We’ve made it to summer. While coronavirus remains a threat, the weather is warm and, until fire season, we have a great opportunity to read (and drink!) So pull your lounge chair into the shade, mix a martini, and sink into a good read.
Here’s what’s on my list:
The Paris Package by A.W. Harton, set in pre-WW2 Europe. A young American couple on honeymoon in Vienna take possession of a book the Nazis don’t want to surface, and they must get the book to its rightful owner in Paris. The SS knows they’ve got it and are on their trail. I’m trying the Kindle/audiobook sync on this one. Too exciting to put down! I can listen while I make dinner.
The Blue Period by Luke Jerod Kummer about the young Picasso’s “blue period” as he bounced between Barcelona and Paris. Kindle.
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon—seven Outlander universe short stories to tide us through the season break! Audiobook.
Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart all about the sordid lives of plants behaving badly. Want to kill, maim, intoxicate or possibly drive someone mad? Do it nature’s way. Paperback.
No Bad Deed the debut thriller by Heather Chavez turns my home county into a menacing backdrop to a terrifying game of cat and mouse. Hardbound.
Not for everyone on the list, Steven James, Story Trumps Structure. How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules is jam-packed with great information. It was recommended by my favorite writer of mysteries set in Paris, Cara Black. She’s written 19 books. I’ve read them all. Start with the first book: Murder in the Marais and finish with the latest, Three Hours in Paris.
Finally, the drinking part! A Drinkable Feast. A Cocktail Companion to 1920s Paris by Philip Greene. Did you ever wonder what the Lost Generation drank and where they drank it? A Drinkable Feast not only offers the recipes, but tells the stories behind the drinks and the artists, writers, and celebrities who drank them. My favorite so far? The Bailey created by Gerald and Sara Murphy, wealthy American ex-pats—the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s protagonists in Tender is the Night.
2 oz. Hendricks gin
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1-2 tsp. simple syrup
2 sprigs of mint
Tear up the mint leaves into a shaker, add the gin and steep for a couple of minutes, add the grapefruit then lime juices. Shake with ice and don’t allow it to dilute. Strain into a wine or cocktail glass and garnish with a sprig of mint. Enjoy!
Drinking and literature—a time honored pairing!
And if you haven’t already, pop open a Victoria and try out the JadeAnne Stone Mexico Adventures. Lawn chair travel—next best thing to being there! These will offer you plenty of suspense and muy rico meals. Book three, Nothing Comes After Z is scheduled for release late this year.
(and if poetry is your thing, check out Nature Girl. All available on Amazon)