Friday, November 6, 2015

The Corpse with the Diamond Hand & The Mai Tai

Cathy Ace is as prolific with her Drinks with Reads posts as her novels. This is her 5th Drinks with Reads post.

Here is the rundown of what she's done so far:

The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes and the G&T

Tipples with the Women of WISE Enquiries
The Corpse with the Platinum Hair and the TsarTini! 
Lime Margaritas and the Corpse with the Emerald Thumb

A luxury cruise around the Hawaiian Islands seems to be the perfect honeymoon getaway for Bud and Cait, but when Tommy Trussler, the onboard card tutor, drops dead in front of them, they end up having to tackle another puzzling murder...and try to work out whodunit before they reach port.

As followers of Cait Morgan’s travels know, she likes her food—and drink—so a cruise ship, and the temptations of the Islands themselves, are a delight for her. Here’s an extract taken from the book when Bud and Cait are at the point of embarkation:

‘We mugged for the photographer who was offering to capture our excited arrival. We were now at the final exit from the harbormaster’s realm and about to take our first step upon the ship, where the captain reigned supreme.

“I hope they got a good shot of us,” I said, as we climbed the not insignificant rake of the embarkation ramp.
Bud looked surprised, with good cause. “You usually hate having your photo taken, so why are you so keen this one turns out well?”

“Because this is the thinnest I’m going to be for about the next month,” I replied ruefully. “Me, fifteen restaurants, twelve bars, and no bills to pay for any of it for eleven days? I suspect I might pack on a few extra pounds. Then there’ll be the battle to lose it all, of course. Yep—I am now the thinnest I’m going to be for some time.”’

Read all about “The Silver Symphony” Cait discovers at one of the fanciest bars on the ship, and maybe enjoy a Mai Tai while you read? Where did the Mai Tai originate? I’ll allow Kai Pukui, Hawaiian cultural ambassador on the cruise ship Stellar Sol answer that one for you:

‘Malia’s dark, bare arms glowed in the moonlight, one linked through her husband’s dinner-jacketed arm. He’d teamed his classic suit with a gleaming white dress shirt that had a hibiscus pattern in the weave itself; subtle, yet culturally appropriate. His wing collar and black tie were delightfully formal. Kai’s graceful appearance put Nigel Knicely’s over-the-top outfit to shame. 
“Aloha,” said Kai and Malia simultaneously. Both Bud and I “Aloha’d” back, but Janet and Nigel replied with “Good evening,” despite the fact it was about half past ten. 
“I see you are enjoying a Mai Tai,” said Kai to Janet. “This is a drink you discovered on our Islands, I guess. Many people do.” 
“You were very clever to invent it,” said Janet, as though Kai himself had been responsible. 
Smiling, Kai replied, “But it is not a drink from Hawai’i at all. Like the ukulele and sweet bread, which came to us from Portugal, these things are now seen as Hawaiian. But the Mai Tai? Some say it was first made at Trader Vic’s, others say by a man called Don the Beachcomber. Either way, it came from the mainland, California, where tiki bars were popular. However, I believe many bartenders on our Islands are happy it made its way across the sea.” 
“Sweet gloop,” said Nigel offensively. 
Janet giggled. “I think it’s lovely,” she said. “Will you  join us?”’
As for the recipe? There are as many recipes as there are bars that make it, and some are extremely complicated—way beyond anything I’d be able, or prepared, to undertake at home. So, if you want to enjoy this on your own “lanai”, you could try this mix. Personally, it’s my favorite because it tastes good, and doesn’t need ten bottles of stuff I’ll never use again. Cheers!

    1 1/4 oz light rum
    3 oz of fresh pineapple/passion/orange/guava juice mix
    1/4 oz Orange Curacao
    3/4 oz dark rum

Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a couple of cubes of ice, then strain over ice in a glass. Drizzle some extra dark rum on top if you like it. Add either a slice or a wedge of pineapple. Umbrellas are optional.  

I hope you enjoy it—and I hope you choose to join Cait Morgan and Bud Anderson as they face the challenging case of THE CORPSE WITH THE DIAMOND HAND on their honeymoon cruise. Aloha!


  1. Thanks for having me's a real treat to get the chance to pair Drinks with Reads, and I had great fun with this post. I know it's the time of year when sipping a cool drink in the sun, on the beach, is something a lot of us would like to do - so have fun with this one :-)

    1. Thank you Cathy! I love this post. Can't wait to read the book.

    2. Happy reading - and have a tipple as you do it ;-)

  2. A drink with lots of booze in it--perfect. I'd skip the umbrella, though, unless I was drinking it outdoors in Vancouver (wouldn't want rain diluting the liquor). Probably wouldn't bother with the fruit juice either.

    1. I love the idea of an umbrella keeping out the rain in Vancouver, Allan! :-)