January 26, 2010

Cocktail Talk: Assassins Have Starry Eyes

I don’t know much, but I know I love the song “Starry Eyes” by Mötley Crüe. Do I love the book by Donald Hamilton called Assassins Have Starry Eyes? Not as much, definitely. But I did like it, though I don’t know the Hamilton oeuvre that well (and yes, I did just bust out the “oeuvre.” I rule like that, literarily.) I don’t even know Matt Helm, who’s called out so boldly on the coverm but who isn’t in the book at all. I do know that the book was once called Assignment Murder, but the Crüe never had a song called that (though, in hindsight, maybe they should have). And that it’s a funny jumble of a book, with some mystery, some intrigue, some hard-to-believeness, and some anti-government plot or rigmarole that Donald (if I can call him Donald) seems down on somewhat. I also know that the following quote is a nice kick in the face to those who would drink a pre-made or a poorly made Martini, and that is why I’m quoting it, and why Mötley Crüe would dig the book, because they don’t stand (in leather and thigh high boots) for any bad Martinis.

“Another of the same for me,” he said, pushing a tall glass in her direction. “And a Martini for my son-in-law; and none of that tired old bar mix, sister. Have him make it up fresh: Noilly Prat vermouth and Gordon’s gin, one to five–is that about right Greg?”

“One to five is fine,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said. “And none of those damn olives sister. Just a twist of lemon. Got it?”


–Donald Hamilton, Assassins Have Starry Eyes

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