February 13, 2012

The Reading Corner.....Mystery Behind the Masks While Eating Bourbon Pecan Pie

A Southern Mansion Mystery
Nottoway Plantation
White Castle, Louisiana

Carolyn Guest writes about southern mansions with a haunted past. The Amelia Island Williams House, Monmouth Plantation, and Nottoway Plantation and Resort are all Bed and Breakfast Inns. In this novel, she features Nottoway Plantation, which is the largest plantation in the south, and currently operates as a sugar cane plantation. Each southern mansion provides a story of mystery and intrigue that will keep you on pins and needles!

 In A Southern Mansion Mystery 4, the main characters, Catherine and Mary Lou, in their sixties, are devoted sisters who are invariably stumbling across someone’s dead body. Catherine’s reputation for sleuthing is rapidly growing and she is sought out for her talent of noticing those fine little details that go undetected by others. Mary Lou is constantly weaving a web to catch that perfect husband who always seems to elude her. The two together provide us with tales of humor and suspense.

A Christmas Gift from Miss Judy..signed by the author, Carolyn Guest

It all started when Mary Lou received an invitation to attend a masquerade ball. How could things have gone so wrong? What was supposed to be a time of renewed friendship, fun and gaiety had turned into a nightmare of disbelief and fear! How could you trust anyone after that night?

Front View of Mansion

Nottoway was built in 1859 by John Hamptom Randolph and had always been a sugar plantation. The home was built with hand grown cypress and bricks that were handmade by sixty-four slaves. The end result stood three stories high and contained sixty-four rooms. The ceilings were 15 1/2 feet high. The staircase was double granite and the archways were made from hand cast mud, horsehair, clay and spanish moss.

Side View of Mansion

There are six interior staircases, twelve Italian marble fireplaces, 165 doors, 200 windows and a bowling alley was built on the ground floor for their eight children.

The plantation survived the Civil War with only one grape shot embedded in on the large white columns. In fact, one Union officer saved Nottoway when he called for a "cease fire" so that Nottoway might be spared from ruin as he had previously attended balls and garden parties at this plantation.

Their nerves now lay shattered like shards of glass on that white floor which was now stained with crimson! Everyone who was anyone around River Road and the surrounding area were in attendance. It was even possible that Catherine and Mary Lou had been twirled around the dance floor in the arms of the fiend who was responsible for the murder......

Recipe by Daniel Thompson,
Executive Chef at Nottoway Plantation

5 T. unsalted butter
1 cup packed sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 t. salt
8 T. chopped toasted pecans
2 T. Bourbon
2 t. vanilla
3 eggs, lightly beaten

While pie crust is baking, prepare the filling. In medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and continue to boil for one minute.Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon and vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly...about five minutes. Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Pour the filling into the hot pie shell and add nuts to the filling. Bake at 450 degrees F. on the lower rack of the oven until the edges are set but the center is slightly loose. Cool on a rack and serve slightly warm.


  1. Just the book I'd choose for a snowy day in Arkansas...like they are having today! I say "THEY" since we are at Dallas!! Thanks so much Betsy for the kind words on Facebook this morning, this trip has helped to get our minds off losing Ben. GRANDson Ewan has us smiling from ear to ear!

  2. I read all the time, have got to find that book, sounds like one I would love to read! Pie sounds delish also! :)

  3. http://soumansionmys.com/
    These books are fun reads...this is the website where you can order the series!


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