Irish Knitted Murder by Peggy Earhart

Pamela Patterson accompanies her best friend, local reporter Bettina Fraser, to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Arborville Recreation Center. The food is excellent and the entertainment even more so, with glamorous 70-year-old singer Isabelle Lister back in town and ready to wow the crowd. A few members of the audience don’t seem so eager to welcome her home, but everyone else – including Pamela and Bettina – is impressed by the skills and showmanship of the prodigal daughter of the famous Lister family.

So it comes as a terrible shock to all assembled when, shortly after the performance, Isabelle is found dead in her makeshift green room. It wasn’t a natural death either. The disheveled state of the room indicates that Isabel apparently struggled with her assailant before suffering the fatal blow.

Bettina and Pamela immediately take up the case. Whether it’s a local Wiccan protesting the holiday or a staunch Irish historian scornful of the crass commercialization of the holiday, there’s no shortage of highly interesting suspects for them to investigate. But when reports of ghosts and banshees start popping up, our detectives can’t help but wonder if something sinister – if not downright supernatural – is targeting the Lister clan. Will they be able to bring a killer to justice before someone else is cursed to die?

The Knit & Nibble mysteries are always so engaging and I often envy Pamela for her cozy life. However, she does experience quite a bit of romantic upheaval in this ninth book in the series, with at least one twist I didn’t expect! It was also nice to see Bettina overcome her career rival as she and Pamela bring the case to a sad but satisfying conclusion.

There were so many delicious food descriptions in this book, but only one recipe was included (with a cute little knitting pattern). I have slightly edited the following for space:


½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

3 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups of milk

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons of Irish whiskey

½ cup strong espresso coffee

1 pound cake, sliced

A few ounces of bittersweet chocolate, grated


Mix ½ cup sugar with the cornstarch and salt in the top half of a double boiler […] Add the milk and mix well.

Bring water to a boil in the bottom half of the double boiler, replace the top half, and cook the mixture over simmering water, stirring often, until it begins to thicken, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add a few spoonfuls of the milk mixture to the egg yolks and mix, then add the egg yolks to the milk mixture and mix well. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon[.] Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the pudding to a bowl, let it cool and then refrigerate.

Add 2 tbsp of sugar to the heavy cream and whip to soft peaks.

Stir the whiskey into the coffee.

Arrange half the cake slices to cover the bottom of your trifle or compote bowl; more than one layer is fine. Drizzle half of the coffee-whiskey mixture over the cake. Spread half the pudding over the pound cake and top the pudding with half the whipped cream. Repeat the process starting with the remaining pound cake pieces. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

Chill until ready to serve. To serve, use a large spoon to scoop portions into bowls.

My husband took a bite of this and said, “This is like an Irish tiramisu!” I absolutely agree. With ingredients more easily sourced from Ireland than the Continent, it’s a delightful twist on an Italian classic. It was also pretty fun to make. My twin sons had a lot of fun helping me mix the pudding and whip the cream. Not surprisingly, they were even more delighted to help me eat the dessert!

I added extra chocolate chips to the first layer of whipped cream before adding more pound cake as I like a little more chocolate in my desserts. Also, the bittersweet chocolate was pretty big. It really does make quite a bit of trifle, so have friends on hand to help you eat it.

Next week we head down to the lake to indulge my chocolate cravings some more while investigating a cooking competition gone deadly. Join me!

See also: Cooking the books: Half a murder by Emily George

Learn more or order a copy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *