Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dead Man Talking - T. M. Simmons, Author

Boiled Live Crawfish
(A T.M. Simmons Speciality)
One sack live crawfish, 35-40 lbs.
A Dozen Medium Lemons, Halved
2-4 lbs. of Crawfish Boiling Spices
6 Large Onions, Peeled
5 lb. Red Potatoes
1 dozen ears frozen sweet corn
1 – 12 oz. container of squeeze butter or margarine
17 oz. container of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
3 - 4 gallons water
Outside propane fish cooker
Large cooler
It's best to use an outside propane fish cooker. If you cook crawfish in your kitchen, the spices will make you sneeze and can make it hard to breathe.  Wash crawfish off with a hose while still in the bag.   Pour crawfish into a metal tub or plastic swimming pool. Rewash.  Bring the water to boil over the propane flame.   Add spices, lemons, onions, and one half of potatoes, and corn.  Bring back to boil.  Fill fish basket with live crawfish. (Discard any dead ones, as they may have gone bad.)  Slowly lower into boiling water and cover with lid.  Bring back to boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour crawfish from basket into cooler.  Remove corn, also, and put in cooler. Let potatoes cook longer.  Squeeze butter/margarine on crawfish and corn, then sprinkle with creole seasoning and stir with a metal scoop.  Keep cooking until all the crawfish are all cooked, adding corn with next batch and taking first batch of potatoes out when they are done. Add rest of potatoes and cook while finishing the crawfish. Continue squeezing butter and adding seasoning.  Give everyone a disposable plastic tray and enjoy! We cover a table with an oilcloth and newspaper to dump our shells on. Twist off head and suck out spices. Remove tail meat and eat.  You can dip the crawfish tails into your favorite seafood dip, if you wish. I like melted Brummel and Brown yogurt butter.
 
Dead Man Talking – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
 
A second later Katy continued with a resigned sigh, “He says his death was a murder, but not deliberate murder. That he can’t find eternal rest until the deed is exposed.” That got to me. The ghost must have known it would. How can you have an undeliberate murder? I never could ignore a murder mystery with a death riddle attached. “Interesting,” I mused. “Are you coming then? In the morning, not next week?” I chewed my lip and contemplated. “Ask Sir Gary why he doesn’t come over here and talk. I’ll leave a light on.” “I’ve already told him that,” she ground out. “Hell, I even got out a map and showed him where you live! But noooo. He insists you come here!” A stubborn ghost. He’d probably been that way in life, because Twila and I firmly believe a person’s living personality follows into death. One crotchety old man –
 
Alice was contacted by her cousin Katy to help her remove her resident ghost who calls himself ‘Sir Gary.’ Apparently he had died due to drowning but wasn’t quite sure that it wasn’t without help. He just couldn’t remember how nor who had murdered him and until he could resume that memory he simply couldn’t cross through the light into the other side. Sir Gary has taken to acting up around Katy demanding that she have Alice come to solve his mystery and help him end his half life existence. In his eyes, Alice is a paranormal writer and solves murders all day long through her writing making her perfect for the job. Alice, on the other hand, has a deadline to meet for her latest book and just can’t get away for a few days. That all changes when Katy and Sir Gary find a headless body floating in Katy’s pool giving her home yet another ghost to deal with. And this one is mad! He can’t find his head so he can’t see nor communicate leaving him nothing else to do but rant and rave until it’s found. Katy now has Alice’s attention and she is on her way, as are her aunt Twila, her ex-husband Jack and eventually her neighbor ‘Granny.’
 
I’ve now read all of T. M. Simmons’ Dead Man books – Dead Man Haunt, Dead Man Hand, and now Dead Man Talking. Each is equally as good as the other and each is filled with ghosts, murder, suspense and lots of laughter. When I read the part about the traffic jam and its cause I busted out laughing out loud. When Jack, who was a non-believer became a believer I laughed. When Jack and Alice go to a biker bar undercover, I laughed. This book, as well as all of the Dead Man books are filled with so much humor that it becomes a ‘fun filled suspense.’ And for the suspense, I never did guess who killed the man in the pool until I read it near the end.

 
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