A Taste for Murder
With the huge popularity of all things related to food - cooking shows on TV, celebrity chefs, cookbooks, and grilling, to name a few - it's not surprising that one of the most popular cozy mystery subgenres is the culinary mystery.
You can find just about anything food-related in the wide range of culinary mysteries. There are mysteries about tea, coffee, and wine. Others feature caterers and owners of restaurants, bakeries, candy shops, herb shops, coffee and tea shops, and ice cream stores. Some characters are innkeepers and bed and breakfast owners. There are food columnists, restaurant reviewers, and chefs on cooking shows. Some characters are just amateur sleuths with an interest in cooking.
One of the most popular features of many culinary mysteries is that recipes are often included. I've even come across some non-culinary mysteries that feature recipes, including those with themes about knitting, glass-blowing, and yoga.
Here is just a small sampling of the authors who write culinary, including recipes:
Susan Wittig Albert - China Bayles series - herbs
Jessica Beck - Suzanne Hart series - donut shop
Miranda Bliss - Annie Capshaw series - cooking classes
Sammi Carter - Abby Shaw series - candy
Laura Childs - Theodosia Browning - tea
Cleo Coyle - Clare Cosi series - coffee
Isis Crawford - Bernadette and Libby Simmons - catering
Krista Davis - Sophie Winston series - event planner
Nancy Fairbanks - Carolyn Blue series - food writer
Joanne Fluke - Hannah Swenson series - cookie shop
Julie Hyzy - Olivia Paras series - White House chef
Karen MacInerney - Natalie Barnes series - Maine Innkeeper
Wendy Lyn Watson - Tallulah Jones series - ice cream shop
Melinda Wells - Della Carmichael series - cooking show
The culinary mysteries will be on display in the Mystery area in October.
Here are some new releases and forthcoming mysteries:
M.C. Beaton - Busy Body - (Agatha Raisin)
James R. Benn - Rag and Bone - (Billy Boyle WWII series)
JoAnna Carl - Chocolate Pirate Plot - (Chocoholic series)
Janet Evanovich - Wicked Appetite - (spin-off series featuring Diesel from the "Plum" books)
Joanne Fluke - Gingerbread Cookie Murder (Hannah Swenson series)
Marcia Muller - Coming Back - (Sharon McCone series)
Louise Penny - Bury Your Dead - (Inspector Gamache)
Robert B. Parker - Painted Ladies - (a Spenser novel published posthumously)