Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with DARK ASSOCIATIONS, Kate Barnes Series #Psychological #Thriller by Marie Sutro #Recipe ~ Darkly Decadent Chocolate Ganache with Almond Shortbread Tart Crust

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL** with MARIE SUTRO!

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, MARIE SUTRO, and his favorite recipe for Darkly Decadent Chocolate Ganache with Almond Shortbread Tart Crust!

Kate Barnes Series


Following the discovery of her protege’s mutilated corpse, SFPD Detective Kate Barnes vows to capture the infamous serial killer known as The Tower Torturer. Famous for revisiting history’s darkest forms of cruelty on his victims, the sick psychopath has emerged from the shadows after years of silence. As young women close to Kate disappear, the killer taunts the detective, torturing his victims in various and unspeakable ways before displaying their corpses in macabre public tableau’s. Despite her best efforts, the predator always seems to be two moves ahead of the rookie investigator. As the body count rises, Kate struggles to apprehend the brutal mastermind before he resurrects history’s most insidious form of torture upon her.

Kate Barnes Series


Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.

I’m a crime fiction author who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. I come from three generations of family who served in the San Francisco Police Department. A passionate traveler (whether it be domestic or international), I have somehow found myself cohabitating with three cats who regularly convince me their combined intellect far surpasses my own.  While I always loved writing, I took the well-trodden corporate route before mustering the courage to take the plunge into the art world.

The first book in my Kate Barnes series, Dark Associations, won the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for the Best New Voice in Fiction and became a bestseller. The second book in the series, Dark Obsessions, was released in April.

  1. What genre(s) do you write in and why? I write crime fiction because I love puzzles and adore creating ones for others to solve. There may also be a nature/nurture component given that my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather served in the San Francisco Police Department.
  2. What’s your favorite beverage? I try not to drink it very often, but my absolute favorite is a frosty Coca-Cola.
  1. If you had to listen to one song over and over again for a whole day what would if be? That’s a tough one, because there’s a good chance listening to one song all day long will drive me out of my Type A mind. I guess the most pleasant song for the drive would have to be “Wonderful World” performed by Louis Armstrong.
  1. What is your least favorite part of writing? The business side of writing is my least favorite. It is not that I don’t enjoy conducting business in general. It’s the fact that I wold rather spend every waking hour creation new art rather than working to commoditize that which I already have.
  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, having lived away from it for eight years, and having traveled a fair amount, I can say there is no other place I’d rather live. The range of diversity, from ecosystems and topographies, to ethnic, social and cultural experiences, make for a dynamic and enriching environment. The world is full of wonderful places, but the Bay Area will always be home.
  1. Are you an avid reader? What is your favorite genre? I have been an ardent bibliophile my entire life. My TBR pile is always larger than my current reading pile, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love to know I’ve got a go-to pile in reserve. When it comes to genres, I’m definitely an omnivore, but crime tops my chart.
  1. Where do you get the ideas for your stories? Ideas come from everywhere, whether from a snippet of a conversation, from a few facts about an actual case, or from a passing thought while picking out bread at the grocery store. The seeds of a great story, a great subplot, a great character or a great scene are sprinkled all around.
  2. Tell me about your ideal reader. My ideal reader is someone who loves a good crime story, wants to bond with interesting characters, and is willing to explore some of the darker elements of the human condition in the process.
  1. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be? I love comic book superheroes. Wonder Woman is my favorite. Since I’m fairly certain the Greek gods have better things to do than to duplicate Diana, I’d like to have the power to grant people inner peace.
  1. Tell us about your next book & when it is being published? I am currently working on book #3 in the Kate Barnes series, Dark Reckonings. The release dates has not been set, but I’m hoping it will be in late 2023.

About Author Marie Sutro…

Marie Sutro is an award-winning and bestselling mystery author. In 2018, she won the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for the Best New Voice in Fiction, for her debut novel, Dark Associations. She is a member of Sisters In Crime and volunteers with California Library Literacy Services.

Her father, grandfather and great-grandfather all served in the San Francisco Police Department, collectively inspiring her writing. She resides in Northern California and is currently at work on the next book in the Kate Barnes series.


Links to Marie’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3PHcWZ9

Barnes & Noble:

Indie Bound:

Website: www.mariesutro.com

I hope you enjoy the recipe Marie is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!


P.S. We’re at 596 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.


Darkly Decadent Chocolate Ganache
with Almond Shortbread Tart Crust

Note from Marie: The tart recipe has a few steps, but if made with Ghirardelli chocolate and served with a Cherry Vodka Sauce, it can set the world to rights. The ganache and tart crust are derived from two different recipes but it has been so long I don’t recall the attribution.


1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, cooled
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Tart Crust:

  1. Butter 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.
  2. Combine almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in processor; grind nuts finely.
  3. Add flour, powdered sugar, and salt; blend 5 seconds.
  4. Add butter and blend, using on/off turns, until coarse meal forms.
  5. Add egg yolk and blend until moist clumps form, about 30 seconds.
  6. Knead dough into ball. Transfer 1/4 cup dough to small bowl and reserve for another use.
  7. Press remaining dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan.
  8. Pierce bottom all over with fork.
  9. Cover pan with foil and freeze crust at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  10. Bake crust uncovered until deep golden brown, checking often and pressing sides and bottom with back of fork during first 15 minutes when crust puffs or bubbles, about 20 minutes total. Cool completely.


  1. Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil.
  3. Pour hot cream, through a sieve, over chocolate. Stir until smooth and creamy in texture.
  4. Mix in vanilla.

Pour chocolate mixture into center of cooled tart shell (if chocolate is lumpy, pass through a sieve). Let stand until set, about 2 hours, or chill for 1 hour.


Special Giveaway: Marie is giving away an ebook copy of DARK ASSOCIATIONS to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog.

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Marie, for sharing your story and recipe with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

7 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with DARK ASSOCIATIONS, Kate Barnes Series #Psychological #Thriller by Marie Sutro #Recipe ~ Darkly Decadent Chocolate Ganache with Almond Shortbread Tart Crust”

  1. Very interesting interview and I especially like the “Tower Torturer” premise…unique.

    Love chocolate Ganache This recipe sounds delicious.

    Thanks, Karen and Marie.

  2. Good morning, Marie, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. One of the things I miss about leaving the San Francisco Bay area is easier access to Ghirardelli chocolate. Mmmmm! We lived in Burlingame eons ago. Miss the other special foods, like bread bowls, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, etc. Anyway, completely off topic! LOL I can’t wait to try this recipe and read your book. I love psychological thrillers and yours sounds intense, right up my alley. Thanks for sharing your book and recipe with us today!

  3. I enjoyed reading this interview! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe, it sounds delicious .. Have a great weekend and stay safe.

  4. Think you for the great interview, the book sounds exciting. I am looking forward to trying the recipe, it’s really decadent.

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