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An elaboration of the O'Sullivan memoir of Muncie 

Drinking with John the Pundit in Muncie. You have to picture this: It's a real classic dive bar, complete with a drunk (and belligerent) old guy at the bar, a bouncer the size and shape of a small moon, and a waitress in Halloween garb, dressed as an angel in a sheer white negligee - so sheer you could make out the fine details of the tramp-stamp tattoo just above the back of her thong, so sheer that she had to know she forgot to wear a bra. Everyone in the place is drinking either beer or whiskey. The bartender comes over to our table (the waitress was busy making out by the pool table with a guy dressed as Elvis) and asks 'wa ya want?" Bill and Judy get drafts, Ruth gets a whiskey, and I order a gin straight up. The bartender then turns to John who, in his most wonderfully haughty British accent, says, "A Grey Goose vodka stinger. Up. Cracked ice, please." All he forgot to say was something about putting it in a clean glass. So the bartender goes back and starts shaking up the drink - this draws attention since it didn't strike me as the kind of bar that would have a cocktail shaker. The regulars all start with the questions - what's the white stuff? Creme da what? Is that where they get the 'menth' for menthol cigarettes? - and they all watched as the bartender placed the drink on a dusty tray and served it to John, waiting as John took a sip, pronouncing it delicious. The bartender grinned for the first time all night - well, as much as he could grin with that scar - and went back behind the bar. Next thing I know, half the regulars are drinking Vodka Stingers. Not only is he a pundit, John's a trendsetter.

Charles Benoit

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Killing the Emperors cover


Poisoned Pen Press US have recently reissued Ten Lords A-Leaping and The Anglo-Irish Murders.

All Ruth's fiction is now back in print.


image links to more information and reviews

The latest Robert Amiss/Jack Troutbeck mystery is now available in the US and will be published in the UK in September.

Details and New York Times review

Corridors of Death, the first Robert Amiss, was reissued in the US in May.


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Ruth Dudley Edwards
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