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DIETING: Live for the moment. Unless it’s a bad moment. Then definitely live for the cupcake.

One dish fits all diets.

Recently, we invited a large group for an evening that included dinner. Now, I’ve been eating dinner for well… Let’s just say a while, so I assumed I was qualified to handle this. In my innocence, I thought all I would have to do is put out some platters of food and people would help themselves, moan about Brexit, and spill wine on the sofas.

But then the requests started coming in. Would it be okay if we served some vegetarian dishes? How about vegan? Could I make sure there were some gluten free options? Of course, there couldn’t be any shellfish, pork, or beef. One person was allergic to chicken, another to cheese. Salmon was out because of the boycott, and could I make sure there was absolutely nothing in the entire house and gardens that had ever had any form of nut waved about its general vicinity? Oh, and while I was at it, would it be possible to list the source of every ingredient of every food item ever cooked in my kitchen, plus their approximate number of calories?

Amazingly enough, it all went fairly well. (And by that, I mean nobody actually died, at least not yet.) So as I’m getting ready for another dinner, I decided to research potential dishes that might be uncontroversial, and meet all requirements. I’m proud to announce the menu for my next dinner.

Bon Appétit!

Meanwhile, for a more deadly take on diets, see my next quick review below of Poisoned by the Pier by Ellen Jacobson.

Review #2 

Poisoned by the Pier by Ellen Jacobson

  • GenreHumorous cozy mystery
  • Author: Ellen Jacobson
  • Blurb

What would you do if your hubby signed the two of you up for an extreme diet?

Life without chocolate and junk food—completely miserable. Finding someone poisoned by a cake—even worse.

Mollie thought she had enough problems to deal with when her husband threw out all of her chocolate and junk food. But when someone is poisoned during a cake baking competition, she’s thrust into another murder investigation.

While she tries to identify the killer, Coconut Cove’s annual boating festival is in full swing. In between getting ready for her first sailing race and cheating on her diet, Mollie and her cat, Mrs. Moto, uncover clues, interview suspects, and do their best to avoid rutabagas.

Can Mollie nab the murderer before someone else is poisoned?

Poisoned by the Pier is the third book in the light, humorous, and original Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery series. If you like kooky characters, adorable cats, and plenty of chocolate, you’ll love this cozy mystery. Buy Poisoned by the Pier today and laugh out loud from the first page to the last.

Spoiler Alert: You’ll never look at rutabagas the same way again after you finish reading this book!

My Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Mollie and her husband have communication issues. He thinks it’s okay to inform her that they are moving onto the dilapidated sailboat he bought for her anniversary present, throw out all her favorite food and snacks, and sign them up for an extreme diet consisting primarily of rutabagas (that’s “swede” for my UK readers). Of course, Mollie thinks it’s okay to be married to a grown man named Scooter, so I’m calling that one a draw.

Mollie’s neighbors at the Coconut Cove marina have problems too, mainly with the fact that Mollie keeps finding their dead bodies. In this latest episode, Mollie is busy sneaking chocolate and other diet cheats, working on their boat repairs, trying to figure out how to bake a cake in their miniscule galley to enter into the marina’s contest, and of course, eavesdropping on her neighbors. But when she finds a body poisoned by one of the cakes entered in the contest, she knows the police will need her help in solving the crime.

But despite owning a cat and liking cupcakes, Mollie differs from other cozy mystery detectives. As (unpaid) Investigative Reporter for FAROUT (the Federation for Alien Research, Outreach, and UFO Tracking), aliens are her usual prime suspect in any mysterious event. She doesn’t assemble the clues into a coherent theory, she doesn’t figure out the murderer, and she especially doesn’t gather all the suspects together for the big reveal. Instead, Mollie is the kind of detective who will have you laughing with her as she is consistently amazed by unfolding events, even while gathering up clues that let the reader figure who-done-it well before Mollie ever has…well, a clue.

If you like your mysteries fast-paced and funny, with great settings and a likeably charming (if unreliable) narrator, I recommend all three books in this series.