Friday, September 4, 2015

The Bookseller,

An Australian blogging friend, Denise Covey recommended a series of books which sounded very good, so I got the first one from the library. It is called The Bookseller by Mark Pryor and I am thoroughly enjoying it, so much so I have ordered the next book. The series is known as the Hugo Marston Novels, and features a man who was with the FBI and is now head of the security division in the American Embassy in Paris. He is also a lover and collector of rare/old books which has drawn him into a friendship with a bouquiniste or bookseller from the stalls along the river Seine on, I am guessing, the Left Bank. He is purchasing books from his friend when a thug comes along and kidnaps the bookseller. From there the story gets really exciting. Bent cops, gorgeous woman, a gay Baron and a smattering of dead bodies. I happened to write to Mark Pryor saying how much I liked the book and commented that I had had the recommendation from Australia; that he was in Texas and I am in Canada. He replied agreeing it was worldwide. I then discovered he too is from England and told him I was as well. Quite an international travelogue. I then discovered his mom is from North Carolina which is where we lived for 12 years. Mark Pryor tells me that the next book, The Crypt Thief, is somewhat darker. I am about to start it this evening so I will, no doubt, find out. If you read this blog Mark, thanks so much for these stories.

For supper, Thursday night, I decided Matt should cook for a change, he hasn't done much cooking in a long while. We had Chicken with lemon and Capers which came from a Readers Digest book many moons ago. I still have the book but it is falling to pieces. With it we decided to have snow peas so I looked on line for ideas and came up with a simple, but tasty way of cooking them.

Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Capers

1/4 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
2 Skinned, boned chicken breasts about 1 lb, halved and pounded to ¼  in thickness
5 tsp corn oil (we use Canola)
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs Capers, drained

1. FLATTEN the chicken first by placing it between two sheets of Saran wrap and beating.

2. Combine the flour, pepper and paprika on a plate. Press the chicken breasts  into the mixture, coating them evenly all over and shaking off any excess.

3. In a heavy 10 in skillet, heat the canola or corn oil over mod high heat for 1 mins. Add the breasts and cook about 3 mins on each side, do not overcook. Transfer the breast to a heated platter.

4. Add the chicken broth to the skillet scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Stir in the lemon juice and capers and heat through. Pour the sauce over the breasts and serve.

Servings: 2

Sautéed Snow Peas

For the snow peas, I sautéed them in canola oil (should have been sesame but I am out) then when they turned bright green I splashed some soy sauce into them; added grated ginger and grated garlic. Serve them straight away. They were delicious. In a Chinese restaurant they would wok these and not add the ginger and garlic, but apparently a home stove cannot get a wok as hot as they do in a professional kitchen which changes to potential taste.

Have a great day


  1. I tested a recipe for America's Test Kitchen this past week-end for snow peas. They were seasoned with fennel seeds, lemon zest, salt, pine nuts, garlic and basil. Even my grandson loved them. Chicken sounds good. Might try it.

    1. Sounds good Denise. The chicken is worth trying too.

  2. I ordered a lemon chicken dish once, back in the 80s and it was so inedible that it was sent back uneaten. Inedible b/c I just did not like the lemon. Except for lemonade, I'm not a fan. I've skipped 'lemon zest' in recipes too. I love capers though. And the pea pods in that pic look delicious!!!!!!

    1. I love lemon JoJo, especially since I lost my sense of smell. Capers are one of my favourites. Pity, because this is a delicious disk. The snow peas were delicious.

  3. Reading someone else's blog, they too had enjoyed The Bookseller; will have to put it on my list to read :)


    1. I thoroughly enjoyed it Betty. Good story.

  4. How cool that you've been communicating with an author you like!
    I've got them on my TBR list too, so many more before them though.
    Have a great three day weekend!

    1. I'm getting to know lots of authors these days. You are one too Yolanda. For me it's just same ol' same ol', I'm off work all the time.

  5. 'a smattering of dead bodies'
    I love it! LOL

    It's interesting that you are from the same place. Often, when I find an author whose books I like, I discover he or she is from Texas or the South. I've often wondered if the fact we use similar dialect and phrasing, thus allowing me to anticipate the author's wording, contributes to me liking their work.

    In any case, I'm glad you found a new fav. :)

    1. Maybe I should be an author Melissa, LOL.

      It is interesting isn't it, Mark Pryor is in Texas, but not a native obviously.

  6. Jo,

    Thanks so much for the kind words about The Bookseller, I'm thrilled you liked it. And you're right about all those coincidences, they're a lot of fun to discover. If you don't mind, save me some of that chicken dish, too, it sounded delicious!

    Best wishes, to you and your readers,

    Mark P.

    1. Thanks Mark, nice of you to drop by and comment. It was very good.

      Thanks on behalf of my readers and myself.

  7. Looks a great recipe Jo ...

    Have a lovely weekend.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan. Is it a holiday in England too this weekend? If so, hope you have a good one.