St. Patrick’s Day Takes an Unexpected Turn in the Latest Mystery in the Cozy Corner

St. Patrick's Day Takes an Unexpected Turn in the Latest Mystery in the Cozy Corner

In Irish Knit Murder, St. Patrick’s Day takes an unexpected turn for crafting magazine editor Pamela Paterson and the members of her knitting club when a member of a prominent New Jersey family is found dead. As readers enjoy this intriguing new mystery, they can craft their own Irish coffee trifle with a recipe from the author herself, Peggy Ehrhart.  

Trifles of all sorts are traditionally prepared and served in footed clear-glass compotes, rather like large versions of the wide and shallow glasses used for Champagne before Champagne flutes came into fashion. The clear glass allows the various layers to be seen.

A mixture of strong espresso and Irish whiskey is drizzled over sliced, store-bought pound cake. Layers of vanilla pudding and whipped cream are added, with shavings of bittersweet chocolate sprinkled on top.

Peggy Ehrhart’s Irish Coffee Trifle
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup strong espresso coffee
  • ¼ cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 loaf-type pound cake, sliced
  • Garnish: grated bittersweet chocolate
  1. In the top half of double boiler*, whisk together ½ cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in milk.
  2. In the bottom half of the double boiler, bring water to a boil. Put the top half of double boiler in place, being careful that water doesn’t touch upper pan. Cook milk mixture, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Gradually whisk in a few spoonfuls of hot milk mixture to egg yolks to temper. Add egg yolk mixture to milk mixture in double boiler, whisking well. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Transfer pudding to a bowl, and let it cool. Cover pudding with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface of pudding to prevent it from forming a skin. Refrigerate pudding until cold.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together coffee and whiskey.
  7. In a large trifle bowl or compote, arrange half of pound cake slices in bottom of bowl. Drizzle half of coffee mixture over pound cake. Spread half of pudding over drizzled pound cake. Spread half of whipped cream over pudding layer. Repeat the process, with remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and serve within a day or two.
  8. Just before serving, garnish with grated chocolate, if desired.
*If you don’t have a double boiler, you can improvise one with a larger pot and a smaller pot or with a metal or glass bowl set over a saucepan.

Irish Knit Murder

About the Book

The Listers have been part of Arborville society for generations—though 70-something Isobel Lister doesn’t fit the role of upper-crust heiress. She’s always been a colorful character, and her fun-loving spirit is on display at the senior center celebration as she performs some beloved Irish songs. But just minutes later, her body is found backstage.

It’s hard to imagine who’d target such a harmless eccentric, but crafting magazine editor Pamela Paterson finds herself suspecting everyone. There’s the Wiccan who thought St. Patrick wasn’t so saintly; the woman upset about cultural appropriation who feels the commercialization of shamrocks is a sham; the two men Isobel was seeing—who could have been green with jealousy—and old friends and family, who may have feared Isobel would spill their secrets. But Pamela’s on the case, and that means, for the killer, the jig will soon be up.


About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who lives in Leonia, New Jersey, where she writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Illinois and taught writing and literature at Queens College, CUNY, and Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she was a tenured full professor. A longtime member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Peggy served on the board of MWA New York as head of the Mentor Committee. She was president of Sisters in Crime NY/TriState from 2013 to 2015. Peggy regularly attends mystery-writing conferences and participates in conference panels and also gives talks on mystery fiction at libraries in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.