportunity to read this wonderful sounding book.

    Reading the recipe for BOSTON CREAM PIE made my mouth water. I will be trying this recipe.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Hello, Kay! Camille (Elizabeth) is a wonderful writer! Let me know if you make the pie!

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Lisa! I'd love to know if any of your readers tried this BCP!
    CAMILLE/aka Elizabeth Logan

    1. It's my pleasure, Camille! You're an amazing write, and the sweetest person!

  3. loved the first book in this series....can't wait to get to the next one!