By Lisa Turner

Down East Books, 2011

173 pages, $19.95

ISBN 978-0-89272-923-4


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) once said: “A cucumber should be well-sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out.” Apparently, old Sam didn’t care much for vegetables, but then he never had the chance to see THE EAT LOCAL COOKBOOK or try its tasty recipes.

Author Lisa Turner and her husband, Ralph, own Laughing Stock Farm in Freeport, a year-round vegetable-growing operation that provides fresh produce for restaurants and local markets. This cookbook is a recipe collection from her own kitchen and from top local chefs and other home cooks, with an emphasis on locally grown vegetables (but this is not a vegetarian cookbook, as seafood and meats appear in many recipes).

The four main chapters cover the four seasons, and each includes recipes for appetizers, salads, side dishes, main courses and desserts. Some recipes are simple like the Radish Sandwich; others are more complex like Green Tomato Mincement Pie.

The 121 recipes include Baba Ganouj (eggplant), Sausage and Kale Soup, homemade sauerkraut and Kimchi (a very pungent Korean sauerkraut), as well as beef stew, beet pancakes and Spaghetti Squash Tamales.

Fascinating sidebars accompany the recipes. Learn about the disgusting tomato hornworm, whether it is better to tie up your tomatoes or put them in a cage, the important difference between hay and straw, and why you should never put apples and carrots in the same storage area.

Turner also offers a convincing argument why people should support local agriculture, either by growing their own food, patronizing local farm stands and farmers’ markets or by joining a co-op. She also provides helpful tips on growing and storing vegetables at home.

Her best advice, however, is to use these recipes as a general guide, encouraging experimentation with seasonings, oils and butter in an effort to accomodate different tastes.



By Vicki Doudera

Midnight Ink, 2011

327 pages, $14.95

ISBN 978-0-7387-1979-5


When a $45 million property goes up for sale in Florida, real estate agents call it a “killer listing,” and they are not kidding. And a stack of dead bodies adds new meaning to an old term.

KILLER LISTING is Camden author Vicki Doudera’s second mystery featuring hotshot realtor and amateur detective Darby Farr (following 2010’s A HOUSE TO DIE FOR).

This is a “cozy” mystery, long on plot and character, short on blood and gore, a simple yet entertaining story told with humor and suspense. Doudera is a realtor herself, so she clearly knows her way around deals and foreclosures, as well as police investigative techniques and the clever misdirection of the mystery writer.

Here Darby is in Florida helping an old friend sell a celebrity golf pro’s $45-million estate to a wealthy Japanese buyer. Unfortunately, the original listing agent, Kyle Cameron, is found murdered at a condo open house, another victim of the “Kondo Killer.” But the victim is a woman with a lot of enemies who all have plenty of juicy motives for wanting her dead.

Darby is pretty sharp, and when the police think they have the case all figured out, one detective knows otherwise and asks for Darby’s help with his own investigation. There are too many suspects and too many motives — from the estranged husband, arrogant lover and bitter in-laws, to the creepy ex-con and the powerful politician, with revenge, jealousy, greed and downright meanness providing incentive for murder.

Add several more killings, an unbelievably giant snake, arson, smuggling, servants who know too much and a very unlucky cop named Lucky, and this is a fast-paced mystery yarn.

However, several weak and unnecessary side plots and unconvincingly smooth real estate deals detract from what would otherwise be an excellent mystery.

— Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.