Sunday, July 14, 2013

Wiggle Room - Darden North, Author

Anderson’s Chicken Pesto

1  package pesto sauce mix
8  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4  slices provolone cheese, cut in half

1   4-ounce can sliced mushrooms

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare pesto sauce following the package directions.  Spray 9 X 12 inch  rectangular dish with no-stick cooking spray. Moisten chicken with water, shake off excess, and completely coat with bread crumbs. Place chicken in baking dish. Spread pesto sauce evenly over chicken breasts. Cover each piece with ½ slice of provolone cheese. Spread mushrooms over cheese. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes. Serve with pasta. Enjoy with friends and family.

I am more of a cook of books than an authority on cookbooks.  Even that’s a stretch.  I rarely cook at all except for the occasional grilled steak or piece of fish and a pop of a leftover into the microwave.  In fact, my biggest meal of the day is typically lunch at the hospital where I work as an ob/gyn (my “day job”).  Our two children are grown and live away, so my wife and I rarely have big meals around our house.  But this is one or my favorite dishes.  Daughter Anderson has made it popular around Jackson, Mississippi, when she has been home.  It’s a quick and easy, but delicious meal, without being too heavy.

----- Darden North
 Author of Mysteries and Thrillers

Wiggle Room - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Mississippi surgeon Brad Cummins, serving on temporary duty at Balad Air Base Theatre Hospital in Iraq, has just been informed that an incoming Black Hawk will be bringing in wounded from an IED which hit a Humvee on patrol. Of the six transported to Balad, five are American Troops. The sixth person injured appears to be an Iraqi student  walking down the road and tossed under the Humvee, breaking bones and receiving burns to much of his body. One of Brad’s patients, Lance Corporal Giles, is treated and seems to be doing OK until a CODE is called on the dying Giles.  Team surgeon John Haynes takes over after Brad attends the Iraqi student. Unfortunately, Giles dies for no apparent reason causing an investigation into his treatment and death. Brad is cleared by his peers but not by himself. He questions his own actions, and his uncertainty mounts.

Brad returns to his fiancee Leslie and to the surgical practice in Mississippi with his twin brother Brian. His real troubles start when Brad and Leslie find Brian shot to death in the parking lot elevator of their medical building. Brad believes that someone meant to kill him, not his twin brother.  Other attempts are made on his life, and the only connection seems to be with the death of Giles. And how does the Iraqi student fit in?

Author Darden North really out-did himself this time. I’ve read several of his books and they have always kept me on the edge but this book became one I didn’t want to stop reading until I reached the end. He kept me guessing as to who the killer would turn out to be and when I decided I knew the answer to that question, he threw in a wrench at the end which had me second guessing my choice. This was a very enjoyable book and I really hope we’ll see more of Brad Cummins in future books.

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