Nothing grabs your attention like the smell of a good, home-cooked meal. Except, perhaps, a captivating mystery book. But why not have both? Food, cooking and cuisine are at the center of numerous mystery books. Whether food is the killer, clues are hidden in the recipes, or a chef becomes an amateur sleuth, these culinary-themed novels will have you craving more. This list gives you a taste of 6 mysteries that are sure to whet your appetite…
Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew (Ecco)
This internationally bestselling cozy crime novel follows Tannie Maria in her newfound role as a columnist for the local paper. The middle-aged cook with a passion for sharing recipes finds that she can offer love advice that pairs perfectly with her recipe suggestions. But, when a woman she offered advice to turns up murdered, Tannie Maria is mixed up with the crime. Trading her chef hat for a detective hat, Maria searches for the killer in hopes of uncovering the truth. Recipes for Love and Murder is the first book in the Tannie Maria Mystery Series.
(Read ITW’s coverage of the fourth book, The Milk Tart Murders, on BookTrib here.)
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Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s)
When relics representing the seven deadly sins go missing, the gluttony Stone is sought after by a man with malicious intent. Elizabeth Tucker, a local pastry chef, doesn’t realize her connection to it all until a handsome stranger arrives to protect her from the danger she’s in. Together, the two of them must use their powers to find the magical objects and defeat the villain hungering for power. From cupcake baking, to humorous side characters, to an alluring premise, Wicked Appetite will satisfy you.
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Mystery at Windswept Farm by Wendy Sand Eckel (Level Best Books)
In this third book in the Rosalie Hart series, Rosalie has more than ever on her plate. She owns a small-town organic farm, is renovating her cafe and has just begun a new relationship. When she learns that a real Italian chef is willing to teach a cooking class right in Rosalie’s café, she accepts the opportunity. But after one of the students is poisoned at the much-anticipated cooking class, her amateur investigation reveals that it wasn’t the first poisoning by this method. Now there is a serial poisoner in town and the race is on to stop them before they claim their next victim. Mystery at Windswept Farm is a quintessential cozy mystery with a tasty side dish of Italian cuisine.
(Read BookTrib’s review here and read an interview with Wendy Sand Eckel.)
Death Doesn’t Forget by Ed Lin (Soho Crime)
Death Doesn’t Forget is as addictive as the marinated, savory skewers sold at protagonist Jing-nan’s food stand. Taipei is preparing to host a cultural festival, where Jing-nan’s business will gain attention. But just as life is starting to look up for Jing-nan, he is framed for several murders of high-profile people. He wonders if he will be the next victim, or if there is something larger at play. Jing-nan finds himself balancing his personal life with a girlfriend eager for a marriage proposal, new business competitors, employees with their own complicated lives, and a series of murders that need to be solved.
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A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker (Knopf)
Plans to attend a French culinary vacation fall through when the tourist never shows up. The police are on the case and soon realize that Monika is nowhere to be found, and may have been traveling in suspicious company. When her body turns up, more questions than answers arise. What does Monika’s husband know about this trip? Who was her traveling companion? Bruno, the chief of police, makes sure to enjoy the French culinary scene as he works towards solving the mystery in A Taste for Vengeance.
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A Dish to Die For by Lucy Burdette (Crooked Lane Books)
On a Florida beach, a food critic, Hayley, finds her dog digging up the body of a local developer, who likely had a few enemies. When Hayley’s mother caters for the funeral, she and a friend plan to stick close by in hopes of uncovering some clues about his death. But a vintage Key West cookbook turns out to hold more than just recipes. It might be the key to solving the entire mystery, and Hayley is determined to find out. In A Dish to Die For, this food critic uses her keen eye to uncover the truth.
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Heat Index: 5 Hot New Books that Use Food and Drinks as Supporting Characters
I miss the books about Goldie
the caterer who lived in Colorado. They were delicious!
I really miss Diane Mott Davidson’s catering books, also. The stories were excellent and gripping. And the characters were wonderfully portrayed.
Is thàt the postmistress with a corgi dog a cat and he er own small farm?

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