Greetings from Seneca Meadows, New York! My name is Merry Holmes and I own the bookstore in town. Since I was a young child, I’ve been fascinated by the enigmatic and by intrigue, and my bookstore carries only mysteries. Called “Murder By the Book”, it anchors the main street in our small town along with Candy’s Sweets and Treats, one of my favorite places to grab a snack.

My best friend happens to be the local mystery writer, Caro Layton-Browning. Between the two of us, we’ve managed to dig up trouble in spades – and that’s just the beginning. . .

Recently, I was voted in as the president of our town’s Chamber of Commerce, a position of which I rather proud. Since the rather unlamented demise of the former president (When the Cat’s Away), Seneca Meadows has been on a mission to make our town family-friendly again. I decided that a fall festival would be perfect – and it would have been if it hadn’t been for the body in the second-hand store.

Before I knew it, Caro and I were up to our eyeballs once more in murder and mayhem, not to mention a cache of phony name brand handbags. Trust me when I say that caffeine and chocolate are necessities when solving a mystery, at least in my experience with Caro. Keeping ourselves full caffeinated and sweet, we managed to uncover a rather murderous plot to move the handbags down river to New York City.

Our friend Candy, as sweet as her name, agreed to share one of her special – and incredibly easy – recipes with Dru Ann’s readers, and I am delighted to pass it on. Without further ado, here is the recipe for Candy’s Fudge Crinkles!

You’ll need one box of devil’s food cake mix, ½ cup of oil, two large eggs, and confectioner’s sugar for rolling the cookies. Preset your oven to 350 F and then mix the first three ingredients together in a large bowl. Roll the resulting dough into one inch balls, rolling them in the sugar before placing them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or just until the center looks ‘set’.

That’s it! One bite of these glorious cookies will let you know exactly how I manage to survive life in Seneca Meadows when murder is afoot. Make yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of milk, grab a copy of You Can Lead a Horse to Water, and enjoy.


You can read more about Merry in You Can Lead a Horse to Water, the third book in the “Proverbial Crime” mystery series.

Mystery writer Caro Layton-Browning is thrilled when her small town of Seneca Meadows decides to throw a fall festival. Who doesn’t love the changing leaves, bobbing for apples, fresh air…and murder? When the Chamber of Commerce sponsors what has been billed as a “murder mystery hunt” at the festival, no one—least of all Caro—is expecting to find a real deal body at the end of the night. And the plot thickens when there isn’t just one body—there’s two!

Caro suddenly finds herself up caught up in corpses, criminals, and counterfeit handbags that someone has been passing off as the real deal. Caro and her faithful sidekick, Merry Holmes, set out to find out who is behind the faux designer duds and who’s been killing off the good citizens of Seneca Meadows. Is it the best selling author with an ax to grind, her zany personal assistant, or someone who is out to discredit Merry’s leadership in her community? Caro is pressed to follow the clues and ferret out the truth. . . before the killer adds a third body to his count!

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About the author
Dane McCaslin, USA Today bestselling author of the Proverbial Crime mystery series, resides in the state of Arizona with her very patient husband. She has been writing all of her life: poetry, short stories, journals, letters (yes, those old-fashioned epistles that require pen and paper), and now she brings her talents to the cozy mystery genre.

In addition to being an author, Dane McCaslin is an educator. She recently retired after a decades-long career in teaching, giving her more time to write and eat chocolate. Being an educator is an important part of her life, and passing on her passion for reading and writing is one of her great joys.

All comments are welcomed.

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