Cathy Ace returns to match her latest novel, The Case of the Curious Cook, with the perfect drink. This is the third book in her WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries which feature a quartet of professional female PIs who run their business out of a stately home in Wales. Cathy is one of my favorite guests at Mystery Playground and one of our most frequent. And now let's hear about The Case of the Curious Cook and the drink Cathy has paired with it...
The Case of the Curious Cook take us back to Chellingworth Hall, the ancient seat of the Twyst family, home of Henry, the eighteenth duke. His mother, the Dowager Duchess Althea, has not only found the services of the WISE Enquiries Agency to be useful, but has managed to make herself an additional “member” of the team.
In this book, Henry’s terribly worried about some water damage to the priceless books in his lower library, so retains the services of a local book restorer who also runs the Crooks and Cooks bookshop with his daughter – local TV celebrity chef, The Curious Cook, in Hay-on-Wye. When the book restorer mentions some strange shenanigans going on at the book shop, Dowager Duchess Althea brings the case to her colleagues at the WISE Enquiries Agency.
As the WISE women try to unravel one odd puzzle, they get embroiled in another when they come across a valuable book of miniatures which seem to be the work of a local famous artist, recently murdered by her brother. They wonder if the cases are linked, and are worried by the fact they both seem to lead to a nearby old folks’ home. The WISE women are on the case – and nothing will get in their way . . . except, maybe, Althea’s desperation to go undercover!
The book is published in the USA and Canada on March 1st, which is St. David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales. Cathy was born and raised in Wales, and will certainly be celebrating St. David’s Day at her home in Canada. To celebrate, what could be better than a cocktail named for the creature seen the world over on the Welsh flag? The Red Dragon.
The Red Dragon
1oz Brecon Gin (or any gin of your choice)
1oz Grand Marnier
3/4oz blood orange juice
3/4oz lemon juice
Pour all the ingredients over ice in a shaker, give it a good shake, strain into a glass over ice, decorate with your choice of orange, lemon or even redcurrants!
Iechyd da! (yeah-kee da)
(Welsh for Good health! or Cheers!)
(Note about the photography: Cathy says – This being a book where a cook is the client, I thought a tea towel as a backdrop would be ideal. I bought this one in the National Trust shop at Rhossili in Gower – which is mentioned in the book. This book is also about the work of artists, so, again, the fact this tea towel has artistic impressions of Welsh views made it suitable…but I want to give credit where credit is due, so I’d like readers to know that the artist who created this artwork is Emma Ball and her website is here: http://www.emmaball.co.uk/ )