Lipstick & Danger

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Sizzle in the Kitchen with Author Saralyn Richard – Why Murder Mysteries Make Us Hungry


I am thrilled to have Saralyn Richard today. In her own words she will tell us WHY MURDER MYSTERIES MAKE US HUNGRY.

Did you know reading murder mysteries burns a lot of calories? It’s true. Research studies conducted while readers were reading mysteries showed the nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat sitting, and heart-pounding scenes burned way more calories than those burned by reading books in any other category. Well, at least we think so.


That gives mystery writers poetic license to include scenes filled with mouth-watering gastronomic delights, right?


Murder in the One Percent revolves around a weekend birthday celebration at a country mansion in Pennsylvania’s horse country. The gathering includes lots and lots of delectable food and drink—enough to make the reader salivate. The menus are fit for royalty, and the wine pairings impress even the savviest connoisseur.


Here’s a recipe for one of the entrees served at the party. The osso buco fills the house with the aromas of garlic and spices. The meat just melts in our mouths, and the taste is decadent—or maybe that’s not a good word to use, since someone turns up dead.

Anyway, here’s the recipe for all the gourmands among you. Happy eating, and happy reading, too.

Osso Buco Ingredients

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves garlic
  • Cheesecloth
  • Kitchen twine, for bouquet garni and tying the veal shanks     
  • 3 whole veal shanks (about 1 pound per shank), trimmed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 small carrot, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 stalk celery, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest


Place the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and cloves into cheesecloth and secure with twine. This will be your bouquet garni.

For the veal shanks, pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Veal shanks will brown better when they are dry. Secure the meat to the bone with the kitchen twine. Season each shank with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dredge the shanks in flour, shaking off excess.

In a large Dutch oven pot, heat vegetable oil until smoking. Add tied veal shanks to the hot pan and brown all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove browned shanks and reserve.

In the same pot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Season with salt at this point to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Saute until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Return browned shanks to the pan and add the white wine and reduce liquid by half, about 5 minutes. Add the bouquet garni and 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Check every 15 minutes, turning shanks and adding more chicken stock as necessary. The level of cooking liquid should always be about 3/4 the way up the shank.

Carefully remove the cooked shanks from the pot and place in decorative serving platter. Cut off the kitchen twine and discard.

Remove and discard bouquet garni from the pot.

Pour all the juices and sauce from the pot over the shanks. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon zest.


Purchase links are:
Amazon, ebook:

Barnes & Noble print book:

Black Opal print book:


9 Responses

  1. Wow. That’s a lot of ingredients. You’re way more ambitious in the kitchen than I am. Your books look fun. Will have to check them out. Great post.

  2. I agree with Shirley…lots of ingredients. I am way to lazy in the kitchen…you might know this already though if you read how I “don’t sizzle in the kitchen”.
    The book sounds interesting…I love a good mystery.

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