Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, JEROLD LAST, and his favorite recipe for PESTO SAUCE FOR PASTA DISHES AND LOTS MORE!
DANGEROUS DRUGS AND DEXTEROUS DOGS
Roger and Suzanne Mysteries Book 17
BY JEROLD LAST
A late-night visitor tells Suzanne that something seems to be wrong with a research program that she’s involved in. He’s right. Dead right! The CEO of a Southern California biopharmaceutical company disappears at sea under suspicious circumstances. Shortly afterwards, the Chief Scientific Officer from a competing company is brutally murdered. Both of the victims, and many of the suspects, were engaged in canine agility training. With Roger busy elsewhere, this case falls to Suzanne, who takes over the investigation and the responsibilities of the missing CEO. Fortunately, she has Romeo, a German shorthaired pointer, to establish her credibility in agility trials, and Roger’s staff of detectives to do the legwork in a major criminal investigation. The novel, available in e-book and paperback formats and free from Kindle Unlimited, can be read as a standalone mystery or a series entry.
Robert and Ariella, Roger and Suzanne’s children, were safely put to bed and hopefully fast asleep. Suzanne’s maternity leave from her professorship at UCLA was rapidly coming to an end as Ariella progressed toward the toddler stage. Roger was out of town on a case and Bruce, Ariella’s nanny, was out for the evening. The insistent, though muted, ringing of the telephone interrupted her work.
She finally pulled away from a grant she was reviewing entitled, “Biomarkers of Lung Adenocarcinoma in Blood of Patients Treated with Cuban Herbal Remedies”, to deal with whoever was interrupting her quiet time for reading at 10 PM on a Wednesday night.
“Hi, Suzanne, this is Frank Lomax,” a familiar voice from the past greeted her. “I hope this isn’t too late to call. I’m in the City of the Angels tonight with a few hours free and this is the first chance I’ve had to call you. Can I stop by and talk to you and Roger while we’re all in the same time zone for a change?”
“Me, yes. Roger, no”, she replied. “He’s currently in Europe on business. I assume this is important or you wouldn’t have called.”
“It is. I’ll see you in less than fifteen minutes,” he replied. “Normally I wouldn’t bother you this late, but it really is important.”
“Sure,” she said. “Please just knock gently on the door when you get here. Both of the babies are asleep. I don’t want the doorbell to wake them up.”
He confirmed her address before hanging up.
A short time later Suzanne was sitting in a comfortable chair in the living room across a polished oak coffee table from Lomax, sitting in a similar chair. They both sipped coffee from porcelain mugs. “What’s on your mind, Frank?” she asked.
Frank Lomax, a senior CIA agent, was currently serving as the United States Ambassador to Cuba in Havana. Roger and Suzanne first met him more than a year previously while Roger was working on a murder case in Cuba. By the time they solved the case and left Havana, Lomax had been appointed as the acting interim Ambassador. He quickly worked himself the rest of the way up the diplomatic ladder to the top position at the Embassy. He was also the gentleman responsible for the grants she had to read piled on the coffee table in front of her.
Lomax, a tall, fair-haired man in his thirties with the broad shoulders of a former college athlete, sipped some coffee before answering her. “I’m glad to see you reviewing grant applications for our Cuba-California research program tonight. I assume that means you’re up to date on the research currently being sponsored here. Things seemed to have been working fine on the California end of things until very recently, thanks to you.
“As you already know, several of the biotechnology companies here in Southern California have taken anti-cancer drugs and biologicals developed in Cuba and are arranging to manufacture these drugs in quantity and perform rigorous clinical trials up to U.S. standards to figure out which ones actually work.”
Suzanne looked directly at Lomax. Since their time together in Cuba, professional hairstyling and manicured fingernails seemed to be his major adaptations to promotion from cultural attaché to ambassador at the embassy in Havana. He still wore his usual open collared dress shirt and carefully pressed lightweight trousers.
“I doubt you’re here just to give me strokes for all my hard work,” Suzanne commented dryly. “That begs the question of to what do I owe the honor of this unexpected visit? My guess is you’re actually looking for Roger. So, something is going wrong with the plan, most likely at our end of things. Something that needs a good detective to fix.”
Lomax actually smiled, not his usual demeanor. “Well, I’m glad to see that working with many of the best senior scientists in this field of research hasn’t improved your skills in small talk and social amenities,” replied Lomax. “We can just get to the point a lot sooner that way.”
Lomax’s brief smile disappeared. “We’ve lost two high level corporate executives from Southern California who were active in the program, one literally and one figuratively. The first was lost at sea in an apparent boating accident, the second was murdered on a beach while exercising her dogs.”
Lomax took several additional sips of coffee before he continued, “At the same time, we’ve lost a third scientist in Havana, also shot and killed. If it weren’t for my being in the unique position of overseeing the program at both ends, Cuba and California, there wouldn’t have been any way of connecting two apparently random deaths and a disappearance.”
He paused to sip a bit more coffee, unconsciously pushing a stray lock of hair on his forehead back into his well barbered, perfectly groomed widow’s peak with his other hand.
“And, of course, you’re exactly correct,” he went on. “I was planning to dump this problem into Roger’s lap. I take it he’s too busy in Europe to drop everything and come home to help out.”
“That’s about right,” Suzanne answered.
“Too bad,” declared Lomax. “I guess we’re left with my backup plan.”
The author is a Professor at the University of California’s Medical School at Davis in Northern California. His research interests are primarily in lung fibrosis, asthma, collagen synthesis, and environmental toxicology. In addition to teaching biochemistry and toxicology to graduate and medical students, Jerry taught a highly successful Freshman Seminar elective that read and discussed mystery novels set in California from Dashiell Hammett to Walter Mosley. Jerry, a two-time winner of The Indie Book of the Day Award, writes “tweener” mystery books (tough mystery stories that follow the cozy conventions of no graphic sex and no cussing), all published as e-books on Amazon Kindle. Ten of them (thus far) are also published as paperback versions. These novels are fast moving and written to entertain the reader. Several of the books introduce the readers to South America, a region where he has lived and worked that is a long way from home for most English speakers. He and his wife Elaine lived previously in Salta, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. Jerry selects the most interesting Latin American locations he found for Roger and Suzanne to visit while solving miscellaneous murders. Jerry and Elaine breed prize-winning German shorthaired pointer dogs. Elaine also provides technical advice for Jerry’s dog-related novels like the current Dangerous Drugs and Dexterous Dogs, the fifth dog-themed mystery novel in the series, as well as editing for all of the books. The four earlier dog-centered novels, The Deadly Dog Show, Hunter Down, Roger and the Cancelled Czech, and Abra Cadaver, as well as all of the other Roger and Suzanne mystery novels, are available for free download to Kindle Unlimited members.
Links to Jerold’s website, blog, books, etc.:
URL for purchase:
Roger and Suzanne Mystery Novels Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/RogerAndSuzanneMysteries
Author Contact Information:
On Facebook at Roger and Suzanne fan page, or via the comments section on this blog page
I hope you enjoy the recipe Jerold is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 517 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
Pesto sauce for pasta dishes and lots more: This is a very forgiving recipe, with everything adjustable to taste. Feel free to experiment. Consider my numbers as guidelines, not gospel. I’d like to acknowledge my wife, Elaine, who taught the recipe to me and usually prepares it at our house.
Combine in a Cuisinart:
About 4-6 ounces of Parmesan or Parmesan-Romano cheese
One bunch of fresh basil leaves or the equivalent amount of dried basil
Add about a cup of walnuts
About half a head of garlic [we love garlic, and it’s medically recommended to ward off vampires!]
Olive oil (extra virgin preferred) — Blend until homogeneous
Add more olive oil while blending as necessary to get a thick, but well homogenized, mixture
Stir into 1-2 pounds of freshly cooked pasta — or use as a pizza condiment, chip dip, sandwich spread, to coat fresh salmon before grilling, or whatever else seems like a good idea. It goes with lots of other things, so try experimenting.
Thanks, Jerold, for sharing your story and recipe with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!