First, before I start my blog, I want to mention that I put up chapter 6 on my webpage:
That said, it’s time to admit how much I love food in mysteries. I mean, no surprise, really, since I love food in general. I’m not one of those people who eat to survive or because I’m hungry. I eat because I love cooking food, I love paging through cookbooks, and I love the nuances of food. But the balance of food and cozy mysteries strikes a perfect ying/yang for me. I think it started for me with The Cooking School Murders, a Eugenia Potter mystery, by Virginia Rich. When Virginia Rich died, Nancy Pickard–one of my favorite writers–took over the series for a while. Those books led to my love of Diane Mott Davidson with her Goldy Bear catering service, recipes, and dead bodies.
There are a LOT of food mysteries on the shelves these days. Every cozy these days is married to a niche of some sort–sewing, knitting, gardening, or herbs. That’s fine with me. A niche adds another layer to a good who-dunnit. I recently finished The State of the Onion, a White House chef mystery, by Julie Hyzy. It was a good, solid mystery with lots of recipes included at the back of the book. Sadly, Hyzy finished the series and moved on to writing the Manor House mysteries–which she finished, too–and now she has a darker novel on pre-sale for October 23.
Joanne Fluke’s amateur sleuth, Hannah Swenson, who owns The Cookie Jar, is so popular, the Hallmark channel made movie versions of some of her earlier books. She has over twenty books in the series now and includes recipes in every book.
Which leads me to the fact that my editor asked me to include two original recipes at the end of my first mystery, THE BODY IN THE ATTIC, which will come out early in November. I had Jazzi cook BBQ ribs in that book, along with bruschetta with a white bean puree. I’m ardently in love with bread, and my husband is passionate about ribs, so I’d made both recipes and tinkered with them a lot. For the book, I tried to blend a few BBQ sauce recipes into one, so I hope that works. John loved it, but if I spread horseradish on ribs, he’d wolf them down.
For book two, THE BODY IN THE WETLAND, out in April 2019, Jazzi made cabbage rolls for Ansel–since they’re one of his favorite foods–and she served chicken salad for her family’s Sunday get-together. I have an abundance of chicken salad recipes, too–I like to invite my sisters and cousin for a “tea party” once a year, and I always serve some kind of chicken salad, along with egg salad, ham salad, and cucumber sandwiches…and lots of finger desserts…oh, and tea:) But my fellow writer, M. L. Rigdon/Julia Donner, offered to give me her “famous” recipe, a family secret, so what can I say? I jumped at the chance. The cabbage rolls are something I made for my mom’s birthday in January, year after year, until she died After that, I couldn’t make them, but I think I’ll be ready again this coming January. There’s nothing like steaming up the kitchen, peeling leaves off a head of cabbage so that you can stuff them.
I don’t know if you like cozy mysteries, or if you love to cook, but I think the two are a match made in genre heaven. (Our very first tea. I got better with time.)
I hope whatever you’re working on now is “delicious.” And happy writing!
My webpage: https://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/
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