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Holiday Book Giveaway, Day 1: Leslie Meier/'Christmas Carol Murder' (w/ recipe)

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On this, the first day of our annual Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza, Hartford Books Examiner will be giving away a copy of Leslie Meier’s new Lucy Stone mystery, Christmas Carol Murder. For your chance to win, simply email HBE at HartfordBooksExaminer@aol.com by no later than this evening, December 18th, at 11:59 PM EST and include “Giveaway” in the subject line. One recipient will be selected at random.

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Today, Hartford Books Examiner offers season’s greetings to Leslie Meier.

Ms. Meier is the acclaimed author of the Lucy Stone mysteries, the most recent of which, Christmas Carol Murder (Kensington, $25.00), was published in October. She draws heavily upon her experience as a mother and former reporter for various weekly newspapers on Cape Cod for her books. Though classified as cozies, they have also been called “comedies of manners”—and the author admittedly enjoys expressing her views on contemporary American life through her fiction. She has also written for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Ms. Meier makes her home in Harwich, Massachusetts.

Christmas Carol Murder is the twentieth novel to feature Meier’s venerable protagonist. Library Journal noted, “Longtime Lucy Stone series readers will be happy to catch up on life in Tinker’s Cove in this cozy Christmas mystery” while Publisher’s Weekly praised the book for its “engaging” plot and “satisfying conclusion.”

From the publisher:

It's Christmas in Tinker's Cove, Maine, and Lucy Stone is excited about her acting debut in the town's production of A Christmas Carol. But a real life Scrooge has everyone feeling frosty, and with a murderer on the loose, Lucy will have to unwrap her sleuthing skills faster than she can say, "Bah! Humbug!"

Lucy normally loves planning for the holidays, but this year, Tinker's Cove has fallen on hard times. With so many residents struggling to make ends meet, Christmas festivities are a luxury some can't afford. But the story's not so bleak at Downeast Mortgage, whose tightfisted owners, Jake Marlowe and Ben Scribner, are raking in profits from everyone's misfortune. Half the town is in their debt, so when the miserly Marlowe is murdered, the mourners are few and the suspects are many. . .

It's hard to feel merry amidst all the yuletide chaos. Between her reporting duties at the Pennysaver and nightly rehearsals for the Christmas play, Lucy hardly has time to search for a killer—especially one whose victim left behind so many possible culprits. Scribner believes Marlowe's ghost has come to warn him of his own impending demise, and when he starts receiving death threats, Lucy wonders if there's more to the omen than the ravings of a bitter old pinchpenny. . .

Can Lucy solve the case and deck the halls before the killer strikes again? In a season of giving, receiving a deadly Christmas present is definitely not what Lucy had on her wish list this year. . .

Now, Leslie Meier shares a berry delicious holiday recipe that’s guaranteed to have readers reunited with their books in no time …

I came across this recipe in the Boston Globe recently, but there are lots of versions of it floating around. Ina Garten reportedly adds a diced apple to the berries. I live in cranberry country, surrounded by cranberry bogs, and I'm always looking for ways to use them. This one is easy and delicious, a great recipe to take to a pot luck, because it's sturdy and travels well. I served it at a dinner party last weekend, with vanilla ice cream, and it was a big hit. It is also really, really easy which is nice when everyone is so busy with holiday preparations.

Crustless cranberry pie

Butter for the pie pan

2 cups fresh cranberries, you can also add a peeled and diced apple

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted.

Set oven at 325 degrees and butter the pan. (I used a Pyrex pan.)

Sprinkle the cranberries in the pan with 1/2 cup of sugar, sprinkle nuts on top.

In another bowl, beat eggs, remaining cup of sugar, flour and melted butter. Pour over the berries and smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until top is set and golden.

Enjoy!

***

With thanks to Leslie Meier for her offering of good cheer and the fine folks at Kensington Publishing Corp for helping to facilitate her “virtual” presence.

Don’t forget: For your chance to win a copy of Leslie Meier’s Christmas Carol Murder, simply email HBE at HartfordBooksExaminer@aol.com by no later than this evening, December 18th, at 11:59 PM EST and include “Giveaway” in the subject line.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for HBE’s next holiday giveaway. In the meantime, you can “like” us on Facebook.

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