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

Tis the Season for Cranberries
11/23/2020 9:29:00 PM BY Sally Jo

Investigating Food Used in Novels


This month’s featured food scene comes from my new release of book #2 in the Seasons of Mystery series, Winter Deception.

(The ebook will be on sale for $.99 on Cyber Monday, November 30, 2020.)

The opening scene takes place at a luncheon in the dining room of Topazus, an 1800s antebellum home and Chicken with Cranberry Orange Sauce is served.

Here’s the scene:


Rita returned from the kitchen with a steaming platter. Mary Sue, composed but solemn, removed salad plates. “Cameo, please serve yourself and pass the entrée,” Rita said.

Cameo, visibly shaken, tried to accept the dish but almost dropped it. Robert reached for the serving piece and held it for her.

Rita didn’t seem to notice Cameo’s near slip and continued talking. “This is my signature chicken with a special cranberry orange sauce,” she said with flair and returned to her seat.

“Not to brag, but I helped Mother perfect the seasoning on this dish.” James leaned to one side for Mary Sue to clear his plate and clasped his hands in bravo style. “Culinary dabbling is a hobby.”

“James did help me. A man that loves to cook will make a fine catch,” Rita said and sent a smile in Cameo’s direction.

Robert slid two chicken breasts onto his plate and breathed in the warm citrusy bouquet. The scent swirled around and mixed with his investigative juices. The questions of correct utensil use pestered him, but inquiries around mineral leasing, liabilities, and theft, drew him like a Bluetick Coonhound on a track.

                                                                                                                                                       Topazus Chicken with Cranberry Orange Sauce


The recipe is under Investigatin’ Recipes tab above.

And Here is more about Winter Deception:

Private Investigators Robert Grey and Jane Carson intend to combine business with pleasure when they arrive at Topazus, their client’s South Carolina antebellum estate.

But the property’s trustee is found dead and when their client’s mother is arrested for the crime, Robert and Jane are pressed into service. This newly formed investigative team is adjusting to private eye status.  Robert is a former lawman who no longer carries a badge and Jane is a kindergarten teacher. 

When the investigators dig into the mysterious happenings in the mansion, they are convinced the police arrested the wrong person.  Topazus, which withstood the ravages of a Civil War, is imbedded with bitterness, deception, and an array of suspects.

It’s a case where the unlikely duo must pool their intuition and unique skills to unravel clues before the real killer gets away with murder.




Winter Deception Ebook Available for Pre-order
11/1/2020 2:03:00 PM BY Sally Jo

Christmas at the historical antebellum plantation

could have provided a restful holiday …

if it weren’t for the murder.



Winter Deception ebook, book #2 in the Seasons of Mystery Series, is now available for pre-order!

Order now for auto-delivery on November 24 release day!

Cuban Sandwich Celebration "Designed to Love"
10/25/2020 5:15:00 PM BY Sally Jo

Cuban Sandwich Celebration is “Designed for Love”


Investigating Food Used in Novels

This month’s featured food scene comes from book #3 in my Hamilton Harbor Legacy Series, Designed for Love when heroine, Izzie Ketterling, takes hero, Reed Harrison, out for a special celebration meal.

(The Designed for Love ebook is on sale for $1.99, October 20-26, 2020.)

Here’s the scene:

Izzie unwrapped her sandwich while Reed eyed the toasted flat bread and peeked inside. The sandwich was filled with sliced meats and cheese—the spicy aroma, heaven to her hungry stomach.

“What is it?” Reed asked.

“A Cuban sandwich. Wash it down with a Tally-Ho chocolate shake and you’ve eaten a Hamilton Harbor victory meal.”

Reed tried to drink his shake using a straw.

Izzie held up a spoon. “Use this. You have to stir it a bit before the shake will go through a straw.”

Reed tasted the drink. “Creamy, just the right accent to this sandwich.”

“Spoken like a true interior designer.”

His dark brown eyes sparked in the light of Tally-Ho’s neon sign. Izzie had suggested they sit at an outdoor picnic table, rather than eating in the car.

“You don’t mind risking another seagull casualty?”

“You thought I was making up how these seagulls dive for food when we first met, didn’t you?”

“Sorry, but guilty as charged.”

“The seagulls around here mean business when it comes to getting what they want.”

“Kind of like the townspeople?”

“I guess so. We do like to have our way, and I’m glad your firm won the job.”

“Us too. The team broke out the champagne in New York.”

“Well, let’s toast Hamilton Harbor style.” Izzie held up her milkshake cup. “Here’s to a bright future for Hamilton Harbor’s regeneration under the Emerson firm’s leadership.”

Reed sent her a lopsided grin. The sight of that cute dimple penetrated like a laser. He raised his cup. “Cheers. The team in New York is missing out.”

And here’s the real deal at the Tally-Ho. Thanks to the Branch family at Tally-Ho for sharing the recipe. You will find it  under the Investigatin’ Recipes tab above.





© 2020 Sally Jo Pitts
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