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Monday, August 16, 2010

Mystery Cookbooks!

There are many culinary mysteries on the market that have a wide appeal, and other mysteries that include recipes in the book.  It appears there is an ongoing fling between the mystery genre and "foodies".  There are the Diane Mott Davidson novels, Joanne Fluke, Josi Kilpack, Cecile Lamalle, Ellen Hart, Jerrilyn Farmer, Nancy Fairbanks, Alexander Campion, Julie Hyzy's White House Chef mysteries, even Al Roker's Chef Billy Blessing mysteries    But let's take it one step further.

The Italian police procedural novels by Donna Leon featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti have always been rich with scenes of the family at the dinner table.  The descriptions of the succulent meals captured readers imaginations as much as the investigations.

So Donna Leon has created a most unusual cookbook, introducing each recipe with scenes from her books.  It is a great concept and brings us the incredible recipes featured in the books but makes the entire collection a book to be read.  I checked this out from the library and fell in love with it.  I really must buy my own and soon.


I started to wonder if there were other cookbooks inspired by mysteries or mystery authors.  I found three more available (I really thought I would find more.)  But here are the ones I found.

A Taste of Murder (Agatha and Macavity Award finalist) and the follow-up, A Second Helping of Murder by Robert Weibezahl and Poison Pen Press.  They each feature 150 recipes from mystery authors (even Poe) or from mystery classics.  The cookbook is divided by clever headings such as The Set-Up, A Shot in the Dark, In the Soup, Crumby Situations, A Brunch of Crooks, The Quick and the Dead, A Criminal Past-a, Red Herrings, Murder Most Fowl, Meating Out Justice, No Bone to Pick, Accomplices, Tough Cookies, and The Proof is in the Pudding.  I found both available on Amazon, or try Poison Pen Press directly.




Then I found Appetite for Murder by Kathy Borich.  "Off to England for supper with Sherlock Holmes, morning tea with Miss Marple, or a pub crawl with Chief Inspector Morse.  Guaranteed to whet your Appetite for Murder, this tantalizing slant on cooking and crime is cooked up especially for mystery lovers.  Relive your favorite classic crime fiction and then whip up the food that helped solve the crime."


A reviewer said "bringing together food, interesting fictional detectives, novel and wonderfully attractive culinary sayings, and neatly crafted imaginary crime scenarios. For readers who want to have perfectly penned short vignettes of detectives as varied as Chief Inspector Morse, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Rumpole of the Bailey, Ellery Queen, Hercules Poirot and Chief Inspector Wexford (plus many more) this is a sparkling book."



I am planning on checking out all of these myself and just wanted to share them with my fellow mystery "foodies".  If you have one of these, please comment on how you like it, or if I missed a mystery related cookbook please tell us all about it.




 
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Ingredients:
1 cup cooked butternut squash
1/2 cup mascarpone or cream cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1 package round wonton skins
butter, garlic, and sage as needed



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6 comments:

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Wow, these sound wonderful! I LOVE cooking, so combining that with my love for mysterious would be fantastic! Thanks for the great finds, can't wait to hear more about them! :-)

Janel said...

I am a huge culinary mystery fan since I love to cook as much as I love to read! It would be fun to see some of the authors with long-running series, like Diane Mott Davidson, Joann Fluke and Tamar Myers do cookbooks, even if it is just putting all of the recipes from their books in one place.

A.F. Heart said...

I am looking forward to making some of the recipes when I receive them. Janel, I thought I would find some of the authors as you mentioned - with their own cook books. But alas these were all I found. I think it is a great idea myself.

Story Teller said...

Interesting post. I love to cook as well, and have become addicted to food memoirs. (A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg is my favorite.)I'll have to give one of these a try.

It's not a mystery, but there's a Little House cookbook that includes all the bizarre, historic recipes mentioned in the Little House books. It's quite interesting - even tells you how to make your own butter!

Judith said...

Katherine Hall Page has a cookbook coming out - Have Faith in Your Kitchen

A.F. Heart said...

Story Teller,

I had come across a "Aunt Bea's" Cookbook featuring all the home cooking in the Andy Griffith show and Mayberry. Some great stuff in there as well.

Judith, thanks for that addition!

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