I was so very fortunate to have been invited to participate in this month's mystery discussion group at the Tinley Park Public Library. Fran runs Partners In Crime, which meets every first Tuesday to discuss an assigned mystery. I was absolutely thrilled to have had my two White House Chef novels chosen as their December read.
Not only did they read the books, Fran arranged for a local restaurant, Caffe de Milan, to cater the event. They cooked up lots of Ollie's favorites, including Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes, Little White Rolls, Sugar-cured Ham with White Wine Honey Mustard, and Brownie Bites from Hail to the Chef and Oven Fried Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Ollie's Green Beans, Apple Tart, and Crisp Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies from State of the Onion. The biggest hit, also from State of the Onion, were the Cucumber Slices Stuffed with Feta and Pine Nuts.
Seeing as how I rely on the talents of a "Ghost Chef" I can say, unequivocally, that these recipes showcased some serious talent ;-) I only wished I could eat like this every night!
The mystery discussion group members were so much fun. They had lots of interesting and lively questions. I just loved talking with them. There were about 30 guests and we talked and laughed almost non-stop. So many of the readers asked if I'd tried to get my books into the hands of our White House residents. I have tried, but alas, that hasn't happened yet. Can you imagine how popular the books would be if Michelle Obama was spotted reading one? That would be so cool. And since I'm dreaming here... let me add that I would love an invitation to the White House to tour the kitchens (and everywhere else) at a nice leisurely pace. Umm... the Secret Service probably wouldn't look too kindly on that, but hey... I'm dreaming ;-)
As I said, I feel extremely fortunate to have been invited to participate. Last year the group's holiday meeting featured one of Diane Mott Davidson's books and her menu. Boy, is that great company to be in? She's often credited with starting the culinary mystery sub-genre. Diane didn't attend the event, of course, but then again, she isn't a local like I am.
I was honored, thrilled, and I just had the best time. Here are a few more pictures:
Eileen and I share writing and editing interests, and we found more common ground that gave us a good laugh!