Friday, March 17, 2017

Eyes on You and the Stiletto Stalkertini

Lorraine Masonheimer, Crime & Beyond Book Club Member and crafter extraordiaire (you have to check out her baseball hat NCIS cake), is here to tell us about a Kate White book she paired with a tasty martini.

Someone is out to hurt Robin Trainer, a New York TV host and bestselling author, in Kate White’s stand-alone psychological thriller Eyes on You. She realizes she needs to find out who it is before it’s too late. Recently divorced and unemployed, Robin’s career is on the upswing as a co-anchor for the successful cable network talk show “The Pulse.” The chemistry between her and her co-anchor, Carter Brooks, is palpable, but Robin is focused on her career and she is now the target of an unknown adversary bent on ruining her life.

While at her glitzy book launch party, Robin finds a threatening note in her purse. Shortly after, she stumbles over a pile of her novels with a slash through her face.  As the creepy events escalate, Robin realizes her stalker is someone who knows her well. She combs through her work associates, friends and love interests for clues. Not knowing who to trust, she scrambles to find out who is doing this to her before her career is over or she ends up dead.

Set in the well-heeled world of New York media with glittering views, elegant parties and savvy political games, the story unfolds through Robin’s eyes. We learn of Robin’s traumatic childhood and its impact on her ability to deal with an unknown enemy. As a result, Robin is highly susceptible to gaslighting and begins questioning herself and losing her confidence.

I zipped through this book enjoying the twisty roller-coaster ride of plot points and suspects. The pace was tense and I was left guessing until the end when the enemy’s identity was revealed. The characters were fairly well developed and the red herrings plausible. A nice, sophisticated light read with a little romance on the side. I envisioned Robin slipping through a doorway beneath an elegant awning on a hot day to sip on a signature martini, soothing her frazzled nerves. I loved this book.

I also love martinis and I immediately thought to pair the book with a vodka martini called the Stiletto Stalkertini. It is simple, flirty and elegant—not unlike the little black dress. Both have New York flair and style reminiscent of Robin herself.

This head-turner of a drink is a soothing classy companion to Eyes on You. The ingredients are key to the drink. In the novel, with her bestselling book and highly rated TV show, Robin is labeled a double media threat and Dorda is a double chocolate threat. Dorda is made with real, melted chocolate and has just enough vodka to keep it liquid. Coole Swan imparts a very light creamy texture that is refreshing, not cloying. This drink is well balanced, not too sweet or creamy. It’s well worth finding the lesser well-known ingredients because the flavor is as explosive and the book’s ending. When I serve this drink to friends, I always hear “Wow” or Oh my god!”

Stiletto Stalkertini
2 oz Coole Swan Irish Cream Liqueur
2 oz Dorda Double Chocolate Vodka Liqueur
3-4 shakes of shaved white chocolate

chocolate syrup
1 napkin to wipe the grin off your face 
(Source: Dorda/Chopin Distillery)

Lightly drizzle chocolate syrup into the glass. Combine the liqueurs in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with white chocolate shavings.  

No matter what, DON’T serve it with brownies (an inside joke that you will understand once you’ve read the book). Try a bowl of smoky, salty almonds instead. As the book fades into a distant memory, serve this drink in your little black dress at your next “uptown” party. Give me a call, I’ll grab my glass and be right over!

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