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Book Group: Dark Day, Dark Night: A Marijuana Murder Mystery, by Jonah Raskin

September 5, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Jonah Raskin and the Slow Food Russian River Book Group will be hosting a dinner conversation about Jonah’s second crime novel, Dark Day, Dark Night: A Marijuana Murder Mystery, on Thursday, September 5, 7-9pm, at his home on Petaluma Hill Road. Address with RSVP.

He will talk about his food research for his murder mystery and read a few passages pertaining to food and food labor. This is the second novel in a series about the private eye Tioga Vignetta. The first was Dark Land, Dark Mirror: An Eco-Noir Mystery.
Please bring a beverage and/or dessert or side dish inspired by Jonah’s novel.

The book is for sale at Copperfields, and at other bookstores, online or brick.  Jonah Raskin has been a frequent contributor to our blog, most recently of his piece about Go, Go, Goguette Bakery in Santa Rosa.

Publisher’s blurb: “Jonah Raskin’s raucous oddball noir, set in the hotels, cantinas, and marijuana fields of Sonoma Valley, is a steamy pozole peppered with characters like Billy Bones, No Name, and Turquoise Woman, with an unforgettable turn by a snubnose-packing private eye named Tioga and her sidekick/lover Camilla. A definite contact high.”

Food in “Dark Day, Dark Night: A Marijuana Murder Mystery”

Food of a sort begins on page 9 when Tioga, the investigator has a macchiato and a brioche for the first meal of the day,

On page 46, there is an exotic party in the Mar Monte, the luxury hotel, where pakoras and samosas are served.

On page 69, Tioga and her pal Camilla share popcorn when they go to a movie in town.

on page 76, Tioga, Camilla and Storm go to the restaurant, a Chez Nous, in the hotel, order margaritas, a Cobb salad, a grilled pork chop with mashed potatoes, and duck confit.

On pages 107 and 108, Tioga and Gina have Napoleons and éclairs with tea.

on page 122 a homeless Mexican woman and her son share the remains of something that looks like moo shu pork from a Chinese restaurant.

139 and the following pages,  at the Mexican restaurant, El Buen Comer, there’s agua fresca, chile rellenos, corn chips, guacamole, and on page 143-144 fish tacos, and Dos Equis.

on page 173 Tioga and Camilla go to the Mexican market that’s selling mangos, papayas, bananas, apples, pineapples and carambolas, as well as corn and nopales, and jalapenos.

on page 191, we learn that Jonny Field, the chef at the Mar Monte makes morels with cheddar cheese, risotto with pomegranate, arugula, and pork, including the skin, and for desert, blackberries, ginger, Balsamic vinegar and licorice root.

At the elegant dinner party—with Paul Lipski (aka “the Lip”) and Aden serving Johnny Field’s food, there is rabbit terrine (page 213), scallops (214), roasted, stuffed duck breast (216) with chard and roasted potatoes (218) and on page 226 panna cotta.

on pages 232 and 233, Tioga and Camilla have sex in the pantry at the hotel, which has on the shelves pasta, za’atar, garlic, ginger, arrowroot, anise, and saffron.

on page 238, the next morning, Tioga has a croissant and a cappuccino.

on page 239, the breakfast menu at the restaurant in the hotel has a vegetarian hash, Sonoma duck confit and mimosas.

on page 261,  Billy Bones raises pigs.

On page 288 Victoria Sanchez, Camilla’s mother, makes tamales, rice, black beans, fried plantains and pico de gallo,

a climatic gunfight takes place at the Mexican restaurant on pages 304-305.

on page 323, the Turquoise Woman serves Tioga mint tea in Japanese-style tea cups.

and last but not least, on page 336 Tioga goes into the cold cellar at the hotel and sees sacks of potatoes, carrots, cabbages and apples that are stored there. She picks up an apple and says on page 337, “Nobody blames apples for rapes and murders.” Then she takes a bite and looks at herself in the full-length mirror.

About the Author

Jonah Raskin is the author of 14 books, including biographies of Jack London, Allen Ginsberg and Abbie Hoffman. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Manchester in England where he studied with Frank Kermode. His B.A. and M.A. are from Columbia, a school he attended because Ginsberg and Kerouac had been there. A performance poet, Raskin is the author of seven poetry chapbooks and performs his work with jazz musicians. His first teaching job was at Winston State College in North Carolina, his second at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his third at Sonoma State University where he taught for thirty years in both the English Department and Communication Studies. He has been a book reviewer and a book critic for The San Francisco Chronicle and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, and a restaurant reviewer forThe Bohemian. He is current a staff reporter for Valley of the Moon magazine and writes about everything the editor assigns him, from drug addiction and wine tasting rooms to bicycles and baseball. He has written his first murder mystery titled Dark Land, Dark Mirror which was published in 2017. Among his other books are Field Days, Natives, Newcomers, Exiles, Fugitives, My Search for B. Traven, For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” and the Making of the Beat Generation. He was a Fulbright Professor in Belgium where he taught American Literature in Antwerp and Ghent. In the Spring of 2017, he lectured on Indian film and literature at several universities in and around Delhi, India.


September 5, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Slow Food Russian River Book Group


Private Home in Rohnert Park
Rohnert Park, CA United States + Google Map