Description: Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle meet Knives Out and The Thursday Murder Club in this fiendishly clever blend of classic and modern murder mystery.
I was dreading the Cunningham family reunion even before the first murder.
Before the storm stranded us at the mountain resort, snow and bodies piling up.
The thing is, us Cunninghams don’t really get along. We’ve only got one thing in common- we’ve all killed someone.
My brother. My step-sister My wife My father My mother My sister-in-law My uncle My stepfather My aunt Me
My View: This book got me at …”Call me a reliable narrator. Everything I tell you will be the truth ,or, at least the truth as I knew it to be at the time. Hold me to that….I am both Watson and Detective in this book, where I play both writer and sleuth, and so am obliged to to both light up clues and not conceal my thoughts. In short: play fair…Actually I will prove it. If you are just here for the gory details, deaths in this book happen or are reported to have happened on p14, and page 46, and page…..” p2
And in a blink I am hooked! I loved the style, Golden Age cross…modern mystery?? the voice, the “writer” talking to the reader, the jokes, self depreciation , the mystery…the thrilling end.
It was the double murder case that gripped Australia, and former Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC is finally able to share all the shocking details.
Dorothy Davis and Kerry Whelan were both happy, healthy, affluent, middle-class women from conservative, loving families. Such women are hardly ever among the ranks of the missing. They were not hitchhikers, or associates of drug dealers, or unhappy with their family relationships, or suffering from mental health issues. Dorothy Davis and Kerry Whelan came from different parts of Sydney, mixed in quite different circles, and led completely different lives. They had never met each other, and if they had, they would have had little in common. In fact, Dorothy Davis and Kerry Whelan had one thing in common – they both knew Bruce Allan Burrell.
The disappearance without trace of these two women caused massive police investigations and resulted in sensational trials that gripped the nation of Australia. This book explores the intricacies of those investigations and delves into the twisted, tortuous processes of the legal proceedings, while exploring the dark recesses of the mind of Bruce Burrell.
Meet the Author:
As a Barrister and a Crown Prosecutor for thirty five years, Mark Tedeschi QC has appeared in some of the most significant criminal cases in Australia. He has been the Senior Crown Prosecutor in New South Wales for fifteen years and is the President of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors. He has had many articles published on the law and is the author of a legal text book and the critically acclaimed biography Eugenia. He has published many articles on history, genealogy, photography, and horticulture. Kidnapped is his second work of creative non-fiction.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster, the author and Dmcprmedia I have one copy of this Australian true crime expose to give away. ** Australian residents only** In the comments let me know of another true crime written by this author.
Tiramisu: because if cream, carbs, coffee and booze can’t lift your spirits, there’s probably not much that will. Tiramisu traditionally uses mascarpone and whipped eggs for the creamy layer and rum or Marsala for the alcohol. This version uses lactose-free whipping cream, gin or a FODMAP-friendly spirit of your choice, and gluten-free savoiardi to keep the FODMAP content low.
FOR THE SAVOIARDI: (makes 30–40 biscuits) 4 extra-large eggs, separated 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 80 g (½ cup) fine white rice flour 60 g (½ cup) tapioca flour 50 g (½ cup) almond meal 40 g (¼ cup) icing sugar (to finish)
FOR THE COFFEE MIXTURE: 125 ml (½ cup) fresh espresso coffee 2–3 tablespoons gin or FODMAP-friendly spirit of choice 310 ml (1 ¼ cups) hot water
FOR THE CREAM MIXTURE: 500 g (2 tubs) full-cream, lactose-free whipping cream 80 g (½ cup) pure icing sugar
TO FINISH: 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate, to grate unsweetened cocoa powder, to dust
METHOD Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. I like to lightly oil the trays first so the paper doesn’t move when I pipe. Place flours in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Combine egg yolks, 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar and the vanilla bean paste in a large bowl or stand mixer. Using electric beaters, beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5–10 minutes.
Place egg whites in a separate clean, dry bowl. Using clean electric beaters, beat until the whites become frothy, then gradually add the remaining caster sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture. Repeat with remaining half until just combined. Gently fold flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined.
Place your piping bag in a tall glass, and spoon mixture into the bag. I generally use a ziplock bag with a 2 cm hole cut in one corner. Twist the top to seal. Pipe mixture onto prepared trays to create roughly 10 cm × 3 cm biscuits. Sprinkle with icing sugar.
Bake savoiardi for 8 minutes, then swap the trays and bake for another 5 minutes. Turn the oven down to 150°C and bake for another 10 minutes or until the savoiardi are crisp or tops are golden. Set aside to cool completely on trays.
To make coffee mixture, combine all ingredients in a wide, shallow bowl. Set aside.
To make the cream mixture, combine cream and icing sugar in a large bowl and, using electric beaters, beat until light and fluffy.
Construct: Quickly soak one savoiardi at a time in the coffee liquor mixture. The crunchier the savoiardi, the longer you can leave them to soak. Arrange the soaked savoiardi in the base of a 1.6 litre capacity serving dish.
Once you have completely covered the base of the dish, top the savoiardi with half the cream mixture. It is more important to completely cover the top of the tiramisu (for aesthetics, anyway) so make sure you save enough for that.
Top the cream layer with a generous grating of dark chocolate (I like to use a microplane). I think this chocolate layer makes the difference between an okay tiramisu and an amazing one. Repeat with another layer of savoiardi (any leftover coffee mixture can be drizzled over the biscuits here) and then carefully spread over the remaining cream mixture. Finish with a super generous grating of the dark chocolate and dust with cocoa powder. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (see notes).
NOTES This recipe for savoiardi should make close to 40 biscuits, which is the perfect quantity for a 1.6 litre/28 cm dish. I have found that savoiardi batter often varies in the amount of biscuits it yields. I recommend keeping enough ingredients for another batch on hand, just in case. If your batch comes out with significantly fewer, make another half or whole batch to avoid getting caught out later. They keep well in an airtight container and are delicious dipped in espresso. Tiramisu is best served the next day, when the flavours have had a chance to meld and the cream has set nicely. Leftover tiramisu keeps, covered, in the fridge for 1–2 days, if you can restrain yourself for that long.
** My Note – For those who are time poor – I have found GF savoiardi biscuits in my local supermarket which I have used in this recipe. YUM
The year 2020 taught us a few things, and one of them was the importance of a good banana bread. This version is refined sugar free, dairy free and vegan, which all sounds pretty good to me. While the quantity of ripe banana in this bread is within FODMAP limits, it might not agree with some. If you don’t get along with ripe bananas, use just ripe or slightly under-ripe ones instead. I find it can be helpful to roast these first to bring out their sweetness and flavour. p
200 g (1 ¼ cups) fine white rice flour 60 g (½ cup) tapioca flour 2 ¼ teaspoons gluten-free baking powder ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 200 g banana, ripe or just ripe
METHOD: Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 21.5 cm x 11.5 cm (base measurement) loaf pan.
Place flours, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Mash the banana in a medium bowl, keeping some larger chunks for texture. Mix in the dry ingredients.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in any additions here if using (see notes). You can top the bread with some thinly sliced banana coins or slices, but this is optional.
Pour the mixture into the pan, sitting it on a baking tray. Cook for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If necessary, cover with foil and continue to cook for a further 10–15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Set loaf aside to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve with vegan, FODMAP-friendly yoghurt if desired.
NOTES This banana bread will keep in an airtight container for up to 3–4 days. You can mix in several things here: chocolate, nuts or berries. Just make sure any additions are vegan, low FODMAP and gluten free if they need
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup that hails from South-East Asia. Traditionally, it uses prawn stock as a base, garlic and onion in the spice paste and wheat noodles to finish. This version is vegan, FODMAP friendly and gluten free courtesy of a few simple substitutions. p 253
FOR THE LAKSA PASTE: 5–6 fresh birds eye chillies, (depending on your taste for heat), seeds removed, chopped 3 sticks lemongrass, trimmed, finely grated 50 g (1 small–medium piece) galangal, peeled, finely grated 50 g (1 small–medium piece) ginger, peeled, finely grated 20 g (1 small piece) fresh turmeric, peeled, finely grated 2 teaspoons sweet paprika (optional, for colour) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
FOR THE BROTH: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 5–6 spring onions, green parts only, chopped 20–30 fresh curry leaves, stalks removed 60 ml (¼ cup) vegan fish sauce 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 1 tablespoon tamarind paste 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari or dark soy 1.5 litres (6 cups) water or vegan stock 400 ml can coconut milk 400 g gluten-free tofu puffs or cubed, pan-fried tofu
TO FINISH: ½ quantity (200 g) gluten-free Chinese egg noodles 100 g vermicelli noodles 1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked, to serve trimmed bean sprouts, to serve, 1 long red chilli, deseeded, sliced, to serve
To make the laksa paste, use a mortar and pestle or food processor to grind the chilli, lemongrass, galangal, ginger and turmeric until smooth. Add the paprika and oil and mix to combine.
For the broth, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Cook the spring onion greens and curry leaves, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant and softened. Add the laksa paste and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until fragrant. Add a splash of water if it sticks at any point. Add the vegan fish sauce, sugar, tamarind paste and tamari and stir to combine. Stir in the water or stock and coconut milk. Add the tofu, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes to allow flavours to infuse.
Meanwhile, par-cook the Chinese egg noodles (1–2 minutes instead of 2– 3) following instructions on page 251. Pour boiling water over the vermicelli in a heatproof bowl and leave to soften for about 2–3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Taste and adjust broth according to your preferences. Add a little extra stock or water if necessary.
To serve, divide noodles between serving bowls. Ladle over the hot broth and finish with the Vietnamese mint, bean sprouts and chilli.
Leftover laksa can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. I do recommend taking the noodles out if you are using the psyllium noodles ( as they tend to disintegrate if left in the liquid for long periods.)
Traditional laksa often uses both hokkien and vermicelli noodles. I’ve used a half- batch of my Chinese egg noodles and half vermicelli to make it vegan. If you prefer you can use all vermicelli to make it vegan.
Canned coconut milk often contains gums and thickeners, so read the label before buying.
If you cant find galangal, use a little more ginger and lemongrass ( around 25 g of each) p252