Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Pudding Up With Murder by Julia Buckley

Growing up With a Food Genius

My latest book in the Undercover Dish series takes us back to Pine Haven, Illinois, where Lilah Drake continues to make her secret dishes for clients who take the credit. As always, Lilah is making some delicious concoctions; in Pudding Up With Murder, the star of the show is a rice pudding casserole with cinnamon topping that Lilah has made for a birthday party. I chose this dish partly because Lilah tends to make covered dishes and casseroles, and I wanted to create one that was sweet rather than savory. But there were also nostalgic reasons.

My late mother was a food genius, and I grew up in a house where the kitchen always smelled good, and the table looked like a food-lover’s happy dream. Often on Saturdays I’d wake up to the sound of her muscling a wooden spoon around in a bowl of pastry dough. This would often turn into some sort of German delicacy (she grew up in that country). She made amazing puff pastry with almond glaze; German cookies of various shapes and sizes; cakes for every occasion. My Hungarian grandmother gave her a recipe for apple slices that I can still taste when I close my eyes.

(Here’s my mom in the early 90’s, picking blackberries. She used them for pie, jam, and sprinkling on cereal.)

She made hot meals almost every night; she would collect recipes from magazines, and she had an admirable assortment of cookbooks.  Counting my parents, there were seven of us, and we were always well fed.

My mother made holidays a gourmet’s delight. She baked for every special occasion: birthdays, anniversaries, important events. Once I starred in a school musical called No, No Nanette, in which I danced to a song called Peach on the Beach. When I got home on opening night, I found my mother had made a pretty pink cake that looked like a seashell, and it said “For our Peach on the Beach.”

Lilah’s love of baking, then, is something that I observed in my mother, and I have a wealth of memories to draw from.

Based on the title of the new book, you might ask, “But did your mother ever make pudding?”

Oh, did she make pudding. Rice pudding, butterscotch pudding, chocolate pudding, tapioca pudding. Cooked the old-fashioned way, in a pot, with boiling water. Then she would chill it in the refrigerator in individual parfait cups, and it would become after-dinner dessert.

She also made bread pudding in big pans that she baked in the oven. The recipes varied, but they were usually thick with raisins and cinnamon and chunks of bakery bread.

Ah, the kitchen of my mother. I think of it fondly, and Lilah Drake is part of the legacy of my lifetime of good meals.

Guest post provided by the publisher.

Series: An Undercover Dish Mystery (Book 3)
Publisher: Berkley (September 5, 2017)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0425275973
ISBN-13: 978-0425275979
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


Secret chef Lilah Drake has a killer casserole to deal with in the latest Undercover Dish mystery from the author of Cheddar Off Dead….

Customers trust Lilah Drake to keep her mouthwatering meals under wraps, but when a millionaire meets his untimely end, some sinister secrets become the main course. . . .

Spring is right around the corner, and with the warmer temperatures come plenty of food requests from Lilah Drake’s covered-dish clients. Lilah pulls out all the stops with a sweet new casserole for the birthday party of Marcus Cantwell, a wealthy curmudgeon who has some angry ex-wives and more than a few enemies.

When he’s found facedown in Lilah’s casserole, it’s anyone’s guess as to who might have wanted the old man dead. A possible new heir to Marcus’s fortune adds some unexpected spice to the investigation, but Lilah fears that the old adage is true, and “the proof is in the pudding.”


Thanks to the publisher I have one (1) copy of Pudding Up With Murder (An Undercover Dish Mystery) to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on September 24th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

juliaJulia Buckley is a Chicago-area writer. Her first mystery, THE DARK BACKWARD, was published in 2006; since then she has published the Madeline Mann mysteries and the first in the Teddy Thurber series on Kindle.

Buckley is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America, as well as the Chicago Writers Association. She blogs about writing and mysteries at Mysterious Musings, where she has interviewed almost 200 other mystery writers about their work.

She teaches high school English and enjoys reading, playing Words With Friends on Facebook, and spending time with her husband and two sons, as well as their menagerie of animals.

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  1. Penney Wilfort says:

    Wonderful review thank you, I am looking forwqard to this one Penney

  2. kathleen kendler says:

    Thank-you for the interview.  I enjoyed it.  Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.

  3. Sounds like a great book!  Thanks for the chance to win! 

  4. I'd like to win it

  5. jeri dickinson says:

    love the story and would love to win it  thanks for the chance to get it

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