I bet you’re thinking the same thing I am. How did it end up being July? Summer always flies, but this one seems to be going faster than most. I haven’t even dug out all my t-shirts yet.

There was one week in June, however, that didn’t feel so rushed. In fact, it stretched out slowly and deliciously. It was the week my husband and I took a river cruise on the Danube, visiting Nuremberg, Vienna and Budapest. Research shows that when you do totally novel things, time really slows down, and, boy, that was definitely the case. Though we were gone only 12 days, it felt as if we were away for weeks (and it reminded me to keep adding plenty of novelty to my summer calendar!) One of the highpoints of the trip, besides seeing those amazing cities, was sitting on the small veranda attached to our stateroom and floating along the Danube with a full moon overhead.

I was also in Chicago in June for the American Library Association convention, and it was fantastic to meet so many wonderful librarians, who are, of course, great readers themselves. I was on a mystery panel there with some terrific authors, including the lovely Susanna Calkins (right), author of A DEATH ALONG THE RIVER FLEET and, wait for it, Scott Turrow. What a treat to sit next to him. I’ve been a huge fan for years.

If your summer is going lightning fast, I hope it finally slows down a little for you. And if you’re looking for a beach read, may I recommend my most recent psychological thriller, THE SECRETS YOU KEEP, the story of an accomplished young woman who begins to fear that her new husband is not who she thinks he is and that her life may be in danger.


THE TRESPASSER by Tana French. Beyond riveting. I love all her books but this one has me hooked even more than the others.

THE GOOD DAUGHTER by Karin Slaughter. Another total winner by the amazing Ms. Slaughter. Only problem: She practically scares my pants off.



When I was in London in May, I had a fantastic appetizer (left) at one of my favorite restaurants, The Portrait, at the National Portrait Gallery (you can see the most amazing London views from there). With a little help from both the menu and the waitress, I tried to recreate it. I slow roasted sliced plum tomatoes (slicked with some olive oil) at 300F for around two and half hours (just keep an eye on them). Then I whisked one of the tomatoes into some créme fraiche and poured that over the tomatoes. I topped with sliced parmesan, just like the restaurant did. Awesome!