Bloody Mary Cocktails and Bloody Murder Books

Happy National Bloody Mary Day

January 1 is a fitting day for Bloody Mary Day as the cocktail is reported to be an excellent hangover cure, which may be helpful to those that may have over imbibed on New Year’s Eve.

This drink dates back to the 1920s when a bartender in Paris, named Fernand Petiot, mixed equal parts of tomato juice and vodka. A customer suggested calling the drink “Bloody Mary” as it “reminded him of the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago, and a girl he knew there named Mary” (

The story behind the Bloody Mary Cocktail struck a chord with me and I thought it was a great way to kick off the new year. I lived in the Chicago area for a couple decades and all Chicagoans share a pride Chicago foods. In fact, it is celebrated every summer in a food-lover’s bonanza known as the Taste of Chicago. Also, my debut novel is set in Chicago and includes many scenes at a fictious bar. See excerpt Overruling Judgment. Besides writing the novel, I enjoy creating images that reflect the setting of book. See Book Inspiration

Bloody Mary Cocktails aren’t just for hangover cures. The drink is extremely popular for brunch or any time of the day. While some people choose to pair their drinks with food, I like to pair drinks with books. Every reader needs a drink by their side. Finding the perfect pairing is quintessential to the reading experience.

What pairs well with a Bloody Mary Cocktail? Books about bloody murder of course!

Bloody Mary Cocktail Recipe:

Doctoring the Perfect Bloody Mary Mix and Cocktails

Ingredients for Bloody Mary Mix:

1 12oz can tomato juice

juice of one lime (or lemon)

1/2 tsp celery seed

1/2 Tbsp hot sauce (Cholula or anything similar like Tapatio, Valentina, or even Tabasco will do) 

1/2 Tbsp horseradish

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce


Mix all ingredients (This recipe can easily be scaled. If you’re having brunch, it’s worth making a whole pitcher.)

Wipe the rim of a pint glass with the lime rind and dip it into a mixture of salt and a chili pepper condiment like Tajin. Fill with ice, and add 1.5 oz of vodka and 3-4oz of mix. Stir, garnish, and serve. Popular garnishes include: celery stick, pickled beans or asparagus, olives, a slice of bacon, or a lemon wedge.

Options: This mix also works well with other kinds of alcohol. Use tequila and you’ve got a Bloody Maria. Or try bourbon for a Bloody Derby. Gin makes a Red Snapper. One can even use beef stock for a virgin version! Another alternative is “bloody beer”with a good IPA (Use equal amounts of beer and mix. Still serve over ice in a pint glass with a salted rim.)

Bloody Murder Books to read along with your Bloody Mary Cocktail:

The Twenty-One-Year Contract

by L.B. Griffin

Fourteen-year-old Kathleen Gray— talented, a little wild, at times rebellious, but always popular—has a fun, easy life in rural Somerset, with a doting family. Suddenly, they are gone, she has only Uncle Jack. Try as he might, he cannot be father and mother to her. Kathleen takes a chance and becomes Kate Westfield, fending for herself in London, with a new life built on her hopes and dreams and new friends. She could hardly have imagined that one of those friends has a shoebox full of answers.

Broken Toys

by Glenda Thompson

Texas Ranger Noah Morgan has his life together–with a great job and the girl of his dreams. Too bad it’s all based on a lie. A single phone call threatens to bring it all crashing down. After an irate citizen complains shoddy workmanship has left him with a booby-trapped driveway, and the local sheriff’s office is too busy to respond, Noah takes the call. The body pieces discovered in the driveway leads to an investigation of local scam artists which uncovers a human trafficking ring. Noah fights to avoid being swept back into the sights of his murderous family–people he escaped at the age of seventeen. Can he keep his past a secret or will his carefully crafted life come to a violent end?

Why 319?

by Mark Love

A serial killer is on the loose in metro Detroit. Three female victims have been discovered in motel rooms in different suburban cities surrounding Motown. The only connection is that each body is found in Room 319 and the killer leaves the taunting message “Why 319?” on the bathroom mirror, written with the victim’s lipstick. 

Detective Jefferson Chene heads up an elite squad of detectives assigned to the case. With no home life, he devotes every waking moment to catching killers. But this one is more elusive than most. With no clues and no apparent link between the victims, Chene is at a dead end. But a startling revelation busts the case wide open. He’s closing in on the murderer, but will it be before another young woman loses her life?

Slain Over Spumoni

by Tessa Floreano

In SLAIN OVER SPUMONI, a woman is accused of murdering her uncle, The Gelato King of Italy. She sets out to find the killer at the same time a mysterious American soldier offers to help. In the process, romance blooms, but will their sleuthing succeed before her family’s gelateria’s hard-won title is lost forever? Set in 1920s Italy, near Venice, this gelato-themed romantic mystery keeps you guessing until the end and have you sampling spumoni soon after.

Kat Out of the Bag

by Wendy Kendall

When celebrated international purse designer, Katherine Watson, hosts a gala for her Purse-onality Museum, she never expected the next day’s headline to read: ‘Murder at the Gala Premiere.’ But after a dead body is found during the event, that’s exactly what happened. Working to solve the murder, Katherine matches wits with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner, Hobbs. Although Holmes and Watson disagree often, they discover an undeniable attraction building between them. But they’ll have to put their feelings on hold and focus on solving the murder, before Katherine becomes the killer’s next knock off.

Fatal Hunt

by Michelle Godard-Richer

After being widowed and surviving the wrath of a serial killer, Jessica believes her misfortunes are over. She’s reunited with her first love, Jon, and together, with her son Bryce, and a baby on the way, they’re living their happily ever after on their ranch in Montana. That is until secrets, lies, and a formidable foe from Jon’s past emerge to shake the foundation of their relationship, forcing them to flee for their lives.

A decade earlier, Jon worked undercover for the FBI. He infiltrated Hugh Jones’ Kansas City Mob, and almost destroyed his empire. Unaware of the breach in his own defenses, Hugh, obsessed with revenge, unleashes every weapon in his arsenal, targeting those Jon loves the most. 

Snowdrop Dreams, Cherry Thumbprint Screams

by Kimberly Baer

When Annie Barkley discovers a boy living in the attic of her cookie shop, she’s stunned—and oddly elated. She can almost believe the universe is giving her back the infant son she lost eleven years ago.

Annie senses that something bad happened to the boy, but he won’t talk. All she knows is that he’s terrified of being found. When her long-ago crush, police captain Sam Stern, stops by to inquire about a missing boy, Annie says she hasn’t seen him.

Big mistake. Because that lie might cost her more than a romance with Sam. It also leaves her vulnerable
to a ruthless pursuer, one who’s determined to silence the boy for good.

The Shiver in Her Eyes

by Brian Anderson

Hired by a mob-controlled pornographer to investigate a grisly murder, Minneapolis PI Lyle Dahms faces murderous gunmen, merciless gang members, and a massive ex-professional wrestler who, besotted with the dead man’s wife, insists on tagging along. The real mystery involves the pornographer’s mistress, a dark and vulnerable beauty who steals Lyle’s heart and who may not be everything she seems. As the lies continue to mount and loyalties change like the Midwest weather, Dahms risks his life to seek justice and protect the woman he loves.

Death By Sample Size

by Susie Black

Everyone wanted her dead…but who actually killed her?

“The last thing swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected was to discover ruthless buying office big wig Bunny Frank’s corpse trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey with a bikini stuffed down her throat. When Holly’s colleague is arrested for Bunny’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to find the real killer. Nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she matches
wits with a wily killer hellbent on revenge.”