Dinner After Dark is much more than a collection of great recipes: It’s a recipe for a great party, featuring stylish cocktails, stunning interiors, creative tabletops (hint: almost no cut flowers), and even advice on music, place cards, and the art of being a gracious host and guest. This is mostly cookbook, but also part decorating, part bartending, part etiquette, and part plain old bon-vivant-ism. The recipes are drawn from Colin Cowie’s sophisticated international palate, focusing on the exotic. The Peri-Peri dinner offers Saketinis to start, then moves on to Curried Mussels in Coconut-Milk Broth, red-hot Peri-Peri Chicken with green olives and preserved lemons, and a luscious Orange Custard Tart. The Cuba Libre cocktail party features Escabeche of Swordfish, Picadillo in a Lettuce Cup with Fresh Tomato Salsa, Plantain Chips, and Arroz con Camarones, all washed down with Mojitos and Cuba Libres. And the intriguing Bombay Soirée includes an appetizer of Stir-Fried Shrimp with Lemon and Scallions and an entrée of Chicken Curry and Peas, served with three different cooling raitas, Mango Chutney, Pappadams, and Aromatic Basmati Rice. What’s remarkable about the hundred recipes is that the dishes rely on spices rather than fats, on delicious pairings instead of interminable ingredient lists. Even more remarkable is that nearly every recipe can be prepared in less than an hour, and almost none requires last-minute cooking, allowing you to be a guest at your own party. Each party will be a fabulous one, with fun, helpful features such as: 911, entertaining emergencies and how to solve them; 411, information calls, like what a tagine is or how to trim an artichoke; OTT (Over the Top), on how to make the evening truly spectacular; and A Lighter Touch, on adapting recipes for less fat, or simply to be less heavy. All of this is presented in Colin’s inimitably stylish, irrepressibly fun voice that’s both entertaining and informed.Each party takes place in a uniquely beautiful location, from spectacular New York City apartments to an oh-so-very L.A. Modernist house to the beach in East Hampton. The guests are smiling and glamorous and having a good time, the decors and tabletops and food are extraordinarily appealing—you want to be there. Not only will Dinner After Dark transport you, it’ll allow you to bring the party to your own home.