I’m a real estate estate agent who is having so much fun killing people I may never sell another house. But my murder and mystery spree isn’t all gruesome. The trail of dead bodies I’ve created has also lead to a recipe for what my readers call “really good chocolate chip cookies.” The cookies are made with an unusual mystery ingredient.
I never intended to write anything other than enticing advertising copy for my real estate listings, but in 2008 I decided to take an early, and I assumed temporary, retirement to avoid the cruel world of foreclosures and plummeting home values that overwhelmed the real estate market beginning in that year.
I quickly got bored and missed all the interesting people I met in real estate. My solution was to write mysteries with a Realtor protagonist. For inspiration I used many of the agents, clients, and events from my twenty-plus years as an agent. The murders in my books are made up, but the real estate stories are real — yes, Realtors do come across bodies in the course of doing business, sometimes dead and other times just naked — so a Realtor who solves mysteries isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem.
In the first book the protagonist, Regan McHenry, baked homemade cookies at an almost lethal open house; and in the second book she baked cookies to take as comfort food to a client accused of murder. After Regan’s cookies appeared in two books, I knew there had to be a recipe for them.
Be brave. Give cookies to friends and see if they can figure out the secret ingredient before you tell them what it is. The chili oil doesn’t make the cookies hot, it just enhances the chocolate experience.
Mysterious Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream together until light and fluffy:
1 cup butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Add: 2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1 t habanero chili oil *
1 t cinnamon
Mix well. Add:
2 1/4 cups flour
Mix again until well blended.
18 ounces chocolate chips
2 cups rolled oats or oatmeal
Drop by generous spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350º for between 12 and 15 minutes, depending on size of the cookies. Cool before removing from the cookie sheet.
*Regan uses Coeur D’Olives Habanero Oil (P.O. Box 222275, Carmel, CA 93922)
Of course the cookies make it into my in my new book “Buying Murder.”
Murder gets personal when human remains are found in the beach cottage that realtors Regan McHenry and her husband, Tom Kiley, buy. The murder victim has been hidden away for sixteen years, and although the authorities quickly discover his identity, the trail to his killer is cold after so many years.
Regan has sworn off playing amateur detective, but when it becomes clear the police have to focus on more pressing crimes, she has to break her promise. As her friend police ombudsman Dave Everett says, “Your house, Regan, your murder.”
Read the first chapters of books in the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mystery Series for free at www.goodreadmysteries.com and follow her on Facebook.