Friday, November 24, 2017

Girl Waits With Gun & The Revolver

Today’s Drinks with Reads book Girl Waits With Gun is based on true facts and Kerry Hammond is here to tell us about the book and the drink she’s paired with it.

Girl Waits With Gun is the first book in a three book series by Amy Stewart featuring the Kopp Sisters. The books are historical fiction, which means they are fictional stories based on real people and real events. Stewart devoured newspaper headlines and articles, and she searched through court documents and public records. She then took the facts she found and crafted a story around them, starting with the real life Kopp sisters' lives and adding the dialogue and some side stories for effect. The final product is a portrayal of true courage and adventure that not only entertains the reader but educates as well.

Constance Kopp is the heroine of our story, which takes place in New Jersey in 1914. She’s nearly 6 ft. tall and has more guts than most men of her day. She is unmarried and living with her two sisters on their deceased mother’s land, much to the concern of their only brother. One day while the sisters are riding their horse and buggy into town a motor car crashes into them. The driver blames the girls and refuses to make amends for the damage done. Constance finds out that the driver is Henry Kaufman, a silk factory owner, and she locates him in an attempt to convince him to pay the debt he owes. But rather than comply, Kaufman and his gang terrorize the sisters, damage more property, and make physical threats against them. The local sheriff gets involved and arms the sisters for their protection. He helps them seek the justice they deserve.

The book is full of real headlines that ran in newspapers during the Kopp Sisters’ ordeal, as well as actual letters that were entered into evidence and found in court records. Given the fact that the sheriff entrusted Constance with a firearm, I thought the perfect drink to pair with the book was the Revolver. It's easy to make and only has three simple ingredients.
The Revolver

1 1⁄3 oz Bulleit Bourbon
1⁄3 oz Coffee liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters

Put all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled and then strain into a cocktail glass.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mystery Wednesday

Mystery Writer's of America announced the Grand Master, Raven and Ellery Queen Award recipients this week. There are three 2017 Grand Masters ...Jane Langton, William Link, and Peter Lovesey. The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. 

The Raven Bookstore and Kristopher Zgorski will receive the 2018 Raven Award. Kristopher runs the book review website, BOLO Books

The Ellery Queen Award honors “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry." This year's honoree is book translator, Robert P├ępin. 

Janet Rudolph (an Edgar winner herself) has background of all these recipients over on Mystery Fanfare

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Killer Holiday by Amy Korman

Today we have guest post from Amy Korman, author of Killer Holiday. Amy tells us why holidays are murder and where she turns for a great holiday read. 

True story: A few days before a Christmas not so long ago, I gave into a stress-induced milkshake craving, and was paying at the drive-thru window when I happened to glance back at the car behind me. 

Clearly in a holiday meltdown, its driver had his left hand on the steering wheel and his right on a 750 ml-bottle of wine, which he up-ended directly into his gullet as he cruised forward to pick up his Big Mac. 

Holiday panic had gotten the better of him, and so had a craving for Sauvignon blanc!

Personally, I turn to Poirot when December arrives. There's something touching about the fictional Belgian detective's plan to spend the holidays alone in his modern flat, his central heating turned up against chilly London nights, as The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding begins. A missing ruby and the promise of a not-too-drafty manor house lure him to country house King’s Lacey, where anonymous notes and a corpse await. 

Agatha Christie is the answer to vegan dinner guests, mall traffic, and drunk uncles this winter! Herewith, mysteries to make the season bright:

The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen. The holiday entry in the delightful Royal Spyness series sends Lady Georgiana Rannoch, poverty-stricken, charming aristo-sleuth and cousin to the King of England, as companion-for-hire to a manor in Tiddleton-under-Lovey. Murders aplenty abound, as do fun 1930s characters such as Noel Coward and Belinda Warburton-Stokes, Georgie’s naughty best friend.

Murder for Christmas: Tales of Seasonal Malice. Classic tales galore, including the above-mentioned Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and classics by Ngaio Marsh, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Dorothy L. Sayers make up this compendium, currently available as an audiobook only. As cozy as only murder and stolen pearl necklaces can be.

E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton. Naturally, the holidays are nothing but misery for the quintessential loner Kinsey Milhone. Two days after Christmas, Kinsey discovers that $5,000 was deposited in her bank account on December 24th, which kicks off a mystery involving one of Kinsey’s ex-husband and ends with her garage apartment getting blown up. Luckily, her one black dress survives….

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich. This is the recipe for unwinding after your annual Christmas tree fight: bond agent Stephanie, rogue elves, Grandma Mazur, and an intriguing new man in Stephanie’s life. 

The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers. Lord Peter Wimsey and faithful valet Bunter’s car slides off a snowy country road on New Year’s Eve, and the pair are drawn into a masterful, literary mystery involving church bells, an extra corpse in a local grave, and long-missing emeralds.

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. The master of California noir kicks off his book with Philip Marlowe helping drunken Terry Lennox safely exit a bar on Sunset Boulevard; Marlowe assists Lennox’s wealthy ex-wife in locating her former husband, whereupon the Lennoxes remarry in Vegas. Lennox repays Marlowe the $100 he owes the private eye a few days before Christmas, with a cheery note wishing Marlowe happy holidays. Not a chance!

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie. The Dame of all Golden Age writers naturally had more than one holiday tale of murder in store for Poirot, and this one involves a country house, a difficult elderly paterfamilias, and a locked-room murder.

Amy Korman is a former senior editor and staff writer for Philadelphia Magazine, and has written for Town & Country, House Beautiful, and Men’s Health. Her new book is Killer Holiday. She is the author of KILLER WASPS, KILLER GETAWAY, and KILLER PUNCH.

About Killer Holiday:  Antique dealer Kristin Clark is ready for a festive winter holiday in Bryn Mawr, PA, this winter—one that involves sipping martinis at Bootsie McElvoy’s annual bonfire, an engagement ring for former Mafia wife Sophie Shields, and a semi-legal poker tournament at Kristin’s store. But this year, Old Saint Nick has something more dangerous to deliver.

A stranger dressed in a Santa suit has Kristin’s friends on his naughty list. First, Sophie’s favorite handbag is blasted by a bullet. Then, Father Christmas goes after Bootsie’s brother Chip with a golf club and leaves a threatening note demanding fifty grand and threatening to chop off Chip’s eyelid.

The annoying Eula Morris is also back in town for the holidays, more bossy than ever after winning a mega-jackpot in the lottery. She’s returned from a luxury cruise around the world with a handsome new boyfriend (who looks oddly familiar) and a Samsonite suitcase filled with gold bars. When the suitcase is snatched, Eula implores Kristin and the team to track it down.

Where is Chip? Why is a vengeful Santa targeting the gang? Who stole Eula’s suitcase? Kristin and her basset hound Waffles are on the case—before this white Christmas turns even darker….