My name is Nora Charles, and up until recently I was a true crime reporter in Chicago; then Fate intervened and I moved back to my hometown of Cruz, California, to take over my late mother’s specialty sandwich shop, Hot Bread.
Along the way I adopted a tubby tuxedo cat I named Nick…or was it the other way around? To this day I’m not quite sure.
Nick used to belong to a PI who’s since gone MIA, and it appears he’s got a flair for detection – and for Scrabble! It wouldn’t be a typical day at Hot Bread if I didn’t trip over Nick’s Scrabble tiles at least once. He not only likes to chew on them, he likes to spell with them…and more than once his canny clues have helped me unravel a mystery!
Yep, I came to Cruz to get away from this kind of stuff and it appears msyteries have followed me! Truthfully, though, I don’t mind. Mysteries and detecting are in my blood…and maybe someday I will get that PI license, which would please Louis Blondell to no end. He’s the creator/editor of Noir, an online crime magazine I write part time for – see- just can’t get away from those mysteries!
Speaking of mysteries, today’s mystery is what sandwich to offer as the daily special! Maybe my friend Chantal can help with that. She’s got psychic abilities. Or maybe I should ask Detective Daniel Corleone for help. We’ve just started seeing each other casually, and he is quite fond of my Thin Man Tuna Melt! Although that Antonio Banderas Cuban is gaining in popularity…..
Antonio Banderas Cuban Special
Panini Bread (or long roll, if desired)
2 tablespoons mayo
Oil and Vinegar
6 slices of Jack Turkey
6 slices of Italian Speck
6 slices of Colby Jack Cheese
Sliced Dill pickles
Mix the mayo and oil and vinegar and spread liberally on panini bread (or roll if preferred)
Place layers of Jack Turkey, Speck, and Colby Cheese, spreading spicy mustard in between each layer.
Place sliced dill pickles on top, spread top of bread or roll liberally with spicy mustard. Close sandwich, brush top of bread lightly with olive oil. Place under press or grill until cheese is melted. Slice and serve hot.
You can read more about Nora and her cat Nick in Meow If It’s Murder, the first book in the new “Nick and Nora” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 9 for the chance to win a copy of MEOW IF IT’S MURDER. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
About the Author
While Toni LoTempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She lists among her favorite mystery/suspense writers Erle Stanley Gardner, Mary Higgins Clark and James Patterson, as well as EJ Copperman, Steve Hockensmith, Victoria Laurie, Ali Brandon, Rita Mae Brown, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly to name only a few!
Toni is also passionate about her love for animals, as demonstrated with her four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and, of course, ROCCO, who not only provided the inspiration for the character of Nick the cat in the Nick and Nora mystery series, but who also writes his own blog and does charity work for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read! Toni’s also devoted to miniseries like The Thorn Birds, Dancing with the Stars, reruns of Murder She Wrote and Castle (of course!). She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuts Dec. 2, 2014.
She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.