Even though it’s only been on for a few
weeks, Castle, airing Mondays on ABC, has us wrapped up in its wacky banter —
a la Moonlighting from the ’80s — and unique twist on crime solving. By using
a world-famous mystery writer, Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion), as part of a
crime-solving duo with NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), the show
breaks down crimes backward, like a novelist actually might. It’s weird, it’s
witty, and it makes us debate joining a book club.
Setting the scene:
This might sound weird, but contact a local
bookstore and see if there’s a mystery writer in your town who might be willing
to have a book signing during your
party. Have him or her bring as many copies of his or her book as possible and
use them as decoration. Sure, this sounds as if we are using them as props —
and we are — but if we know anything about writers it’s that they’ll humiliate
themselves to no end to sell a copy of their book. And you’ll probably buy a
copy for each guest as a party favor. (Yes, you will.) Make sure you do it up
blown up into a poster, and have pictures placed around the room next to stacks
Casual book-signing ensembles are fine.
That means suede shirts over quality denim or sport coats with suede elbow
patches. For whatever reason, authors love suede. The occasional pipe would also be appreciated.
On the menu:
Crime solving probably makes one hungrier
than signing books, so for the cops in the crowd, order a platter of wraps and
sandwiches, and for the authors among us, go with wine and
cheese — heavy on the wine (you know how authors are).
On the hi-fi:
There’s music about crimes but so little
about crime novelists. So do yourself a favor and download songs from one of
the most talented bands with virtually no musical ability to ever come
together: The Rock Bottom Remainders. Made up of
authors such as Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry, they are
the Pussycat Dolls of the publishing world, replete with a rotating cast that
comes together once a year to fight literacy with awkward key changes.
While it might be fun to throw this party in
a local bookstore, we suggest you move the shindig to Houston to visit one of
the country’s best mystery bookstores, Murder by the Book.