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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Culinary Capers: a Collection of Cooking Mysteries

What do the authors of these mysteries have in common? Each writer cooks up a quandary and has the hero resolve it, and then throws in some recipes or bits of food info for good measure. Bon appetit!

            Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed! an Augusta Goodnight Mystery, written by Mignon Franklin Ballard, presents a murder that occurs during pre-Christmas activities. One of the protagonists is a guardian angel; she investigates. Is the murderer a ghost? This is a typical Southern cozy mystery with recipes.

            The Grave Gourmet, written by Alexander Campion, is set in Paris and features police detective Capucine and her food critic husband. The body of an automobile executive is found in a food cooler of a famous French restaurant.

            The Chocolate Book Bandit: a Chocoholic Mystery, written by JoAnna Carl, features chocolate shop owner Lee McKinney Woodyard in an investigation of the murder of a retiring library board member. Chocolate trivia is included.

            The Missing Dough, written by Chris Cavender, is about Eleanor Swift, the owner of the Slice of Delight pizzeria and her efforts to help her sister Maddy after she is implicated in her ex-husband’s death.

            Eggs in a Casket, written by Laura Childs, presents the owners of the Cackleberry Club, a breakfast cafĂ©, who also are amateur sleuths. In this book, one in a series, they investigate the murder of the town’s prison warden.

            Steamed, written by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant, features Chloe Carter, food connoisseur and expert in failed romances who is known in local chatrooms as GourmetGirl. A blind date with another foodie is spoiled when he ends up stabbed to death.

            Holiday Grind, written by Cleo Coyle, is about amateur sleuth, coffeehouse manager and head barista Clare Cosi. Clare discovers one of her customers, a charity Santa Claus, murdered. Information on coffee syrups and holiday recipes are an extra perk.

            A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange: a Mystery with Recipes, written by Isis Crawford, present sisters Bernie and Libby, owners of a catering and bakery business. They are asked to judge a televised Christmas cookie bakeoff. After a contestant is murdered, the remaining contestants do battle with one another. The sisters investigate. Try some of the Christmas cookie recipes given.

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