Episode 104: Thriller

Palace Thriller

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Welcome, everyone, to Books and Beverages! This week we are discussing Thrillers!

We are the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and we support all types of libraries. This is our book group podcast, where we discuss different genres of books each week, while we all sit in our comfy chairs and drink our beverages. And you are, of course, an important part of this book group. So if you do not already have a nice beverage please go get one, so you can join the experience.

There are no “right” or “wrong” books to read and chat about for our book group – we are just here to explore all kinds of books. We love books, and want to talk about them – and we want you to share what you are reading. All of us will take away at least a title or two that we want to read at the end of our time together!

Who is joining our reading group this week? This week our guest host is Kelly Groth! @kellyhenk



We have guests, we have our genre. We just need our beverages. Fortunately, we all came prepared with something to sip while we talk about our books. Each week we like to connect the theme of our books with our beverages. Each beverage will have a recipe or a link on our episode page, so you can try them yourself! Obviously, feel free to sip your coffee or any other beverage that puts you in the right frame of mind. Just join us in celebrating books, and discussing books!


Vodka Martini

Vodka Martini (From James Bond)

  • 2 ounces premium vodka
  • 3/4 ounce
  • dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes
  • bitters (optional)
  • Lemon twist or 3 olives for garnish

How to Make It

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or olives.


Although Paris with Petrovsky didn't work out, France will always be in Carrie's heart, from the fashions that made her famous to her elegant joie de vivre. Give your evening some French flair with this cognac-enhanced sparkler.Recipe: French 75

French 75 (From Casablanca)

  • ice
  • 1½ oz. VSOP Cognac
  • ½ oz. Simple Syrup
  • ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Sparkling wine


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the cognac, simple syrup, and lemon juice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass, top with sparkling wine, and serve.


Godfather Cocktail RecipeThe Godfather Cocktail Recipe


  • 2 ounces Scotch or bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce amaretto


  • Fill a glass about two thirds full of ice. Add whiskey and amaretto. Stir until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass. Serve.



Genre Suggestions

This is another very broad category of potential reading material – so you have a ton of books to consider here. Yes, your reading lists can be filled for years just trying to sample it all! Here are a few different kinds of books that could be considered thrillers:

  • Mystery
  • Legal thriller
  • Medical thriller
  • Political thriller
  • Spy fiction
  • Psychological thriller
  • Techno-thriller

This is a genre that gets made into all kinds of popular movies or TV shows; so if you like pop culture material, and cross-format content – this is a good place to start! And this genre really overlaps well with many other genres, including horror (check back to our episode 103 from last week).

There are a lot of authors who are very popular in the thriller genre. If you want to explore, you can start with some of these bestselling authors, and see if you like their different series!

  • John Grisham
  • Sue Grafton
  • James Patterson
  • Agatha Christie
  • Ken Follett
  • D. Robb
  • Vince Flynn (from St. Paul!)
  • Karin Slaughter
  • Nelson DeMille
  • Catherine Coulter
  • Michael Connelly
  • Sandra Brown
  • Lee Child
  • Rachel Caine
  • Harlan Coben
  • Mary Higgins Clark
  • John Sandford (Two series set in Minnesota!)
  • Paula Hawkins
  • Clive Cussler
  • Tess Gerritsen
  • Liane Moriarty
  • Dan Brown
  • Heather Graham
  • Blake Crouch
  • Tom Clancy


Other Books Discussed

  • Dean Koontz
  • Rex Stout
  • Robert Galbraith


Some Reading Resources


Thank you so much for joining us for this discussion! We will be back next Tuesday with another genre, more book group hosts, and all kinds of books to share and discuss. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a single episode! And if you want to hear more about the work we do in libraries – which is surprisingly fun! – subscribe to our podcast Linking Our Libraries. Our next episode drops this Thursday.

Bring your book ideas, bring your beverages, and join us back here for more book discussion next Tuesday!


We support libraries!