Books, Beans & Brews: Book ‘Mad Honey’ pairs well with Simmons Island Imperial Blonde

Plus a mysterious new spy thriller!

By Samantha Jacquest

Samantha Jacquest is the owner of Blue House Books, Kenosha's full-service independent bookstore in Downtown Kenosha. Sam loves sharing her love of books with the community and bringing in popular and local authors for events. When not at her shop, Sam enjoys traveling and spending time Downtown with her friends, family, and rescue dog Flash.

Hello, Readers! 

We have a mystery on our hands, and I need your help to solve it! Have you seen the preview to the new Bond-esque spy movie Argylle? Well turns out it’s based on a book–a book that is releasing less than a month before the movie. If you’re thinking “that seems odd,” I agree! Normally a studio will pick up film or television rights after a book has gone viral, but it seems the Argylle book and movie are releasing almost simultaneously.

So what’s the deal? Were film studios just so impressed with the manuscript they knew it would be a hit? Or is there something more mysterious going on here? Online theories range from it being a marketing ploy to the author having a secret identity, some even suggesting it could be a TIME Magazine Person of the Year behind the penname Elly Conway []. The author’s bio on her publisher’s website is also contributing to the mystery, stating “Elly Conway is the author of the debut thriller Argylle, the inspiration for the upcoming film of the same name. She lives somewhere in the United States.” That’s it!

So what do you think, a secret famous author or simply a marketing technique (because, let’s be honest, we’re talking about it, so it’s working)?

No matter the reasoning behind this odd release schedule, I’m pumped to both read and watch Argylle! The movie has a stacked cast including Henry Cavill (AKA my soulmate), Catherine O’Hara, Dua Lipa, Bryce Dallas Howard, Samuel L Jackson, and more! The book releases January 9th and has already been exploding all over BookTok! . You can pre-order your copy from Blue House Books here []. The movie releases February 2nd.

And now on to our book and drink pairing! This week we’re highlighting a Blue House Books bestseller Mad Honey [] by Jodi Piccoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan, which is a favorite of Casey’s, our store manager. Part love store and part courtroom suspense, Mad Honey is about Olivia, a woman starting over after leaving an abusive relationship and taking up as lead of her father’s beekeeping business; and Lily, a teenager looking for her own fresh start when she and her mom move to town. Lily soon falls for Olivia’s son, but when she turns up dead and her boyfriend is the prime suspect, Olivia must fight for her son’s innocence, but is he more like his father than she ever noticed?

For this story that centers on a beekeeping business, I of course wanted to highlight a local honey-infused brew, and Rustic Road in Downtown Kenosha just happens to carry one of my favorites: the Simmons Island Imperial Blonde! This blonde ale is so smooth and has just the right amount of sweetness with a beautiful gold color. You’ll love the honey profile, but be sure to only enjoy one glass per reading session, because the 7.8% ABV will have you forgetting everything you just read if you have too much! Grab a copy of Mad Honey from Blue House Books and head over to Rustic Road just down the street, or grab a growler-full to take home!

As always, if you need anymore book recommendations or perhaps some holiday gifts, be sure to stop into Blue House Books soon!