Newsletter – November 2015


Texas Chili and a Texas Mystery—chili tasters and peacock feathers!

What better reasons could there be to celebrate?

Please join the party! Tuesday, November 17th

Old Neighborhood Grill, 1633 Park Place Avenue

Fort Worth

5:00—8:00 p.m.

Judy Alter will sign copies of

Murder at Peacock Mansion


Texas is Chili Country

Texas is Chili CountryTexans love to eat, and one dish they can’t get enough of is chili—so much so that chili con carne is Texas’ state meal. This seemingly simple staple of Texan identity proves to be anything but, however. Beans or no beans? Beef, pork, or turkey? From a can or from scratch?Texas Is Chili Country is a brief look at the favored fare—its colorful history, its many incarnations, and the ways it has spread both across the country and the world. The history includes chuckwagon chili, the chili queens of San Antonio, the first attempts at canned chili, the development of chili societies and the subsequent rivalries between them, and the rise of chili cook-offs.And what would a book about chili be without recipes? There are no-fat recipes, vegan recipes, and recipes from Mexican-American cooks who have adapted this purely American food. Some have been tried, but many are taken on faith. Recipes are included from state celebrities such as Ladybird Johnson, Governor Ma Ferguson, and chili king Frank Tolbert.

Available online, at your favorite bookstore of from Texas Tech University Press, 1-800-832-4042.

Murder at Peacock Mansion, third in the Blue Plate Café Mysteries

Arson, a bad beating, and a recluse who claims someone is trying to kill her all collide in this third Blue Plate Café Mystery with Kate Chambers. Torn between trying to save David Clinkscales, her old boss and new lover, and curiosity about Edith Aldridge’s story of an attempt on her life, Kate has to remind herself she has a café to run. She nurses a morose David, whose spirit has been hurt as badly as his body, and tries to placate Mrs. Aldridge, who was once accused of murdering her husband but acquitted. One by one, Mrs. Aldridge’s stepchildren enter the picture. Is it coincidence that David is Edith Aldridge’s lawyer? Or that she seems to rely heavily on the private investigator David hires? First the peacocks die…and then the people. Everyone is in danger, and no one knows who to suspect.

Available on in print and Kindle editions. Coming soon on Smashwords.

Watch for Desperate for Death.

The sixth Kelly O’Connell novel appeared last May as an e-book but never made it into print. If you’ve been waiting for it, I’m working on a print edition and hope to have it up and running soon.

Thanks for your patience.

About Judy:

Judy Alter majored in English in college because she loved to read and besides, some man was going to marry and take care of her. No career needed. Things didn’t quite work out that way—after earning a Ph.D. and surviving a failed marriage, she wrote fiction. To her surprise, her first novel was marketed to a young-adult audience and she found herself pigeon-holed as a young-adult author. Graduate school had sparked an interest in the history of the nineteenth-century American West. With a strong career and several awards as a western writer with fiction and nonfiction, for both adults and young readers, she longed to write mysteries, didn’t think she could do it.

Today, retired as director of a small academic, she has made mystery writing her new career. She is the author the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries, the Blue Plate Café Mysteries, and the stand-alone The Perfect Coed. She blogs daily, writing Judy’s Stew. A member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy chapter, she is the proud single parent of four and the grandmother of seven.

Her new chili book demonstrates that her love of all things western lives on. Some of her earlier western fiction is available at various online bookselling sites. Find her at

“Writing,” she says, “has been the anchor in a good life. I am a mom. Grandmom, and a writer, in that order. I love it.”

A message from Judy:

Much to my dismay, the publisher who gave my mysteries life, Turquoise Morning Press, has gone out of business. I am forever grateful for the opportunities that Kim Jacob and her staff gave me. But now I’m going out on my own, indie-publishing my books. I much appreciate loyal readers who stay with me and support me in this effort. All books have been taken down from all platforms, but I am slowly going to return them, mostly as digital books. Questions? Email me at . Want to help? Spread the word, tell your friends about my books.

And with the holidays approaching, I wish you all the best as you give thanks and celebrate with families and friends. It’s a blessed time of the year.

—Judy Alter

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