The Darling DeliSeries

Patti Benning

Moira Darling, a single mother, who owns and operates a very popular deli, finds herself repeatedly being drawn in to solving mysteries in her small town. Filled with delicious dishes and super sleuthing, the Darling Deli series is sure to please!

Suger Coated Murder

Spring is in full swing in the small town of Maple Creek, Michigan, and Mother’s Day is just days away. Moira Darling is looking forward to spending a relaxing weekend with her daughter, but her plans get thrown out the window when a body falls into their laps.

At first assumed to be an accidental death, the clues begin to point toward something darker, when a mysterious message appears on the ruins of the old candy shop, warning Candice to leave town… or else. Moira will stop at nothing to protect her daughter, and launches her own investigation to keep Candice safe.

Pastrami Murder

The shores of Lake Michigan form the backdrop for smart and sassy Moira Darling’s thriving deli shop. Moira’s small town world is turned upside down when one of her cross-town rivals is found murdered. See what happens when her young daughter, a handsome and clever detective, and a handful of not-so-helpful townsfolk are thrown into the mix in this delicious first book of the Darling Deli Series.

Corned Beef Murder

Darling’s DELIcious Delights is busier than ever, but this time Moira Darling’s concerns lie uncomfortably closer to home. A friend from the past reaches out to her for help, but by the time Moira arrives, it’s far too late.

Stunned by the sudden death of someone that she knew well, Moira is consumed by the need to find out who was responsible for the senseless act of murder. In a close-knit town like Maple Creek, everyone knows everyone, and the whole community is rattled, thinking that danger is lurking around every corner. With the help of a local P.I. and a little luck, Moira just might be able to solve the crime before the killer strikes again.

Cold Cut Murder

The Winter Festival is in full swing as the town of Maple Creek prepares for Valentine’s Day. Moira is chilled to the bone after discovering a body in her shop, and a frosty relationship develops between the deli owner and a new competitor in town, whose husband has a roving eye.

Grilled Cheese Murder

It’s the one that you’ve been waiting for…

The mystery behind deli-worker Dante’s strange behavior is revealed in this tasty tale.

Chicken Pesto Murder

Life in Maple Creek goes to the dogs as multiple pets turn up missing, but that’s the least of deli owner, Moira Darling’s worries. A retiring detective is missing, and the police are casting suspicious glances at Moira’s friend, David. Determined not to become involved, the deli owner is nonetheless swept up into non-stop action and intrigue in this 5th book of The Darling Deli Series.

Thai Coconut Murder

Tragedy strikes both deli owner, Moira, and P.I., David, in different ways in this suspense-filled tale. A horrific discovery at a Fourth of July party, and the ensuing investigation, spur a series of events that will change Moira’s life forever.

Tomato Basil Murder

Moira ends up in hot water when her ex-husband comes to visit Candice. Still reeling from a recent tragedy, the deli owner is overwhelmed, and finds herself wondering what to do next. Life is moving forward faster than she can cope, and some serious decisions are considered in this latest, suspense-filled installment.

Salami Murder

Life is good as Moira moves into her new house and Candice prepares for the opening of her Candy Shop, but events suddenly turn sinister as it seems someone in town is trying to sabotage the new business. Moira questions her relationship with David, and Candice is hit with heartache as well, in this latest action-packed installment of The Darling Deli Series.

Hearty Homestyle Murder

While Candice embarks upon her new adventure, Moira turns her focus back to the deli as they prepare for the County Fair, where she’ll be entering Darrin’s delicious Vegetarian Gumbo in the soup competition. All is well, until the lead judge dies under mysterious circumstances. Suspicion falls on Moira and the deli once again, and as she and David investigate the evidence points to a very surprising culprit.

Honey BBQ Murder

After making Darrin the manager of Darling’s DELIcious Delights, deli owner, Moira Darling, has been able to enjoy some much needed time off, which means more time to spend with Maverick, David, and Candice. All is well, until she receives a tearful call from the husband of the woman who owned Keeva – the missing dog that she found in the woods behind her house. Keeva’s owner has been murdered, and the husband doesn’t want to keep the dog. Though she is sad for the woman who died, Moira jumps at the chance to get Keeva, the Irish wolfhound, back and drives down to Kentucky to pick her up. Keeva falls ill shortly after she arrives in Maple Creek, and Moira fears for her own life when an intruder comes to call in this latest book of The Darling Deli Series.

Beef Brisket Murder

Moira discovers something rather disturbing in her basement while she’s cleaning it out. Intrigued, she begins her own investigation and enlists David to help her find out what could possibly have happened in the house before she bought it. When the trail leads to the retirement home in Lake Marion, she realizes that it might not be too late for a decades-old crime to be solved. Meanwhile, Candice hires her first employee at the candy shop, and Moira’s employees at the deli plan a surprise birthday party for her in this fast-paced 11th installment of the Darling Deli Series.

Garden Vegetable Murder

When a man is found murdered in David’s office, he does all that he can to keep Moira out of danger. All of his efforts are for nothing, and the killer begins stalking Moira and making overt threats against her. David shows his protective side as he does everything in his power to keep the woman he loves safe.

Meanwhile, Candice and Alllison have taken a trip to Cedar point together, and Moira finds herself busier than ever as she picks up the slack at the deli and also keeps an eye on the candy shop for her daughter. She also learns more about David’s past, and gets the chance to meet some of his family.

 

In this thrilling installment of The Darling Deli Series, David is forced to go to great lengths to keep Moira from harm. Can the deli owner outwit her stalker? What hidden secrets about David’s past will come out when she meets his family? Find out the answers to this and more, in this spine-tingling tale.

Spicy Lasagna Murder

With business thriving and her relationship with the private detective, David Morris, going better than ever, Moira Darling is on top of the world. Events take a sudden turn, however, when a fun date at the corn maze with David devolves into a nightmare.While struggling to recover from her own injuries, andunexpectedly finding herself responsible for yet another furry friend, the deli owner must dig deeper than ever before to find out who the murderer is, and this time the killer just might be the person that she least suspects.

Curried Lobster Murder

Moira Darling is shocked when she wins a free cruise trip and the chance to participate in a cooking competition. Accompanied by her daughter, Moira embarks on this new adventure in high spirits, eager to win the $10,000 grand prize and bring acclaim to Darling’s DELIcious Delights

Her enthusiasm is crushed however, when one of the contestants dies under mysterious circumstances. When other contestants begin to fall ill and suffer strange accidents, the deli owner becomes convinced that someone on the cruise ship is prepared to kill to win the competition. Will she be able to find out who before it’s too late?

Creamy Casserole Murder

Back from her cruise, Moira Darling is ready to settle back in to normal life. Between adding a new item to the menu at Darling’s DELIcious Delights, taking care of her dogs, and fitting in a few dates with handsome private investigator, David Morris, she hardly has time to relax and recuperate from her eventful trip to the Caribbean.

 

Things get even more hectic when she receives a frantic call in the middle of the night about a murder at an assisted living home. At first she doesn’t want to get involved, but when the death toll climbs, she begins to get drawn in to a deadly plot. Will Moira be able to save her friends at Misty Pines before it’s too late?

Grilled Rye Murder

With her wedding just over the horizon, Moira Darling is running around gettin last-minute preparations taken care of. Thanks to the help of a pair of new employees, things at the deli are going more smoothly than ever, and she is just beginning to think she can relax, when she stumbles upon a colleague’s brutal murder. As if things couldn’t get any worse, she becomes a suspect in the crime and is jailed, putting quite the crimp in her wedding plans.

 

After getting bailed out of jail, by an anonymous person, Moira finds herself with two mysteries to solve. Who killed her friend, and who paid her expensive bail? Is it possible that they are the same person? Experience the joys and pain in this thrilling and action-packed last book of The Darling Deli Series, as Moira faces her toughest challenges yet.

A Quiche to Die For

Back from her honeymoon, Moira Darling tries to get back into the swing of normal life after two blissful weeks in Europe with her husband. Everything is going smoothly at the Darling’s DELIcious Delights, and her home life couldn’t be happier. Best of all, she has another wedding to help plan – her daughter’s.

 

Reality comes crashing back when the deli is robbed at gunpoint. The criminal gets away with a pile of cash, and one of Moira’s most valued possessions. David takes the case immediately, driven by his desire to keep his wife safe. It isn’t until the robber strikes again, and this time kills someone that Moira knows, that she jumps feet first into the investigation herself despite her husband’s warning that it could be dangerous.

A Side of Murder

Do something beef tenderloin ish.

Like a fancy table set for a v day dinner? With beef on it.

Hearts?

Chocolate?

There isn’t so much a particular food here.

Candice has chocolates for Vday at the deli. They have fondue but that’s valleys theme for her next book.

They have curry chicken soup.

Lamb chops

Ham and turkey sandwiches.

Deli Valentine’s Day Blurb

Moira Darling is hoping that her first Valentine’s Day married to her new husband will be special, and David doesn’t disappoint. Their evening together is perfect, until the two of them witness a tragic death, and can do nothing to help.

When one of Moira’s closest friends is implicated in the incident, she tries to convince David to take the case, but he’s too caught up in a new project of his own. It’s up to Moira to get to the bottom of the mysterious death and clear her friend’s name before it’s too late.

Wrapped in Murder

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and the sleepy small town of Maple Creek, Michigan is seeing green. Eager to be a part of the many celebrations taking place for the fun-filled holiday, Moira Darling and her husband, handsome private investigator, David Morris, decide to open their microbrewery to public tours for the first time.

Disaster strikes when a corpse is found in the brewery. Moira is desperate to prove that her husband had nothing to do with the death, but when she realizes that the real killer might be closer to her than she thought, she faces an inner struggle, torn between loyalty to her family and a responsibility to justice. She faces an uncertain future as she digs deeper, and edges ever closer to becoming the next victim.

Glazed Ham Murder

Moira Darling gets a tearful call from her daughter with news that her car was stolen, and thinks a missing convertible is the worst of their troubles, but the next day, when a man is found dead on the side of the road – and it looks like her daughter’s missing car was the murder weapon, life suddenly becomes much more challenging.

The concerned mother is certain that Candice is innocent, but unfortunately, she seems to be the only one who thinks so. With Easter just around the corner, and Darling’s DELIcious Delights busier than ever, life seems to be pulling Moirain all directions at once. Working together, the busy deli owner and her husband struggle to clear Candice’s name and solve the mystery of the missing car despite the odds that are stacked against them.

Chicken Club Murder

When Moira Darling opens the deli on Mother’s Day morning, she assumes that the roses she finds on the counter are from her daughter… until she finds the stranger’s body slumped behind the counter.

While Darling’s DELIcious Delights is closed for the police investigation, Moira has nothing to do but ponder the mystery of the dead man and the flowers. When the police discover a strange connection between him and Moira, she is frightened and horrified beyond belief. Questions haunt her day and night. Who was the man in the deli, why had he been killed, and what did all of it mean? Would she be next?

Pies Lies and Murder

Moira Darling and her family are planning a trip for the 4th of July holiday. With only a month until her daughter’s wedding, spending time together is now more precious and poignant than ever. It’s not easy for her to leave the bustling and growing Darling’s DELIcious Delights in the hands of her employees, particularly during one of the busiest weeks of the year, but the promise of five days of fishing, fireworks, boating, and barbecuing, with the two most important people in her life, her daughter and husband, is more than compelling enough to lure Moira away.

The trip is idyllic, allowing the busy deli owner the time and space to relax and enjoy her family…until the discovery of a young woman’s brutal and terrifying homicide brings the family vacation to a shuddering halt. In a small town where anyone could be a suspect, Moira has to figure out how to keep her family safe from a killer who may be coming back for more.

Mountains Marriage and Murder

Moira Darling is leaving Darling’s DELIcious Delights behind to attend her only daughter’s wedding in the mountains of Colorado. She has meticulously attended to every detail to ensure that Candice’s special day will be perfection, from beginning to end. It seems that things, for once, might go according to plan, but then suddenly, someone crucial to the ceremony meets an untimely demise.
With an extremely small pool of suspects, and certain knowledge that one of their close friends must have committed the murder, Moira and her family have to stay on guard around those near and dear to them as they try to solve the crime before tragedy strikes again.

Shrimply Murder

Moira Darling is glad when life returns to normal after her daughter’s wedding, but being back in Maple Creek isn’t as relaxing as she had hoped. Her family’s lives are changed forever when a single act of anger destroys something precious to them.

With one of their number hospitalized, the rest of the Darling family has to hurry to find the suspect before it’s too late. Will Darling’s DELIcious Delights prove to be key in solving the case, or will the deli be a fatal distraction?

Gazpacho Murder

Still reeling from recent events, Moira Darling is eager to get back into the normal swing of things after a disaster nearly shattered her family. Consumed with running Darling’s DELIcious Delights, her rapidly expanding business, for the past couple of weeks, some time spent with her closest friends seems to be just what she needs.

Humoring a friend who voices a concern that her house is haunted, Moira volunteers her husband’s skills as a private investigator, and goes along for the ride when he stakes out the home. The last thing she expects is for the two of them to walk into the scene of a violent crime. There is another murderer loose in Maple Creek, and this time she fears that the suspect may be closer to home than ever before.

 

Acknowledgement

 

Thanks to Nicki KovacichMech for her delicious recipe suggestion! This is the first time that the deli has served gazpacho, but it won’t be the last.

Peppered With Murder

Halloween is drawing near, but Moira Darling has more on her mind than pumpkins, ghosts, and trick-or-treating. After volunteering to run a haunted house for one of her friends, she has enough on her plate even before her daughter hits her with some surprising news.

She’s still reeling from her daughter’s decision when she discovers something that will give her nightmares for weeks to come. A body impaled on a metal spike… a body that vanishes after she rushes inside to call the police.

The mystery pulls her away from her more personal concerns as she struggles to figure out what is going on. It may be Halloween, but she knows that the dead don’t walk. Something sinister is going on, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it.

Ravioli Soup Murder

Moira Darling is enjoying some well-earned downtime after a hectic Halloween. With spare time on her hands for the first time in quite a while, Moira is more than happy to help a friend’s relative find a place to stay in town. She doesn’t expect her act of goodwill to thrust her into the spotlight as a murder suspect.

While Moira fights to prove her innocence, she discovers something about a family member that will change her life forever. With a twenty year old secret out of the box and the police on the hunt for a killer, the desperate deli owneris frantic to make things right…before it’s too late.

 

FOOD
She had found the recipe for Tuscan ravioli soup online a couple of weeks ago, and had just recently found it again, saved to her computer. It would be the perfect hearty soup for a cold day like this.

 

She began by cooking the ground sausage in a shallow pan on top of the stove. The scent of the spiced meat quickly filled the room, overwhelming the sweeter smell of the breakfast cookies and the quiches that they served in the morning. In a large pot, she measured out a couple of quarts of chicken stock and let that begin to simmer while she turned her attention back to the cooking meat.

 

Once the sausage had been browned, she drained the grease out of the pan and added chopped onions, butter, and garlic. Once the onions were caramelized, she transferred the sausage, garlic, and onions to the pot with the chicken broth. While she stirred the soup base, she gradually added crushed tomatoes and fresh baby spinach.

 

By now, it was beginning to look and smell like soup. She took a clean spoon and tasted some of the broth, adding a couple of spices to enhance the flavor. Once the mixture got up to a healthy boil, she dumped in a package of four cheese ravioli. While the pasta cooked, she shredded a wedge of Parmesan cheese. She turned the temperature in the soup down until it was just simmering, and stirred the cheese and until it was fully melted. She added just a dollop of heavy cream and turned the temperature down even more.

 

While she waited for the soup to finish cooking, she pulled out a loaf of white bread and began to slice it, slathering the slices with a homemade butter and garlic sauce before placing them in the oven. The soup would be served with the homemade garlic bread. She couldn’t think of better comfort food.

Thanksgiving Deli Murder

When a mysterious stranger shows up at Darling’s DELIcious Delights and begins taking photos and bothering her employees, Moira Darling’s plans for a quiet Thanksgiving are thrown out the window. What does this man want, and what will he do to get it?

It isn’t until she ties the mysterious stranger to a seemingly unrelated crime, which she and David witness in the woods, that she realizes there is something much darker afoot than she originally suspected. Turkeys aren’t the only ones whose lives are in danger this year as Moira struggles to figure out what really happened…before it’s too late.

A Season of Murder

A peaceful family outing to select a Christmas tree turns into a nightmare when Moira Darling finds a corpse buried beneath the snow. When she realizes that the body belongs to one of her husband’s clients, Moira knows that neither of them will get any rest until the killer is found.

The deli owner realizes that the killer isn’t the only one with secrets when she unwittingly uncovers something that her own husband has been keeping from her. Is everything about to change yet again?

Valentines and Murder

The first few weeks of Moira Darling’s new year have been promising so far. Her husband is taking steps toward focusing more on his microbrewery, she’s had some time to read and relax, and romance is brewing at the deli, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

She couldn’t be happier when David comes home one night with the news that he has found a business partner to help take some of his private investigation cases, but her enthusiasm is quickly dampened when a string of murders occurs, and each one appears to be connected to her husband and his new partner. Moira struggles to figure out who the killer is, all the while living in constant terror that her beloved husband will be the next victim.

Shamrocks and Murder

When a mysterious stranger shows up at Darling’s DELIcious Delights and begins taking photos and bothering her employees, Moira Darling’s plans for a quiet Thanksgiving are thrown out the window. What does this man want, and what will he do to get it?

It isn’t until she ties the mysterious stranger to a seemingly unrelated crime, which she and David witness in the woods, that she realizes there is something much darker afoot than she originally suspected. Turkeys aren’t the only ones whose lives are in danger this year as Moira struggles to figure out what really happened…before it’s too late.

Sugar Coated Murder

Spring is in full swing in the small town of Maple Creek, Michigan, and Mother’s Day is just days away. Moira Darling is looking forward to spending a relaxing weekend with her daughter, but her plans get thrown out the window when a body falls into their laps.

At first assumed to be an accidental death, the clues begin to point toward something darker, when a mysterious message appears on the ruins of the old candy shop, warning Candice to leave town… or else. Moira will stop at nothing to protect her daughter, and launches her own investigation to keep Candice safe.