Monday, May 20, 2024

Jenny White

Boston University anthropology professor Jenny White will read from “The Winter Thief,” her latest book of historical mystery fiction, at 6 p.m. Monday at Toscanini’s Ice Cream.

The book, another in White’s series of detective novels set in the declining days of the Ottoman Empire, got a rave review from The Washington Post’s Maureen Corrigan, who called it “incendiary” and “vivid” and says White

adroitly tosses in period detail as well as romance, political intrigue and brutal battle scenes. But “The Winter Thief” really distinguishes itself by the intelligence of its smaller moments, when characters take stock of their limitations against the larger demands of history.

The reading is part of “laying the groundwork for what will be a busy spring,” said Gus Rancatore, the founder, culinary genius and raconteur that keeps Toscanini’s hopping.

The ice cream shop is adding employees and equipment and, with the onset of better weather, a focus on “making iced coffee in heroic quantities, using our Dancing Goats dark roast from Batdorf & Bronson, based out in Olympia, Wash.,” Rancatore said. In addition, Toscanini’s cook Kevin Rafferty has created a flavor of ice cream called Pancakes by experimenting with something called Fenugreek.

“Fenugreek is a spice and herb which tastes like maple syrup,” Rancatore said. “I think this is one of our best surprises.”

In a final bit of Toscanini’s news as spring nears, the Whole Foods grocers on Prospect Street, the nearest store to Toscanini’s in the chain, is promoting Toscanini’s as one of their “very local” vendors, and Rancatore said the larger Whole Foods at Fresh Pond is finishing up a bigger promotion.

Toscanini’s is at 899 Main St., in Lafayette Square (the outskirts of Central Square), just off Massachusetts Avenue by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. For information, call (617) 491-5877.