Mystery food for thoughtFebruary 11, 2014 by Darcie
Like many cooks, I enjoy curling up with a new cookbook and reading it like a novel. Snuggled up on the sofa, I pore through each recipe as though it were a spellbinding mystery. I enjoy reading mystery novels too, and recently learned about a genre of culinary-themed mysteries that not only offer intriguing plot twists but also include recipes! How did I not discover this before?
Many of these mysteries are volumes in a series. Riley Adams (aka Elizabeth Craig) writes the Memphis BBQ Mystery series, including titles such as Hickory-Smoked Homicide and Delicious & Suspicious. These tales revolve around Lulu Taylor, owner of a Memphis barbeque joint. The Cheese Shop Mystery series, written by Avery Aames (aka Daryl Wood Gerber), follows the story of Charlotte, co-owner of a cheese shop, and her ragdoll cat. Books in this series include The Long Quiche Goodbye, and To Brie or Not To Brie.
All of these books belong to the crime drama subgenre known as “cozy mysteries.” This subgenre mainly features small-town amateur sleuths who doggedly pursue a dastardly killer. Perhaps the most well-known cozy mysteries are the Agatha Christie novels featuring Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.
There are dozens of authors who write culinary crime novels. Given my penchant for cocktails, I’m keen to delve into the Mack’s Bar Mystery series by Allison Abbott (aka Annelise Ryan & Beth Amos), which opens with Murder on the Rocks. Jessica Beck’s Donut Shop Mysteries sound delicious too. Who can resist a title like Assault and Batter? Another treat is the Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery series by Ellery Adams, which offers tomes like Pies and Prejudice. Joanne Fluke dishes up sweet surprise in her Hannah Swenson mystery series, which includes Strawberry Shortcake Murder. If those are making your teeth ache from too much sugar, a relative newcomer to the genre, Jeanne Cooney, released the savory Hot Dish Heaven last year. (Full disclosure: Jeanne is my former coworker, and the reason I discovered this subgenre.)
Have you read any books like these? If so, what is your favorite? I need to know which books to add to my shopping cart first.
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