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, Mary Anne Edwards, and her favorite recipe for KAHLUA BROWNIES!
A Charlie McClung Mystery
BY MARY ANNE EDWARDS
Detective Charlie McClung no longer finds his job fulfilling and has given up finding that “someone” his granny promised he would find. So he leaves behind the big city and his close-knit family and takes a job in a small town police department in Georgia, resigned to live a quiet life in solitude.
Things change when he meets Marian Selby while investigating the mysterious death of her best friend. But Marian swore never to love again after the death of her husband 11 years ago. What seems to be a simple suicide turns into a tangled web of deceit, corruption, and complicated shadows.
Can the two of them come to grips with their feelings for each other before the killer closes in on them?
A Charlie McClung Mystery
BY MARY ANNE EDWARDS
Marian painted her face with dark green clay. Leaning toward the wide bathroom mirror, she made sure every bare spot was covered. “Okay, facial work your magic and make all the lines disappear.” She removed a key from the vanity cabinet and unlocked the security latch on the bathroom window. The scent of jasmine growing around the window perfumed the room and sounds of spring’s final night mingled with the sweet scent. Marian heard the voice of Mary Poppins coming from her neighbor’s house and wondered if little Katie would be deaf in a few years.
Marian looked at her wristwatch. “Hmm, I have at least ten minutes before this stuff dries.” From her TV in the living room, she heard the Atlanta Braves announcers predict that 1982 would be a winning year for the Braves and she decided to watch the game. She settled on the sofa with a cup of coffee. Next to her was a tin of chocolate pecan biscotti she had made yesterday.
A loud bang followed by horrified screaming caused Marian to jump. The biscotti tin skittered across the sofa. She hurried into the bathroom, splashed her face, grabbed a towel, and ran outside. Marian stepped outside and heard the neighborhood dogs barking, fast approaching sirens, and screeching tires. All the surrounding houses came alive with lights; their inhabitants peered through windows or stepped outside to witness the upheaval of their tranquility. A handful of curious onlookers began to gather in the nearby cul-de-sac. Marian joined them and listened to their whispers of speculations. The muted commands escaping from her neighbor’s house did little to calm the terrified screaming from within.
A woman in her mid-thirties with short blonde hair tucked neatly behind her petite ears wandered through the small group toward Marian.
“She’s forty-seven, no makeup and I don’t even look that good at my best,” the blonde grumbled. “Hey, Marian!”
Reluctantly, Marian turned her attention away from the melee to the voice calling her name. She squinted against the harsh glare of the overhead security light. “Oh, Joan, it’s you. I almost didn’t recognize you. I rarely see you in your natural state.” She turned her attention back to the unfolding drama at her neighbor’s house.
Joan pulled her face back in confusion. “Hmm, I don’t know if that’s an insult or not.”
Without looking at her best friend, Marian answered as she strained to see what the police were doing. “I’d never insult you. You’re gorgeous all the time, you know that.”
Joan stood next to Marian. She reached over and touched Marian’s hairline caked with bits of moist clay. She pulled a purple hand towel from her friend’s slender hand. “Lean over, let me wipe off this stuff.”
“Thanks, Joan, I don’t know what I would do without you. I ran out of the house when I heard all the noise.”
“All gone.” She handed the towel to Marian. “So, what do you think happened?” Joan gawked as two bright red ambulances came to a shrieking stop. Four paramedics jumped out. Three of them ran into the house while one overweight man stayed behind.
Marian’s face was infused with worry. “Don’t know.” She couldn’t stand the suspense any longer. She slung the towel over Joan’s shoulder. “Hang on to this for me. I’m going to find out. You stay here. It will be easier if I go by myself.” Her eyebrow arched as she pointed her finger at Joan to stay put.
Joan stamped her foot. “You have all the fun.”
Walking away from the cul-de-sac crowd, Marian worked her way toward two policemen dressed in brown leaning against a county patrol car. One was young and rigid as if he was fresh out of a high school ROTC program. The other one appeared to be in his late thirties but as she got closer to him she saw he was young as well. His balding head and protruding stomach made him look older.
“Say, what’s going on? I live next door. Is everyone all right?” Marian tried to sound casual, while thinking Dianne must have gotten tired of Dan’s abuse and did him in.
The balding one straightened. Tugging up his pants, he answered. “I’m not trying to be rude, ma’am, but what do you think happened?
As she looked at his bland face, the image of little boys playing cops and robbers popped into her head. This one would be playing the cop. She pushed the silly image away.
“Something awful from the sound of things. Was that a gunshot I heard?” Marian’s voice quivered as the reality hit her that something very bad had happened. “Please tell me Dianne and Katie are all right.”
When he blinked and said nothing, she touched his sleeve and glanced at his nametag, E. Stokes. “Please, Officer Stokes, tell me if they’re okay.”
The two officers looked at one another.
“Officer Thayer, go get that new detective,” Officer Stokes instructed the ROTC look-alike.
“Please give me your full name.” The officer took out a small pad from his front pocket and began to scribble.
“Marian Francis Selby.” Oh, this can’t be good. She began to pop her knuckles. After reading so many mysteries, she knew she had to answer his questions first or she’d get nowhere and maybe even be told to leave.
“So you think you heard a gunshot? How many? Now think carefully, take your time.”
Shoving her hands into her flannel pants pockets, she rocked back on her heels and looked the officer in the eyes then answered, “All I heard was one loud bang, and the next thing I heard was a little girl, I guess, Katie, screaming at the top of her lungs.”
Both turned their attention toward the house as two paramedics walked an occupied gurney down the wide brick steps. A blood-soaked sheet covered a young woman while an oxygen mask hid most of her pale face. One of the paramedics trotted beside the stretcher, holding a clear bag of liquid connected to the bleeding woman’s arm.
A frantic man followed, yelling, “Where are you taking her? Where are you taking her?” She almost didn’t recognize Dan. His hair, usually meticulously in place, stuck out in all directions as if it had been pulled by some wild monkey. His clothes and face were smeared with blood.
“Oh, God, Dianne,” Marian whispered. Instinctively, she reached out toward her neighbor as the gurney was wheeled by, she wanted to run to be by her side but her legs would not move. Her feet felt glued to the asphalt. Trying to rid herself of the nausea overwhelming her, Marian inhaled through her nose, exhaled slowly through her mouth. Marian closed her eyes, wishing away the bloody scene. “Oh, no, not Dianne, not Dianne.” Her legs began to tremble like jelly.
Although I was born in Mercedes, Texas, I have lived in Georgia most of my life which has been filled with a variety of experiences. Some were great and some, well let’s just say I have learned many lessons the hard way.
I have been married for 34+ years to the most practically perfect man, Jeff. We have a new addition to our family, a Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. We enjoy traveling and watching mysteries on TV. I am active in Sisters in Crime Atlanta Chapter, a member of Mystery Writers of America, and sit on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, Inc., a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.
I began writing in high school but not seriously until 1999. I write traditional mysteries and my biggest influences are Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, Elizabeth Peters, and of course, my family. I have a collection of eclectic short stories titled, “My Favorite Work of Art,” currently out of print.
My first manuscript, “Useless Beauty,” is waiting for me to breathe life into it. It was put on hold because my second manuscript, “Brilliant Disguise,” was begging to be written. It is the first in the Detective Charlie McClung mysteries. “Brilliant Disguise” was released January, 2014. The second book, “A Good Girl,” was released September, 2014. I am currently working on the third book in the series, “Criminal Kind.” There are seven more to follow in the series. This series is set during the early 1980s in a small town in Georgia.
Links to Mary Anne’s website, blog, books, etc.
Amazon Author’s Page:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Mary Anne is sharing with us today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!
P.S. We’re at 197 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.
1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Butter
3 Squares Unsweetened Chocolate
3 Large Eggs
2 cups Granulated Sugar
¼ cup Kahlua
¾ cup Chopped Nuts
Grease & flour a 9 inch square pan. Preheat oven to 350 F. Shift flour with baking powder & salt. Melt butter and chocolate together. Beat eggs & sugar together until light & fluffy. Add alternately flour mixture, chocolate mixture, & Kahlua to the egg mixture. Blend well. Stir in nuts. Pour into pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
Optional: Brush 2 tablespoons of Kahlua on top.
Option: Melt chocolate bars on top of just out of the oven brownies and spread as a frosting.
Option: Brownies are good without the Kahlua.
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Mary Anne is giving away a Kindle copy of BRILLIANT DISGUISE to one lucky reader who comments on her Killer Fixin’s blog. Don’t miss the chance to read this book! Thanks, Mary Anne, for sharing your story with us!