Caraway Cookies and a review of Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost for TLC

I don’t seek out thrillers.  Yet lately, some of my favorite reads have been in this genre.  (See The North Face of the Heart review.)  I loved this one, too.  These last two TLC Book Tours have hit it out of the park.

About the book:

In a modern and twisty retelling of Jane Eyre, a young woman must question everything she thinks she knows about love, loyalty, and murder.

Jane has lost everything: job, mother, relationship, even her home. A friend calls to offer an unusual deal―a cottage above the crashing surf of Big Sur on the estate of his employer, Evan Rochester. In return, Jane will tutor his teenage daughter. She accepts.

But nothing is quite as it seems at the Rochester estate. Though he’s been accused of murdering his glamorous and troubled wife, Evan Rochester insists she drowned herself. Jane is skeptical, but she still finds herself falling for the brilliant and secretive entrepreneur and growing close to his daughter.

And yet her deepening feelings for Evan can’t disguise dark suspicions aroused when a ghostly presence repeatedly appears in the night’s mist and fog. Jane embarks on an intense search for answers and uncovers evidence that soon puts Evan’s innocence into question. She’s determined to discover what really happened that fateful night, but what will the truth cost her?

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Lindsay

Website | Twitter  | Instagram

About the author:

Lindsay Marcott is the author of twisty thrillers set in the mysterious and atmospheric California coast. Her latest novel, Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost, will be out from Thomas & Mercer in August, 2021. Lindsay’s previous books have been chosen as selections of Book of the Month Club, Literary Guild and Mystery Guild, as well as adapted for a Hallmark movie and translated into eleven languages.

Lindsay’s first success as a writer was her sixth grade Thanksgiving play, about a plucky Pilgrim girl and her wise-cracking pet turkey. After graduating from Smith and stints as a cat sitter, rock star assistant and waitress in a TriBeCa grunge club, she landed a job as a researcher for Esquire Magazine. She soon began contributing articles to other publications, including GlamourHarper’sMademoiselle, and the L.A. Times Magazine, notably doing the Playboy Interview with the cast of Saturday Night Live.

She’s also written screenplays for Warner Bros., Disney and Paramount and has been Executive Producer on several feature and cable films.

What I thought…

The tale begins with an anonymous conjecture of what really might have happened to Mrs. Rochester.  Then, the reader is thrown into the life of Jane, a writer for a second-rate gothic cable show.   Jane’s life is in turmoil.  Her mother has recently died, her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend, and she loses her job.  Luckily, her friend Otis convinces her to travel to the West Coast for free rent in a seaside cottage, a modest salary, and a job tutoring a mega millionaire’s thirteen-year-old daughter.  Even though Jane is totally in transition, she does keep her sense of humor.  I enjoyed that part of Marcott’s writing.  Here’s an early conversation between Jane and Evan:

“Where are really from?” he prompted.

“Originally?  Lowood, New Jersey.”

“Rich commuter suburb?”

“God, no.”

“Gritty working-class town?”

“Not particularly.  I mean, it wouldn’t rate a Springsteen song.” (47)

In between the chapters from Jane’s point of view are the ramblings and musings of Beatrice (Mrs. Rochester) at her craziest.  (These chapters were vivid and might be hard to read for some.)

As Jane settles into her new life, she keeps making discoveries, about herself and about Beatrice and her husband (who is suspected of her murder).

Richard, Mrs. Rochester’s brother and Svengali, was truly evil, much more evil than he made Evan out to be.  I kept picturing him as Viserys Targaryen from Game of Thrones.

I viewed Evan as a sympathetic character from the start, especially after he quoted from  Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae by Ernest Dowson:

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,

I did enjoy the relationship that develops between Jane and Sophia, Evan’s daughter (from another tryst).  Even though (because of the Jane Erye comparison), you know the outcome, Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost still kept me intrigued and I finished the entire book on one weekend.   I’m rating it 5 out of 5!

The Food…

From the very first pages, there’s a very poetic description of a meal:

The menu:  pear and allium to start, black cod with caviar beurre blanc, chocolate ganache.  No wine, of course.  Cocktails made of lavender and lemonade. (1)

There’s also the not so poetic road stand sign (and landmark where to turn to get to the estate), a sign advertising “Garlic Cherries Live Bait.”

Since Otis, Jane’s friend, serves as the chef for the Rochesters, there’s lots of delicious sounding food:  Cioppino “fragrant with anise and oregano,”   mascarpone fig tart with Chambord in the crust, baby back ribs, venison chili, “a stunning salad of arugula, radicchio and fennel with white sardines and toasted slices of sourdough”(262).

Le Gloop shows up twice in the novel.  It’s a meal that Jane throws together for a hungry Sophia composed of penne, home-made broth, leftover porterhouse steak, sour cream and Greek olives.   While the family awaited Evan’s fate, Otis tries to replicate this meal in their temporary housing.

Wine and drink are in abundance, most of the alcoholic variety:  Sancerre, chai, classic breakfast tea, margaritas, frappes, Manhattans, martinis, Cristal, espresso, Mojitos, Argentine Malbec, Pauilac de Latour, Cokes and Tecate, Dr. Brown soda, Don Q, singed coffee, Champagne, vodka, ’98 Krug.

There’s also food of remembrance, caraway cookies that Jane’s mother used to make and kugel, knishes and matzo ball soup that she made for her dying mother.

I almost recreated that mascarpone fig tart, but fresh figs are impossible to find.    Instead, I was really intrigued by the caraway cookies of Jane’s childhood.  Apparently, this is a very old recipe.  I also thought the cookies would be good on a grazing board (which I’m all about recently).  They would also be great to snack on while sipping wine, and as you noticed, there’s a lot of vino in the novel.


Caraway-Lemon Shortbreads

Based on recipe found here.

These would be great on a grazing board.


  • 2 c. all- purpose flour
  • pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 c. butter cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 T. caraway seeds
  • 1 T. heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. In a large food processor, place the flour, salt, and butter. Process until it resembles a fine corn meal.
  3. Add sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Process a bit more. Scrape the bottom of the bowl well.
  4. Add egg and seeds. Process and drizzle in up to 1 T. heavy cream until a dough forms.
  5. Place dough on a floured work surface.  Form into a large ball and roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thickness.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out cookies.   Place cookies on a silicon or parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Cook in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.   Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Yield: about 3 dozen

I was totally unsure about a caraway cookie but the lemon totally works.  I’m not sure it would without it.

Please check out the other review’s of this novel.

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I’m also linking up with Foodies Read.

6 comments to Caraway Cookies and a review of Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost for TLC

  • That sounds like an interesting thriller that I would love to read too. Those caraway cookies look really neat!

  • Mae

    The reviews for the TLC Book Tours all seem to make this book sound like a good remake of the original novel — it has really been remade so many times that it’s amazing. The cookies look good too.

    best… mae at

  • Glenda

    I want to read your book. Liked your review.

  • thank for the review! I love thrillers and this looks interesting. It’s been SO LONG since I’ve read Jane Erye, that it would be like read a new plot. 🙂 Love the caraway cookies. The lemon also adds a great flavor I’m sure.

  • Love the recipe! Shortbread is a real weakness of mine, and I’m a sucker for anything that has lemon. If the book inspired this, it must be good! 🙂

  • I can’t believe I didn’t make it over here to see your review until now. I really enjoyed this book too and your cookies look delicious.