Two Fingers of Suspense

Americans don't like to let anything of cultural significance slip by us, whether it be a Broadway musical*, a movie star**, or a feature film*** without naming a cocktail in its honor. And why should our newest map guide be any different? To The Hardboiled Apple: The Casefile on Suspense Writing In and About New York City, we dedicate this Grade “A” Fancy original recipe.

Teetotals need not apply. Something sinister may be lurking around the corner so slip into the nearest saloon and ask the bartender for one of these bracers. Or make it at home with the recipe below.

The Hardboiled Apple Cocktail

1-1/2 oz. rye
1-1/2 oz Laird’s Old Apple Brandy
1/2 oz apple cider
Barspoon spiced apple syrup (stolen from your garnish jar)
Dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
Garnish: spiced apple ring (recipe below)
Build over ice cube in rocks glass garnished with a spiced apple ring pressed to the side of the glass.

Spiced Apple Rings for The Hardboiled Apple Cocktail

2 lbs. red-skinned apples
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1 piece Mexican cinnamon
1” piece ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
6 crushed allspice berries
A squirt of red food coloring

Combine sugar, water and spices and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Meanwhile, core apples (do not peel) and slice into 1/4 inch rings. Remove liquid mixture from heat, add apple rings and allow to stand 10 minutes. It is said this helps firm the apples. Return to heat and bring to a rolling boil. Simmer 30 minutes or until apples are the desired color. 
Allow the apple rings to cool in the syrup. Pack cooled apple rings loosely in hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Cover with boiling syrup.

Now that you are properly lubricated, you can cast your peepers on this guide mapping the mysteries of detective fiction born and bred in New York City.

* The Adonis

** The Mary Pickford

*** Blood and Sand


Hard-Boiled Apple


GRADE "A" FANCY RIPS THE LID OFF THE SENSATIONAL, LURID UNDERBELLY OF CRIME FICTION IN NEW YORK CITY! The Hardboiled Apple, our new map guide published by Herb Lester Associates snoops out 55 locations in the big town to tell the story.

Lurking around the corner, waiting to be uncovered: the places authors lived and worked, and the scenes of the crimes, from the dark beginnings of the genre to the gritty present. David Goodis’ poisoned streets and alleys, Richard Price’s combat zone Lower East Side, Chester Himes’ carnival-shooting-gallery version of Harlem. Inside info on a cast of characters as diverse as the city, ranging from the lowest brow to the highest: two-fisted gumshoes and femmes fatales, dogged detectives and supervillains. We've got the low-down on the genteel whodunitry of Van Dine; the Black Mask tough guys Hammett and Daly; the antisocial lone wolf from Spillane or Highsmith; the all-American organized crime family via Puzo or Condon.

Uncover the history of New York City suspense fiction from dime novels to pulp magazines to drugstore paperbacks and current best-sellers. Delivered in the high-class packaging you’ve come to expect from Herb Lester, with a handsome new large format map, plus a keen notebook to aid your sleuthing, just like the real gumshoes use.