Not that long ago I finished reading (and reviewing) the fourth book in the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery series by Heather Haven. I was so happy to find out from the author that she was preparing to release her fifth book, THE CEO CAME DOA, this month! This new release kept me turning pages late into the night and wondering when book six is coming next!
With a black belt in karate, Lee Alvarez is the in-house Private Investigator for her family’s company, Discretionary Inquiries, in California’s Silicon Valley. Her impeccably dressed and well-mannered mother is the CEO while her brother, Richard, is the techie. Lee is getting married within the week and while it might seem like she would be too busy to take on a case, she’s left the wedding plans up to her mother, Lila. Lee has been working undercover at a start-up Silicon Valley tech business, Read-Outs, which is preparing for it’s IPO. Apparently someone in the company is intent on sabotaging the business by releasing proprietary information to the competition. Before Lee can find out who the culprit is, she finds the CEO, David H. Collier, dead. At first glance it appears to be suicide but the victim’s teenage daughter is sure he was murdered and begs Lee to find the killer.
David H. Collier was quite the womanizer and as Lee digs into his life, finds he was going to great lengths to hide secrets with several people willing to kill for those secrets. When the bulk of Read-Out’s cutting-edge computer chips are stolen, the CFO asks Lee to find them and save the company. But when Lee finds the chips and they in turn are stolen from her, all of a sudden Lee and her family’s Discretionary Inquiries could be put out of business. Can she find the killer and bring peace to a grief-stricken girl or will the sticky web woven by the CEO put them all in jeopardy?
THE CEO CAME DOA is a well written, well plotted story! I love Lee and her sassy, humorous attitude (which her mother doesn’t approve of) and the author captures that voice perfectly. Lee isn’t afraid of much and is willing to charge in and find the truth. She also has a soft spot for the “underdog” which I found very appealing. Each chapter starts with a quote about Silicon Valley and I enjoyed reading each and every one of them. One of the components of Heather’s book is based on the scariest drug in the world, Devil’s Breath. It’s obvious Heather has done her research and she has expertly woven it into the plot making for a thrilling read.
While there are no recipes in the book, Heather has shared a delectable recipe for Kentucky Derby Bourbon Truffles (oh yum!) that even Lee could make. These are simple ingredients but the resulting concoction is incredibly decadent! See the author’s entertaining introduction to the recipe below.
A very special thank you to Heather for providing an e-book copy of DEAD….IF ONLY! Please use the Rafflecopter box located below the recipe to enter. Contest ends Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 11:59 pm PST. Winners will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
Kentucky Derby Bourbon Truffles
Note from the author, Heather Haven
A little chit-chat and a recipe from Lee Alvarez, Protagonist of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries.
Hi everyone! Well, I don’t cook. Not that I’m not opposed to cooking. I’ll chow down anything my wonderful Tío makes. After all, he was the head chef at the Las Mañanitas restaurant in San Jose before he retired. But my theory is, why compete with perfection? And that would be my Tío. Not that he hasn’t tried to teach me how lo these many years, but I have been known to ruin many an enchilada. Wait a minute, you don’t boil those?
However, while chasing down a bad guy during the middle of the Kentucky Derby, I crashed into a table holding some favorite southern desserts. Several fell in my mouth – you know that that goes – but the ones I liked the best were the Bourbon Truffles. And there’s no cooking! My kinda dessert. Cardinal rule: no driving after inhaling two or three. They can be lethal!
12 ounces dark chocolate (70-85% cacao), chopped
1 -1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
9 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup good Kentucky Bourbon
1 (5.3-oz.) package pure butter shortbread cookies, crushed (I use Walker’s)
2 cups finely chopped roasted, salted pecans
Combine first 3 ingredients in large glass bowl.
Cook cream and bourbon in small saucepan over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is hot but not boiling. (Mixture will steam, and bubbles will form around edge of pan.) This is the hardest part. I usually beg Tío to do this for me. Once I had to do it, though, and it turned out just fine. Just don’t let it boil!
Pour cream mixture over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute.
Stir chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. (If mixture doesn’t melt completely, microwave at HIGH 30 seconds.)
Stir in crushed cookies.
Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm. (Mixture can be prepared and chilled up to 2 days ahead. but I hope you’re stronger than me. I have been known to nibble away over half if it’s in the fridge for 2 days.)
Shape mixture into 1-inch balls (about 2 teaspoons per ball).
Roll in chopped pecans.
I don’t always shape them into balls, folks; I’m lazy. Sometimes I just cut them in squares. And in that case, I press the pecans on the top. It tastes the same! Place on wax paper-lined baking sheets.
Chill 1 hour.
I also don’t always wait an hour to start eating them. You know how it goes.
The food processor will make quick work of crushing the shortbread cookies and then chopping the pecans, however, a chef’s knife is better for chopping the chocolate.
If you can’t find roasted, salted pecans you can toast chopped raw pecans in a skillet over medium heat. Be sure to stir constantly. Once they start to smell fragrant and turn slightly golden, immediately transfer the nuts to a plate to stop cooking and prevent scorching. Sprinkle hot pecans with a dash of salt. Cool completely before rolling truffles.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.