You have found the site of private investigator Sally Jo Pitts whose sleuthing and other experiences in working with all kinds of people has led to writing sweet romance and private investigator mysteries. You will find my books listed under the books tab, Romance Books and Mystery Books.

I delve into a variety of topics on the website. Currently, I am investigating food used in novels found under the Investigator’s Blog. Each post is accompanied by a recipe found under Investigatin’ Recipes.

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Recent Posts

Novel Use of Food by Nora Roberts
2/28/2023 8:00:00 PM BY Sally Jo Pitts

Investigating Food Used in Novels

This month I’m featuring a food used by Nora Roberts in a scene from The Collector.

And the recipe uses a bit of green to celebrate the month of March and St. Patricks Day! 

About the Scene:

Heroine Lila Emerson meets hero, Ashton Archer as the result of witnessing a murder that involves his brother.

Author Roberts has Lila pour cooked pasta into a bowl and add pretty little tomatoes, glossy black olives, chopped fresh basil, rosemary, pepper and “cheats” by using bottled dressing. Through the question of why she considers purchased dressing as cheating, the conversation leads to more in-depth personal banter between the characters. 

The description of this simple salad adds a bit of comfort and relief to the setting since tensions have been running high.

Here is an easy pasta salad that sounds similar to the one concocted in the scene.

                                                Easy Pasta Salad

For the recipe, click here:


More about The Collector:

When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one...
Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash try to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away and stolen; where what you possess is who you are; and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession...

Happy March reading!

3 Ways to Feed Your Body, Soul, and Spirit in February
1/31/2023 7:10:00 PM BY Sally Jo


Recently my pastor discussed that people are a trichotomy—body (physical), soul (mind, will emotions), and spirit (spiritual). 

Each element needs to be fed to flourish.

This idea inspired me to investigate ways to feed the body, soul and spirit.

Here are my suggestions for February:




I suggest baking brownies together. This is a delicious brownie recipe to complement this month’s food scene. It is made with the healthier almond butter and maple syrup and without flour. Click here for the recipe.



Read a cozy mystery with a food scene that complements the brownies (And Then There Were Crumbs by Eve Calder).

About the book:

Trouble, like warm dough, is on the rise for pastry chef Kate McGuire. When her bakery owner boss is arrested for murder, she must come up with promotion ideas to keep the bakery open while searching for the real culprit who committed the crime.

Here’s a food scene from the book:

“The Cookie House is going to start baking cookies. All kinds of sweets, really. To spread the word, we’re sharing some samples with our friends and neighbors,” she said, presenting the gift box.

“Well, I certainly hope I qualify as both,” Harp said with an easy grin. He flipped open the box lid and inhaled deeply. “Oh my, these look truly superb! So good, in fact, they might become my lunch.”

“The dark ones are pecan brownie cookies. And the ones with powdered sugar are anise and almond. An old family recipe.”

“Oh, I love anise. Anything that tastes like licorice, really. I had a great-great-aunt who used to make anise cookies.” He picked one up and took a small bite. “Oh my, this really takes me back.”

“That’s the great thing about cookies,” Kate said. “It’s like a little taste of childhood.”



Looking for a Winter Mystery to Read?

  (Free on Kindle Unlimited or Audio trial, paperback on sale for $4.19!)



Attitude and health link together
1/15/2023 3:55:00 PM BY Sally Jo Pitts

Investigating Food Used in Novels

This month, in place of a novel food scene, I’m featuring William A. Zahler’s new book, Happy Immunity (that I wrote a foreward for) along with a quick and easy healthy recipe.

Positive attitude affects health and longevity.

Below is a a list of some of the factors stressed by Zahler to build resiliency:

  • Adopt an attitude of gratitude
  • Be altruistic rather than self-centered
  • Treat problematic circumstances as a learning process
  • Learn to unwind and relax- listen to your favorite music, watch a good uplifting movie, sit with your favorite dog or cat 
  • Find time to move and exercise- take a walk or bike ride
  • Sleep 7 to 8 hours nightly
  • Eat a healthy diet, focusing on consuming plants (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans), and avoid processed food like sugar, white bread, white pasta, pastries, and processed packaged foods. 

A sobering thought from Zahler:

“If  you are of a mind that you have ‘no time’ for healthy eating,

at some point you will be making time to attend to your illness.”

Here is a a healthy quick and easy food to try:

                                      TACO SOUP, QUICK AND EASY

For the recipe, Click Here.





© 2023 Sally Jo Pitts
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