, Muskogee, OK


March 12, 2013

Hart has way with murder

— Oklahoma native Carolyn Hart has a way with murder. Her cozy mysteries include the Death on Demand series, the Henrie O Mysteries and a supernatural series set in Oklahoma featuring the character Bailey Ruth Raeburn. This former University of Oklahoma professor of journalism releases her 50th novel this May when “Dead, White, and Blue” hits bookstores.

“Death on Demand” was the initial novel in Hart’s series of the same name. The novel’s heroine is Annie Laurance Darling, who owns a mystery bookstore named Death on Demand in fictional Broward’s Rock, S.C. Annie goes about solving some of the most confounding crimes taking place around Broward’s Rock with the aid of her gorgeous husband, Max Darling, whose last name makes a fitting epithet. Particularly charming is the bookstore setting, which leads characters easily into discussions about popular mystery writers. In many of the novels Annie runs a contest at Death on Demand in which customers are challenged to guess the title of a book based on a painting hanging in the store. Very darling.

Hear more about Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand mysteries when I present Murder by the Book at St. Paul’s annual fundraiser from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. A book and bake sale will be held in the atrium. Visitors can purchase a ticket to the book review and recipe tasting held in the second floor fellowship hall. Several autographed copies of Hart’s books will be given as door prizes. Funds go to support local missions. Come out and cozy up to a little mystery for a good cause.

Southern Spiced Pecans

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup evaporated milk

2 cups pecan halves

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, cinnamon and milk in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook to the soft ball stage, about 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add pecans and vanilla. Stir well. Remove pecans with a slotted spoon to a baking sheet lined with wax paper and cool completely.


Huguenot Torte

A large contingency of Huguenots escaped persecution in France and settled in South Carolina. This traditional Charleston torte bakes up French-style to a crisp meringue with a gooey apple base.

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped (1 cup)

1 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped cream

Beat eggs at high speed with an electric mixer five minutes or until doubled in volume and lemon colored. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until tripled in volume. Stir in flour and next five ingredients just until blended.

Spoon into a greased or aluminum foil-lined 13 x 9-inch pan. (A light-colored metal pan works best.)

Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until golden. (Torte will puff up and then fall.) Run a knife around edge of pan while still warm. Cut into 3-inch squares. Serve with whipped cream. Source: Southern Living 2005.

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