BOOK BITES: Concealed in Ash

If you’ve been following my posts, you know that one of these days I plan to write an epic historical mystery novel. I’ve even started the research. OK, that’s not entirely true. I’ve started thinking about the research though, and that’s got to count for something! In any case, today I welcome Gwen Mayo to tell us a little bit about her historical mystery CONCEALED IN ASH (Mystery and Horror, LLC, September 2015), and of course, share a recipe.

Who is your main character? Tell me about him/her.

Him/Her is a good lead in to my ex-Pinkerton. Ness/Nessa Donnelly is a her, posing as a him, and finding it hard to figure out who she is or what she wants.

What would Nessa choose for her last meal?

Nessa’s last meal would have to be outstanding, a full 1870’s dinner prepared by her housekeeper, Beulah. Fresh fruits and roasted nuts to start, carrot soup, trout with  cucumber dill sauce, b rests  of dove on walnut toast,  herb crusted lamb  with rosemary butter as  the entree,  roasted potatoes, green beans, chocolate bread  pudding  with hard sauce for dessert , then the cheeses  and sweet bites with her brandy.

How about you? What would you choose for your last meal?

I love good food, but I don’t think my last meal could compare with those of the 19th century. I would go for prime rib, mashed  potatoes, beef gravy, sugar snap peas and apple dumplings ala mode.

Why should someone bite into CONCEALED IN ASH?

Kentucky is struggling with financial ruin, a power vacuum, secret societies, racial tensions, and vigilantism. Add in a medical examiner with a passion for the latest inventions, a cross-dressing detective, a quirky professor/inventor and a love triangle and you have the ingredients for a deliciously wicked read.

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?

I thought I would share my recipe for making an herb crust for almost any roasted entree including mushrooms or eggplant. The recipe could have been used in Beulah’s kitchen but is equally appreciated today.


1) Three Tablespoons Herbs de Provence (chop finely):

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme
  • ½ Tablespoon fresh Marjoram
  • ½Tablespoon fresh Savory

2) One cup dried bread crumbs

3) Two cloves pressed garlic

4) Three tablespoons olive oil

5) One Teaspoon ground black pepper

Pat the meat dry and brush with the olive oil. Mix the remaining ingredients together and lightly press them in an even layer over the roast.

*Please note there is no salt in this recipe. I prefer to brine meats before roasting and additional salt is not needed. If you don’t brine, add salt to taste.

Well that is an incredible useful recipe. And your book has many of the ingredients I enjoy. I am certainly going to have to check it out!

You can learn more about Gwen Mayo on her website and you can find CONCEALED IN ASH on Amazon.

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2 Responses to BOOK BITES: Concealed in Ash

  1. Gwen Mayo says:

    Thank you for the interview. It was very interesting. I am enjoying reading some of your other posts on your site.

    • Administrator says:

      I am so glad you were able to join me here! Your book sounds so interesting… and your recipe is really, really useful! One of my goals in the New Year will be to attempt all the recipes that have been shared here.