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.

Please subscribe below to keep up with the latest investigation news and receive a free short story!

Recent Posts

Love Inspired Cookie
2/19/2021 3:34:00 PM BY Sally Jo

Love Inspired Cookie


Investigating Food Used in Novels


February, the month of LOVE. This month I’m featuring the Love Inspired novel, The Detective’s Secret Daughter by Rachelle McCalla.


From the Sugar Plum Cafe in Fitzgerald Bay the author uses cookies in the story line to portray MYSTIQUE, NEIGHBORLY KINDNESS, AND  LOVING GESTURES. The book inspired me to try a new cookie recipe.


Because I have a grapefruit tree in my yard, I’m sharing a recipe for a shortbread style cookie I discovered with a soft delicate texture, made with grapefruit juice! Sound strange? It won’t after you try it!


Here’s more about The Detective’s Secret Daughter:

It's been ten years since Victoria Evans left Owen Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald Bay behind. Now she's returned, looking for a safe place for herself and her nine-year-old daughter. A daughter who bears a striking resemblance to Owen. Why would Victoria keep their child a secret? Owen wants answers, but has to focus on the murder that's rocked Fitzgerald Bay. And when Victoria is threatened, he's determined to solve the case--and keep mother and child safe. Because Owen won't lose them all over again.







A Taste of Small Town
1/13/2021 10:50:00 PM BY Sally Jo

Investigating Food Used in Novels

This month’s feature is the small town novella, A Sassy Creek Christmas, currently available for FREE.

Here, author Shelia Stovall tells us how she came up with her main character, Ovaleta Mayhew, who handles her problems with prayer and baking: 

I am not an accomplished cook, but I remember gathering apples from my family's orchard, and my mom would make fried pies.  Sadly, Mom is no longer alive, and I don't have her recipe for fried pies.

Years ago, when I first launched my website, I wanted to include fried pies on the table. A wonderful friend and church lady, Camille, offered to make them for me. This photograph was taken in her garden.  

Camille's recipe for fried apple pies includes biscuit dough, reconstructed dried applies, and Crisco. Camille said if you don't have a good biscuit recipe, you can use canned biscuits. Like all genuinely excellent cooks, Camille does not measure anything. She cooks by taste and touch.

So, I've attached the recipe card for Ovaleta Gibbs’ fried pies sent to me by the Allen County Cooperative Extension Service. Ovaleta Gibbs shared her recipe years ago with the Extension Service and gave permission for it to be shared. The homemakers in Allen County often prepared fried pies using her recipes for fundraisers in Allen County.

When I first heard the name Ovaleta, I vowed to use it in one of my stories because it's so Southern and unusual.  When I first started writing A Sassy Creek Christmas, I knew Ovaleta would be my main character. I never had the honor of meeting Ovaleta Gibbs. Still, she's the inspiration for my fictional character Ovaleta Mayhew in Sassy Creek.

I hope you'll try Ovaleta Gibbs’ recipe,  and let me know how they turn out at [email protected] One of these days, when I finish writing stories, I might find time to fry a pie or two.

Grab A Sassy Creek Christmas for FREE with this link  https://dl.bookfunnel.com/l9y1q8ne8p

AND another FREE book from Shelia you may enjoy is Weldon’s Secret Santa  https://bookhip.com/ZJXFZA

For the recipe for FRIED APPLE PIES go to Investigatin’ Recipes  under Investigator’s blog above.

And here is more about A Sassy Creek Christmas:

Welcome to Sassy Creek, Kentucky, where pretty much everything starts at the Wide Spot Country Store. There you’ll find laughter, a little gossip,  Goo Goo Clusters, and might even be invited to join in a hand of Rook with the locals . . . 

Like Ovaleta Mayhew, who plans the first-ever Sassy Creek Christmas parade to raise funds to help pay eight-year-old Ava’s medical bills. People want to help but unexpected conflict erupts—leaving Ovaleta to regret her impulsive actions.

Or Pastor Seth, who’s in love with Lila, a nurse he met at the Nashville cancer center. He wonders what she’ll think of Sassy Creek and his dwindling congregation. He can’t compete with the bright lights of Nashville, but he knows God’s called him to Sassy Creek.

The parade is set to start at the Wide Spot, but two tragedies silence everyone and the community gathers to pray. Without a miracle, it’s doubtful there will ever be a Sassy Creek Christmas parade.








Filet Mignon & Rosemary Potatoes a la Justice Delivered
12/13/2020 3:23:00 PM BY Sally Jo

Investigating Foods Used in Novels

Justice Delivered by Patricia Bradley has a scene in which criminal defense attorney Maggie Starr prepares dinner  for lawman David Raines. The two professions make for an unlikely pair but the dinner Maggie prepares adds to the clues that something special might be building for the couple.  

Here is the scene:

David sniffed the air. “Is that rosemary potatoes?”

“And cheese biscuits,” she said. “Come on back into the kitchen while I prepare the filet mignon.”

“Filets? I must rank higher than I thought.” He followed her through the dining area. “We’re eating here?”

“I thought it would be nice.” When they ate at her place, which was rare, they always dined in the breakfast nook off the kitchen. She walked around the island and turned on the eye under the grill skillet. “Dinner should be ready in a few minutes. Would you like something to drink while you wait?”

“Tea would be great, but I’ll fix it.” 

A few minutes later, she slid the sizzling steaks into the hot oven. Sensing David’s gaze, she looked up. He was leaning against the island, studying her. Heat spread through her chest and into her cheeks. 


Grabbing a paper towel, he pushed off from the island. “You have flour on your cheek,” he said and dabbed her face. 

Flour from the biscuits. And here she thought he was admiring her.

This scene makes me hungry!

                      Filet Mignon with Rosemary Potatoes

Patricia shares her recipe under “Investigatin’ Recipes” above.

And here is more about Justice Delivered:


Carly Smith came by her trust issues honestly. A victim of sex trafficking, she's been at the mercy of merciless men, ignored by law enforcement officers who should have helped her, and seemingly rejected by her family. She can't even trust herself to do the right thing. Though she escaped her captors and is working hard on building a new life, the past continues to haunt her when she discovers that the man she couldn't bring herself to report to police for fear of reliving her captivity is still out there, luring vulnerable girls under the guise of being a modeling agent.

When her own niece is kidnapped, Carly must overcome her fears and come forward with the information she has before it's too late. When that proves to be not enough, she'll have to go after the perpetrators herself.

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps the suspense taut and the stakes high in this fast-paced story that will have readers turning pages long into the night.







© 2021 Sally Jo Pitts
g BB Celebration Web Design