24 October 2015

Weekend Cooking: 6 Culinary Cozies

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

I haven't written about cozy culinary mysteries for a few months, but that doesn't mean I'm not reading them. Cozies are fun, non-gory mysteries, featuring amateur detectives who have an interesting job or talent. Because the stories are as much about the characters and locale as they are about the murders, I think cozy mysteries make for great escape reading. The six books I feature today even include recipes, from pumpkin cookies to Greek meatballs and pecan soup.

The Start of Something New

Basket Case by Nancy Haddock; The Big Chili by Julia BuckleyBasket Case by Nancy Haddock, the first in the Silver Six Crafting series, stars six retirees who love to craft and who know their way around a kitchen, even though they may set off a smoke alarm or two. Set in Arkansas, this story is full of Southern charm and feisty characters. The mystery involves underhanded real estate developers, folk art festival planners, and six opinionated seniors. (Published September 2015)

The Big Chili by Julia Buckley, the first in the Undercover Dish series, features Lilah Drake, a private caterer who encourages her clients to take credit for the home-cooked meals she provides. When someone is poisoned from eating one of her dishes, Lilah must find the killer before she loses everything. Set in Illinois, this twisty mystery with realistic characters will keep you guessing till the end. (October 2015)

Fall Is in the Air

Trick or Deadly Treat by Livia J. Washburn; A Gala Event by Sheila ConnollyTrick or Deadly Treat by Livia J. Washburn, the ninth book in the Fresh-Baked series, sees the return of retired schoolteacher Phyllis Newsom, who is getting ready for a baking contest. Before she has all her recipes in order, she gets caught up in protecting the good name of the local veterinarian after he's been arrested for murder. The citizens of this small Texas town harbor secrets, which must be revealed before the case is solved. (October 2015, mass market paperback)

A Gala Event by Sheila Connolly, the ninth in the Orchard series, is set in rural Massachusetts, where Meg Corey maintains her family's apple orchard. Harvest is winding down, but her work is just gearing up: she not only has her own wedding to plan but must help an old friend uncover the truth about a crime for which he was wrongly accused. Great characters and lots of action will hold your attention as you root for Meg to sort things out before her big day. (October 2015)

Fragrant Kitchens

Nuts and Buried by Elizabeth Lee; Olive and Let Die by Susannah HardyNuts and Buried by Elizabeth Lee is the third in the Nut House series, which is set on a family pecan farm in Texas. In this installment, everything seems to be going wrong for our protagonist, Lindy Blanchard: trees are dying, people are dying, and townsfolk are gossiping. Throw in a wedding celebration gone awry, and you can understand why everyone's on edge. Lindy and her family team up to get to the bottom of things. (November 2015).

Olive and Let Die by Susannah Hardy, the second in the Greek to Me series, features Georgie Nikolopatos, who manages a Greek restaurant in upstate New York. Georgie's life is anything but dull, thanks to her mother and ex-husband, boyfriend and customers. But the family drama runs extra-high when a long-lost cousin turns up dead, and her ex's partner is tagged as the main suspect. Family secrets are exposed long before Georgie identifies the real killer. (November 2015)

All books were published by Berkley Prime Crime, except Tricks or Deadly Treat, which was published by Obsidian Mystery.


Karen 10/24/15, 8:03 AM  

I will admit here that I've never read a cozy culinary mystery and, frankly, had no idea it was a genre unto itself!

Tina 10/24/15, 8:12 AM  

I get a kick out of the titles but I'm not a big fan of cozy mysteries. Maybe as a beach read but I like mysteries or police procedural a best.

JoAnn 10/24/15, 8:27 AM  

I haven't read a cozy in ages, but just started one this week and am loving it! Thanks for the culinary-themed suggestions.

(Diane) bookchickdi 10/24/15, 8:54 AM  

I'm in charge of the cozy mystery section at the Book Cellar and I always get a kick out of the clever titles.

rhapsodyinbooks 10/24/15, 9:17 AM  

Just the names are fun even without reading them!

Vicki 10/24/15, 9:24 AM  

I see a few I' like to read. I keep saying I want to read another cozy soon, but then I get sidetracked by something else. I do have a review for a cozy book titled Backstabbing in Beaujolais which is the 9th book in the Winemaker Detective series set in France. It's a good series.

jama 10/24/15, 9:31 AM  

I've never read any cozy mysteries either, but since you've mentioned them several times here, I'm very curious to try -- we all need to cuddle up with a fun escape read sometimes, and with recipes to boot!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 10/24/15, 10:52 AM  

Never read a culinary mystery either--actually I'm not sure I've truly read a cozy mystery! I'll have to ping you on twitter to see what your #1 recommendation might be. ;)

Esme 10/24/15, 12:02 PM  

These all sound like fun. Food memoirs are my favourite though.

grammajudyb 10/24/15, 12:17 PM  

Another couple of good ones are, The White House Chef Mystery series. The title are a play on words, State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef, Eggsecutive Orders. Recipes included also.

Carole 10/24/15, 3:15 PM  

I need to give one of these a go - I wonder what one to start with??? Cheers

Sheila (Bookjourney) 10/24/15, 4:27 PM  

I do like the combination of a fun mystery with recipes. I dont red cozies often - but when I do, I like the ones that include foody things :)

Create With Joy 10/24/15, 4:47 PM  

Those books sound like fun reads Beth - thanks for sharing and hosting your link-up - have an amazing weekend! :-)

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 10/24/15, 8:35 PM  

These are new to me, thanks for hosting!

Laurie C 10/26/15, 9:31 PM  

I keep meaning to start that Sheila Connolly Orchard series and it keeps getting longer and longer!

Margot 10/29/15, 1:43 AM  

Basket Case is right up my alley. Six opinionated seniors? I wish I could be a part of it. I'm off to find the book. Thanks.

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