Friday, November 4, 2016

Living Spectres and the Harvest Cup

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro joins us today for a special edition of Drinks with Reads where she pairs her book, Living Spectres with a magnificent drink. Living Spectres has just made it's debut from Cleveland Writers Press. 

Philadelphia, 1924

It’s been three months since crime reporter Poppy Thornton was left to die in an abandoned warehouse by her cousin Stacy, chief suspect in a high society murder. Rescued by the quick thinking of Chesterton Holte—her “gentleman haunt”—and Police Inspector J.B. Loring, Poppy is determined to get the real story and see justice done. But Stacy has fled Philadelphia with the widow of the man he is accused of murdering, and now an international manhunt is on for the suspected conspirators. As that search continues, Poppy, Holte, and Loring have a new mystery: the disappearance of GAD Pearce, 18 year-old heir to the Pearce fortune, who has vanished while travelling through Eastern Europe. The suspects range from the young man’s jealous siblings to a mysterious cult of Armenian refugees.

Once again Holte uses his ghostly powers to uncover answers and pass on what he learns to Poppy— who must then alert Loring without revealing her otherworldly source.
Is GAD still alive? Can Poppy keep her job despite social convention, the disdain of her male colleagues, and the dangerous attraction she feels to Loring? Will the authorities succeed in tracking Stacy down? What’s really going on behind the closed doors of the politicians and bankers who run the city and the state?

And as the search for truth takes Poppy and Holte deeper into a forest of dark secrets and official corruption, who will die next?

Recipe - The Harvest Cup

I found this recipe in a bartender's recipe book from 1921; they called it a Harvest Cup, and it was recommended for after the fox-hunt:

1 part Cointreau (or Chambord)
poured into a tulip champagne glass or small snifter
add  3 parts champagne, or sparkling cider, if you would prefer not to drink alcohol
add a dash of angostura bitters or dust with fine-ground nutmeg

Do not stir

This recipe comes from the general time-period of the Chesterton Holte series, and was published in Boston, so it's also regional; the Chesterton Holte books --- Living Spectres is the second, and the third is in the publisher's hands for next year --- take place in Philadelphia in the mid-1920s, where Poppea Millicent "Poppy" Thornton is working as a reporter at the Clarion. Although she comes from the social upper-crust, Poppy loves working for a newspaper, and has recently been promoted to the crime desk, much to the dismay of most of her relatives. In her efforts, she is aided and abetted by the ghost of a Canadian spy killed in World War I. This drink is appropriate to Poppy's place in society, and would be served in the time of year in which Living Spectres takes place: early September. Although Prohibition was in place, drinking still occurred, and the upper crust could afford the best bootleggers and the best booze, which this recipe reflects.

Photo Credits: Charles Lucke

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