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Just a few quick notes this week…

We can always count on Lee Child coming out with a new Jack Reacher novel every year, and more often than not, that also means that he comes out with an e-short story that can only be read on Kindles or iPads or other tablet computers. This fall, true to form, Child is out with “The Christmas Scorpion,” and it manages to effectively whet the appetite for “Past Tense,” due out November 6.

“The Christmas Scorpion” is very much an appetizer. As usual, Reacher is on the road, in this case looking for a warm place to spend the holidays. As usual, things go awry - he finds himself not just stranded in a snowstorm, but also aware of an impending assassination. The problem is that, while he knows who the target is, he does not know who is going to do the killing … and time is running short.

It is direct, simple and entertaining - just like every Reacher novel.

Can’t wait until November 5. I pre-ordered mine from Amazon back on February 26. That is going to be a good week … the new Michael Connelly novel, “Dark Sacred Night,” comes out on October 30 …and I preordered that from Amazon on January 25.

Good things come to those who wait.

I have a couple of excellent wines to recommend to you this week.

First of all, there’s the 2016 Nitida Sauvignon Blanc, from South Africa, which is a very drinkable wine that went perfectly with the Mark Bittman shrimp recipe I told you about the other day.

Bittman calls it his “Simplest and Best Shrimp Dish,” and he’s pretty much got that right. It basically has four ingredients - olive oil, shrimp, cumin and hot paprika - and I loved making it and eating it. You can find the recipe here, and I urge you to try it, and enjoy it with a bottle of wine.

The other wine is the 2016 Trim California Chardonnay, which is excellent. I’m not a chardonnay guy, but this tastes more like a sauvignon blanc … bright and excellent with spicy food.

That’s it for this week.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.

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