Hungry for Murder with Jude Dillane
by Cathi Stoler
There’s no getting around the fact that my protagonist in BAR NONE: A MURDER ON THE ROCKS MYSTERY, Jude Dillane, loves to eat. At five foot nine, it seems that everything she consumes goes to height, rather than her waistline, so she can slip into those long, lean vintage jumpsuits and couture jackets she loves to wear.
Creating a character who owns a restaurant—one who is so involved with food and drink and taking care of her bar—was a good way to give my readers an insight into Jude’s personality.
She hasn’t always had it easy, starting with being named after Saint Jude, the saint people pray to when all else fails, losing her family at an early age, and often choosing the wrong man when it comes to relationships.
All of these setbacks have made Jude strong and resilient. And being behind her bar at The Corner Lounge makes up for some of her past disappointments. It allows her to channel her energy into positive actions and face new challenges, like helping her friend and landlord, Thomas “Sully” Sullivan delve into a murder at the Big City Food Bank, where Sully volunteers. Maybe not so positive, but definitely a challenge.
Of course, solving a murder can be hungry-making work, not to mention frustrating, which is where her partner and chef, Pete Angel’s mac ‘n’ cheese comes in. It’s Jude’s favorite comfort food, one she indulges in while she’s thinking about the fraud and deceit she’s encountering at Big City. A stiff drink or two can help, as well. One of her favorites is The Corner Lounge’s signature tequila drink, Jalapeno Envy.
Taking on a dangerous assignment doesn’t mean Jude will be missing any meals. On the contrary, she finds lunchtime with the suspects at Big City an opportunity to try a few new dishes while she fishes for information that can help her solve the case. Her favorite lunchtime partner is Jamila, the pretty, young receptionist who raises gossip to an art form. At the front desk, Jamila sees all and reports all. She also loves taking Jude to dine at the food trucks around Big City with their delicious tapas and bocadillos, savory little sandwiches made with homemade Spanish bread. It does seem like sleuthing is more manageable when your stomach is not rumbling.
Food isn’t the only thing on her mind as she works through a list of suspects. It’s a dangerous business that Jude is involved in, and when Sully is injured and another Big City employee dies, Jude finds she may be in the killer’s sights and that her murder might be on the menu, as well.
Here’s the recipe for Jude’s favorite drink from The Corner Lounge. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
- 2 oz. Patron Gold Tequila
- 1 oz. Agave Syrup
- 1/4 Ripe Mango (peeled)
- Squeeze of lime
- Jalapeno pepper cut into thin rings
Place tequila, agave syrup, mango in blender with half dozen ice cubes.
Blend until smooth.
Pour into a cocktail glass and add a squeeze of lime.
Float jalapeno pepper rings on top.
Cathi Stoler is the author of the Laurel & Helen New York Mystery series, including Telling Lies, Keeping Secrets and The Hard Way, as well as the novella, Nick of Time. Her newest novel is Bar None, an urban thriller.
She is the winner of the 2015 Derringer for Best Short Story “The Kaluki Kings of Queens,” as well as the 2012 Derringer Short Story finalist for “Fatal Flaw”. Her short mystery fiction has also been published in several anthologies and online.
Cathi is an active member of the mystery community and is Co-Vice President of Sisters in Crime New York/Tri-State, and a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. A native New Yorker, she lives in Manhattan with her husband Paul. Please visit her at www.cathistoler.com.
Order Bar None now!