Dolores Stewart Riccio

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The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief

From the back of the book: Who says you have to act your age? Certainly not the women of "the circle"--five kindred souls whose steadfast friendship is as entertaining as it is fulfilling; five women who are shaking things up in the idyllic New England town of Plymouth, Massachusetts...

When these five get together, anything can happen--and it usually does.For these bright, warm, adventurous women seem to be a magnet for the strange, wild, and dangerous. And where they go, mischief is sure to follow.

From Booklist: Riccio's intrepid Wiccan crime fighters are back. What they lack in skills both practical and magical, they more than make up for with their enthusiasm. Their coven, which began as a book-study group at the local library, is made up of the story's narrator, Cassandra "Cass" Shipton, owner of Earthlore Herbal Preparations and Cruelty-Free Cosmetics; Fiona, the branch librarian; a cookbook author; the manager of a vitamin franchise; and a volunteer at the animal shelter. Between her business and her visions, Cass has many conversations with her telepathic, tell-it-like-it-is mutt, Scruffy, while waiting for her true love, Joe Ulysses, to take a break from his Greenpeace activities so that they can finally get married. Action and humor abound as Cass and the coven take an abused wife under their wings and try to find out why the only way people leave Manomet Manor is in a body bag. This is their third case, following Circle of Five (2003) and Charmed Circle (2003), and one can only hope that book number four will follow quickly.
Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


From The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief, Heather's new housekeeper Lucrezia Malatesta serves Sicilian Eggplant Caponata, a versatile dish can be an appetizer or a side-dish, always accompanied by Italian bread to sop up the piquant juices.

1 large eggplant (1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds)
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
2 green Italian frying peppers, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves minced
2 cups fresh peeled chopped or canned tomatoes
½ cup pitted black olives
¼ cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon drained capers
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar stirred into 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Peel and slice the eggplant. Salt and drain the slices about ½ hour. Rinse and press them dry between paper towels. Dice the eggplant.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet, and fry the bell pepper for 3 minutes. Add the eggplant, and stir-fry over medium high heat until the eggplant begins to turn color and soften, 5 to 8 minutes. This will use less oil than slow frying, but still you may need to add more. During the last minute of frying, add the garlic, which should not brown.
Add the tomatoes, olives, raisins, capers, oregano, and black pepper. Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are quite tender but still retain their shape, 30 to 40 minutes. If the mixture looks dry, add more tomatoes or a little water.
When the vegetables are cooked, add sugar and vinegar; add salt to taste. Simmer 2 or 3 minutes, turn off heat, and stir in the nuts and parsley.
Serve at room temperature. Makes about 1 quart.


THE DIVINE CIRCLE OF LADIES ROCKING THE BOAT

The 8th Cass Shipton Adventure
As the Harvest Moon rises over the Atlantic, the fantastic five embark on an adventure that spans two continents--coming to the aid of a disturbed ex-model in Plymouth, Massachuetts, then flying off to Rome, Italy, to rescue a dear friend and paint the town their own brand of reckless red.
The 7th Cass Shipton Adventure
THE DIVINE CIRCLE OF LADIES TIPPING THE SCALES The ladies of the Circle are rushing to the rescue again, crusading for the Goddess of Justice in their own preternatural way—even if that means tipping Her scales a bit.
The 6th Cass Shipton Adventure
All aboard for high seas and misdemeanors! A cruise through the Bermuda Triangle--right in time to celebrate Samhain. How can Cass Shipton and her bewitching circle resist such an enchanting prospect?
The 5th Circle Adventure
The bewitching ladies of the Wiccan Circle of Five have returned for more crime-solving escapades on the historic South Shore of Massachusetts.
The 4th Circle Adventure
The most fascinating women in Plymouth MA are back in action solving a case of multiple poisonings with their unorthodox recipe of magic, clairvoyance, and good old common sense. Kensington Books 2005
Kensington Books, November 2003.
Kensington Books, March 2003.