She will make him a deep tart of black berries and melted chunks of bitter chocolate, imported from France, ninety per cent cocoa solids. She starts early in the day. Purest white flour mixed in the air as she sifts it with organic cocoa so perfect that her pastry is almost black. Then the fruit - blackberries, boysenberries, loganberries, blackcurrants - just simmered with fruit sugar and pure water over the lowest of heat for almost two hours until they are thick syrup and pulp. She skims the scum from the surface [...]
And then she adds poison, obviously. This is crime fiction.
She leaves the thick fruit mix to cool. Melts the chocolate. Glistening rich black in the shallow pan. When it is viscous and runs slowly from the back of her walnut spoon, she drops in warmed essences almond, vanilla [...] She leaves the pan over hot water, bubbling softly in the cool of her morning kitchen. Lays the pastry out on the marble slab. Rolls it to paper fine. Folds it in on itself and starts again. Seven times more. Then she fits it to the baking dish, fluted edges, heavy base. She bakes the pastry blind and removes from her oven a crisp, dark shell. Pours in warm, thick, liquid chocolate, sprinkles over a handful of flaked and toasted almonds, watches them sink into the quicksand black. [...] When the chocolate is almost cool, she beats three egg yolks and more sugar into the fruit mixture, pours it slowly over the chocolate, lifts the tart dish and ever so gently places it in the heated oven. [...] She cries, one slow fat tear every fifteen seconds. When there are one hundred and sixty tears the tart is done.
My friends, how fabulous is this? Pretty much a lot! Had to look up what loganberries are to find out they are a cross between raspberry and blackberry. Souds damn delicious anyway, dahlinks.
On the whole this is an good collection of short stories. Some are meh, some are very enjoyable. Anne Perry goes on and on for pages, Val McDermid is snappy and to the point, Peter Lovesey also impresses. Simon Brett is amusing. Would be great to bring on a trip. And I'm going to read more Stella Duffy, if possible. And brush up on tart noir.