Need You Dead – Peter James – Guest Post – Black Widow Cocktail
Need You Dead released on 18 May and details of the new Roy Grace thriller (along with a handy link to order your copy) follow at the foot of this post. However, before we get there Mr James is going to wind down after a 12 leg blog tour with a wee drink…
The Perfect Cocktail Recipe
A vodka martini is the favourite tipple of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. And when the protagonist of the Love You Dead, Jodie Bentley, meets her next target, wealthy Walt Klein, in a bar in the Bellagio in Las Vegas, he is happily knocking back martinis – rather too many for his own good! It also just happens to be Peter James’ drink of choice!
It was one of my favourite authors, Ernest Hemingway, who allegedly said, ‘Write drunk, edit sober…’ and another of my favourites, Raymond Chandler, famously took that to extremes, pretty much binge drinking himself to death. I know many current writers who never touch a drop of alcohol until their day’s work is done, but equally I know several global best-selling authors who have a rocket-fuel boost to their work – either massive doses of caffeine, or booze, weed or cocaine.
My own writing day is back-to-front – I made a “me-time” for writing in the days when I worked full-time in film and television, and that was 6-10pm at night, and that today is still when I do my best writing. My sessions start with a ritual, and that is making my Martini. The whole process kicks some Pavlovian creative response off in my brain. And of course that first, delicious, ice-cold bite – and kick. The key is not to have too much – these are truly powerful cocktails! One sip, music blasting from my speakers – Van Morrison or maybe the Kinks, and I’m hammering away on the keyboard as happy as Larry.
The Perfect Vodka Martini … This serves 1
A proper, clear crystal martini glass of decent quality. No other drinking vessel can be substituted.
Grey Goose vodka (or brand as preferred, this is mine)
Martini Extra Dry
Four plain olives, pitted.
1 cocktail stick
1 cocktail shaker
Fill martini glass ¾ with vodka.
Using the cap of the Martini Extra Dry bottle as a measure, tip two capfuls of Martini into the glass.
Now pour the mixture into empty cocktail shaker.
Fill the glass to the brim with ice cubes and leave for 5 mins.
Pour these cubes plus fresh cubes into cocktail shaker.
Secure the top carefully then shake hard for thirty seconds and pour into glass.
Now you have a choice. A twist or with olives – or both. My taste alternates!
For with a twist:
Cut a lemon in half.
Peel a thin strip of rind three inches long, and drop into the glass.
Cut a lemon wedge, make an opening in the centre, and run this all the way around the rim of the glass on both sides.
Spear four olives with cocktail stick and place in glass.
For the combo: The four olives as above, but wipe the rim of the glass with a wedge of lemon.
Enjoy! But remember Dorothy Parker’s caveat: “I like to have a martini, two at the very most… after three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.”
My thanks to Peter – Slàinte
NEED YOU DEAD
Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.
When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.
Need You Dead is published by MacMillan and is available in Hardback and Digital Format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Need-You-Dead-Grace-Book-ebook/dp/B01N557W15/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8