The Crime Cafe returns to its regular bi-weekly schedule very, very soon! Next week, it returns to YouTube and the following Sunday, it’s back on iTunes, Stitcher, and all the rest.

So, as per usual, here’s a guest post from our next hapless victim honored guest. For the first episode, I’ll be interviewing Saralyn Richard. Check out her website. 🙂

And to give you a taste of her writing (I won’t even pretend that pun wasn’t intentional), she’s giving away a recipe book entitled Epicurean Feast, which sounds freaking scrumptious, and her novel Murder in the One Percent. Saralyn gives the deets for entering below.

So, keep reading! Here’s Saralyn to fill you in. (Yeah, I was a poet. And knew it.)

Why Murder Mysteries Make Us Hungry
by Saralyn Richard

Did you know reading murder mysteries burns a lot of calories? It’s true. Research studies conducted while readers were reading mysteries showed the nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat sitting, and heart-pounding scenes burned way more calories than those burned by reading books in any other category. Well, at least we think so.

That gives mystery writers poetic license to include scenes filled with mouth-watering gastronomic delights, right?

Murder in the One Percent revolves around a weekend birthday celebration at a country mansion in Pennsylvania’s horse country. The gathering includes lots and lots of delectable food and drink—enough to make the reader salivate. The menus are fit for royalty, and the wine pairings impress even the savviest connoisseur.

Here’s a recipe for one of the entrees served at the party. The osso buco fills the house with the aromas of garlic and spices. The meat just melts in our mouths, and the taste is decadent—or maybe that’s not a good word to use, since someone turns up dead.

Anyway, here’s the recipe for all the gourmands among you. Happy eating, and happy reading, too.

Osso Buco Ingredients
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 dry bay leaf
2 whole cloves garlic
Kitchen twine, for bouquet garni and tying the veal shanks
3 whole veal shanks (about 1 pound per shank), trimmed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small carrot, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 stalk celery, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Place the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and cloves into cheesecloth and secure with twine. This will be your bouquet garni.
For the veal shanks, pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Veal shanks will brown better when they are dry. Secure the meat to the bone with the kitchen twine. Season each shank with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dredge the shanks in flour, shaking off excess.
In a large Dutch oven pot, heat vegetable oil until smoking. Add tied veal shanks to the hot pan and brown all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove browned shanks and reserve.
In the same pot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Season with salt at this point to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Saute until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Return browned shanks to the pan and add the white wine and reduce liquid by half, about 5 minutes. Add the bouquet garni and 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Check every 15 minutes, turning shanks and adding more chicken stock as necessary. The level of cooking liquid should always be about 3/4 the way up the shank.
Carefully remove the cooked shanks from the pot and place in decorative serving platter. Cut off the kitchen twine and discard.
Remove and discard bouquet garni from the pot.
Pour all the juices and sauce from the pot over the shanks. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon zest.

If you’ve read Murder in the One Percent (or even if you haven’t yet), you know it starts with a birthday celebration at a country mansion in lush Brandywine Valley, PA. The guests, members of the elite wealthiest one percent, enjoy gourmet foods, fine wines, mouth-watering truffles, and more. The sequel, A Palette for Love and Murder, also features some delectable menu items. In honor of Debbi Mack’s Crime Café interview, I’m offering a free book of recipes from the menu at John E. Campbell’s birthday party. You can eat like America’s one percent, and remember the party to die for! If you’re interested in this free recipe book (pdf), just respond with your email address to You will be automatically subscribed to my newsletter, which gives you access to special offers and giveaways monthly. You will also be entered into a drawing for a giveaway of a copy of Murder in the One Percent (offer open to Continental U.S. subscribers only).


Galveston Author Saralyn Richard

Award-winning mystery and children’s book author, Saralyn Richard strives to make the world a better place, one book at a time. Her books, Naughty Nana, Murder in the One Percent, and A Palette for Love and Murder, have delighted children and adults, alike. A member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Saralyn teaches creative writing at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and continues to write mysteries. Reviews, media, and tour schedule may be found at


PS: Well, I’m starving now! 🙂

PPS: While you’re here, check out the line of merch Stitcher podcasting has to offer! A portion of June merchandise sales go toward Black Girls Code.

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