The ExPat Returneth

Friday, December 7, 2012

Barlioche, Argentina Revisited #bookgiveaway

Hello everyone, I'm Charlotte Ross, a thirty-something, small-town
girl from the Mid-west, and I'm the protagonist in Evelyn Cullet's new
novel, Masterpiece of Murder. I've recently returned home from a
suspense-filled, romantic adventure in the beautiful resort city of
Barioche, (pronounced, bah reeh LOH cheh), Argentina. I'd like to
relate my experiences to you when I visited the city that's been
referred to as the gateway to Patagonia.

Bariloche's snow-capped mountains, glaciers, dense woods and
crystalline lakes have made its spectacular natural environment into
one of Argentina’s major outdoor recreation areas. In the high summer
season, when my story takes place, most days are characterized by
clear sunny skies and warm temperatures. On the day I arrived it was
raining. Just my luck. But at least the wet weather only lasted one
day. After that we had clear skies, sunny days and mild breezes which
would have been a great excuse to walk the paths of Lake Nahuel Huapi,
or enjoy all kinds of sports such as trekking, rafting, or
fly-fishing, although I never got the chance to do any of these.
Unfortunately, my days were spent searching for my errant fiancé,
sweating out time at the police station, taking some miserable art
classes, and trying to prove myself innocent of a murder I didn't
commit. But I digress.

One of the things I did get to enjoy was the wonderful cuisine of
Argentina. On the first day I arrived, I tasted a dish my host called,
Guiso. This meat and vegetable stew was a filling and satisfying meal
that combined traditional ingredients with sweet potatoes, squash and
peaches for a delectable combination. Served with crusty bread and
butter, it made an excellent impression on me, besides a great lunch.
The gastronomy of this city was exquisitely represented by so many
savory dishes, but another I especially enjoyed was a dinner of
Milanea Napolitana, breaded meat strips in tomato sauce and melted
port cheese; an Asado Salad, grilled white onions, carrots, olive oil,
lemon, and grated cheese. And for dessert Alfajores, two large almond
cookies sandwiched with thick melted chocolate. Yum!

And speaking of Argentine cuisine, it didn't take much coaxing for me
to delight in tasting the wine there. Malbec is Argentina's signature
grape and I hear that it's quickly making a new name for itself with
red wine lovers. I can see why. It's a medium to full-bodied, dry red
wine. I found the alcohol level slightly higher than that of the wine
I normally drink. It only took a half glass to make me a great deal
more tipsy than I would have liked. But it was awfully hard to resist
with its dark, inky purple color and the ripe fruit flavors of plums,
black cherry and blackberry which gave the wine a decidedly jammy
character. In other words, it was delicious! If you're a wine drinker,
you might want to give wine made from the Malbec grape a try.

And the Chocolate! How many ways can one eat chocolate??? Bariloche is
the one place in Argentina where you are bound to find out.
Chocolaterias (Chocolate Shops) in Bariloche are scattered everywhere
among the busy streets. One, in particular, played a pivotal role in
my story. To take my mind off my troubles, I indulged in the famous
chocolate varieties offered by the city as extravagant *chocolate
fondues*, chocolate stick, chocolate with almonds, and milk sweet
caramel with chocolate. I also delighted my taste buds with homemade
sweets of mosqueta, sweet elderberry, and currant. Chocolate is a
great comfort for me whenever I have the blues, because it's hard to
cry and each chocolate at the same time.

There were so many places in Bariloche I investigated while searching
for the real killer, like the Bariloche Museum; the Hospital Zonal
Juan Ramon Carrillo; and Our Lady of Nahuel Huapi Cathedral, a
breathtakingly beautiful building of Neo-gothic design with more than
50 stained-glass windows. I could go on, but I hope my short "tour"
brought a tiny bit of Bariloche, Argentina into your lives. To read
more about Bariloche, and to see photos of the places mentioned in
Evelyn's novel, please visit the Photo Page on Evelyn's webesite at Oh yes, and to find out how my story turns
out, read Evelyn's new romantic suspense novel, Masterpiece of Murder,
available in print and ebook from the publisher at:
available as an ebook for the Nook from
Thank you, Larissa, for having me as a guest on your blog today.

We would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and you'll
automatically be entered in Evelyn's giveaway contest. You could win a
signed print copy of Masterpiece of Murder. The lucky winner will be
picked at random at the end of the Murder We Write blog tour, and
announced on her blog, on December 11th.
Don't forget to leave your email address so she'll know how to contact

Masterpiece of Murder is a fast-paced romantic suspense novel
involving a broken-hearted art student, Charlotte Ross, who is so
intent on locating her errant fiancé that she submits someone else’s
painting as her own in order to gain access to a Master art class
being held in Bariloche, Argentina—the place her lost love was last
seen. When the painting gets her accepted into the class given by a
world-famous artist and womanizer, being a novice makes keeping up
with the others nearly impossible as she struggles to fake her way
though, while trying to win back the man she loves. But her fiancé has
his own reasons for being in Bariloche that complicate Charlotte’s
life and threaten her very existence as she stumbles into a downward
spiral of deception, art forgery, and murder. After accidently finding
the murder victim, circumstantial evidence begins to mount up against
her and the local police suspect she is the killer. Now she must use
the skills she learned from her mystery writer friend, along with the
help of her fellow art students, to discover who is really behind the
murder. Not an easy task with a military police officer dogging her
every step.

Evelyn Cullet has been an aspiring author since high school when she
wrote short stories. She didn't begin her first novel until college,
later in life. Afterward, she continued to take writing classes while
working in the offices of a major soft drink company. Now, after early
retirement, she finally has the chance to do what she loves best;
write full-time. Evelyn enjoys playing the piano, being an organic
gardener, and an amateur Lapidary. She's a former long-time member of
the Agatha Christie Society, and is currently a member of Sisters in
Crime. Evelyn and her husband  live in a suburb of Chicago along with
their Black Lab/Pit Bull, Bailey.


  1. Thanks Evelyn for your lovely post. I loved learning more about Argentina and I particularly love that it's the setting for Masterpiece of Murder! Wonderful post!

  2. Evelyn: I so want to visit Agentina now. What a wonderful place.
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  3. Oh, my, Evelyn, your post made me hungry. I love to try different foods--and you certainly tempted me with your descriptions.

  4. Charlotte has enjoyed being on your blog today, and relating the "behind the scenes" story of her adventure.

  5. Argentina, is quite an eclectic mixture of old world and new, Wendy. You can see that in the photo of the street in Bariloche on my website photo page.

  6. Oh Marilyn, you can imagine how hungry I felt when I was doing research. It was difficult to decide what foods to put in my novel. There's such a variety. And of course, I had to buy a bottle of Argentine wine made from the Malbec grape, to taste it for myself. Research is so hard. ;)

  7. Argentina is a fascinating location which is one of reasons on my TBR list. Food is most definitely a plus.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jake. I appreciate your comment, and hope you enjoy reading the novel.

  8. Nice hearing from Charlotte herself and the wonderful things she experienced in Argentina. Yes, I too am also very very hungry! Enjoyable post!


    1. Hi Madeline. I't always a pleasure to hear from you.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Argentina is high on my bucket list. ;-)

  11. Chocolate is my downfall. A trip to Argentina for the chocolate would be worth it. : )

    Marja McGraw