23 January 2016

Weekend Cooking: 8 Culinary Cozies to Warm You Up This Winter

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.

It's been a few months since I wrote about food-related cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and Obsidian, two solid imprints when it comes to light mysteries. No matter your interest, there's bound to be a cozy mystery that covers it: cats, dogs, needlework, antiques, books, gardening, ghosts, decorating. Seriously, check out the site Stop, You're Killing Me! and click on the "Job Index" link, you might be amazed by the range of occupations held by amateur sleuths. Here are eight foodie mysteries to get you through the winter.

8 Culinary Cozies to Warm You Up This WinterForeign Eclairs by Julie Hyzy takes us into the kitchens of the White House in this 9th entry in the White House Chef series. I love Ollie Paras, who not only cooks for the most powerful people in the world but gets involved with murder and mayhem. There's always plenty of action, a taste of Washington politics, and great characters. In this story, Ollie herself may be targeted in a revenge plot.

One Foot in the Grove by Keely Lane is the 1st in a new series that takes place on a family olive farm in Georgia. Eva Knox has had it with men and misses her family. What she needs is the peace and quiet of small-town life and a return to her Southern roots and home. Unfortunately, when a body is found in the olive grove, all eyes turn to Eva as the prime suspect. Can she clear her name before she becomes the next victim or is forced to leave town?

For Cheddar or Worse by Avery Aames is set in a cheese shop in a small town in Ohio. Artisan cheese makers, family-owned dairy farms, and quaint inns and B&Bs are getting ready for the annual cheese festival, and shop owner Charlotte Bessette is hoping to make a good showing. When a snooty cheese connoisseur is found dead, however, all planning comes to a halt. Charlotte gets involved when her BFF, Erin, is accused of the deadly dead. They must find the killer before either Erin's or the town's reputation is permanently tainted. This is the 7th book in the popular Cheese Shop series.

Scene of the Brine by Mary Ellen Hughes is the 3rd installment in the Pickled & Preserved series set in a small town in upstate New York. Piper Lamb owns a shop that sells her homemade pickles, jams, and brandied fruits to walk-in customers and to local caterers. This fun series features all the things I love in a cozy: a spunky heroine, a few red herrings, an intriguing mystery, and--of course--food! Small-town politics and a star-crossed romance play roles in this story. The action picks up when Piper risks getting into hot water as she tries to clear the name of a friend's son.

8 Culinary Cozies to Warm You Up This WinterDeath of a Bad Apple by Penny Pike transports to the West Coast, where former restaurant critic Darcy Burnette and her food-truck-owning aunt Abby decide to drum up some business at an apple festival. Fall is a great time to leave the streets of San Francisco for the surrounding farmland, but instead of fun and games, the pair find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery. Is their innkeeper really guilty of killing one the guests? This is the 3rd entry in the tasty Food Festival series.

It's a Wonderful Knife by Christine Wenger is set in rural New York, where local diner owner Trixie Matkowski is running herself ragged keeping the restaurant open, preparing food for a community dinner, and nursing a broken leg. Despite the stress, she most decidedly did not thrust her butcher knife into the back of the director of the Christmas pageant. But who is the real killer? There are plenty of twists and turns in this 5th entry in the Comfort Food series.

Guilty as Cinnamon by Leslie Budewitz is the 2nd installment in the Spice Shop series set in Seattle. Pepper Reece sells spices, herbs, and tea in Pike Place Market, where she's in the thick of the city's food world. Although she enjoys meeting the locals and tourists who visit her shop, she's more excited about building a good reputation with restaurants and caterers. All looks bright until a young chef dies, allegedly after ingesting one of Pepper's spices. Pepper is on the case; she needs to solve this crime before her business is run into the grave. The sights, sounds, and smells of the city and its market are highlighted in this well-written mystery. 

To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel is the 1st in a new series set in a pub in a trendy Pittsburgh neighborhood. It's hard to get a brew pub off the ground--finding a chef, checking on the craft beers, and attracting clientele. So when an employee is found dead in a beer vat, owner Maxine O'Hara is almost ready give up. Fortunately, her homicide detective father offers to help solve the crime. But will they find the killer before Maxine has to shut off the taps for good? A good setting, interesting characters, the bustle of city life, and a hint at romance make for good escape reading.

Two more thoughts: First, don't you just love the punny titles and fun covers of these cozies? Second, I wanted to point out that all of these mysteries include recipes: from spice mixes to rich cakes, tangy pickles, and an entire presidential menu.


rhapsodyinbooks 1/23/16, 6:59 AM  

As usual, I love the titles!

jama 1/23/16, 7:33 AM  

Thanks for truly whetting my appetite for reading in this genre. The titles alone are reason to pick them up. Such fun!

Tina 1/23/16, 8:02 AM  

I brought soup to the party! It's cold all over and I could use a warmer while I read this weekend.

bermudaonion 1/23/16, 8:34 AM  

I love cozy mysteries and their punny titles but haven't read one in a while.

JoAnn 1/23/16, 9:29 AM  

I'd be happy to curl up with any of these titles this weekend!

Kay 1/23/16, 10:39 AM  

Very nice! A foodie cozy is just the ticket sometimes and there are almost always a recipe or two as well.

Katherine P 1/23/16, 10:56 AM  

I love foodie cozies! It's definitely one of my favorite genres and this year I'm absolutely going to be trying the recipes in the back!

Claudia 1/23/16, 11:02 AM  

I love it! 8 cozy, foodie titles I haven't heard of til now. Just the thing, thanks.

Jackie McGuinness 1/23/16, 11:44 AM  

I also love the titles!!

(Diane) bookchickdi 1/23/16, 1:09 PM  

These would be perfect reading for everyone stuck inside today.

Marge 1/23/16, 3:42 PM  

Thank you for introducing me to some new authors and reminding me to catch up with some that I've enjoyed!

Laurie C 1/23/16, 6:33 PM  

I've been wanting to try Julie Hyzy's books since the first one, I think! I can't believe the series is up to nine already!

Joy 1/23/16, 6:44 PM  

These all sound so fun -- perfect for cozy winter reading.

grammajudyb 1/23/16, 8:29 PM  

Oh, I have been reading The White House Chef series, so thanks for mentioning #9. Also, all these titles have got me anxious to expand to other series. Hope all on the east coast are staying warm and cozy!

Melanie 1/23/16, 10:57 PM  

"Guilty as Cinnamon" is such a cute title! These do sound like perfect winter reads.

Majanka Verstraete 1/24/16, 5:20 AM  

These books sound fun. I do enjoy a cozy every once in a while :)

Majanka @ I Heart Reading

Mae Travels 1/24/16, 7:20 AM  

It's so interesting that the long tradition of mystery writing has given rise to the whole genre of mysteries with recipes that you are summarizing! Food in detective fiction is as old as detective fiction! Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey, Hercule Poirot, Miss Jane Marple, Spenser (first name never mentioned), V I Warshawski, and many more stopped for dinner, tea, breakfast, or sometimes just a donut during the course of their investigations. I've been exploring the more classic versions, today here: http://maefood.blogspot.com/2016/01/mysterious-filet-of-sole.html

mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 1/24/16, 11:08 AM  

The titles alone are a hoot! I've mentioned before that I've never read a cozy mystery, but maybe this winter is a good time to start!

Deb in Hawaii 1/29/16, 6:32 PM  

I love foodie cozy mysteries so I am making a note of some of these titles. How fun!

Joining in this week with a book review of a spooky novel paired with a healthy winter slaw. ;-)

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