The Other Passenger: A Mystery-Thriller by Louise Candlish

After a spectacular burnout that caused him to lose his high-paying job, Jamie Buckby has found work as a coffee shop barista, a job that pays much less than his previous career.

But money really isn’t an issue for him. He lives with his girlfriend, a wealthy, successful businesswoman, in her wonderful historic home in a tony London neighborhood. The two have had a long and compatible relationship, but in keeping with the saying there’s no fool like an old fool, Jamie risks it all when he falls for the beautiful, manipulative and much younger Melia.

This being a mystery by bestselling British novelist Louise Candlish, there are plenty of other complications as well in “The Other Passenger.” We watch the story unfold through the eyes of Jamie, who commutes to work by riverboat with his neighbor Kit, who is married to Melia.

Kit and Melia are living well beyond their means, wracking up credit card debts and obviously envious of Jamie’s lifestyle. Then, one day, Kit doesn’t turn up at the boat, and when Jamie arrives at his stop, the police are there waiting for him. Kit’s been reported missing, and another passenger saw Jamie arguing with him on the boat just before he disappeared.

But it’s way too time consuming and difficult for Melia to wait and work hard to achieve her dreams. It’s much better to convince Jamie with promises of money and a life together to help her get rid of her husband. Jamie is foolish enough to believe that’s what Melia really wants. With the police closing in, he soon realizes that Melia has outwitted him and has much different plans in mind.

“There were several inspirations, and that’s how my books are usually conceived — I’ll find a way to marry multiple obsessions,” Candlish said. “I wanted to do a commuter mystery, I wanted to create a ‘Double Indemnity‘ for the 2020s, I was eager to explore the generational warfare between Gen X and millennials. Finally, I felt the need to write a love letter to London life around the River Thames, to capture its dangerous allure.”

Kill All Your Darlings: A New Mystery by David Bell

In David Bell’s newest mystery, “Kill All Your Darlings,” Connor Nye’s life is rapidly deteriorating. Indeed, the college professor, who is still mourning the death of his wife and son five years earlier, knows he might not make tenure unless he publishes something quick. Lost in grief, it’s an impossible task.

But fate seems to toss him a life line. Madeline, one of his best students, disappeared suddenly two years ago after spending the night drinking and chatting with Connor and other students at a local bar. Connor doesn’t remember much about how the night ended; he was too inebriated. But he does remember Madeline’s manuscript, an amazingly written thriller about a murder.

When Madeline doesn’t reappear and it seems more likely that Connor may lose his job, he submits her work as his own. It seems safe enough. No one has heard from her in two years, she didn’t use a computer to write her manuscript, and he is the only one with a copy.

After celebrating the book’s publication at a get-together where he’s showered with praise, and believing that his life is finally back on track, Connor arrives home to find he has an uninvited guest.

Madeline has returned and she wants Connor to pay for stealing her manuscript. He doesn’t have the money she wants; it’s already gone to pay bills.

To make matters worse, Madeline isn’t the only unexpected visitor at the Nye home.

A police detective arrives the next morning as Connor is on his way to class. She questions Connor about his book and how the descriptions of the murder match exactly with the facts police have been withholding. Now, Connor not only risks losing his job and his reputation, he also appears to be a suspect in an unsolved murder. He grapples with whether to tell the truth or not, and decides not to.

“The cover-up is always worse than crime,” says David Bell, a professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he directs the MFA program. “Politicians never learn that — a lot of people don’t.”

The phrase “kill all your darlings” most likely originated with Nobel Prize Laureate William Faulkner, who said, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” Or in other words, kill any characters, even the ones you love, that don’t move the story forward. The characters that do remain in Bell’s book include a licentious department head who preys on young, vulnerable female students. It’s a subject that Bell also explores in his book.

“Since the Me Too movement, though we’ve become aware of all these situations, it still happens,” he said, noting that what the existing power structures will do to keep these situations quiet is for the school’s sake not the students’.

David Bell virtual event

What: Parnassus Books will host author David Bell for a discussion of his book “Kill All Your Darlings,” with May Cobb, author of “The Hunting Wives.”

How to join in: Visit Parnassus Books Facebook page: www.facebook.com/parnassusbooks1/ and click on the Events page.

Cost: The event is free.

FYI: After the live talk has ended, a video will be archived on the Parnassus Books Facebook page under Videos and available for watching.

World’s Largest Digital Book Club’s Next Title “The Quiet Girl” Now Available

 Public libraries around the globe are connecting their communities of readers together during the next Big Library Read, the world’s largest digital book club. From June 28-July 12, readers can solve a compelling mystery in S.F. Kosa’s debut thriller, The Quiet Girl, ebook from their public library. Public library card holders can borrow the ebook for free without waiting by downloading the Libby app. Readers can then discuss online at https://biglibraryread.com/join-the-discussion/.

Big Library Read is available in over 20,000 libraries around the world, including approximately 90 percent of public libraries in North America. During past programs, readers have participated in engaging online discussions about the title. The program is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for popular ebooks, audiobooks and magazines and creator of Libby.

“In many ways, reading is like therapy (and hey, as a psychologist, I would know!),” said author S.F. Kosa. “In other ways, though, reading is pure escape (and as a lifelong book addict, I know this too). I hope you find in The Quiet Girl‘s pages both escape and ideas that echo.”

The Quiet Girl begins with struggling entrepreneur Alex’s arrival in Provincetown to patch things up with his new wife, Mina. He finds an empty wine glass in the sink, her wedding ring on the desk, and a string of questions in her wake. The police believe that Mina, a successful romance author, simply left, their marriage crumbling before it truly began. But what Alex finds in their empty cottage points him toward a different reality: Mina has always carried a secret. And now she’s disappeared. In his hunt for the truth, Alex comes across Layla, a young woman with information to share, who may hold the key to everything his wife has kept hidden. To find his missing wife, Alex must face what Layla has forgotten.

Big Library Read is an international reading program that connects millions of readers around the world with an ebook through public libraries. The Quiet Girl is the 25th selection of this program which began in 2013 and takes place three times per year. Readers can join an online discussion about the book at https://biglibraryread.com/join-the-discussion/. This free program runs for two weeks and only requires a valid library card to get started.

The Quiet Girl was published by Sourcebooks. The title can be read on all major computers and devices through Libby or libbyapp.com, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™ without waitlists or holds. Through Libby, readers can also “send to Kindle®” [U.S. libraries only]. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees.

To join the discussion, learn about past Big Library Read titles and download Libby, visit biglibraryread.com.

About OverDrive

OverDrive strives to create “a world enlightened by reading.” Serving a growing network of 73,000 libraries and schools in 84 countries, OverDrive delivers the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other content through award-winning apps. The Libby reading app for libraries is one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade, while the student reading app Sora is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and was named a Certified B Corp in 2017. www.overdrive.com

Tipsy Scoop: Up Your Ice Cream With A Boozy Twist

I love ice cream but Melissa Tavss of Tipsy Scoop has taken it one step farther. Instead of just ice cream, she’s adding artisanal spirits and creating boozy sweet treats. Her ice creams such as Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Vanilla Bean Bourbon Ice Cream, and Raspberry Limoncello Sorbet have been available at many retail stores for several years now. And last summer, she formed a partnership with Williams Sonoma enabling Tipsy Scoop to be shipped to customers nationwide through the Williams Sonoma website. Tavss has also released her first cookbook, “Tipsy Scoop: Latest and Greatest Recipes.”

You can use the cookbook to make your own Tipsy Scoops. Also available are a variety of Tipsy Scoop kits such as their Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey Chocolate Swirl and Spring Fever Cocktail Kit featuring 1 pint Strawberry White Sangria Sorbet. 1 pint Vanilla Bean Bourbon ice cream, 1 bottle cherry hard cider, 1 can spiked strawberry lemonade,  1 mini cherry preserves,  1 bag cherry gummies, 1 bag fruit gummies,  1 fresh lemon, and recipe cards, paper straws, and hashtag flags (for posting your creations on social media sites).

The following recipes are courtesy of Melissa Tavss and are from “Tipsy Scoop: Latest and Greatest Recipes.”

Note: Though some of these recipes call for specific brands of alcohol, you can substitute your own–though the taste may differ somewhat.

Ice Cream Mix

This recipe freezes well.

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 8 egg yolks

Makes 1.5-2 quarts of ice cream mix

In a medium-size heavy duty saucepan, add milk, heavy cream, and vanilla. Over medium-high heat, scaled the mixture, removing from heat once bubbles begin to form.

I a large bowl, add sugar and egg yoks and whisky until the turn a lighter yellow, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Slowly pour half the scaled milk and cream mixture into the gg yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Add the egg and mix mixture back into the saucepan.

Saucepan. Warm over low-to-medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula or spoon. The custard is thick enough once it can easily coat a spatula or spoon which takes a few minutes. (Note: Overcooking will scramble the eggs so proceed with caution.)

Transfer custard to a heat proof container, cover, and let cool for 1 hour before adding in alcohol and additional ingredients.

Maple Bourbon

  • 6 cups Ice Cream Mix (see recipe above)
  • 1 cup Four Roses Bourbon
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup bacon, cooked and chopped (about 8 to 10 strips of bacon)

In a large mixing bowl, combine ice cream mix, bourbon, and maple syrup and stir.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

While mix chills, cook bacon until it is crispy and set aside on a paper towel to drain and cool for around 30 minutes. Chop into quarter-inch pieces using a sharp knife. Refrigerate in airtight container until ready to add to ice cream.

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it has a gelato-like consistency.

Transfer the ice cream to a large mixing bowl and stir n bacon crumbles. Transfer the ice cream into a freezer-safe containers and freeze for a least eight hours before serving.

Hot Buttered Rum

“What could be better than that last bite in your bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch?” writes Tavss in her description of what she describes as a cinnamon-y sweet cereal milk bite turned into a spiked ice cream.  “Not only will it give you that taste of nostalgia, but will bring you that festive, comforting, holiday party in your mouth feeling all year long.”

  • 6 cups Ice Cream Mix
  • 1/4 cup Cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Melted Butter
  • 1 cup Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and stir.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until it has a gelato-like consistency.

Transfer the ice cream into freezer-safe containers and freeze for at least 8 hours before serving.

Makes about 2 quarts.

Serving suggestions:

Caramelize sliced bananas and make a bananas foster split. Add extra toppings like hot fudge, caramel sauce, toffee, walnuts and anything else that sounds good.

Non Dairy Ice Cream And Sorbet

“You’ll notice in the chapters following that not only do we have milk-based ice creams, but also have a few options for non-dairy boozy ice creams and boozy sorbets,” writes Tavss in the introduction to her chapter on non-dairy ice creams and sorbets. “Our non-dairy ice creams are made with a coconut milk base and our sorbets are made with different fruits, so they have a water/fruit base.

Puree recipes vary fruit by fruit, but our sorbets all start with fruit purées- raspberry, mango, watermelon, peach etc. Since there is so much variation fruit by fruit, you’ll see instructions for each fruit purée included within the recipes in the following chapters.”

Simple Syrup Recipe

What all sorbet recipes do have in common is the need for simple syrup. Here is a very simple, simple syrup recipe:

How to make simple syrup:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water

In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar.

Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow it to cool.

Watermelon Mint Margarita Sorbet

“Watermelon. Mint. Margarita. Is there a more mouthwatering combination of words in the whole English language?” writes Tavss, describing this sorbet to be like sitting on the back porch with a juicy slice of watermelon dripping down your forearm or cutting out of work early for a happy hour margarita on that first really hot day of summer.”

Watermelon Purée:

  • 2 cups simple syrup
  • 3 cups fresh watermelon chunks

Sorbet:

  • 4 cups watermelon purée
  • 1 cup tequila
  • 1/3 cup mint syrup
  • (we recommend Monin)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Make Purée:

Remove seeds from watermelon and purée in blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine watermelon with simple syrup and stir.

Make Sorbet:

Combine watermelon purée with tequila, mint syrup, and lemon juice.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer the sorbet into freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 8 hours before serving.

Makes about 2 quarts

Serving Suggestion:

Recreate our Watermelon Mint Margarita Sundae by using an ice cream disher to scoop the sorbet into a pink cone bowl and garnish with fresh mint, Watermelon Jelly Belly seeds and sour watermelon Gummies.

Grown Up Sundae Station

“Now that you know how to make some of our most popular boozy ice cream treats, it’s time to

showcase your talents with an ice cream party,” says Tavss about this section of her book which helps you organize a grown up sundae station that’s the perfect dessert for special occasions like 21st birthdays and engagement parties.

“For the holidays go all out with pretty seasonal toppings or add Prosecco to your bar so guests can make their own floats,” she says. “Boozy ice cream makes every occasion a little more fun—cheers.”

Assorted Boozy Ice Creams and Sorbets

What you’ll need:

  • Insulated Beverage Tub
  • Oversized Martini Glass
  • Oversized Margarita Glass
  • 3 Rocks Glasses or Mason Jars
  • Small Serving Spoons
  • Maraschino Cherries
  • Rainbow Sprinkles
  • Gummy Bears
  • Cookie Crumble
  • Sour Fruit Slices

Place beverage tub in the middle of a 4-ft table and fill with ice.

Fill oversized martini glass with sprinkles, oversized margarita glass with cherries, and three rocks glasses with other toppings.

Insert servings spoons in toppings and arrange on the table around the tub.

Fill a quart-sized container with water and two ice cream scoops and place to the left of the beverage tub.

On one end of the table put out small bowls, spoons and napkins.

As guests arrive remove ice cream pints from the freezer and place in the tub of ice. Invite guests to make their own boozy ice cream sundaes! Our toppings are just suggestions, so swap for your favorites or add even more garnishes to your sundae bar.

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