I’m delighted to be participating in the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours today with a review and a decadent recipe! With the inviting setting of a luxury camping resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a plucky protagonist, and a twisty murder to solve, FILM CREWS AND RENDEZVOUS has all the ingredients that appeal to cozy mystery readers. This second book in the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries by Heather Weidner features Jules Keene, who remains calm and resourceful in the face of calamities that seem to crop up in her Fern Valley camping resort. The Hollywood crew for the hit Fatal Impressions has descended upon the resort. They bring all sorts of mayhem, including murder. I really enjoyed the themed tiny houses and the clever use involving the victim… you can just envision the scene of the L. Frank Baum tiny house with the victim sticking out beneath, wearing the trademark red soles of Louboutin shoes. The author does a marvelous job bringing the scenes to life with her strong descriptive voice. The bevy of characters—both admirable and irritating—are well-developed. With the large cast needed for the film crew, they each have their own individual personalities, which made it easy to follow.
The mystery itself was well-plotted and had a quick pace. There were certainly plenty of suspects to choose from. As I followed Jules’s investigation, I bounced from guess to guess… there were lots of people who hated the first victim. When another body shows up, the mystery becomes even more puzzling. There are clues for the armchair detective to follow but the with a surprising and crafty twist at the reveal, I think most will appreciate the clever resolution. While I haven’t read the first book in the series, this whet my appetite to catch up and read more from this author.
Jules enjoys spending time in the kitchen and the author includes several recipes at the end of the book for the home cook to make. I was honored that Ms. Weidner offered me a choice of recipes and the second I saw her recipe for Triple-Layer Peanut Butter Brownies, I was hooked. The base is a simple boxed brownie mix, but from there the decadence multiplies. A creamy peanut butter filling is spread over the brownies and is then topped with rich chocolate and sprinkled with peanuts. This swoon-worthy concoction makes a large amount to share, which is sure to earn you brownie points from your family and friends!
Hollywood has come to Fern Valley, and the one stoplight town may never be the same. Everyone wants to get in on the act.
The crew from the wildly popular, fan favorite, Fatal Impressions, takes over Jules Keene’s glamping resort, and they bring a lot of offscreen drama and baggage that doesn’t include the scads of costumes, props, and crowds that descend on the bucolic resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Added security, hundreds of calls from hopeful extras, and some demanding divas keep Jules’s team hopping.
When the show’s prickly head writer ends up dead under the L. Frank Baum tiny house in what looks like a staged murder scene with a kitschy homage to the Wizard of Oz, Jules has to figure out who would want the writer dead. Then while they are still reeling from the first murder, the popular publicist gets lost after a long night at the local honky-tonk and winds up strangled. Jules needs to solve both crimes before filming is canceled, and her business is ruined.
A special thanks to Heather Weidner for providing one winner with the first book (ebook version) in the series VINTAGE TRAILERS AND BLACKMAILERS. The ebook is open to anyone (international). Contest ends November 30, 2022 at 11:59 pm EST. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. Contest is administered by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour and the winner will be announced on this page and notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
- 1 package of brownie mix (20 ounces)
- 1 package of vanilla instant pudding
- 1 cup of cold milk
- 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 1-1/2 cups of Cool Whip
- 3 squares of semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup of dry roasted peanuts, chopped
Bake brownies in 13x9-inch pan. Follow the package directions.
Beat milk and pudding mix with a whisk for 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and sugar. Mix well. Refrigerate until brownies are completely cooled.
Spread pudding mixture over brownies.
Microwave Cool Whip and chocolate on high for 1 minute. Stir every 30 seconds. Spread over pudding.
Sprinkle with nuts.
Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
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I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.