GINGERDEAD MAN is the seventh book in the Five-Ingredient Mysteries by Maya Corrigan and is every bit as tasty as the previous books in the series. From the adorable holiday-themed cover to entice a reader, to the Dickens-themed holiday festival, to all the trimmings Christmas has to offer, Ms. Corrigan captured my attention. With vivid scenes described on the pages, I felt like I was there, experiencing the action right alongside the protagonist, Val Deniston. Val is a delightful character and I adore her relationship with her grandfather. Besides being family, they’re also roommates and work together to solve crimes. Granddad is one of my favorite characters in the series. Despite his age, he’s feisty and a go-getter. Not content to sit back and enjoy his golden years, Granddad snagged himself a newspaper column as The Codger Cook, despite not knowing how to cook. He’s also obtained his private investigator’s license and usually volunteers to play Santa for the annual holiday festival. Except that this year he’s been booted out from the Santa position and demoted to playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Despite his bah humbug attitude, Granddad still manages to imbue the role with some humor as he spouts off quotes from A Christmas Carol to fit a variety of situations.
When the new Santa is murdered right in front of Ebenezer Scrooge and Mrs. Clause, who’s more of a vixen than a grandmotherly type, Val and Granddad know they’ll have to sort out the clues. Ms. Corrigan sets the stage for a straightforward murder mystery but then throws in twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. Granddad loves to spout off his theories, usually based on Hitchcock films, which added some humor and added to the enjoyment of watching the story unfold. There are clues to keep the sharp-eyed reader on track but, to be honest, this is one of those books I just wanted to sit back and enjoy the story. And enjoy it I did! I finished the book with a smile on my face and I’m looking forward to the next installment in this charming series!
Granddad’s Codger Cook newspaper column touts his five-ingredient recipes. While he didn’t know much about cooking when he started, Granddad has increased his knowledge and skill instead of relying on Val. As usual, Ms. Corrigan includes several five-ingredient recipes at the back of the book and they all sound fantastic. I was drawn to the recipe for Grasmere Gingerbread for several reasons. First, because I visited Grasmere many, many years ago and loved the region. While I didn’t try any gingerbread during my visit (I was enraptured with their scones and Devonshire cream!) Second, I was intrigued by this famous gingerbread. Grasmere Gingerbread also has historical significance since it was created during Dickens’ lifetime. It’s easy to imagine that he might have enjoyed this tasty treat. And last, five ingredients (6 if you use the crystalized ginger) and no rolling out for gingerbread sounded almost too good to be true… but in this case it lived up to its reputation. Sweet with a slight spicy bite of ginger from the crystalized candied ginger, the edges are crunchy and the inside of the bars are slightly chewy – the perfect balance. This is one of those recipes my husband said I didn’t need to bother finding any other taste testers because he was more than happy to eat the entire batch himself. I liked that it doesn’t make a huge amount and it is one of the quickest and easiest cookies I’ve ever made. The next time we’re in the mood for a treat that evokes the holidays, I’ll be making this again!
When Santa is sleighed by a poison gingerbread cookie at a holiday party, Val Deniston’s reputation is on the line . . .
This holiday season Bayport, Maryland, is a dead ringer for Victorian London. Val and her grandfather are taking part in the Dickens of a Holiday festival. Val is hosting a private tea party serving the festival’s costumed volunteers, who range from Dickens divas like Madame Defarge and Miss Havisham to Ebenezer Scrooge and old St. Nick himself.
But one costumed reveler may have gotten the holidays mixed up. The winner of the creepiest outfit, robed in black with a gift bag covering the head—okay, Ghost of Christmas Present, Val gets it—hands out gingerbread men with white icing skeleton bones. This year’s sour Santa has none of the big fellow’s mirth but plenty of his appetite, and it’s no secret Santa loves cookies. But when the man in red turns blue, Val and Granddad have a cookie-cutter killer to catch before the New Year . . .
A special thanks to Maya Corrigan for providing one lucky winner with a print copy of GINGERDEAD MAN! Giveaway is limited to U.S. residents. Contest ends Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST. 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!)
To make gingerbread (or gingerdead) men, you need more than five ingredients. You also have to roll out the dough and cut the shapes. Here's a gingerbread cookie you can make with fewer ingredients and without a rolling pin. This treat is so popular in England that people travel to the small town of Grasmere in the lake district just to buy it.
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 10 tablespoons butter
- 1 - 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Line an oblong pan (approximately 7 x 11 x 2 inches) with parchment paper.
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Melt the butter and add it to the dry ingredients.
Add the chopped crystallized ginger to taste, one tablespoon if you're not sure if you like it and two if you know you do.
Spread the mixture over the pan in a thin layer, pressing it down lightly with your fingers or the bottom of a glass.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown.
Cut the gingerbread into bars (approximately 1 x 2 inches) while it is still hot. Leave it in the pan until it cools. Remove the gingerbread by lifting the parchment paper.
Yield: 30 - 36 bars
Adapted from English Food by Jane Grigson.
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I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorites!
My Sister and I always attend the Fall and Christmas festivals at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. Thanks for the chance!
We used to have Christmas gatherings each year at my in-laws. We would travel from Virginia to Ohio just for the weekend or couple of days due to both of us working. Thanks for the chance.
My family and I always listen to the Chipmunks when we are opening presents on Christmas morning.
I don’t attend any Christmas festivals. We have plenty of traditions though!
I would, but where we live there aren’t any other than the parade which ends with Santa on the courtyard seeing the kiddos. Love Christmas and anything dealing with it!
Thanks for the delicious sounding recipe. Gingerbread is one of my favorites. My Granny use to fix it for me all the time.
Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “GINGERDEAD MAN”. Always enjoy reading one of Maya Corrigan’s books!
I love to attend Christmas holiday markets ~
I don’t attend many Christmas festivals, but we do go to a Christmas concert or two.
I do not attend Christmas festivals. I love gingerbread and cozies though!
I don’t celebrate Christmas because I am Jewish, so no festivals for me, but I do still enjoy reading Christmas themed books and I would love to read this one!
thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. i love gingerbread. when the kids were home we always attended Christmas parties with scouts, church and family and friends. now that they are gone, hubs and i mainly do church and family and friends. this is such a wonderful cover. i would love to read this book. thanks
Nope, no Christmas festivals for me either
I enjoy attending Christmas craft shows and outdoor festivals. I also love gingerbread cookies.
First of all, I am going to have to make these this weekend! Second, we do try to attend holiday festivities should kid health and schedule allow. There is a Christmas Parade and light show we attend with my mom and a party at my grandparents’ house. There is also Christmas baking day where we bake and eat our fill of Christmas cookies while watching holiday movies (Hallmark usually).
No I don’t usually attend Christmas festivals. I do enjoy the Christmas Eve Candlelight service.
I don’t think I have ever attended a Christmas festival. I’ve attended events at church. That gingerbread looks so good, it’s a lot lighter in color than most gingerbread than I have had before.
I love Christmas festivals!
I can’t wait to use some of these recipes thank you ?
I can’t wait to read about Val and Grandad’s adventures again. And gingerbread is so yummy. Thanks for the chance to win. Looking forward to cool weather and books.
I can’t wait for the virus to go away so i can attend anything including my dr I am stay at home anyway even if no virus due to battling a disease RSD but i have to say this is a double lock down for me. I do love going to festivals to see all the home made craft and the home baked goodies that is my favorite!
I dont usually attend Christmas Festivals. I attend programs at my church or holiday open houses at various small town businesses. Those Gingerbread bars look delicious! I love the addition of crystalized ginger! Thanks for the chance to win! That book cover is so pretty! Clever to add the skeleton gingerbread man lol.
used to. But, not anymore.
I do not attend but I like to watch them on TV. Thanks for the chance. Very cute cover.
We love all Christmas traditions from baking specific favorite cookies if each family member and all other favorites as well. We love going to the tree farms and choosing our trees together and them coming home to hot mulled cider and hot chocolate while we decorate outside and in.
We do attend a few, but mostly different annual family events.
With a 4 year old granddaughter, holiday celebrations are a must. Not sure what we will be able to do about pictures with Santa this year with the pandemic.
No Christmas festivals fin my area.
Yes, I do. There are usually a few every year I attend.
If it’s a local one, I sometimes go.
I don’t think they have Christmas festivals where I live. I do love gingerbread. Yummy..Thank you for this chance to win.
I enjoy attending Christmas festivals. They are so much fun! I also enjoy reading Christmas themed mysteries.
I always attend Christmas craft and bake sales. It’s such an amazing time of the year. 🙂
We usually go to one November but not this year.
I will be trying this gingerbread, one of my favorite cookies!
This looks delicious! I love anything to do with Christmas and have gone to the Holidazzle parade, but it seems harder to find Christmas festivals. Especially this year.
Don’t usually go to Christmas festivals, but do get together with family and friends.
We don’t have any holiday festivals around here but I love to look at all the lights and decorations around town. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
Used to do a lot of celebrating but in recent years lost quite a few family members. Now, just do a little.
I like to attend Christmas holiday markets.
I have not attended a holiday festival. Our family usually attend musical events.
no i do not attend holiday festivals.
For the holidays, I attend whatever activities my children and grandson want to attend. Mostly, we just enjoy gathering together as we live too far apart.
I love stories with old codger characters! I would love to read this book!
I don’t usually go to Christmas festivals. You tend to spend too much money when you go.
I love going to holiday festivals! It makes you feel more in the spirit of the holidays just by being there.
I love the cover!
Yes there’s an annual candlelight house tour that we do every year for Christmas. Thanks for the chance!
I’m in assisted living and last year there were many events scheduled. I don’t know what this year will be like! Love gingerbread cookies – and gingerbread.
No I don’t!
I haven’t been to any Holiday festivals. Thank you for a chance to win a print copy of Gingerdead Man.
No, we don’t.
Traditionally I attend Holiday events, not this year.
No, I have never attended one. Thank you for this chance.
We usually attend many holiday events, but this year many have already been cancelled.
There aren’t any local holiday festivals here or I might attend.
Yes every year there is a big festival downtown when they officially light the town square Christmas tree. Lots of food, crafts, and activities to do. I don’t know they will have it this year. What a cute cover this book has! Thanks for the chance!
We traditionally make the Christmas treats that our grandmothers made for us every year: spritz cookies, sausage balls, ice box cookies, cheese wafers, etc. It’s fun and we’re passing the tradition down to our to our son.
Yes we do, the holidays are so busy! We also have the family dinners and Church.
My family celebrates Yule.
We usually gather at my brother’s for a Christmas dinner. Our parents are gone now so family has gotten smaller.
I love gingerbread stuff.
I made a booboo on my name.
I made a booboo on my name.
I don’t attend many Christmas festivals.
Hi! The holidays are so special! When my grandparents were alive, we had such amazing celebrations of love and happiness during the holiday season. It would start at Thanksgiving (my favorite), and would continue through the New Year. Oh how I miss them!! Since they’ve passed away, my mother (their daughter) has become schizophrenic and has isolated herself away. It’s quite sad. At least we have our past memories and the new memories made with our children. We pray for her. ❤️
In the past, we have attended many traditional holiday festivals and enjoyed them very much.
No, we don’t generally attend Christmas festivals.
We attend whatever we can for Christmas! I just love the season!
I love all things Christmas, including festivals, concerts, parties – we try to pack as much into the season as we can! The Grasmere Gingerbread looks AMAZING! I’m saving the recipe for the holidays & can’t wait to try it!
We usually take a mini vacation to a Christmas place such as Dollywood or Branson.