Daisy Bateman

Cheesy Plots With Daisy Bateman Vol. 4


Happy December? Another year of things we didn’t expect is coming to an end, and I’ve long since given up predicting what’s coming next. But something will!

One thing that’s coming is book two in the Marketplace Mysteries series, A Dismal Harvest, set to arrive on March 15th, 2022. (That’s a date when good things happen, right?) Also on their way are audio versions of both books, release dates TBA.

(Side note: If you tried to request a review copy from Edelweiss from the link in the last newsletter, you may have noticed that there was nothing to request. But there is now! Thanks to Mark Baker for the heads-up.)

Finally, in some sad personal news, we had to say goodbye to our cat, Rumpole, this month. He had almost thirteen years of laser pointers, boxes, and sunbeams, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Rest well, buddy.


Santa Baby (Middle Grade)
As part of the deal that grants him immortality, Santa Claus must be reincarnated every 100 years. But this time, something went wrong, and Old Saint Nick has come back as an infant. Now it’s up to the elves to childproof the North Pole, find a carseat for the sleigh, and convince their tiny new boss to help them unlock the magic they need for the big night.

All I Want for Christmas is Yew (Paranormal Romance)
Druid Priestess Helen Harper has a problem. Assigned to acquire the mistletoe for the Solstice ceremony, she got stuck in traffic and taken in by an unscrupulous florist, and it wasn’t until the ritual was complete that the coven discovered they had been working with a branch of rhododendron leaves with some plastic berries glued on. Now she has four days to assemble the components for a new ceremony, so the sun will rise again. But the freshly-budded branch from a yew tree can only be found in the nearby state park, under the watchful eye of a responsible (and irresponsibly hot) park ranger. Between his skepticism, and the agents of the Winter King, who would like very much for the darkness to go on forever, it’s going to take all of Helen’s brains, charm, and her entire supply of hairpins to bring back the light, and possibly secure a date for New Year’s Eve.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Holiday Noir)
The holiday season is always a big deal at the Merrie Gentlemen strip club, and this year looks to be no different. Bling Crosby, a stripper with a heart of tacks, has been putting the final touches on her Elf on the (Naughty) Shelf routine when one of her regulars turns up in the dumpster, with a Christmas tree jammed into a very un-festive location. That’s bad enough for business, but when a stranger visits the club making veiled threats and shortly after is found hanging from the pole in center stage from Bling’s own tinsel boa, that she realizes there might be someone here who hates the holidays even more than she does. Now, with her livelihood on the line, Bling has no choice but to put on her detecting pasties and figure out who wants to put the Merrie Gentlemen to rest for good.


Something a little different this month–for the holidays I thought I would share my thoughts on a good way to build a cheese plate*. I know a lot of us have had our plans for gatherings cancelled or modified, but that doesn’t really change my recommendations. Any cheese plate can be a single-serving cheese plate if you put your mind to it.

Cheese Tasting Menu
Categories: Funky**Creamy**Blue**Aged**Wild Card

(A note on these notes. The example cheeses below are the ones that were available at my local Trader Joe’s. Your store and/or personal tastes may lead you to make some substitutions, which is fine. This is cheese; it’s just here to make you happy.)

Funky: Langres AOP
This is my favorite category, so we’re doing it first. Tasting notes for this cheese: mushroomy, lactic, rich. Ideally, you want one that will make anyone you live with wonder if something has gone off in the refrigerator, but not actually move out.

Creamy: Le Rustique Camembert
A reliable choice for when you want to maximize your intake of dairy fats. This one is a little on the sharp side; if you want a milder option look for a triple cream brie, Delice de Bourgogne, or fromage d’Affinois, a cheese I like so much I can spell it on the first try.

Blue: Point Reyes Original Blue
A Bay Area artisan classic. Their Bay Blue is milder–this one puts up a fight. Other options could be Rogue River Blue from the creamery of the same name, or cambazola, if you can’t get enough of the high-cream options.

Aged: Parmiagiano Reggiano Aged 40 months
Very savory, slightly nutty, with crunchy bits that are actually the crystalized proteins, not salt. You could also do a manchego, or some aged gruyere, or just eat the powdered stuff out of the green can, the world is ending, who cares.

Wild Card: British Mustard and Ale Cheddar Cheese
This is your opportunity to be a little crazy. See a cheese that makes you ask, “why would someone make that?” Go for it. I chose this relatively staid mustard flavored cheddar (the ale doesn’t really come through). Serious rarebit vibes, as the kids would say**.

*There really isn’t a bad one.
**I don’t know any kids.

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