I’ve been aware of the Brilliant Minnesota Mystery series by Julie Seedorf for some time and have loved reading other bloggers’ reviews of the books. I’ve intended to read the books but somehow they’ve gotten lost in the shuffle on my Kindle… one of the downsides of reading digital books I suppose. When Lisa Kelley of Lisa K’s Book Reviews asked me to schedule this blog post I was more than willing to do so since it meant I would finally read them. Just as Julie’s Fuchsia Minnesota Mystery series contains memorable, quirky characters, so does her “new” series. My review is for THE DISCOMBOBULATED DECIPHERERS, the second book in the Brilliant Minnesota series, which is easy to jump in and read as a standalone. The protagonist, Jezabelle Jingle, owns Brilliant Bistro and is a caring person. She is surrounded by close friends who love to solve puzzles which also extends to the puzzle of solving murder mysteries, much to the chagrin of the town’s Chief of Police. When Santa’s elf is killed in their village, Jezabelle and her friends start asking questions around town. They also find a puzzle left by the town’s founding fathers (who disappeared long, long ago) and the clues the author sprinkles throughout the book intrigued me and kept me turning pages. Along with an entertaining plot that moves quickly, there is much humor and laugh out loud moments.
One of the fun surprises in the book are the recipes the author includes. I’m very happy to share the recipe for Lemon Love Notes which is a refreshing, delicious end to any meal! I love Julie’s introduction to the recipe: Jezabelle and I would like to thank Gladys Johanson and her family for letting us use her recipe for Lemon Love Notes in the Brilliant Bistro. Gladys celebrated her 100th birthday on October 19, 2017. She fed 14 children with her fabulous cooking. Thank you for sharing love through your baking. And thank you, Julie, for sharing your delightful stories and recipes with us readers!
It’s Christmas in Brilliant, Minnesota, and Brilliant is known for its glitzy Christmas traditions. A world-renowned Christmas pageant, the town square decked out with Santa’s Village and a live nativity scene bring visitors to Brilliant each year. Just as the tourists arrive, Jezabelle Jingle and her mystery writer friend, Miranda, find the body of Ernest the elf dead and wrapped in a bundle of Christmas lights in the town square. Is Ernest part of a new holiday puzzle the Discombobulated Decipherers need to solve? Or is dead Ernest part of a bigger plot? Will Jezabelle decipher the clues so Brilliant can celebrate Christmas in peace? Or will Jezabelle be the next gift-wrapped box under the village tree?
A special thanks to Julie Seedorf for providing one winner with a chance to win an e-book copy of THE DISCOMBOBULATED DECIPHERERS. Contest ends Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 11:59 pm PST. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below the recipe to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 teaspoons milk (depending on if you want to spread the frosting or drizzle it)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Mix all the crust ingredients together and pat into a 9" square pan. (I used a 7" x 11" pan.)
Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and cool.
Blend all the filling ingredients together and pour over baked crust.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes at 350 degrees then remove from oven and cool.
Mix the frosting ingredients together until smooth then spread over the lemon bars.
From the author, Julie Seedorf:
Jezabelle and I would like to thank Gladys Johanson and her family for letting us use her recipe for Lemon Love Notes in the Brilliant Bistro. Gladys celebrated her 100th birthday on October 19, 2017. She fed 14 children with her fabulous cooking. Thank you for sharing love through your baking.
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