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Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…
Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again.
As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.
Come on in t’ the kitchen and take a seat. It’s a cozy, wee space. The ringer washer’s out there in my back room, but I’ve got an icebox here, and the big stove. Oh I love that stove, I do. After my Bernard died, I bought m’self an AGA with the money we’d saved for a trip. Well, ye didn’t come here to talk appliances, but because ye’ve heard of my lemon biscuits. So, take notes, lass, and watch what I do, aye?
You’ll need sugar and butter: 125g room temperature butter (a wee more than a stick or ½ cup), and 100g of caster sugar (that’s a half cup of fine sugar, lass, similar to but not as fine as confectioners), 1 egg, 200g of white flour (1 and 2/3 cup, but don’t put it away as ye’ll need it for rolling) and a ¼ teaspoon of baking powder. A pinch of salt and then the zest of 2 lemons. Don’t be stingy. Oh, and demerara sugar for topping.
First I beat the soft butter and sugar until creamy. Ye must know how to do that, no? Then I beat in one fine egg until it’s gone fluffy. Then the flour and baking powder and salt. By now it’s looking like dough. Then some nice lemon zest. This is when I place it in the icebox for a bit while I work on my crossword. I don’t suppose ye’re a puzzle fiend like me. So is this yer first time in Scotland? I hope ye’re not disappointed to see that the men dinna go ‘round in kilts. And while we have a good number of red-heads, they’re still the minority.
Do ye happen to ken the name of Roosevelt’s Scottish Terrier? Four letters. Ends in an A.
Fala? Thank you.
And now, the dough is ready. I use medium hot, #4 on my oven—that’s 180 Celcius and my encyclopedia says that’s 350F for Americans. Now comes the part that takes some experience. But dinnafash, experience comes with plenty of mistakes, so if the dough sticks, just keep trying. We roll it out on a floured board until ½ cm. thick. I cut them out and place on a greased sheet, then sprinkle with demerara sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes. Just until the edges start to brown, aye?
And there you have it. The best Lemon Biscuits ye’ll find.
Note from Debra – Caster sugar can be made by putting granulated sugar in a processor. It dissolves better than granulated but replacing it with confectioners is not advised. But, hey, I just use granulated because it’s the closest comparison. It is said that British “cane” sugar is coarser, so caster is used for baking. In the U.S, granulated works well. Demerara sugar is another non-U.S. sugar comparable to coarse brown sugar, ‘natural’ sugar or turbinado sugar. Use what you have and we won’t mention it to Mrs. K.
About the Author
Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, and contracted with Journey Fiction, and a judge for the Grace Awards for many years. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.
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