The Sand Bluff Murders - C. M. Albrecht, Author

2:01 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves


 
Spaghetti
(A Jonas favorite
)
1 lb. ground beef.
1/2 lb. ground pork.
One chopped onion.
Quarter or half each of a green pepper and a red pepper, chopped.
At least one good stalk of chopped celery.
Up to half a cup of olive oil.
I brown all this and set aside.

In a separate pan I simmer broth. Prefer beef, but chicken stock will do. You can create your own or buy liquid stock or use as a last resort, bouillon cubes, etc. About a quart of this.

In this stock as it simmers, add, a bay leaf.
2 Tsp.  anise seed (not star anise).
4 Tsp. fine basil (or you can chop your own fresh basil, which takes more),
One good-size head of garlic, chopped a bit,
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar,
1/4 cup sugar.
2 Tsp.  dry mustard

Simmer broth 1/2 hour.

Open a can of diced tomatoes. Drain liquid into broth. Give the tomatoes a little chop, or if you can, get the smaller chopped tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the beef and continue to cook slowly.

Strain the broth into the beef mixture and add tomato paste. Probably at least three small cans. You can adjust the thickness of the sauce with a can or so of tomato sauce and/or more tomato paste to get the right consistency.

Let this sauce gently simmer for another half hour, stirring occasionally.

Pour over hot spaghetti or rigatoni , etc., and top with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
 



The Sand Bluff Murders - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

"A corpse?" I smiled.  Like a dead body?  Oh yeah!  I was supposed to take this seriously?  Only thing people killed around Sand Bluff were lots of bottles of beer and the occasional careless cat that got in the way of a speeding pickup.  I checked out the town's reputation before I ever applied for the job.  This was supposed to be a cool job with a badge, easy money and a little authority in a small town where nothing ever happens - that's what I signed on for.  Okay, let him have his little joke.  Maybe this was a sort of initiation or something.


Cheif Castillo stroked his mustache and smiled grimly.  "our Officer Ackers didn't even know the guy was dead.  Officer Ackers thought the stiff was just drunk.  He dragged the body to his patrol car and brought him in to sober up."  Chief Castillo splayed both dark hands on the desk.  "In doing so of course he totally f... up the scene and manhandled the body, so I'd say you've got your work cut out for you."  "My work?  Are you saying this is a homicide?" 


Jonas McCleary was hired on with the Sand Bluff police department as the Chief Detective.  Actually he was the only detective.  Actually they had never had a detective before.  Now that he has been on the job just three days, they have their first murder in 20 years.  Way to go Jonas!  Well, how hard can a murder in a small town be to solve?  Turns out it was pretty difficult, especially when two more bodies turn up. 


Author C. M. Albrecht has written what I call an enjoyable 'light-hearted' murder mystery that includes a little humor and a lot of questions without so much gore and strong language.  As hard as I tried to determine who the guilty person was I just about had it near the end but still couldn't connect them with all three murders.  This book will keep you in suspense and keep you guessing.  I really enjoy this Author's style of writing. 

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