Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, November 16, 2020

Getting comfortable with some cozy Thanksgiving mysteries


While Thanksgiving is about a week away, this is the time to start getting into the spirit of the season(which is NOT just about grocery shopping!). Granted, this year's celebration is going to be very different, embracing the whole "being thankful for what you have" feeling is going to be important in dealing with the entire holiday season to come.

To that end, I'm reading a trio of cozy mysteries that have a Thanksgiving theme(along with a couple of recipes), two of which that I'm currently in the midst of at the moment.

My first course in this mystery meal is Turkey Day Trot by Leslie Meier, a more recent entry in her Lucy Stone series. With her kids grown up and mostly out of the house, Lucy's turkey day plans are rather low key this time. 

Most of her focus has been on training for the annual Turkey Day race of the title and while doing an early morning run with the family dog Libby, Lucy discovers the body of a young woman drowned at the still frozen Tinker's Cove lake. The deceased is Alison Franklin, whose rich and obnoxious father Ed is quick to blame her sudden demise on drugs,despite little evidence of that.

As Lucy, in her role as part-time reporter for the Pennysaver, looks into that angle, she is also dismayed at the bigotry being shown to new resident and restaurant owner Rey Rodriquez and his son Matt. When another closely connected death occurs, Lucy is determined to find the real cause behind all of this and possibly restore a little sensibility to her friends and neighbors.

This particular story line has a sharper edge than most of the Lucy Stone books I've read so far(I read them seasonally rather than in publishing order) but I do appreciate the author for taking a tougher plot path. Also, we do get some Thanksgiving goodness as even though foul play is afoot, Lucy is still tasked with making fall treats like apple cider donuts for local events:

My next serving happens to be A Catered Thanksgiving, courtesy of Isis Crawford and her sister sleuths, Libby and Bernie Simmons.

While the culinary success of their business,A Little Taste of Heaven,makes both ladies thrilled yet exhausted, they nonetheless take on a grueling task by bringing a Thanksgiving feast to the fiercely fighting Fields family during a snowstorm.

During the dinner prep, the sisters are visited in the kitchen by Monty Fields, the miserly head of the family, and his inspection of the turkey leads to a rather gruesome end. Trapped by the blizzard, Libby and Bernie have no choice but to play detective and figure which of the loathsome next of kin is responsible for this appetite killing crime.

This is my first time with this series and the book is easy to get into despite being the seventh title. Libby and Bernie are very likable, along with their former police chief father(spending the holiday in Florida with his sister) and I'm already planning to read more of their adventures soon!

Plus, there's a bit of a Knives Out vibe to this story that adds some delicious deviousness to the proceedings indeed:

Once I finish with either of these books, my dessert read will be Krista Davis' The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, which is also the first book in her Domestic Diva mystery series! I do like a culinary mystery that goes right for a major holiday there.

The diva of the title is Sophie Winston, starting her life over after a difficult divorce by entering the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown, a contest that has her childhood rival Nastasha Smith competing for the top prize.

Since Nastasha has a steady winning record in this competition, Sophie is determined to take her down especially Nastasha is one of the big reasons her marriage went bust.

 However, Sophie's path to victory is blocked by more than one dead body she winds up discovering, leading the local authorities to suspect her of foul play that doesn't involve filling up a turkey. Can she clear her name before the holiday dinner table is set or is her next menu plan being prepared for prison? 

I've heard good things about this series and happy to give it a try, although I must confess to not liking stuffing as a side(hey, just giving others at the table more to enjoy, I say) but respecting the dish all the way:


So, whatever you need to do to make your Thanksgiving safe and sound will be worth it and do try to take a little time to relax with some seasonal entertainment. Given that Christmas is already at our heels(which is fine but can those endless made for TV  holiday movies wait a little before taking over the airwaves?), finding a Thanksgiving themed delight can be tricky yet not impossible.

For many of us, staying home this season instead of attending a big family get-together is hard but consider the fact that this is a prime opportunity to have your holiday meal in peace. Avoiding certain relatives and their sure to inflame opinions is a blessing, if you think about it.

 Plus, Adele may be able to release a new album next year, giving us some great music to share at the dinner table...:

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