KILLED ON BLUEBERRY HILL, the third book in the Berry Basket Mysteries by Sharon Farrow is another action-packed addition to an entertaining series! The reader is immersed in the festivities of Oriole Point’s Blueberry Blow Out Festival. With the author’s strong descriptive narratives, I could taste the blueberry pies; hear the screams coming from the rides like Blueberry Hill Death Drop (a tower drop ride); see the flashing lights from the carnival games; and feel the chills and thrills from the scary fun house. The protagonist, Marlee Jacob (I love that she’s named after a character in Christmas Carol!) owns The Berry Basket and has her hands full running her shop and having a strong presence at the festival. She is a marvelous character and I greatly admire the way she cares for her employees and friends. She treats them all like family. I especially enjoyed Marlee’s adorable African Grey Parrot, Minnie, who add some humor to the scenes with her ‘chatter’. I had no idea these beautiful birds had such huge vocabularies.
Marlee is engaged to Ryan Zeller. She is an independent woman and is having a difficult time reconciling herself to Ryan’s overbearing and controlling ways. After an ongoing feud erupts into violence between Ryan and a neighboring farm owner, Ryan finds himself a suspect in murdering the man. Marlee is sure her fiancé is innocent, but Ryan is hiding secrets from her. Determined to clear the name of the man she loves, Marlee gets involved in trying to find the truth. As she asks questions, she uncovers family feuds and secrets that people don’t want uncovered. Ms. Farrow knows how to bring an exciting pace to the story and the suspenseful conclusion had me sitting on the edge of my seat!
I greatly enjoy the various berry themes of this series and KILLED ON BLUEBERRY HILL doesn’t disappoint. The author includes interesting bits about harvesting blueberries along with some of the health benefits of this tiny berry. Ms. Farrow also includes several blueberry recipes at the back of the book and I was drawn to the recipe for Baked Blueberry French Toast. I love any breakfast or brunch item that can be mixed up ahead of time and then baked right before serving while I prepare other “hands-on” items. The cream cheese adds a luscious, rich texture while the blueberries mixed into the bread and milk mixture provide little pockets of sweet berry bites. Crowning the dish, though, is the blueberry orange sauce… I could have eaten it all on its own and loved the delicious flavor and yummy color it brought to the Baked Blueberry French Toast!
It’s peak tourist season in Oriole Point, Michigan—the blueberry buckle of the fruit belt. Nothing draws the crowds quite like their annual carnival. And nothing turns it sour faster than murder . . .
The Blueberry Blow Out festival has begun and it’s time for Marlee Jacob, owner of The Berry Basket, to shine. Unfortunately it’s also bringing out the worst in her fiancé Ryan Zeller. Ryan’s rivalry with Porter Gale, owner of Blueberry Hill Farm, spills over into a very public and very ugly fight. And after they compete in the pie-eating contest and a raucous tug of war, their orchard blood feud takes a deadly turn . . .
The death of the king of Blueberry Hill is a shock but not too surprising—he was a diabetic whose last pig out meal was deliciously fatal. But when authorities discover that someone tampered with Porter’s insulin, a tragic accident is looking like murder—and Ryan is the key ingredient. Now Marlee’s investigation to clear his name is taking her deep into the Gale family secrets, and she’s being shadowed every step of the way by a killer whose sweet revenge is just beginning . . .
A special thanks to Sharon Farrow for providing a winner with a print copy of KILLED ON BLUEBERRY HILL. Contest ends Monday, October 29, 2018 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to U.S. residents only. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below 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!)
When Marlee and Tess meet for breakfast at the Sourdough Café, they order this delicious baked French toast. Since Marlee produced cooking shows during her TV career in NYC, she recognizes the dish as a delightfully gooey recipe by celebrity chef Emeril.
- 10 large eggs
- 14 slices white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes; crusts removed and discarded
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 to 16 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (according to personal tastes)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- Blueberry Sauce
- 1/2 cup blueberries, rinsed and picked over
- 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons orange zest
Butter a 9-x13-inch baking dish with a tablespoon of butter.
Arrange half of the bread cubes on the bottom of the baking dish.
Top bread cubes with blueberries and cream cheese cubes.
Layer the remaining bread cubes over the blueberries/cheese cubes.
Whisk eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup, and orange juice in a large bowl.
Pour egg mixture evenly over bread mixture in baking dish.
Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Remove dish from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Position rack in center of oven.
Bake the covered French toast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove aluminum foil and continue baking another 30 minutes, or until toast is golden brown and puffed.
Remove from oven and let slightly cool, approximately 15 minutes.
After plating, ladle blueberry sauce over the French toast.
In small saucepan, stir together over medium-high heat cornstarch, water, sugar, orange juice, and zest.
Cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, approximately 5 minutes.
Add blueberries and simmer mixture, stirring occasionally until berries burst, approximately 5 minutes.
Add butter. Stir mixture until melted.
Remove blueberry mixture from heat. Spoon or ladle over warm French toast.
French Toast serves 10 - 12
Blueberry Sauce makes 3 cups.
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I was provided an advance copy with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Wow, the recipe you share looks wonderfully indulgent and with bright flavors. I have never been in an eating contest, pie or otherwise. I have, however, watched them in awe and horror. It is amazing the sheer quantity and speed people can wolf down food.
I agree, there is a kind of fascinating horror watching people eat the copious amounts of food in such a short time!
Blueberries and French Toast are 2 of my favorite things! Thanks for the awesome recipe!
I have never entered a pie eating contest nor any other type of eating contest. But I love watching them!
No, never been in an eating contest or been to one. I bet I couldn’t scarf enough food down to even qualify haha. I think my nephew was in a pie eating contest when he was a kid though lol
I have never participated in a pie eating contest but have watched plenty of them at the State Fair back in the day.
No I haven’t.
I’ve never participated in a pie eating contest, but I’ve watched a couple that occurred at sporting events we were attending. They seem to be a lot of fun! lol
I *think* I participated in a watermelon eating contest when I was little.
I have not been in a pie-eating contest, but have watched one and it is fun to see.
I’ve not participated in any eating contest. Thank you for the chance to win and for this delicious looking french toast recipe.
I’ve never participated in any eating contest. Thank you for the chance to win.
I enjoy your blog and the many recipes you provide beside information on new books. This blueberry breakfast cake is a must try for my family. As far as competing in an eating contest the answer is no. I have a gag reflex that gets easily triggered when too much food is taken in. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com
A food eating contest?
Isn’t that what family holiday meals are?!
I have never participated in a pie eating contest — too messy!!
Me Dr been in an eating contest!!!
I havent been in a pie eating contest but my husband has
I haven’t been in a pie eating contest but my husband has
I love blueberries and always try to puck the little less ripe ones so I can get a bit more tartness and to me, more flavor. I live making all kinds of fruit compote which can be used for breakfast and desserts.
I have never and would never enter any kind of eating contest. I’m one of the slowest eaters on the planet and I can’t eat much at a time either so that’s not for me.. ? I can’t watch bad table manners either and that is what these contest seems to remind me of. Plus I’m afraid that someone will choke. It’s just my opinion. .
Thank you for the recipe and giveaway. Thank you.
I’ve never participated in any kind of eating contest. I’m sure it would make me so sick!
I have never been to an eating contest, however one of my favorite quick videos that I see is a contest for eating cotton candy. The video has two contestants, a male and a female and the guy starts eating the candy floss in a conventional way and the woman rips the cotton candy off the cone, wads it up, and quickly jams it all into her mouth while the guy is only halfway done. I laugh each time I see it. The expression on her face gets me every time.
No eating contests for me. Sounds like another great book in this series.
I’ve never taken part in an eating contest. I know I couldn’t do it. Although if I was going to try, pie would be the one!
I’ve never participated in any type of eating contest. I must try this recipe—blueberries are a favorite around our house.
I’ve never been in any sort of eating contest.
I have not entered an eating contest, but it looks like fun to be a baking judge.
I enjoy this series and look forward to reading this one.
No, I’ve never participated in a food eating contest. I don’t think I would be any good at it. In grade school, they had bobbing for apples. The student running the game, finally had to hold the apple for me. I couldn’t get a decent bite into it to get it out of the water!
Love French toast – Love blueberries! The recipe for Baked Blueberry French Toast sounds heavenly delicious!
Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “KILLED ON BLUEBERRY HILL”. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
I’ve never entered a pie eating contest, but I have contributed pies for one. Also entered pies in contest.
I have never participated in any kind of contest like that.. I can’t even watch them on tv, cuz honestly they gross me out.. (I am not a fan of things of that nature.. I see or hear someone barf.. look out I’m running the other way ?)
I love French toast!
I’ve never been or watched a pie eating contest. I think it would turn me off pie and I certainly don’t want that to happen! ?
I’ve never been in or watched a pie eating contest. I think it would turn me off pie forever and I certainly don’t want that to happen! ?
I’ve never been it or watched a pie eating contect.
No I haven’t! I think I would get sick! But it does sound delicious !
I have never participated in a pie eating contest, but my son participated in a donut eating contest. He was pretty young, about 10, and thought that they would give them something to drink along with the donuts. Oh, and he was also kind of taking his time eating the donuts. So funny!!
I never participated in any eating contests . Thank you for a chance to win a print copy of Killed On Blueberry Hill.
I’ve never participated in a pie eating contest.
I’ve never participated in a pie eating contest. That Blueberry French Toast looks so good!! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for having this great giveaway.
I have never participated in an eating contest.
I have been to or participated in a pie eating contest.
I have never been to or participated in a pie eating contest.
No, I haven’t! But I have watched that hot dog one on tv.
This is scrumptious!!!
I’ve never participated in a pie-eating contest or anything like that, just sweeps or online contests.
I haven’t participated in an eating contest. I don’t normally overeat (even at the holidays). They wouldn’t work for me.
No, I have never participated in a pie eating contest! (And I wouldn’t want to – super messy!)
“Have you ever participated in a pie eating contest (or any type of eating contest)?” The whole idea appalls me–it’s not just gross and disgusting, it’s about as immoral as something can possibly be! “As people starve, let’s eat until we puke! Woo-hoo!”
I have never been any kind of eating contest.
I have not participated in a pie eating contest. I am not a fast eater so I don’t think I would do well
I have never entered a lie eating contest but if I did would love it to be lemon meringue!?
I have never been in a pie eating contest. I think they are bad for you but very funny to watch.
The recipe looks delicious. Thank you for this opportunity
No I never have been in a pie eating contest. LOVE BLUEBERRIES !
No, haven’t been in any kind of eating contest, not sure if I would even want to watch! Love Michigan, blueberries not so much…
I’m going to try this, this weekend
Great review sounds very good I love it, I never been in a pie eating contest was in a hotdog eating contest but lost it I could only eat 3 the guy won eat 18 of them.
Never any pie eating contests for me. I just like to eat my pie one bite at a time lol
I have not participated in a pie eating contest. Actually, I haven’t even attended a pie eating contest but I think it would be fun to watch.
I have never entered or watched an eating contest.
No eating contest. But I did watch a hotdog eating contest this summer.. Yuk!! lol
I’ve never participated in any type of eating contest. The blueberry french toast recipe looks delicious!
I love french toast but I’m the only that does, this looks sooo yummy. If my son still lived at home he would beg me to no end to make it, or even make it for himself. He could eat blueberries every day and loves french toast.
I have never had the desire to entire an eating contest!