If you have ever wondered what the perfect cocktail would be to enjoy while streaming your favorite True Crime documentary or curling up with a ghastly True Crime novel – wonder no more!
Author Kierra Sondereker has written a book that is literally a toast to True Crime aficionados. Her book, “‘Mixology and Murder’, is a combination of two things I really enjoy — cocktails and true crime stories,” said Sondereker, who works at Ulysses Press, an independent publishing house.
Sondereker said she came up with the idea while working on content for the company’s blog.
“I was just kind of throwing around fun ideas that could be quizzes, and so I was like, what if we pair cocktails with true crime stories?” Sondereker said. “The team was like, that could actually be like a cocktail book.”
When researching the more than 60 true crime stories depicted in the book, Sondereker said she looked for first-hand sources whenever possible.
In piecing together details of a widely publicized cold case in Somerset, NJ, during the 1920s, the author dug through the archives of local newspapers. In 1922 Edward Wheeler, a married Episcopal priest, was found shot to death along with a married congregant, Eleanor Mills.
“There were torn up love letters at the crime scene,” Sondereker said. “So people thought it was a crime of passion. Maybe one of the spouses because they were both married. It turned into a really, really big case in the media.”
Finding the original stories in archives this old can be difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately, newspapers often revisit older stories, which is how Sondereker found information on the Wheeler story published decades later. The story can be found in Chapter 2, “Cold Case Cocktails.”
Each tale has a matching cocktail recipe, and the Wheeler story comes with “An Americano Affair,” a drink made with Campari, sweet vermouth, club soda, and an orange wedge.
“I really wanted to keep the cocktail aspects of it simple,” Sondereker said. “I gave them a little bit of a twist on the name, maybe a little bit of twist on the actual drink.”
Other true crime stories include the tale of one of the first known serial killers, H. H. Holmes, who lured victims into his “murder castle,” hence the recipe for “A Good Old-Fashioned Murder Castle.” Bonnie and Clyde also get a shout-out with a recipe for “Outlaw Spirits.”
“Mixology and Murder” is available online and in bookstores.