Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

About Staging Wars

Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (April 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115949
ISBN-13: 978-1635115949
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115914
ISBN-13: 978-1635115918
Digital ASIN: B084BT29GG

Laura Bishop’s new home staging business is growing in popularity, though not with her nemesis. Laura has long suspected established interior designer Monica Heller of sabotaging her fledgling company—and having an affair with her late husband.

When the ultra-chic Monica is caught at the scene of a murder, Laura is plenty happy to imagine her languishing in a prison cell with bedsheets far from her normal 600-thread Egyptian cotton. But her delight is short-lived.

When Laura’s friends land on the police’s radar, Laura must overcome her dislike of Monica to help solve the crime. Not an easy task since Laura and Monica have been at war since the second grade.


Recipe from Staging Wars and the Laura Bishop Mystery Series by Grace Topping

I was first introduced to Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry when I went to England. It’s a sweet but powerful drink, much favored by little old ladies in Regency romance novels. I came to enjoy a sip of it occasionally, especially on Christmas Eve with smoked almonds. It is the perfect pairing. A bit added to fruitcake is also good. 

So sherry was something I featured in my Laura Bishop Mystery Series, first referring to it as a drink Laura served to her aunt when she came to visit and also added to her aunt’s favorite chicken dish. I’ve made chicken this way a number of times for company, and I always get compliments on it. The subtle taste of sherry is delicious. No wonder it’s Aunt Kit’s favorite.

If you’ve never had sweet sherry, give it a try. And when you get a bottle, use some of it to make Aunt Kit’s favorite chicken dish. 

Chicken with Mushrooms and Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry Sauce


2 tablespoons butter

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

½ cup Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry (or any brand of

  cream sherry – sweet, not dry) or more to taste

¼ cup milk

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

Reduce the heat to medium. Heat the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir the soup, milk, and sherry in the skillet and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Season to taste. Serve with rice, cooked noodles, or mashed potatoes. 


About Grace Topping

Grace Topping is a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Let loose to write fiction, she is now creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind her of some of the people she dealt with during her career. Fictional revenge is sweet. She’s using her experience helping friends stage their homes for sale as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The series is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is a 2019 Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. Grace is the former vice president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the SINC Guppies and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.

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