Monday, July 18, 2016

A Mersey Maiden (Book 3) - Brian L. Porter, Author



Lancashire hot pot
(One of Brian's favorite dishes)

2 tbsp olive oil
1kg/2lb 2oz neck of lamb, chopped into bite-sized pieces
4 lambs' kidneys, cleaned, trimmed, cut into quarters
2 onions, peeled, sliced
½ tsp salt 
1 tbsp plain flour 
250ml/9fl oz lamb stock 
1 sprig fresh thyme 
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce 
50g/2oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
2 x 250g/7oz black pudding rings, outer casing removed, thickly sliced
1kg/2lb 2oz potatoes, peeled and sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the lamb pieces and kidneys for 1-2 minutes on both sides, or until golden-brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, cook the onions and salt for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions have softened. Stir in the flour until the onions are well coated with the flour.
Add the stock to the pan along with the thyme, bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce. Stir and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
Butter a lidded flame-proof casserole dish and place a layer of potatoes (about a third) over the bottom of the dish and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon in half of the browned lamb and lambs' kidneys, then lay over half of the black pudding slices and pour over half of the thickened stock mixture. Repeat the layering process until all of the potatoes, lamb pieces and kidneys, black pudding and stock have been used, finishing with a layer of potatoes on top. Dot the potatoes with the butter, then cover with a lid.
Place the casserole into the oven to cook for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden-brown on top.
To serve, spoon into serving bowls.



A Mersey Maiden (Book 3) - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

"The thing we need to do is go back to the beginning.  First of all, where did the killer obtain the Ketamine?... Next, how did the killer get into the house and bedroom without the two other housemates hearing anything?... It appears the front door was locked but the back door wasn't so there's a possibility the killer entered there and crept up the stairs... Third, we really need to find the motive for the crime.  So far you have some links to this American Company, Aegis, who suddenly came along and offered some kind of sponsorship to the girlfriend, with a job at the end... We know the murdered victim felt there was something 'off' about the company... You then have the frogman's body, Who is it?.. Then we have to take into consideration the fact that the victim's father is a senior officer in the C.I.A."

With all of the information rehashed during a meeting of Andy Ross, Izzie Drake and D.C.I. Oscar Agostini, it seems they are still no closer to determining the reason for the death of a young man who was a star on the Cricket team at the University he attended.  What started as a normal homicide quickly turned into a trip that would take them back in history all the way to World War II.  They will encounter finding a lost ship as well as a lost U-Boat that was not only on a secret mission but also contains secrets that are worth millions.

It comes as no surprise to me to find that Brian L. Porter has done it again.  I became deeply involved in the history of the German U-Boat and its cargo.  I also became involved in the murder mystery of the young Cricket player.  But what really kept me turning the pages was the Author making such a connection between a war that had happened so many years earlier and the murder.

As with every book written by this author, that I've had the pleasure of reading, I found myself not wanting to put it down.  Every page would have me wanting to go to the next with a promise to myself that I would go no further after just one more page.  Porter can write a book that is 100% fiction and still have you saying to yourself 'that could be possible.'

 
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