In Still Life and Death, when Savanna Shepherd needs information about people on her personal list of murder suspects, she knows who to turn to: Yvonne, her friend who works in the city council office and has access to important files. To persuade Yvonne to help, Savanna brings her treats from the local bakery, including a chocolate pecan brownie that’s to die for. File this scrumptious recipe away for any time you need to talk someone into something. Hey, it worked for Savanna!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 16


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 5 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
  • As needed no-stick cooking spray
  • As needed flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup pecan pieces
  • The Secret Ingredient: 1 handful good-quality dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine butter and chocolate squares in a small skillet or heavy saucepan and heat over low heat until melted. Set aside to cool.
3. Spray a 9-inch x 12-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.
4. Combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in mixing bowl; beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
5. Add cooled chocolate mixture to mixing bowl; whisk by-hand until blended.
6. Add flour to mixing bowl; whisk by-hand until blended.
7. Add nuts and "secret ingredient" to mixing bowl; whisk by-hand until blended.
8. Using a rubber spatula, pour batter into baking pan; spread evenly and bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Cool.
9. Cut into 16 rectangle-shaped pieces and serve.