F8, F2, and no, Sarah isn’t yelling commands for a football game
by Debra H. Goldstein
I bet I know something you don’t know! It’s something I’m not even sure the protagonist of the Sarah Blair series I write for Kensington knows. For those of you who don’t recall, Sarah, as she demonstrated in One Taste Too Many, the first book in the series, is more frightened of the kitchen than she is of murder. Although her amateur sleuth skills improve in Two Bites TooMany, Three Treats Too Many and now, Four Cuts Too Many, the reality is that she still doesn’t really know the difference between a walk-in freezer and a regular one or between a butcher’s knife and one used for de-boning. That’s why I’m certain she doesn’t know what it means when an oven stove combination flashes F8 or F2.
Sadly, I do.
I say sadly because I learned about each of these flashes the hard way. My story, and I’m sticking to it, is that a few years ago, I decided to clean my oven. I locked the door, turned the buttons accordingly, and waited. Nothing seemed to engage properly, so I flipped the knob to off and tried to start again. Suddenly, there was a sizzling sound, a slight flash and everything was silent. The only thing out of place was the F8 where the time on the clock had been. I’d blown the brain of my oven. That one took about three weeks from diagnosis to receipt and installation of the parts. I’m sure at some point, Sarah will discover what an F8 is.
Having her learn about an F2 is another matter. How I acquired my knowledge was an indirect result of the pandemic. Forced to do far more cooking than I have ever done during the years of my marriage, I was following a recipe that called for slicing potatoes into thin slices and coating them to make them au gratin. The recipe specified putting the sliced potatoes in a TSP of oil on the stovetop, coating them a bit as they heated, and then putting them in the oven with the steaks to finish them off at 350 degrees.
This is where the F2 comes in.
Because I don’t have a frying pan that I wanted to put in the oven, I took a cookie sheet – put the steaks on one side and the potatoes covered with butter and one TBSP of oil on the left. Then, I placed the cookie sheet in the oven.The potatoes got done like they should, but the steaks were almost raw. I took the potatoes out, leaving the residue from them on the cookie sheet, and turned the dial from bake to broil to hurry the steaks along. Only problem, I forgot the rack was higher than it usually is for broiling. Sitting in my sunroom reading, I looked up at the oven and didn’t even need to put on a light to see the flames coming off the part of the cookie sheet where the potatoes had been. As I put the fire out, I noticed that where the time is usually reflected on the stove, it now read F2 – the universal message for an oven on fire.
Need I say anymore? Sarah Blair comes by her skills naturally. Oh, and the steaks – perfectly seared. My husband thought it was one of the best meals I’d ever made.
Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein
About Four Cuts Too Many
Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
4th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B08GY52GS6
Sarah Blair gets an education in slicing and dicing when someone in culinary school serves up a main corpse in Wheaton, Alabama . . .
Between working as a law firm receptionist, reluctantly pitching in as co-owner of her twin sister’s restaurant, and caretaking for her regal Siamese RahRah and rescue dog Fluffy, Sarah has no time to enjoy life’s finer things. Divorced and sort-of dating, she’s considering going back to school. But as a somewhat competent sleuth, Sarah’s more suited for criminal justice than learning how many ways she can burn a meal.
Although she wouldn’t mind learning some knife skills from her sous chef, Grace Winston. An adjunct instructor who teaches cutlery expertise in cooking college, Grace is considering accepting an executive chef’s position offered by Jane Clark, Sarah’s business rival—and her late ex-husband’s lover. But Grace’s future lands in hot water when the school’s director is found dead with one of her knives in his back. To clear her friend’s name, Sarah must sharpen her own skills at uncovering an elusive killer . . .
Includes quick and easy recipes!
About Debra H. Goldstein
Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (Three Treats TooMany, Two Bites Too Many, One Taste Too Many). She also authored Should HavePlayed Poker and IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories have been named Agatha, Anthony, Derringer finalists. Debra serves on the national boards of Mystery Writers of America and is president of SEMWA. She previously was on Sisters in Crime’s national board and president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter.
Find out more about Debra and sign up for her newsletter at https://www.DebraHGoldstein.com. Follow her on Twitter (@DebraHGoldstein), Bookbub (https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debra-h-goldstein), and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DebraHGoldsteinAuthor/).
Review of Four Cuts Too Many
Review (4 Stars): I really liked this one and got pulled into the story right away. I love learning about knives and the characters were very relatable. This is my second book from this author and I loved every minute of this mystery. Four Cuts Too Many is a well-written mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.
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