Summer reading
Murder and mayhem in hunt for ‘fountain of youth’ serum
“Murder on the Outer Banks,” Upper Ohio Valley Books, $15.95

Murder on the Outer Banks: The Methuselah Murders,” a mystery by Joe C. Ellis, describes a hunt for a modern “fountain of youth” — not a fountain at all but a groundbreaking serum. The tale follows the serum’s creator, 65-year-old Sylvester Hopkins, who uses his invention as a performance-enhancing drug at a local 5K, as well as those who want his formula: the FBI, the president of the United States and a cluster of pharmaceutical executives known as “the Medical Mafia.” At the heart of the story are two law enforcement officials who see it as their mission to protect the formula, which leads them to a cross-country trail of dead bodies. The book, as the title suggests, takes place in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, but Washington makes a cameo.

Log on to train like a pro
Shape, July

You may not have made your small-screen debut on “The Biggest Loser,” but a new batch of Web-based applications allows you to virtually work out with that show’s Jillian Michaels and other fitness gurus. Shape editors highlight what they consider three worthy online fitness programs. Michaels’s “360-degree Weight Loss Navigator” ($4 per week;
) offers fitness and wellness advice. The program also synchs up with the BodyMedia armband ($150) so users can get personalized feedback. Kathy Kaehler’s Web site offers “Sunday Set-Up” ($29 per year;, which provides a weekly 15- to 20-minute workout video, a Web video featuring lifestyle tips and dinner menus. Valerie Waters’s “Red Carpet Ready Club” ($27 per month; has the highest monthly membership fee. The program mimics the training that Waters’s Hollywood clients endure.

Book cover “Murder on the Outer Banks: The Methuselah Murders” by Joe C. Ellis.

Maggie Fazeli Fard