Books and Baking

( See what I did there? πŸ˜‰ Isn’t the play on my blog title amusing? No?… ok, moving on then…)

I noticed this morning that a few people have found their way to this little old blog by searching for “baking authors” and it gave me a great idea for a mini-book list. Are you ready? Food-themed “cozy” mysteries. For those of you who don’t stalk the aisles of Barnes and Noble like it’s your job, a “cozy” mystery is a shorter-length mystery novel around 250-350 pages that is published primarily in paperback. They’re pretty tame beach-type reads (almost always murder mysteries, without a whole lot of thriller elements or graphic crime to them) and usually an author will write several “cozy” mysteries as part of a series. Y’all should know by now how much I love a good series.

So, if you’re looking to be entertained for a few hours and maybe get a few new recipes too, here are some of my favorite “cozy” food-related mystery series:

Catering To Nobody (Culinary Series #1) - by Diane Mott Davidson

Catering To Nobody (Culinary Series #1) – by Diane Mott Davidson

The Culinary Mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson (aka the Goldilock’s Catering series) – This is by far my favorite of this genre. The main character “Goldy” is completely believable and battles with a wide range of dilemmas throughout the series. The food mentioned in the books ranges from simple picnic fare to fancier canapes and desserts, depending on what type of catering Goldy is doing in the story. Best of all, Davidson is still writing new books, and a new one is due out in August (The Whole Enchilada).

The Tea Shop series by Laura Childs – This is my second-favorite series in this category, and although these are technically based on a tea-shop (and therefore include a bunch of fun facts about tea) there are also recipes for food (not just scones either!). The series features ideas for several “themed” teas, all of which include a menu of food to match. In fact, my mom got onto a big tea-drinking kick a year or so ago while reading these books and invited some friends to her house for an old-fashioned high tea and tea-sampling. Her friends are all big tea-drinkers too, and they loved it. Personally, this series makes me want to go and visit Charleston, SC. I haven’t read the most recent book in the series yet (Sweet Tea Revenge) but I’m going to look for it this weekend.

Hannah Swenson Series #1 - by Joanne Fluke

Hannah Swenson Series #1 – by Joanne Fluke

The Hannah Swenson series by Joanne Fluke – Maybe it’s just because I’m from the Midwest, so I can identify with a lot of the small-town quirks in this series, but I always get a chuckle when I read these books. The main character, Hannah Swenson, owns a cafe in a small Minnesota town that sells cookies and desserts and operates as the local coffee spot. The love-triangle part of the plot for this series isn’t my favorite, but they’re good books to curl up with for an afternoon, and the cookie recipes are always sound delish.

Really, there is a cozy mystery series for just about any hobby you can imagine. Knitting? Yep. Scrapbooking? You betcha. Wine? You better believe it! Wait, wine isn’t a hobby? My bad… Do you have a favorite cozy series? Does it have a cooking/hobby theme?

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