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Both food and suspense are two of my all-time favorite things, and they come together well in mysteries centered on the culinary arts. Humans use food for more than simply sustenance; it’s also a means of dealing with a wide range of feelings. Cupcakes are great for expressing emotions, and pizza is great for celebrating victories. This subgenre of mysteries is a fun approach to reflect on the often-underappreciated significance of food in our daily lives.
I’ve compiled a list of the best cozy mysteries with food today. A true food gourmet is someone for whom eating is more than simply a means to an end; if that describes you, then this list is for you. In this story, food is more than simply sustenance for the characters to make it through the day. It’s what drives the story forward, what generates suspense, and what reveals the truth.
If you’re going to read any of the cozy mysteries listed below that involve food, stock up on snacks beforehand so you won’t become too hungry as you read. But there’s no better way to unwind than to indulge your sense of taste while reading a suspenseful novel that will make you forget the passage of time.
BY JESSICA BECK
Suzanne’s divorce has inspired her to pursue her lifelong interest in donuts. Donut Hearts was the name of the shop she started in her childhood neighborhood. A dead corpse is dropped outside her door, turning her peaceful small boutique into a murder scene. Suzanne becomes increasingly involved in the murder investigation as she tries to evaluate the validity of the various alibi witnesses.
MANGO, MAMBO, AND MURDER
BY RAQUEL V. REYES
Miriam, a New York City-based food anthropologist, relocates to Miami. She’s been struggling since the move when her BFF shows up to help. She proposes that Miriam join a morning talk show as the resident authority on all things culinary. A socialite passes away just as Miriam is beginning to find her footing, and a chain of events links the socialite’s death to Miriam’s best friend. In an effort to clear her identity, Miriam resolves to take drastic measures, but what if they prove fatal in the end?
AUNTY LEE’S DELIGHTS
BY OVIDIA YU
Since the death of her husband, Rosie Lee has focused all of her energy on expanding her successful restaurant business. The Singaporean home cooking she serves at her restaurant is known for being fiery. When one of Lee’s dinner party guests doesn’t show up and a body is discovered in a popular tourist spot in Singapore, Lee realizes that something is amiss. She begins a full-scale inquiry with the assistance of Police Commissioner Raja to find out who is responsible.
ARSENIC AND ADOBO
BY MIA P. MANANSALA
As Lila returns to her hometown to heal from a heartbreak, she finds herself saddled with the responsibility of turning around Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant. However, her ex-boyfriend suddenly reappears and dies in a confrontation with her. Her family is having trouble as it is paying the rent. A person’s circumstances does not improve if they become the lead suspect in a murder investigation. As a result, Lila decides to rescue her family and clear her own identity.
MAGIC, LIES, AND DEADLY PIES
BY MISHA POPP
Daisy’s first pie-related murder is an unfortunate accident. However, she now considers it her sole professional pursuit. She and her dog make deliveries of poisonous pies to males in her town who have done terrible things to the women there. She receives a frightening letter one day warning her that her secret will be revealed soon if she does not stop doing what she is doing. If she is now on shaky ground, how can she continue to support other women?
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MURDER
BY JOANNE FLUKE
Hannah has a lot on her plate between managing her wildly successful bakery and evading her mother’s efforts to marry her off. And then the beloved Cozy Cow Dairy delivery man is found dead. In addition, he is surrounded by a pile of Hannah’s chocolate chip crunchies. Hannah is so enraged by this shocking death that she decides to investigate the case on her own. However, if she doesn’t take precautions, her life could be ruined as well.
CATERING TO NOBODY
BY DIANE MOTT DAVIDSON
Goldy does not particularly enjoy being the wake’s caterer, but she does it anyway. When her ex-father-in-law becomes ill after eating something Goldy cooked, she is suspected of poisoning him. In light of the fact that the law is now chasing her life, her ex-husband is testifying to her guilt, and her business is gaining a bad image, Goldy knows she can no longer rely on the police to save her. She must rely only on her own abilities!
A KILLER CUPCAKE
BY FIONA GRACE
Allison hopes to open a bakery of her own and begin a new life. It won’t be simple, though, because she also has to complete a murder investigation. She is set on maintaining her bakery and would like to do it by specializing in pastry creations. Just then, a stray dog who has a knack for finding clues appears. Can Allison and her best friend save her future from being ruined?
Have you read any of these? Which is your favorite? Let me know.