Hunting for Treasure
Tuesday Mooney and the Corpse Reviver #2
Book: Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts
by Kate Racculia
Harper Perennial, 2020
I’m not sure how I stumbled onto this book - it was in my endless Kindle To Be Read list. The title made me think it might be Young Adult (YA) and the blurb convinced me it was a fun treasure-hunting adventure based around Edgar Allen Poe.
Neither is totally accurate. In spite of the title, this is not a YA book. It is a fun romp, although there is a lot more going on than treasure hunting and Edgar Allen Poe.
First and foremost, this book is more character driven than plot driven, and the characters fit into stereotypes: Tuesday Mooney, the eccentric goth researcher, is our main protagonist, but we also have Poindexter “Dex,” the Gay Best Friend. Additionally, there is Archie, the Poor Little Rich Boy (man), Nat, his Evil Older Brother, and the smart young Girl Next Door, Dorrie Bones. Yeah, that’s a lot. Those are really our main characters, and there are a lot of others who join in along the way. Perhaps the campiest character is Vincent Pryce. Yes, you read that right - Pryce with a Y. Pryce dies early on, and is the catalyst for the treasure hunt
The book is at times campy, serious, scary, fun, and nostalgic. My first thought on finishing the book was “whimsical.” There is a lot packed in here, and the result is a fun book that doesn’t necessarily dive deep into any of its various topics.
Tuesday Mooney doesn’t really talk to ghosts, although she thinks there might be one in her head. There are dysfunctional family dynamics, explorations of friendship, acceptance of oneself, and themes of loss running through the book. However, the author somehow manages to keep it all fairly light. In the beginning, when I thought it might be a horror book, there actually is a jump scare! There is also a treasure hunt, but it is a means to an end, and not as integral to the plot as the book blurb implies. Despite the title, ghosts and horror really don’t play a huge role in the book either. When they do, it’s a bit out of left field and doesn’t really sync with the rest of the story. The climax of the book didn’t make a lot of sense to me based on the rest of the story - again, a little out of left field - but was still enjoyable.
Overall, I enjoyed Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts. I think the author took on a little too much, and someone, somewhere, encouraged her to use a fairly YA title. But I had fun reading the book, it was a quick read, and I smiled through most of it. I probably won’t read it again, but I don’t regret the time I spent with Tuesday Mooney and her friends.
Now for iOs and Android too!
The Cocktail: Corpse Reviver #2
I picked this cocktail because it’s actually referenced in Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts. It is a classic cocktail, first appearing in 1871, as basically a hangover helper. In 1930, Harry Craddock gave us two recipes in his Savoy Cocktail book. The first iteration, which is a brandy-based drink, Harry directed was “to be taken before 11 a.m. or whenever steam and energy is needed.” As for #2, he suggested that to “unrevive the corpse again” you should enjoy four of these taken in quick succession.
The Corpse Reviver has many different versions, all riffs on the originals. I’ve included my personal favorite here. It originally used a wine-based aperitif called Kina Lillet; unfortunately, Kina Lillet production stopped in the 1980s. Instead, substitute either Lillet Blanc or dry (French) vermouth. They each lend their own flavors and it’s worth trying both to see which is your favorite.
In this video, you get to see me making a Corpse Reviver #2 AND experimenting with video.
1 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lillet Blanc or dry vermouth
1 dash absinthe
Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
Garnish with an orange wedge or orange zest.
That drinks sounds delicious
I thought Tuesday Mooney was fun! I'd read a sequel.