You don’t need to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day in Maine, where the chilly March weather offers the perfect excuse to curl up with an Irish coffee. But in these St. Patty’s–themed novellas by fan-favorite cozy mystery authors Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross, and featuring their beloved sleuths, someone may have spiked this year’s brew with murder!
In “Perked Up,” author Barbara Ross gave the task of making Irish soda bread to Vee, one of the two bakers in the story. In the real world, the recipe comes from Barbara’s husband’s sister’s husband’s mother (got it?), Marie Kent. Marie was fiercely proud of her Irish heritage and never understood how she ended up in a family that drank gallons of coffee instead of tea. Readers can cozy up with their own Irish soda bread as they dive into this novella compilation.
Makes 1 round loaf
- Neutral oil, for greasing pan
- 3⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- ¾ cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using fingers, work butter into flour mixture until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Stir in raisins.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add to flour mixture, stirring until a dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead dough for 2 minutes. Pat dough into prepared cake pan.
- Bake until crust is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 1 hour.
IRISH COFFEE MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
Part-time reporter Lucy Stone is writing a piece for the Courier about four Irish step dancing students from Tinker’s Cove on the cusp of making it big. But the story becomes headline news for all the wrong reasons when one girl’s mother is found dead in her bathtub. Did a stage mom take rivalry too far, or is some other motive at play?
DEATH OF AN IRISH COFFEE DRINKER by LEE HOLLIS
As owner of Bar Harbor’s hottest new restaurant, Hayley Powell offers to cater the after-party for popular comedian Jefferson O’Keefe, who’s playing his old hometown for St. Patrick’s Day. But it’s no laughing matter when Jefferson keels over after gulping down his post-show Irish coffee, leaving Hayley to figure out who decided this joker had gone too far.
PERKED UP by BARBARA ROSS
It’s a snowy St. Patrick’s Day in Busman’s Harbor. But when the power goes out, what better way for Julia Snowden to spend the evening than sharing local ghost stories—and Irish coffees—with friends and family? By the time the lights come back, they might even have solved the coldest case in town.
About the Authors
Leslie Meier is the acclaimed author of over 25 Lucy Stone Mysteries. Like her series’ protagonist, she worked as a New England newspaper reporter while raising her three children. She is currently at work on her next mystery and can be found online at LeslieMeierBooks.com.
Lee Hollis is the pen name for the brother and sister writing team of Rick Copp, a veteran Hollywood writer/producer and mystery author, and Holly Simason, an award-winning food and cocktails columnist. You can find them at LeeHollisMysteries.com.
Barbara Ross is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries. Her books have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Readers can visit her at MaineClambakeMysteries.com.