There’s a fun new world out there for food lovers, particularly if you are also a mystery lover! The world of culinary mysteries is taking off, and now you can enjoy your favorites as movies, too.
When we talk about this subject with people, invariably we get, “What’s a culinary mystery?” It’s simply a fictional story that has a mystery combined with a lot of talk about food. What’s not to love? Many of these novels have recipes built in, so that you can recreate the fun meals and desserts of your favorite characters.
Some of our favorite authors include:
Joanne Fluke – She’s the creator of the Hannah Swenson series that has now been picked up by the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel for adaptation into the Murder She Baked movies. You can catch up and read them all, getting to know Hannah, her sisters and her mother, and the many characters of her Minnesota community.
Diane Mott Davidson – Her creation is named Goldy, and she’s a caterer who lives her life not unlike many of us . . . except murders keep happening! Her novels are full of great recipes that will inspire you to solve your family meal problems like never before.
Cleo Coyle – If you love coffee, you’ll love this series, which is set in a coffeeshop. Hint: there are some good recipes here, particularly for entertaining.
Philip R. Craig – Sadly, Craig passed away in 2007 but he left us with a series of mysteries set in Martha’s Vineyard and some seafood-inspired meals that are pretty amazing (editor’s note: There is a scallops recipe that I live by that consists simply of scallops, butter and Ritz crackers. You can find a collection of recipes from the books in his cookbook, Delish!
Julie Hyzy – If you enjoy intrique you’ll love the White House Chef series from this author. Her character, Olivia, manages to not only keep food on the table for the leaders of the world, but keep them safe at the same time!
Livia J. Washburn – Her Fresh Baked Mystery series has titles such as Murder by the Slice and Killer Crab Cakes, with recipes and food events thrown in for good measure.
Peter King – This British author is a Cordon Bleu–trained chef who didn’t write his first novel until after his retirement. His Henry Ross is a culinary consultant who inadvertently teams up with Maggie Price, a San Francisco police detective, to solve some fascinating food mysteries.
Robert B. Parker – OK, while the Spenser novels are not traditional culinary mysteries, this P.I. does know how to make your mouth water when he cooks! He’s also the author of the Jesse Stone novels, with the part played by Tom Selleck in the Hallmark movies—like Innocents Lost.
That’s just a few of our favorites, but there is a whole world of culinary mysteries in this food-lovers genre. Dig in . . . if you have the appetite for a little murder and intrique mixed in with your enjoyment of food!
P.S. If you stumbled on this story by accident and the most you want to do in the kitchen is assemble a sandwich, you might like the Kinsey Millhone Mysteries by Sue Grafton. The most private eye Kinsey makes is a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, and she’s a frequent patron of fast food. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.