Today, I'd like to introduce my guest and fellow Black Opal Books author Saralyn Richard who shares behind-the-scenes information and history about expensive libations and exclusive parties, much like the party event in her recently published mystery, Murder in the One Percent. Check out the impressive number of good reviews this book has brought in on Amazon (link next to the book cover below).
Libations Fit for a King
by Saralyn Richard
The dictionary definition of “libation” is “a drink poured out as a ritual offering to a deity.” (Oxford Dictionary, Oxford University Press). Sometimes libations were given as an offering to a god or spirit, often in memory of those who have passed on. Pouring libations was a common practice in many religions of antiquity, and it continues to be performed in various cultures today.
This is very likely where the ceremony of toasting before drinking alcoholic beverages derives from.
In Murder in the One Percent (2018, Black Opal Books), the characters attend a birthday party at a mansion in the horse country of Pennsylvania. That Saturday night, they dine from an elegant nine-course menu with wines selected for their best years and perfectly matched to each course.
We would expect nothing less from the wealthy and powerful hosts in the one percent, right?
Just for fun, I priced the wines being served, using today’s market quotes. Following are the prices per bottle:
Champagne Krug, 2000 $225
Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos, 1990 $350
Sauternes Chateau d'Yquem, 1990 $265
Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, 2006 $125
Richebourg Leroy, 1991 $3122
Chateau Lafitte Rothschild, 1982 $2400
Graham's Vintage Port $139
Hennessy Paradia Cognac $693
That adds up to a hefty $7319 for just one bottle of each. Knowing these characters as I do, they would consume at least two and probably three bottles during the party, bringing the cost of libations to a whopping $21,957.
No wonder the guests had such a fun time at that dinner party! They ate and drank like royalty and went to bed happy. Too bad the next day, one of them woke up dead.
Murder in the One Percent
When old friends gather for an extravagant retreat at a country mansion, no one anticipates how their lives will be changed--or that one of them will turn up dead. Remote and serene, Bucolia Farm is the perfect setting for a lavish party. The guests, members of the country's wealthiest elite one percent, indulge in gourmet food, fine wines, Cuban cigars--but greed, lust, and jealousy crash the party.
Playboy and former Secretary of the Treasury, Preston Phillips, brings his new trophy wife to the party, unaware that his first love, the woman he jilted at the altar years ago, will be there, enchanting him with her timeless beauty. A snowstorm, an accident, and an illicit rendezvous later, the dynamics crackle with tension.
When Detective Oliver Parrott is charged with solving the untimely killing of one of America's leading financial wizards, he realizes this will be the case to make--or break--his career.
Murder in the One Percent, ©2018 Black Opal Books, pulls back the curtain on the privileged and powerful rich. Set on a gentleman’s farm in Pennsylvania and in the tony areas of New York, the book shows what happens when someone comes to a party with murder in his heart and poison in his pocket.
A member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Saralyn is writing the sequel to Murder in the One Percent. Her website is www.saralynrichard.com